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Medical Pot Cards Get OK

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Medical marijuana users could get identity cards designed to protect them from arrest by state and local law enforcement officers under legislation that´s headed for Governor Davis´ desk. The bill by Senator John Vasconcellos of Santa Clara was given final approval today by the state Senate when it voted 24-14 to adopt Assembly amendments to the measure.

It would require the state Department of Health Services to develop the card program. County health departments would verify the qualifications of applicants.

Proposition 215 allows Californians with cancer, H-I-V and certain other chronic medical conditions to grow and use marijuana to ease nausea and other health problems, if a physician recommends it.

Cultivation, possession and use of marijuana remains a crime under federal law.