Don’t Make Same Error as California

Officials preparing for the sale of marijuana for medicinal purposes in Ohio and West Virginia seem to be moving with careful deliberation. Good. They should not make the same mistakes that have occurred in California.

There, marijuana for recreational purposes became legal this week, before state officials were ready for the change.

Among safeguards Golden State residents were assured would be employed was a computerized tracking system, meant, in The Associated Press’ words, to monitor marijuana “from seed to storefront.” One reason for the system is to keep marijuana from being diverted from the legal marketplace into the black market.

But when sales began this week, the computerized system was not up and running. Those involved in the marijuana business were being told to use paper invoices and shipping records to document where the product came from and where it went. Officials admitted the system is rife for error and abuse.

Why did California officials not postpone sales until the tracking system was ready? Obviously, because no one had the nerve to disappoint the many Californians who were counting on getting high legally, for a change.

Ohio and West Virginia officials should continue moving cautiously on medicinal marijuana, insisting that every safeguard is in place before a single sale is permitted.