Tempers Flare in Kent, WA over MMJ Dispensary Ban
The city council in Kent, Washington voted Tuesday night by a vote of 4 to 3 to ban medical marijuana dispensaries in the city. The vote angered many medical cannabis supporters, like Michael Ranetta, who has Multiple Sclerosis. "Please don't take away the medical marijuana. We need it, it's safe and we don't want to die on pain pill narcotics."
In fact, more than 150 medical marijuana supporters packed the city council chamber to decry the decision. One man said, "All these dispensaries have helped many of us stay out of jail, because we have a place to go." But it was to no avail.
The Cannabis Action Coalition served Kent’s mayor with a lawsuit, saying the city council’s action were illegal. "State law is very clear on what they can and cannot do, and they voted to violate that law and we'll take them into state court and we'll stop them," said the coalition's Steve Sarich.
Medical cannabis opponents try to build an aura of stigma around medical marijuana dispensaries like they are businesses of ill repute. Undoubtedly some are, but so are some bars and corner stores. Businesses should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, not banned outright. If a pharmacist at a local pharmacy is caught selling pills on the side, are all the pharmacies in the city shut down?
While medical marijuana activists battle for rights for patients, they must also be aware of how opponents try to turn public opinion against full and safe access. Marijuana still suffers from what, in current terms, could be called “bad PR.” Decades of propaganda is hard to overcome and we must strive every day to fight the lies and half-truths of those who profit from prohibition.
Our momentum is undeniable, but it only exists through hard work.
The Hidden History of The War on Drugs
Many of us know that the federal government is less than truthful, in many areas of policy and fact. We also know that The War on Drugs continues to thrive because many powerful people make a lot of money off of it.
The interview in the video below is a little long, but it contains a lot of great information about what has been going on along the U.S. border with Mexico. To some in the U.S. this is a far off problem, but thousands of innocent people are being slaughtered every year south of the border. How can we continue the same failed policies in the face of incredible violence and death?
Money. As in most cases, money is the answer. People who make a lot of money with something are also liable to spend a lot of money making sure the gray train doesn’t stop. Money dictates policy, and if people die in the process, well, it wouldn’t be the first time.
Maybe when decapitated bodies are left in public in U.S. cities enough people will be willing to stand up and say enough. How many more people must die for us to take a different path?
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