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Jars full of medical marijuana are seen at Sunset Junction medical marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles.
A bill is moving forward in Sacramento that would shelter medical marijuana stores from federal prosecution.
Medical marijuana has been legal in California since the approval of the Compassionate Use Act in 1996, however the law can be vague, and the federal government continues to crack down on dispensaries.
California law already shields the primary caregivers – those who grow, buy, or distribute marijuana for medical use – from federal prosecution. Caregivers are also allowed to receive reasonable compensation for their services.
Marin County Senator Mark Leno wants to extend those protections to collectives and cooperatives, as well as the stores and delivery services they employ to distribute medical pot.
Democratic Senators Curren Price of Los Angeles and Ron Calderon of Montebello both voted for Leno’s bill. They say the measure will clarify state law, something California’s Attorney General has already asked the legislature to do.
The bill now heads for a full Senate vote.