Medical pot advocates oppose Calif. legalization

Mercer 1882

AP Photo/Reed Saxon

The exterior of the La Brea Collective medical marijuana dispensary is seen in Los Angeles Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2009.

SACRAMENTO — A coalition of medical marijuana advocates is coming out against a California ballot initiative that would legalize the drug for recreational use and tax its sales.

The California Cannabis Association said Tuesday that Proposition 19 would inadvertently harm the most vulnerable patients by allowing local governments to prohibit the sale and purchase of marijuana in their jurisdictions.

The group predicts many cities and counties would impose such a ban if voters approve the initiative, leaving local medical marijuana users with few options.

The measure's supporters say it explicitly protects patients' rights and would provide them with safer and easier access to the drug.

If Proposition 19 passes in November, California would be the first state to legalize and regulate recreational pot use.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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