Commentary: California should limit number of medical marijuana dispensaries

California's cities can't afford to wait for the state to fix the medical marijuana mess. The plan in the works in Sacramento is a reasonable local solution to a no-win situation.

The proposal outlined last week at a City Hall hearing would cap the number of marijuana dispensaries at 12; keep them away from schools, parks and neighborhoods; and charge fees to cover the cost of regulation.

Sacramento and other cities find themselves in this predicament because the compassion that voters showed in 1996 by approving the medical use of marijuana has been completely corrupted.

First, the Legislature allowed a very generous interpretation to Proposition 215. Then in February 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration would no longer raid dispensaries in states where medical marijuana is legal. For good measure in January, the California Supreme Court wiped out state limits on how much pot medical marijuana patients can grow or possess.

To read the complete editorial, visit www.sacbee.com.