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Sometimes the Legally Weird headlines write themselves.
The city of Oakland has declared a "local public health emergency" due to a lack of medical cannabis. This might seem perplexing to some, as Oakland is not known for a shortage of actual emergencies.
In actuality, it is part of a routine declaration that the City Council makes for legal purposes. The city first started making the Oakland cannabis proclamation in 1998. The declaration itself, declaring a public health emergency, has no specific meaning, except to boost policies permitting medical cannabis dispensaries and encouraging the Oakland Police force to effectively ignore pot offenses.
Oakland official Barbara Parker said the city issued the declaration due to problems in the city of Oakland with law enforcement arresting growers and patients. The four page declaration reads in pertinent part:
WHEREAS, on November 5, 1996, the voters of California passed Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act of 1996...
WHEREAS, marijuana has been shown to help alleviate pain and discomfort in people suffering from a variety of illnesses including AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, and multiple sclerosis when no other medications have been effective; and...
RESOLVED: that the City Council of the City of Oakland finds that a public health
emergency exists with respect to access to an affordable and safe supply of medical cannabis, and pursuant to Government Code section 8630 does so declare; and be it further
RESOLVED: that the City Council of the City of Oakland urges the federal government to desist from any and all actions that pose obstacles to access to cannabis for Oakland residents whose physicians have determined that their health will benefit from the use of marijuana and. recommended or approved medical cannabis use for such residents...
As, the East Bay Express reported, the Oakland City Council is expected to quickly pass the Oakland cannabis declaration at their scheduled meeting May 4th.