Medical Marijuana Law Could Ban Pot Felons from Industry

A bill that would legitimize the state’s billion-dollar medical marijuana industry could also exclude many Californians from the lucrative industry: those convicted of drug crimes.

Given the way that drug crimes have been prosecuted in California, a disproportionate number of the people who might be frozen out are African American or Latino. And many dispensary owners and pot growers who are leaders in the booming business could face a similar hurdle.

It’s one of the most vexing questions that California must reconcile as the marijuana industry comes above ground: how to treat those who were punished when weed was illegal.

The language in the legislation, expected to be signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, is fuzzy. It’s aproduct of last-minute negotiation and compromise as legislators raced to pass it before Friday’s legislative deadline. The law enforcement lobby — whose support was crucial in passing the trio of measures before Brown — was adamant that the measure keep bad actors from being able to sell weed legally.

– Read the entire article at San Francisco Chronicle.