CannaCare is Not The Problem

CannaCare is Not The Problem
Posted by CN Staff on January 29, 2007 at 07:30:58 PT
By Andrew Brown 
Source: The Daily
WA -- In one of the more popular episodes of The Simpsons, Homer makes friends with a flock of crows that ends up attacking his face and sending him to the hospital. Upon seeing the injury, Dr. Hibbert prescribes medical marijuana. The spirit of the episode is best captured when Hibbert asks Homer which pipe he would prefer, “the wizard or the skull.” The topic of medical marijuana in the legal arena is not quite so lighthearted. Marijuana is legalized to some degree in 11 states, Washington included, but it isn’t as simple as that. 
As The Seattle Times reports, Washington’s voters legalized medical marijuana with the passing of the Medical Marijuana Act in 1998, but the nature of the law has remained shrouded in ambiguity ever since. Most notably, the legislation has not been recognized by federal courts, and so whether or not medical marijuana is actually legal remains uncertain. It depends on who’s doing the investigation, and whether the investigators are more concerned with state or federal laws.It’s perhaps no surprise, then, that considerable controversy has surrounded a recent raid on the Everett home of known- grower Steve Sarich who heads up CannaCare, a group which claims to have provided medical marijuana to some 1,200 afflicted patients in Washington. There’s no doubt that Sarich was a prolific grower of pot; police seized 1,500 plants from his home. The question is, was his growing operation illegal?Even by state standards, the answer is probably “Yes, it was.” The law permits patients with certain conditions to possess up to a 60-day supply of pot, and, although, according to the Times, Sarich — a sufferer of spinal pain — was an authorized user, he will have a tough time convincing anybody that 1,500 plants constituted a 60-day personal supply. It will be further difficult to argue that he was legally growing the plants for other patients, despite whatever reputability his organization may have had. Simply, the state does not issue licenses to grow and distribute pot. Whether the arguments are for or against the issue, Sarich’s fate will be decided by the courts. This begs the question — a question far more important than that of the legality of Sarich’s growing operation: How can this case draw such tremendous legal and media attention when far more serious drug-related problems continue to persist?That is, how do drug-enforcement agencies justify the attention they give to issues like medical marijuana over other drug issues like Washington’s rampant meth problem?Theft is notoriously associated with hard-drug addicts. The desperation associated with addiction to meth and similar drugs is one of the worst catalysts for crime that exists.The problems of meth production and use are being addressed, certainly, but how thoroughly? What kinds of resources have been diverted from local meth enforcement to fund operations like the raid on Sarich’s home? Assuredly, more could be done to curb our region’s serious drug problems, probably at the expense of little more than comparably inconsequential enforcement of issues like medical marijuana.At the end of Homer Simpson’s medical marijuana odyssey, having recovered from the crow attack, he gives up the drug at the persuasion of Marge and the kids and returns to normal. Simpsons writers might have tried the version where Homer gets addicted to meth, but they probably would have canned it once he started stealing copper wire from construction sites and losing teeth.The laws concerning medical marijuana in our state and at the federal level should be clarified, no question. But this matter should in no way be allowed to detract from enforcement that really matters.Source: The Daily (WA)Author: Andrew BrownPublished: January 29, 2007Website: opinion thedaily.washington.eduRelated Articles & Web Site:CannaCare Highlights Medical-Pot Dilemma Activists See Drug Raids as Revenge Marijuana Advocacy Group Raided
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on January 30, 2007 at 10:39:56 PT
Max Flowers
I understand what you are saying. I really do.
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Comment #5 posted by Max Flowers on January 30, 2007 at 10:22:38 PT
Tragic recklessness on both parts
If the undercover cops were standing on the man's property doing that, they were at fault because they can't just run an operation like that on someone's yard without notifying them or asking permission. Yes the victim was reckless by charging out there with a gun, but that should have been totally foreseeable by police---people do tend to protect their property against trespassers. What the police should have done was notify the owner by phone that there were u/c officers in front of his house and to not be alarmed and stay in his house. For his part, the victim, instead of going out there with a gun, should have call police to report that there were suspicious persons on his property.A good attorney will have no problem hammering the PD on this one. I think there will be a multi-million $ judgment coming for the victim's family. 
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Comment #4 posted by runderwo on January 30, 2007 at 07:22:24 PT
"Theft is notoriously associated with hard-drug addicts. The desperation associated with addiction to meth and similar drugs is one of the worst catalysts for crime that exists."They forgot to mention the crime cartels that control distribution thanks to prohibition.They forgot to mention the abnormally high prices thanks to prohibition. Addicts' demand is inelastic! You could eliminate all this "crime" by giving the drugs out for free, if that's really the problem.They forgot to mention the stigma associated with admitting a drug addiction ("This will go down on your PERMANENT RECORD") preventing those from seeking treatment, thanks to prohibition.And what's really sad is that cannabis is lumped in with all this nonsense. Guilt by association.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on January 30, 2007 at 06:47:48 PT
I read about that sad story yesterday. I have seen many articles where cops and people tangle with guns. We don't have problems like that around here. People have guns around here I think but they aren't an issue. The police aren't our enemy. If we need a policeman they will come and help. If I walked out my front door with a gun that's a totally different story though. 
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Comment #2 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on January 30, 2007 at 02:33:29 PT
The people who live in the neighborhood should wear uniforms, so the undercover cops can tell who they are.
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Comment #1 posted by Wayne on January 29, 2007 at 22:29:49 PT
Kathryn Johnston, Part II
You need to read this everyone, this is outrageous! FoM, you ought to post the whole story on here if you're able to. Pete also has a good posting at DWR. And it happened in Florida, of all places. God I love this state...Apparently, an old man saw two drug dealers loitering on his lawn, and he went out to scare them off with his gun. Trouble is, they were undercover narcs, and they just shot him. Oh yeah, and once again, he's black and lives in a crime-ridden neighborhood. Or he DID, anyway...I know police are supposed to protect us, but I just get so sick at the very sight of them anymore. Any time I see a police car, I just start gritting my teeth. It shouldn't be this way!! 
Elderly Man Dies In Gunfire Exchange With Undercover Officers
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