As the battle for medical marijuana continues, its supporters suffered a huge blow last week when the Los Angeles City Council decided to shut down all 762 medical marijuana dispensaries in L.A. However, there is a very slight possibility that some will remain open, mostly those that were operational before 2007. Still, activists didn’t take this decision lightly and police had to intervene in the council chambers to calm them down.
Admittedly, the shutdown was inevitable. There are twice as many medical marijuana dispensaries in L.A. than there are Starbucks coffee shops. Most of them functioned as barely legal drug dealers, providing marijuana to the non-medical users for the purpose of getting high and having fun. Even though we don’t see anything wrong with that, these dispensaries soon became problematic because of the sheer number of burglaries, armed robberies and killings that happened nearby. Marijuana does attract a bad crowd, that’s not questionable, but we don’t see how making it more illegal will help the suspecting public.
However, this particular ordinance will still allow medical marijuana users to grow cannabis plants in the privacy of their homes. Activists seem to have a problem with that claiming that most patients and their caregivers don’t have enough resources to do that. One even claimed that in order to grown your own weed; you have to be able to spend at least $5,000 on the setup alone. And its statements like these that give more headaches to the medical marijuana users than anything else.
You don’t need $5,000 in order to grow your own weed indoors. And you don’t need to be a nuclear physicist either. All you need is some time to check out a few websites, a couple of forums and a visit to the local hardware store. It really is that simple. The only way you could spend a huge amount of money on it is if you buy an already pre-designed grow box that can go well over $2,000 but you do get your money’s worth with that one. Of course, there are patients who are unable to move, let alone grow pot in their house and that is the exact reason why dispensaries should stay accessible to those patients. Shutting them down will only prolong the suffering of those who actually use marijuana as a medication.
As always, opinions are divided, with some claiming this ban will bring peace to neighborhoods all over L.A., and others saying that this is the beginning of the end for what has been an ongoing struggle since 1996, when medical marijuana was first legalized in California. We think this move by the L.A. City Council will primarily be evident in the increase in marijuana sales on the illegal market, which will inevitably cause more crime waves than it has done while the stuff was semi-legalized. To conclude, medical marijuana users will now have a hard time acquiring their medication and young & healthy marijuana users will still be able to get the buds from their local drug dealers.
The Young Turks Network held an interesting panel on the topic: