Vermont Could Have Dispensaries Open by End of the Year
The state of Vermont received four applications Friday from people wanting to open up medical marijuana dispensaries, some of which could be open by the end of the year.
There was some controversy about how secret the information about the applicants is going to be kept, but officials said that communities will know exactly who is opening a business in their area, which is only fair. Privacy is one thing, but an anonymous business is not likely to last in any neighborhood, if it opens at all.
“By having dispensaries we can ensure patients have a safe, reliable medication that is not putting them out on the black market,” said Virginia Renfrew of the Vermont People with AIDS Coalition. She said the dispensaries will be a welcome addition for patients who rely on cannabis to ease pain and stimulate appetite.
Dispensaries are an integral part of any medical marijuana system. Not everyone wants to grow, or is even able to grow, depending on their ailments.
Vermont’s medical marijuana law is considered rather strict, with regulations that prohibit a dispensary from advertising, limit the number of patients they may serve and doesn’t allow patients to use their medicine at the dispensary.
The regulations could be a reason the number of applications is so low, said Renfrew. Strict or not, at least some patients will get relief, and advocates can get to work on expanding the list of qualifying ailments.
Burlington, Vermont Mayor Miro Weinberger has voiced concerns over “safety” issues that might arise around a dispensary. “If the state of Vermont chooses to award one of the newly authorized dispensaries to a Burlington operator, I will be working closely with the City Council and Burlington police to carefully review this new issue,” he said.
Destroying the Myth That Dispensaries Cause Crime
We hear it over and over from medical marijuana opponents: dispensaries cause crime. As if medical cannabis attracts a naturally criminal element, a bunch of marijuana patients up to no good (http://www.thcfinder.com/marijuana-blog/dispensaries/2012/06/medical-marijuana-dispensaries-dont-boost-local-crime).
As with any business, if you have a valuable product and inadequate security, you invite thieves and possibly violence. But dumb people generally aren’t in business for long, and to run a successful business you must have things like security covered.
As they point out in the video below, good security and cameras actually deter crime in the area they are in. But those who support prohibition know that once they admit medical marijuana is real and beneficial to millions, the walls of their cause will crumble. They are clawing for scraps. They no longer invite “studies” and research, they just whine shrilly, trying to justify why they want to hurt sick people.
But the bottom line is their position is indefensible. Marijuana is a safer alternative to dozens, maybe hundreds of prescription medications. Not only is it non-toxic, it is more effective for a wide range of ailments.
The studies will continue to be done, showing what common sense will already tell you: Dispensaries don’t cause crime.
Federal Government Intimidates Landlords to Destroy Medical Marijuana Industry
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.
Surge in Crime at Denver Medical Marijuana Dispensaries?
New statistics from the Denver, Colorado police department show a 69% increase in crime at medical marijuana dispensaries in the city since last year, with a 75% increase in burglaries.
Reports say that there are about 400 medical marijuana dispensaries in Denver now, but the police statistics don’t say how many dispensaries there were last year. In other words, if the number of dispensaries is up by 69% as well, then crime isn’t up at all. If the increase in dispensaries is less than 69% then crime went up, and so forth.
As with any business with a valuable product, medical marijuana dispensaries are targets for thieves. And these places, which include banks and all manner of stores with valuables and cash on hand, become bigger targets as the economy fails to rebound.
Other factors are involved as well, like location and how much of a police presence there is in the area.
One incident in particular has people “worried” and that’s a murder of a medical marijuana caregiver that occurred last month. Richard Nack was shot in killed in his home on May 26th in an apparent robbery. Friends say not many people knew he grew medical marijuana, and it’s a stretch to blame medical cannabis for his death.
Anyone with something valuable at their home is a target of robbery and violence if someone else finds out they have it. This is just as true of someone with a rare coin collection or someone who doesn’t trust banks and keeps a safe at home. Was Richard Nack wrong for helping people? Or was he an innocent victim?
Some want to use the “medical marijuana attracts crime” argument as an excuse to restrict access for patients. Under their logic all banks, liquor stores and 7-11’s should be moved to vacant industrial areas.
Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Don't Boost Local Crime
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