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California’s Marijuana Regulations and Enforcement? “It’s a Mess”

California voters legalized medical marijuana nearly two decades ago, but absent statewide regulation, it has spawned a vast network of illegal dispensaries, easy access to marijuana, crime and wide disparities over how businesses are monitored – if they are at all.

In some parts of California, law enforcement officials have aggressively pushed back, raiding growers and dispensaries in a never-ending effort to control the industry.

“It’s a mess,” said Eureka Police Chief Andrew Mills about marijuana enforcement efforts in Northern California. “There is no DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) presence up here in Humboldt County right now unless it’s a specialized case they come up for, but that’s rare.”

In communities like Los Angeles’ Wilmington, a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood 20 miles from downtown Los Angeles, the crushing volume of illegal dispensaries competes with other police priorities. [Read more at]

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