Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Don't Boost Local Crime
Rhode Island MMJ Dispensaries Could Be Open By Fall
This weekend the Rhode Island House of Representatives passed a revised medical marijuana bill in an attempt to have three compassion centers open by the fall. They have been working on the new rules feverishly for quite a while now (http://www.thcfinder.com/marijuana-blog/medical-marijuana/2012/05/rhode-island-lawmakers-working-on-new-rules-for-medical-marijuana).
After a delay of a few years, patients in Rhode Island may soon have a place to purchase their medicine. Medical marijuana was legalized in the state in 2006.
Under the new bill each of the three dispensaries would be able to keep up to 1,500 ounces – or a little less than 100 pounds – on hand at any one time. There are about 4,400 legal patients in the state.
The bill now goes to Governor Lincoln Chafee, who has said he’ll sign it. Some may remember that Chafee is the one who halted the dispensary program last year after threats from the federal government.
The new bill also provides oversight of the dispensaries by law enforcement, including a seat on the board of each center.
Time will tell whether these new rules for dispensaries will keep the federal government – which already has shown no regard for state regulations of medical marijuana, no matter how strict - from stepping in and imposing its will on the state.
Rhode Island may be the smallest state in the U.S. but patients in every state deserve full access to their choice of medicine. And until all medical cannabis users have full, legal access to their meds, no MMJ patient is truly free.
The time has long passed when medical marijuana patients should have stopped being treated like second-class citizens. Alcoholics can by liquor most hours of the day, but medical marijuana patients shouldn’t be allowed to purchase their choice of a non-toxic herbal medicine?
Someday every state will have medical marijuana and these days will just be something kids read about. But we were there. We saw how medical cannabis patients were treated.
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Whats Wrong With Having Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Near Schools?
A recent op-ed in The Huffington Post by a Drug Policy Alliance staff lawyer who lives near the recently closed Berkeley Patient’s Group in west Berkeley, California is such a great piece that it needs to be read far and wide.
Author Tamar Todd not only points out that medical marijuana dispensaries are no more likely to be robbed than banks or pharmacies (yet those are all around the school her children go to), but also another point that gets lost in all the talk about “saving the children.”
What about all the crime around schools associated with drug prohibition? What about the kids and other innocent people who get hit with stray bullets as rival drug lords battle for massive, prohibition-induced profits? What are the feds doing about real crime? Why are they wasting so much time and resources on dispensaries when kids can buy crack on the corner or in the alley? Why are they punishing sick people and enriching drug dealers?
But what about the kids?? Medical marijuana makes it easier for kids to get it, right? “The reality is that between 1996 (when California passed its medical marijuana law) and 2008 there was an overall decrease in teens' marijuana use,” Tamar says. “An analysis commissioned by the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs found ‘no evidence’ to support the claim that legalization of medical marijuana in California increased marijuana use during this period.”
The bottom line is the recent crackdown in CA has nothing to do with kids. In fact, the only way kids could possibly benefit from the MMJ crackdown is if they own stock in pharmaceutical companies. Big Pharma pays big money to make sure their biggest competition – medicinal cannabis – doesn’t thrive.
So far it looks like they are getting their money’s worth.
Medical Marijuana Crackdown In Santa Barbara
Police and federal agents in Santa Barbara, California have executed raids on 4 medical marijuana dispensaries in the area in the last couple days. The operation was spear-headed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the I. R. S.
As usual, no arrests were made but cannabis, money and property were seized. Dispensaries raided include Miramar Collective and Pacific Coast Collective. PCC’s operator is already faces separate charges involving the dispensary, and his home was visited by law enforcement as well.
Sgt. Riley Harwood, a spokesperson for the Santa Barbara Police Department, said, “Detectives have used a variety of means to investigate these locations, including interviewing customers, conducting undercover purchases of marijuana, and searching facilities. In every instance thus far,” he said, “their investigations revealed that these storefronts were operating as for-profit business enterprises; conducting retail sales to customers, or ‘members,’ and purchasing from wholesale vendors bulk quantities of marijuana grown outside of the region.”
These allegations have yet to be proven, but if they are true they point out one of the flaws in CA Proposition 215, and that is this whole concept of “non-profit” businesses.
Yes, it makes medical marijuana dispensaries seem like charities or benevolent medicine fairies. But it’s time to step into the real world. The U.S. economy is stagnating and profit creates jobs. People need jobs to make money and put food on the table for their families. Profits spur efficiency, innovation and most importantly, expansion.
Without people striving for profits this country wouldn’t have had the greatness that is now slipping away. It’s time to get the feds out of medical marijuana and stop treating California like it’s some sort of hippie commune. Let’s bring marijuana into the 21st century and fuel the engine of growth.
For now the federal government is making sure many dispensaries and collectives in CA are the purest form of non-profit businesses: businesses that don’t function at all.
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