North Coast Assemblyman Jim Wood co-introduced an Assembly resolution last week telling President Donald Trump and the Justice Department to leave the state’s cannabis industry alone.
The resolution suggests resources should be directed elsewhere.
“The growing opioid crisis continues to represent a far greater threat to the health and safety of our communities, claiming 91 American lives every day,” the resolution states. “Now, therefore, be it resolved by the Assembly and the Senate of the State of California, jointly, that the enforcement priorities of the United States Department of Justice should not be undeservedly placed on California’s lawful and closely regulated cannabis industry.
The resolution points out California legalized medical marijuana with more than 55 percent of the vote in 1996; and recreation was legalized with more than 57 percent of the vote through Proposition 64 in 2016.
“The federal government should instead focus on investigating and prosecuting those who have created and exacerbated the epidemic of prescription drug abuse across our country,” the resolution states.
“For almost 22 years, medical marijuana has been legal in California,” Wood said in a statement sent to the Times-Standard. “In 2016, we voted to legalize adult use and have established a strict and comprehensive system of oversight for both. To all of a sudden have the federal government question our state’s right feels like nothing but an attack.”
The resolution was referred to the Assembly Committee on Public Safety on March 22. While Wood co-introduced the resolution, he is not listed as either a sponsor or author of it.
In the Senate, a resolution sponsored and co-authored by state Sen. Mike McGuire calls on recognizing the impact opioid-related deaths have had on communities across the state. Wood is listed as one of 10 co-authors of SCR 115.
The resolution specifically notes the dire statistics associated with Humboldt County, noting it has more opioid prescriptions than residents.
“The County of Humboldt’s prescription rate for opioids is 90 percent higher than the statewide rate,” the resolution states.
It also notes the overdose rate is five times higher than the state average and its sport as having “the second highest per capita rate of opioid overdoses in the state, with the County of Inyo being number one.”
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“California’s highest opioid rates per capita are in several northern California rural counties. For example, prescription opioid-related death rates in the Counties of Lake, Humboldt, and Shasta are two to three times higher than the national average,” it states.
The resolution was ordered to a third reading on March 21.
McGuire plans to be in Eureka on Thursday for a second town hall on the county’s opioid crisis. Another event was held in November.
“When we last met in November, neighbors, community and healthcare leaders advanced their concerns and initial solutions related to the opioid crisis,” McGuire said in a statement promoting Thursday’s event. “Now, as promised, Supervisor [Virginia] Bass and I are bringing local and statewide leaders back together to hear about the progress that is being made with this ongoing crisis and update the community on the issues they advanced last fall.”
Wood, however, will not be attending the Eureka town hall, according to his press office.
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