Cannabis News Stop the Drug War!
  Save The Pot Dealers!
Posted by CN Staff on November 05, 2009 at 16:12:13 PT
By Joel Stein 
Source: Time Magazine  

medical California -- Some dude outside my supermarket just asked me to sign a petition to legalize marijuana. Apparently he was so high that he forgot he's in California, where pot is already more legal than budget-balancing. Last year I was granted a medical-marijuana license, even though I'm healthy and I don't smoke weed. I went to a doctor's office that consisted of a desk, a TV, two cans of air freshener and a man wearing a Hawaiian T-shirt. I told Dr. Magnum P.I. about my constant anxiety, insomnia and headaches--two more conditions than any previous patient had bothered to mention.

He freaked out and gave me a pot license for only six months until I saw a psychologist. My lovely wife Cassandra, however, got a full year's prescription by claiming she was afflicted with a condition called "menstruation." Looking back, I'm pretty sure I could have used that too.

There are more medical-marijuana dispensaries in L.A. than Starbucks. Most are like nice tea shops, where salespeople behind a counter open glass jars so you can smell the Sugar Kush, look at the Purple Urkel under a magnifying lens and ask about the effects of Hindu Skunk. At the Farmacy, I spun a wheel to determine my first-time-buyer gift and was handed a pot lollipop. If the pot-dispensary people ran General Motors, the recession would be over. Although GM cars would be engineered to just stare idly at the road for hours. Which is more than they're good for now.

The vast majority of that Sugar Kush is still in our house, mostly because Cassandra found an even more effective solution to menstruation called pregnancy. But also because shopping for pot in California is more fun than using it. So when Attorney General Eric Holder declared that the Federal Government would quit busting dispensaries, removing even the hint of consequences for medical-marijuana use, my heart ached for small-time American pot dealers. They can't compete on price, selection, customer service, quality control or not-getting-arrestedness, and they have no skills that translate into another industry. They're almost as bad off as journalists.

Of all the potheads I know--did I mention I live in Los Angeles?--only one still uses a dealer. He hasn't made the logical switch from purchasing illegal drugs to committing medical fraud partly because he doesn't want his name on a dispensary list for professional reasons, partly out of loyalty to his dealer and partly because to motivate a stoner, the invisible hand of capitalism first has to endure a long, boring conversation about how cool it would be to have an invisible hand.

But competition, it turns out, improves capitalism, even among the members of society least capable of doing math. "The dispensaries have really made my drug dealer step up," my friend told me. Not only is the dealer now charging $100 for a quarter ounce, compared with the $120 he'd charged for decades, but he has also started offering home delivery instead of shady parking-lot meetings. "He got more reliable. He used to be, 'Yeah, I can't do it today. Maybe tomorrow.' Sometimes you'd page him, and he'd never call you back. Now I'm like, 'I'm going to be at my house at 4 p.m.,' and he's like, 'I'll be there.'"

Still, the dime baggers don't stand a chance. So it is the Federal Government's responsibility to help with some sort of bailout. They need seed money. They need a WPA's worth of pastry chefs to make pot brownies. They need Snoop Dogg to pass on his genes to even more children. They need to get the 3-D version of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs on DVD right away.

The drug warriors were right that medical marijuana would lead to pro forma legalization. But they were wrong about every other consequence, like the coming wave of donations from pot dealers to the next presidential candidate willing to criminalize medical marijuana. Also, legitimizing pot hasn't created more users; it has just produced more annoying ones, who now apply Whole Foods--ian levels of snobbiness to the differences between Hawaiian Sativa and Humboldt Indica.

As always, federal decisions have lots of unintended consequences, and many of them are good. As dispensaries wipe out pot dealers, teen drug use will fall dramatically. Instead of buying pot from a dealer, teenagers will have to struggle with the same imperfect methods they use to get alcohol: begging older siblings, stealing from their parents and waiting outside a dispensary until they find a guy creepy enough to accept a $20 bribe.

The bad part is that without any business to do, the last remaining pot dealers will now have absolutely no reason to stop talking and leave your apartment.

Source: Time Magazine (US)
Author: Joel Stein
Published: Thursday, November 05, 2009
Copyright: 2009 Time Inc.

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Comment #7 posted by paulpeterson on November 06, 2009 at 10:16:14 PT:

I've been watching regularly, of course
Yes, I've been seeing your fine coverage all along. Check some recent stories in the "Storm Lake Pilot Tribune" about my recent attempts at decriminalization (3 stories so far in the past two weeks or so).

I don't know how to do this "posting" stuff very well.

My suit in federal court is still pending (but without counsel not for long).

That "prosecutorial misconduct" case involving Harrington and McGhee, heard just Wednesday in the US Supreme Court, is directly on point here also-the locals have broken every rule they can.

Help, if you can, to spread the word that I need a federal attorney, to help in the "perfect storm" type case I have-police and prosecutors lately did a true "Watergate Burglary" of the court clerk's office, to steal and tamper with a tampered with tape, so the FBI can't tell it was tampered with the first time. AND IF THE FBI WON'T GET INVOLVED, and the DOJ won't get involved, and no state agency will help stop police/prosecutor fraud, WHO WILL?

Just some thoughts here, of course and I HAVE EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT EACH ALLEGATION OF THIS PERFECT PATTERN OF COVERUP of COVERUPS to COVERUP for police tampering of the original incident-THE "BOY WITHOUT A COAT" case, which started 1/21/06, when I spoke up about a cold boy being gooned in 19 degree weather, in short sleeve shirt, short pants, AND I HAVE THAT ON VIDEOTAPE- but with sound edited and covered over with a radio talk show program, to wipe out my own statement of inhumanity of police brutality, etc.

The transcript was also tampered with, to avoid having my "Perry Mason" wiped out, to hide the obvious perjuries of two cops.


paul peterson 712-732-2620 (calling all lawyers, that is)

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Comment #6 posted by FoM on November 06, 2009 at 08:06:30 PT
I am so happy to see you!!!

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Comment #5 posted by paulpeterson on November 06, 2009 at 08:05:26 PT:

Dude, I like this article
Nice touches, about how illegal dealers are losing market share-that is the whole point, right?

Maybe we can drive home the part about legal clinics AT LEAST CARDING THEIR CUSTOMERS FOR AGE, right?

Funny, apparently negative slants about new moves in the market, are ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY TO SPARK FURTHER DISCOURSE and change in attitude, dude, right?

Pass the Doritos and get on with the show.

PAUL PETERSON, 712-732-2620

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Comment #4 posted by Zandor on November 06, 2009 at 07:35:11 PT
Joel Stein comits a CRIME??
Lying to a doctor in order to obtain a medical recommendation for Marijuana is a crime under AB420 and anyone who alludes that they lied should have their doctors recommendation revoked and arrested under the law!!

Maybe that will stop all these reporters looking for cheap shots and a buck selling a hyped up article!!!

Why not talk to real sick people who use medical marijuana to relieve REAL pain & treat REAL medical conditions.

Because that would show REAL support for medical marijuana and main stream media just can't let that happen. After all the Corporate pharmaceutical companies ALL buy full page ads in their papers & magazines...They don't want to upset their BIG SPENDERS!!!

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by Mark702 on November 05, 2009 at 18:33:18 PT
Oregon - Cannabis Cafe
Check out the news story today about Portland, Oregon opening the first legal cannabis cafe.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #2 posted by FoM on November 05, 2009 at 18:20:01 PT
We are getting very close.

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Comment #1 posted by sam adams on November 05, 2009 at 18:11:18 PT
yes yes yes
>>If the pot-dispensary people ran General Motors, the recession would be over.

Finally! The light bulb has gone off. Someone gets it!

this is great, we've definitely crossed into a new world - remember 2001 when we were waiting for Canada to do something? Nowadays if you check Google news there is a flood of articles every single day on cannabis, it's unbelievable.

We could be less than one year away from THE END of prohibition in California!

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