End 'Medical' Sham and Just Legalize Marijuana
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End 'Medical' Sham and Just Legalize Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on November 29, 2009 at 13:54:43 PT
By Joe Kuschell 
Source: Record Searchlight
California -- First off, let me say that any hint of a comparison of these marijuana dispensaries and their staff to pharmacies is a downright travesty.Pharmacies are licensed and regulated with very strict state and federal laws. The staff are trained, licensed professionals who have their fingerprints registered with the Department of Justice, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and state and local law enforcement. They have cleared criminal background checks and are devoid of any substance abuse issues.
What I would like to know from the city and county powers regulating these dispensaries and their personnel is if they have a clue about the background of all the folks who work at these sites. It seems to me that in order to work with a controlled substance (marijuana is a controlled substance by federal law), they should be closely scrutinized.I think that the number of these collectives and dispensaries is getting ludicrous. What drives their inception? Could it be the prospect of profiting from the issue of medical marijuana? I have nothing against folks wanting to smoke marijuana and, in some legitimate cases, actually benefit from the pharmacological use of the drug.It is my feeling that far more people are flocking to the medical marijuana scene because it presents a vehicle to use, grow and possibly sell some marijuana. It is likely that people involved in the medical marijuana scene are long-time users and have a decent familiarity with the drug.The prospect of cultivating and possessing the drug and drug paraphernalia is attractive when considering alternatives. To review, the possession of more than 28.5 grams is punishable by jail time and a fine. Cultivation or processing any amount of marijuana is punishable as a felony and can result in up to 16 months in prison. The laws regarding possession and cultivation of marijuana do not apply to patients or patients' caregivers who possess or cultivate marijuana for personal medical use of the patient, upon the recommendation or approval of a physician. Seems like a good idea to me and that if I want to use and can conjure up a need to a physician, then I get to use the drug without incident.When Proposition 215 passed in 1996 to allow medical marijuana use in California, I doubt the voters realized all the hassles it would pose for municipalities and law enforcement. I don't think it is a proper use of taxpayers' money to have city and county governments struggling to put order into this whole issue and in these times of fiscal restraint burden law enforcement with compliance.This whole medical marijuana issue really comes down to getting the drug legalized for personal use. There is legislation, Assembly Bill 390, that would legalize the sale and use of marijuana in California. The bill boasts that it would raise more than $1 billion in annual revenue by taxing the retail production and sale of marijuana for adults 21 years of age. The bill would not alter existing laws on the use of medicinal cannabis, nor would it impose new taxes or sanctions on the medical cultivation of cannabis. Knowing this, why wouldn't everyone want to go the medical marijuana route and even open a dispensary or two?The dispensary situation is out of hand and so is the scope of medicinal marijuana. I have seen people brag about their medical marijuana permit as if it were no more than a free pass to use the drug. If California wants to get this right, it needs to have one set of laws that governs the use of all marijuana in this state. Take the burden off of the cities and counties and let them tend to issues that serve the majority of the citizens.Let the state, through Assembly Bill 390, cultivate, regulate, sell and tax the sale of marijuana just like some states regulate their hard liquor. They should consider lowering the sale age to 18 years of age. That is correct, one bill to cover all use of marijuana. Everyone who wants to use can use without the hassle of growing. The state would only have to figure out a quantity frequency as it did for Sudafed. This addresses the problem of people possessing too much of the drug at one time should they consider selling it.Law enforcement would not waste time and dollars enforcing ordinances, investigating pot ripoffs and spending millions on pot eradication each year. California needs to get it right, generate revenue from marijuana and let people smoke in a responsible fashion. End the dispensary madness for municipalities. Let people smoke and pay for the privilege to do so. Marijuana is not going away.Joe Kuschell is a Redding pharmacist.Source: Redding Record Searchlight (CA)Author: Joe Kuschell Published: November 29, 2009 Copyright: 2009 Record Searchlight - The E.W. Scripps Co.Contact: letters redding.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on December 02, 2009 at 05:04:47 PT
NPR: All Things Considered
California Officials Target Big Marijuana GrowersDecember 1, 2009URL:
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Comment #9 posted by mrbingbang on December 01, 2009 at 07:47:10 PT:
Who cares about hemp anyway?!
Hi All - I just couldn't ignore this article - so I'm sending you my first comment. #1, to the commenter below - take the time to look into the historic and varied uses for industrial hemp. It would be more efficient, easier on the environment, and an economic boon to America to use this material in place of so many others. Paper, cloth, energy production, rope, nutritious foods... The list goes on and on!#2, this article by the Pharmacist? I saw that, too - "devoid of substance abuse issues..." HUH?! More stupid Jedi mind tricks! I also take issue with Mr. Kuschell's dim view of, apparently, most of the people who enjoy and benefit from cannabis consumption. Where is the benefit of the doubt to which he clearly feels Pharmacists are entitled? Researchers have identified over 200 uses for medicinal Cannabis. Is it possible that many regular and/or long-time users are instinctively and successfully self medicating? Uh-oh!! There goes the Big Pharma Drug Pusher's job! Seems we might have a small conflict of interest here.Mr. Kuschell goes on to mention "the hassle of growing..." Is he for real?! What could be more fun than trying to raise some excellent Cannabis? It ain't easy - the thrill of victory - and the agony of defeat - are experiences that all gardeners know well. Growing would be way less stressful if it were legal, and all you had to worry about were the local bud burglars.But that idea about the State doing all the growing for us? Yeah, I'm looking forward to standing in line every day to pay the State for my 5 to 7 grams. Really convenient!! Good God! If the State weed is halfway decent we'll still be baked all day! If it isn't we'll just go hide and try to grow something better. Can you imagine the conflict of interest here? They'll arrest and jail all the best growers on any old charge, and force them to labor for the State prison farm. “Siberian Green” they call it! The only weed in America. Yeah, the prisoners will be growing this for "free"! All we have to do is pay for the penitentiary! And we can still pay taxes on it, pay retail on it, and stand in line - like the Roman Mob waiting our daily loaf of bread, lest we start to riot! I can see the judge slamming down the gavel now - "I sentence you to 12 years of Hard Farming!" Shades of George Orwell's novel "1984". OK, maybe it’s NOT such a good idea.I wonder if Mr. Kuschell thought about all of the people who are currently unemployed and facing economic ruination. Lost their job. Lost their house and car. Maybe even feeling a bit suicidal? Why wouldn't they gravitate to a new sector of the economy to find work and basic sustenance? C'mon Joe - ease up on us!! All of you now - consider the potential of Medicinal Cannabis (and/or recreational) being directed into cottage industry level businesses. Limit production to, say, $150,000. annual gross income per person, adjusted for inflation. So many good people would have an opportunity to lead still modest, but new and better lives! Heck, even some of those shadier characters might prove to be alright given the chance to lead a decent, stable, meaningful life. Isn't it time we did something nice for the middle class American? Spread the wealth through new opportunities.And finally - to all you Californians who think the only good cannabis business is a not-for-profit...  Why don't we propose that for ALL the drug companies???Thanks -I'm spent.... Love to you all!
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Comment #8 posted by tintala on November 30, 2009 at 17:24:57 PT:
if everyone is getting or using medical mmj
then that would imply that everyone is sick? lol. ALso HEMP will never be legal, due to the PAPER/ TIMBER/DUPONT / DOW/ MONSANTO industry monopoly...Jerks
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Comment #7 posted by kaptinemo on November 30, 2009 at 16:36:01 PT:
"A rose, by any other name..."
The fact of the matter is that MMJ has acted in exactly the way expected: forced the issue into the public consciousness. It was the tree root that finally cracked through and buckled the cement of prohibition. Quite frankly, IMHO, since it has done so, it has succeeded at the original purpose of highlighting just how inane and foolish the laws...and their supporters...really are.But now, it's become a side-event; the main show is about to begin, with the prohibs being cajoled into displaying their ignorance, inanity and foolishness publicly regarding that support. For nothing turns off a member of the public faster than a hypocritical, lying, pompous and ignorant ass of a bureaucrat telling you how to live...and that's just what they are. That's just what they do.With the economy still slagging itself, the time to pay the piper has come. We can't afford the DrugWar anymore, not with millions out of work and millions more soon to join them. The money wasted in the DrugWar is desperately needed for life support, not some mendacious bureaucrat's pension. MMJ got the ball rolling, but now it's time for the end-run, the all-out effort of true legalization. No half-assed 'decrim', with the power to ruin your life remaining in the hands of those who oppressed us all these decades. It's time to end this tragedy, once and for all.
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Comment #6 posted by rchandar on November 30, 2009 at 07:03:51 PT:
I honestly don't know. When I was young, I guess I was more certain, but:--do we want that? For MJ to be a legalized, taxed and regulated recreational drug? Or, do we want it to be a 100% legal, taxed and regulated, government controlled medicine? Could we have both, or would we settle for one or the other? Choosing "medicine," I believe, has many advantages. Buying weed at the pharmacy looks much cleaner than buying it along with your No-Doz at the gas station. "Medical" would mean "controlled"--you could only buy so much, have to have an insurance card or doctor's note, and thus the potential for "abusing" "drugs" would be much less. I guess, I've seen too many guys, including myself, abuse the legality of alcohol. Think: how many times did you see someone walk out of the gas station with a case, or a 24 pack? The "Dutch rule" is a pretty good one--you can have only 5 grams per day. Five grams is about seven joints. There's no chance you're going to fade to black or go off the deep end, unless you break the law. If we are shooting for "legal," we must show that MJ can be controlled and that the potential for abuse is less than alcohol.That being said, I would still say that either system would be fairly easy to implement, legally. Cut down all those punitive laws, and a minimum of spending would establish a legal system that is fair and inclusive of America's entrepreneurial and lifestyle ambitions. The "culture warfare" stuff is much harder, but to put such a system in place? Not costly: maybe a couple million would set up the government office designed to regulate and control MJ sale, cultivation, usage on a legal scale. We are not asking for a bureaucratic abyss. We do not expect to have trouble compounding and misusing funding. A simple mechanism to control the legal sale and manufacture, that's it. The rest is up to those who wish to work for the system......but it would put so many hoods out of work, no? Well, some of them would come on board as sellers and growers, and some wouldn't. We wouldn't exactly be killing an entire system, just changing it.--rchandar
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Comment #5 posted by The GCW on November 29, 2009 at 23:56:38 PT
What will it take?
Were the speak-easies regulated?-0-I know, I know,Let Us spread the word.CANNABIS KILLS PEOPLE. (Really) CANNABIS IS FOUND TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEATHS OF HUNDREDS OF CITIZENS. THOUSANDS.Now, it will be legalized QUICK.
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Comment #4 posted by HempWorld on November 29, 2009 at 20:10:06 PT
We'll be lucky if we can get it like alcohol.
Amen, but alcohol was not demonized with billions and bilions of dollars (and counting) and drug free organizations are not against alcohol explicitly (how could they), so marijuana/cannabis has a tough road to hoe. This will be an enduring fight (for years, decades and/or centuries) until marijuana is regulated and thus legalized!I do not think hemp will ever be legal in USA, who cares about hemp anyway?
Legalize it already, geez!
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Comment #3 posted by EAH on November 29, 2009 at 19:34:09 PT:
no expert
Kind of an incoherent article but at least he reaches more or less the right conclusion. Let me say this, It has always been a goal to end cannabis prohibition. The medical cannabis movement originated from the idea that aside from 
any arguments about that, cannabis at least needed to be available to those who might benefit medically. Initially it was, terminal cancer patients and AIDS patients who were the cited as the most needful. What gets confused is that ending prohibition never went away. The medical exception has always been a temporary stopgap measure for those who couldn't wait for the debate on prohibition to work itself out. It would be nice if cannabis could be treated in a similar way as Chinese herbs, vitamins, supplements, but I have little hope of that. We'll be lucky if we can get it like alcohol.
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Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on November 29, 2009 at 18:41:18 PT
>>>Pharmacies are licensed and regulated with very strict state and federal laws. The staff are trained, licensed professionals who have their fingerprints registered with the Department of Justice, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and state and local law enforcement. They have cleared criminal background checks and are devoid of any substance abuse issues. Really?? Then how do you explain the OxyContin "epidemic"? How do you explain hundreds of Oxy OD's every year?This airtight, defcon-5 security level pharmacy system is leaking drugs like a sinking ship
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Comment #1 posted by ezrydn on November 29, 2009 at 16:17:18 PT
Uh, Joe
You failed to say that, by going the medical route, which you view as "better, just where and from whom are people supposed to buy their limited quanity of cannabis? Did I miss that or did you leave it out?
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