Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Don't Boost Local Crime

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Wed, June, 6th 2012 by THCFinder
WEDNESDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- Neighborhoods with medical marijuana dispensaries do not have higher crime rates than other neighborhoods, according to researchers who examined 95 different areas of Sacramento, Calif., in 2009.
As more U.S. states have legalized the use of marijuana for medical reasons, some people have expressed concern that outlets that dispense the drug and their clients will become targets for crime.
But that's not the case, according to the study in the July issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.
[Read: Americans Support Ending Federal Crackdown on Medical Marijuana.]
The researchers found no evidence that neighborhoods with a higher density of medical marijuana dispensaries had higher rates of violent crime or property crime than other neighborhoods.
The study authors added, however, that further research is needed because they looked at neighborhoods at only one point in time. A neighborhood's crime patterns could change over time as more medical marijuana dispensaries open.
"This study is a good first step," study leader Nancy Kepple, of the University of California, Los Angeles, said in a journal news release. "But it was not designed to address the bigger picture of how these dispensaries might be affecting neighborhoods."
She also noted that the findings are based on one city, and research in other cities may yield different results. Currently, 17 states and Washington, D.C., permit medical marijuana use.
"The more research that's done, the more complete a picture we'll have," Kepple said.


Rhode Island MMJ Dispensaries Could Be Open By Fall

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Mon, May, 21st 2012 by THCFinder

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 (


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.





L.A. Council battles over future of pot shops

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Thu, May, 17th 2012 by THCFinder
A proposal for a "gentle" ban on medical marijuana clinics brought out some hardball politics at the Los Angeles City Council Wednesday.
The proposal would close dispensaries but allow patients to grow their own marijuana or share it through collectives. But a final decision was postponed after the ban was sent back to the council's Planning and Land Use Management Committee for further study.
A clearly angry Councilman Jose Huizar, who has been trying to ban dispensaries, complained the council was "playing games" to avoid a decision on his controversial proposal.
"Two weeks ago, in closed session, we had a very level-headed discussion and a good decision on the direction our city attorney should take," Huizar said.
"Now, they jumped hoops and waved out this new proposal that is an aggressive attempt to undo the direction we were going in."
The new proposal from Councilman Paul Koretz would allow some dispensaries to continue to operate if they agreed to a set of city regulations.
"They might call it a gentle ban, but I call it a vicious, heartless ban," Koretz said of Huizar's proposal.
"A lot of the people who need this drug the most wouldn't know (how) or be able to grow it themselves. For them, it is critical they have a place to go to get the medical marijuana."
Koretz said he believes the city should allow about 100 pot clinics to continue to operate as long as they abide by city regulations on location, hours of operation, security and other factors.
"I have far too many of these in my district and they are a nuisance," Koretz said. "But we need to regulate these, not shut them down."


Authorities raid Fontana pot dispensary

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Thu, May, 17th 2012 by THCFinder
Local authorities and federal drug agents shut down a medical marijuana clinic in Fontana this week, seizing a variety of pot and pot-laced products while making no arrests.
The raid Tuesday was conducted by Fontana police, sheriff’s deputies and Drug Enforcement Administration agents at Holistic Meds RX in the 15000 block of Baseline Ave., the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin reported.
Authorities found a 30-foot display case filled with more than 50 varieties of marijuana. Drinks, brownies and crackers containing the drug were also on display.
Police said the clinic, which had been open for seven months, was operating without a requisite business license and was the first of eight dispensaries targeted for closure.
“This should serve as notice to the other dispensaries that they're not going to fly under the radar,” Fontana Police Sgt. Billy Green told the newspaper.
Jason Ryan Thompson, an attorney for the clinic and several other dispensaries, criticized local police agencies and federal government for teaming up with the DEA to shut down the businesses.
“What we're seeing here is the federal government flexing its muscle and not respecting the will of California voters," Thompson told the paper. "Californians voted in Proposition 215 in 1996.”


Whats Wrong With Having Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Near Schools?

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Tue, May, 8th 2012 by THCFinder

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

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Fri, May, 4th 2012 by THCFinder

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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