The surge in medical marijuana in California has resulted in something of a free-for-all and, while many communities are attempting to bring regulation and order to the situation, many more are trying to ban weed altogether – whether used for medical reasons or not.
It should go without saying that, since the Obama administration loosened federal marijuana guidelines last month, the issue has become a little more urgent and a lot more fraught.
Many local governments are looking at the situation in Sebastopol, where officials have taken the line that tax receipts for medical marijuana are a valuable extra source of income during the recession. Consequently, marijuana shops are spreading like, well, weed…
Take the Peace in Medicine marijuana dispensary, for instance. This clean, modern operation could easily be mistaken for a doctor’s office, although the three security guards on the door and the powerful aroma of pot might give it away. So successful has this operation been that they are soon to open a second outlet, right next door to Starbucks!
However, it is LA that is the marijuana dispensary capital of the country, with around 800 dispensaries estimated to have opened – despite a 2007 order halting new marijuana operations. This explosion of outlets is blamed on a loophole in the City Council’s moratorium and final regulations are still not in place. The problem is blamed on the vagueness of the ballot initiative that California voters passed in 1996 legalizing medical use of the drug, wherein there is no mention of how or where the drug can be sold.
Little surprise then that Sacramento is looking to other weed-tolerant cities, such as San Francisco, Oakland and Malibu, for insight into keeping medical marijuana available but in check. They certainly don’t want to follow the route taken by officials in Fresno, who have decided the best way to avoid problems with dispensaries is to not have any. In 2006, the City Council passed a zoning ordinance requiring any pot dispensaries to comply with both state and federal law, and the U.S. government still bans the drug outright. As a result, last month nine dispensaries that opened this year were ordered to close.
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While I have no problem with marijuana use for cancer and AIDS patients, I take issue with your statements and positions on the use of marijuana as medicine.
First, living in Los Angeles, every time we learn more about medical marijuana, proponents talk about “medicine” and “medicating” and sick, dying cancer patients and etc. However, my experience and all the local media coverage suggests that this is a joke! Five pot shops are within 3 miles of my house. I have never seen a sick person enter. To the contrary, I have seen college age students with CSUN shirts leaving, giggling and high-fiving each other. They are not celebrating that they bought pot for a hurting AIDS patient, they are excited because they are going to get high!!
A Los Angeles news station was able to get a pot card from “Dr. Pot”, a Hollywood doctor whose only current medical practice is writing pot cards for $300 each. Their intern’s hidden camera footage relayed how she got a pot card for $300 (cash only) when her only complaint was a bad knee.
Medical marijuana advocates are quick to mention glaucoma, but every study has shown you would need to be albeit permanently stoned to reduce the intra-ocular pressure associated with this disease.
We (voters in California) were duped by Prop 215. Everything those against medical pot said would happen has…our youth are buying weed, stoned drivers are killing people after buying “medicine” (a motorist was killed and a CHP officer paralyzed in Ventura, CA earlier this year one hour after a stoned driver had bought products at a pot shop), the Mexican Mafia is supplying weed to stores and etc…
Medical marijuana is a huge JOKE and a lie. If you want to make pot legal, make it legal, legally. At least show us an actual sick person benefiting from marijuana.
See the problem is, weed can’t be regulated by the government. Because it can be grown right in ur backyard with minimal effort, it would be very hard to impose a tax on it. If it had to be refined, processed or manufactured then it would be legal. That would make it easier to tax. As of now, it is taxed on the honor system. Meaning you are only taxed on what you report you have sold. I can’t believe that there are still people out there that speak down upon weed but have no problem with our kids being exposed to cigarettes and alcohol. Both have been proven to be more addictive than weed (cigarettes being the most addictive, only falling second to heroin). Cigarettes and alcohol have no proven medical uses, yet it is still legal to consume them. Isn’t it odd that the Federal Government has classified marijuana as a schedule 1 narcotic, and allows cigarettes, which cause a significant amount of fatalities a year and is the second most addictive drug. From a chemical dependency level, cigarettes are right under heroin, but marijuana is classified as just as illegal as heroin. People wake up, its all about money. At the end of the day, it is our lives and nobody should be policing what we do to ourselves. Doesn’t that violate our constitutional rights? If I shoot and kill someone, that is illegal. But if I shoot my self, there is nothing illegal about that right? Stupid, but not illegal. The same should apply with drugs. Maybe if we spent more time and money on rehabilitation and not prosecution, we would be getting somewhere.
Someday I imagine we will all live in a land were men and women alike are free to do what they choose to do with their own bodies. A world were one really does have right to pursue happiness as they see fit. Even if it is sitting at home smoking from a glass pipe.
I follow this topic closely and it will be interesting to see what type of regulation is put into place.
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i think the program should be pulled. its an illegal drug. and should neaver have been made legal in the first place,this needs to be stopped by the federal government.
A MESSAGE TO THOSE WHO WOULD DO US HARM.
FOR THOSE WHO CONTINUE NOT TO LIVE IN THE REAL WORLD BUT STAY TUCKED AWAY IN THEIR FANTASY LIFE WHERE EVERYTHING IS LOLLY POPS,ROSES,BIBLE VERSUS,AND KITTENS.
LET ME TELL YOU THIS,YOU ARE NOT ON THIS PLANET ALONE,WE THE PEOPLE DONT BELONG TO YOU.WE HAVE OUR OWN IDEAS OF WHAT OUR LIVES SHOULD BE LIKE.WE DONT SHARE YOUR ENTHUSIASM FOR HYPOCRITICAL SELF RITUOSNESS.WE DONT WANT TO BE TOLD WHAT TO EAT,DRINK,OR SMOKE.
WE DONT WANT TO BE TOLD WHAT TO BUY,USE,OR WEAR.WE LOVE OUR FREEDOM.
WEATHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT WE HAVE BEEN SMOKEING POT FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS,AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO SMOKE POT FOR THOUSANDS MORE.WHAT YOU NEED TO DECIDE IS DO YOU WANT TO CONTINUE TO PAY HUGE AMOUNTS OF YOUR MONEY OUT EVERY DAY FOR THE REST OF YOUR PATHETIC FAKE SELF RITOUS LIVES TO FIGHT A WAR ON DRUGS THAT IS A PROVEN ALL TIME WASTE OF MONEY, THAT SHOWS NO RESULTS EVEN AFTER 50 YEARS.
OR COULD YOU POSSABLY JUST MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS, AND LET PEOPLE LIVE IN PEACE. YOU KNOW WE WILL KEEP SMOKEING IT LEGAL OR NOT. LIVE AND LET LIVE.WE HAVE PROVEN IT TIME AND TIME AGAIN.
FREE THE WEED! DEFINITE.