Time To End The Marijuana Charade?

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  Time To End The Marijuana Charade?

Posted by CN Staff on June 08, 2010 at 04:20:36 PT
By Sandy Banks 
Source: Los Angeles Times 

Los Angeles -- When Brent Poer moved into his quaint Los Feliz home a year ago, he knew the boxy green building at the corner of his cul-de-sac was a marijuana dispensary.He figured coexisting with Hyperion Healing would be easy. "I honestly thought that potheads would be really cool and laid-back," said Poer, a 42-year-old advertising executive.
Instead, he said, he wound up confronting strangers who blocked his driveway, left trash on the street, parked outside his neighbors' homes blasting music and smoking weed. He ticks off a list of crimes —garages burglarized, car windows broken, thefts from homes — that neighbors blame on dispensary visitors.You can count Poer among the legions of Los Angeles residents grateful that city officials have begun cracking down on dispensaries, contending that most violate the state law allowing the "compassionate" use of marijuana to treat medical ills."Philosophically, I'm fine with the law," said Poer. "If people are in pain, need help, I'm not one to stand in their way. But you look at the clientele [at Hyperion], you don't see a lot of people limping their way in. This is like legalized drug dealing; a way to make money, not to help someone."But there's a dark side to the crackdown that stands to make life even more difficult forPoer and his neighbors on Udell Court.The city plans to shut down 400 marijuana outlets that opened in the last two years. But Hyperion Healing isn't among them. That means hundreds of customers with no place to go will be looking for new sources of medical relief.I understand why Poer feels protective about his street, a steep, narrow stretch lined with bungalows that look like gingerbread houses, flanked by tidy gardens and towering trees. I visited the street on Saturday. Halfway up the block from Hyperion Avenue, the whir of traffic was drowned out by the songs of birds.Down below, Hyperion Healing was doing brisk business, its black metal gates clanging open and shut, its red-and-blue neon sign flashing. I watched for almost an hour as cars blocked side streets, double-parked and lined up for the two parking spaces in front of the shop.There were several empty metered spaces where I parked, two short blocks away. But it's an uphill walk; I guess that's too much to expect of people on the way to get their medicine.I say that, of course, tongue in cheek, in the same way that customers call themselves "patients" and marijuana shops call themselves "collectives."It's no longer about whether " medical marijuana" is being used only by people who are in pain or ill. Whatever Californians intended when they approved the law, the result has been virtually open access to pot and a flourishing underground economy that government has been shut out of.Patients rate their shops at websites such as Yelp, and no one is talking about their health.Hyperion customers like the samples — "free gram to all new patients" — the "chill" attitude, the video games and big-screen TV, the frequent-buyer program that rewards customers for every dollar spent, the high-quality strains such as AK-47 and White Widow."I get the compassionate thing," said Poer. "But when you see people park on your street, carrying McDonald's bags and an X-box 360, walking down to the dispensary to hang out … that's a clubhouse, not a pharmacy."Two days in, there are signs that the city's crackdown is working. Three dispensaries in my neighborhood have shut their doors — including one a few blocks away from my daughters' high school. On the five-mile drive from Hyperion to my downtown office on Monday, I passed three shuttered outlets with green crosses, including one across the street from Hyperion.Some neighborhoods have felt under siege by the pot shops that sprouted on every block. And some of them openly flouted the law, catering to underage customers and those without medical documents. Many were magnets for crime and chaos.But Los Angeles' problems were created by official inaction and made worse by politicians' clumsy, overblown response. Shutting down 400 dispensaries will relieve the strain on some neighborhoods, but the pot smokers aren't going to disappear.New delivery services are popping up, pot farms are sprouting in foreclosed homes, street dealers are gearing up. This weekend, medical marijuana evaluation centers were doing a brisk business, writing recommendations for new patients who worry that the crackdown will make it harder to buy weed.Maybe it's time to stop the charade. Legalizing marijuana — the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act, it's called — is on the ballot in California this fall, and almost half the state's voters say they support it.If all those folks cruising around neighborhoods like Brent Poer's can put their bongs down and make it to the voting booth in November's general election, they might not only solve their parking problem, but help relieve our state's financial headache.Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)Author:  Sandy BanksPublished: June 8, 2010 Copyright: 2010 Los Angeles TimesContact: letters latimes.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives 

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Comment #37 posted by FoM on June 12, 2010 at 12:44:32 PT
My father in law when he was alive said what will happen when they drain the oil from underground. He said the land would probably collapse. I guess he could have been right.
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Comment #36 posted by Hope on June 12, 2010 at 12:28:26 PT
Oh yes...
It was supposed to be a grim face.
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Comment #35 posted by Hope on June 12, 2010 at 12:27:17 PT
Not sure what I was trying to accomplish
with the little face. But that wasn't it.
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Comment #34 posted by Hope on June 12, 2010 at 12:25:57 PT
Are there any reasonable explanations for spectacular sinkholes in China?
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Comment #33 posted by FoM on June 12, 2010 at 12:17:29 PT
I am sure you are right.
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Comment #32 posted by Hope on June 12, 2010 at 12:16:00 PT
We pretty much breathe oil or some element of it
in this world today all the time. Night and day.There will be a lot more of it. Actually there already is a lot more of it.Gulf breezes.
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Comment #31 posted by Hope on June 12, 2010 at 12:12:46 PT
The air
so messed up some people will have to run away to breathe.
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Comment #30 posted by Hope on June 12, 2010 at 12:08:53 PT
And the sky...
and the stars at night.They won't be "Big and bright" anymore. For a long time, anyway. Probably.
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Comment #29 posted by FoM on June 12, 2010 at 11:25:39 PT

They were saying that a bad hurricane would deposit oil on homes, cars in people's hair and in yards. It would stick to anything. It would contaminate the soil.
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Comment #28 posted by Hope on June 12, 2010 at 10:53:28 PT

I've got the same dread.Hurricanes, as I've wondered at them before, seemed to me like they might be a scouring and cleaning of the land and water by nature. A vicious, powerful one.I don't think it would help in this situation. But I don't know, it might. It seems like an earthquake underground that would seal the thing would be a wonderful thing. But then again, I don't know. It might make it worse. The people that are out there fighting now are in imminent danger as it is. A hurricane sure wouldn't help that.
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Comment #27 posted by FoM on June 12, 2010 at 10:35:53 PT

This is tragic. The health hazards will show up in years to come. Just like after 9/11. If a hurricane comes into the Gulf this summer I dread the damage it will do on the land.
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Comment #26 posted by Hope on June 12, 2010 at 10:02:21 PT

Storks and pelicans and all of them...
I hope they can be protected. I wish they would fly away before they got oil on them or poisoned by it. Obviously, we are going to lose some of them and God knows what of the species that can't get away or that we can't see at all. That's sickening and I can only hope the death toll on humans has ended, too. I can hardly believe that no one else has died fighting the spill.It's horrifying to think of it all. I know people are fighting with all their heart to stop it and trying to save the creatures and the land. I'm selfish too, in that I'm worried about the fact that a totally wondrous source of good food for many people, and for other creatures, is being destroyed as we speak.And the beauty. It's hard to lose the beauty of the oceans and beaches. And there is a lot lost already. I've seen pure miracles in my life. I like miracles. A lot. I'd like to see more of them. A lot more of them.Somehow we, as the human race, will get past this horror. Or we won't. I hope we do, and am counting on it, of course.
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Comment #25 posted by FoM on June 12, 2010 at 03:40:15 PT

I had the computer off and I realized it was a Stork not a Pelican. Duh. 
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Comment #24 posted by Hope on June 11, 2010 at 21:59:00 PT

A medicine that can calm and soothe
and has no deadly side effects.What a wonder it is if it could do nothing else.But it can do more and it's still not deadly.It's so wonderful and effective and so safe... that it's against the law to use or even have it?What's going on? Who's really playing a game of "Charades"?The charade players are the ones making all the motions and signals that it's scary, scary and dangerous. So dangerous that you should kill and imprison people that want to use it. I can see who the charade players are. Why can't everyone, and especially the charade specialists, which the prohibitionists are, see it?
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Comment #23 posted by Hope on June 11, 2010 at 21:47:56 PT

The Marijuana Charade?
I hope that means the prohibitionists are going to end their rank charade of saying that cannabis isn't medicine.It is and has been for centuries. We've always known it was a calmative and had a soothing effect on many people and that it could ease nausea and pain... but now we know it does even more.Charades is a game. Helping people is not a charade.It is time for cannabis prohibitionists to end their cruel and ridiculous charade. And if they won't end it because they have good sense... which they don't... then we have to, ourselves, make the prohibitionist charade end.
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Comment #22 posted by Hope on June 11, 2010 at 21:41:54 PT

Pelicans delivered babies?
I thought it was storks! I decided that it couldn't be storks by the time I was about six or seven and my mother was pregnant. I knew it was angels by then and that they left the little removable wings, held on by stings, they put on the babies to help them fly here, on a nail on the back porch... to be picked up later or to dissolve or something. Know one told me that of course, I came up with on my own... in spite of knowing my mother went to the hospital to give birth to my sister. I think it made me less afraid of the noises I'd hear at night  that seemed to be coming from the back porch.The disaster in the Gulf is a real disaster. I don't really blame anyone so much as I feel like it was a grievous accident. I was worried for awhile that it might have been some sort of sabotage. I'm glad it wasn't. But we still have a disaster on our hands. A real disaster. As far as blaming. No one caused the disaster on purpose. No one meant to do it... thank goodness. I can't just blame BP or any one person, for sure. They hunt, gather, refine, and sell the oil that we all buy in one form or another. They, as a company, a corporation or whatever, have to be responsible for accidents they are responsible for or caused. We are all responsible for it to a certain degree... but it was a terrible industrial accident. I hate so much that it's happened and I hope it can be stopped. I'm thinking it can't be stopped. That's horrifying. And I'm sick for the loss of life and suffering it's caused and is causing. It is a disaster of really huge proportions... a disaster that humans caused and humans can't seem to stop. We've got to do everything we can to stop the damage and clean it up the best we can. I think focusing on that is more important than blaming anyone. Of course, there are the corporations that made their money in the oil business, and in this case, BP in particular, and that are going to have to do some pay back of all they earned by correcting and cleaning up the mess, the disaster, they let happen.People and other creatures have died because of this and are still dieing. It's truly a major disaster.And yes, many other industries and livelihoods of all sorts, beyond the petroleum industry, are going to be affected very badly, maybe even wiped out completely because of this. 
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Comment #21 posted by FoM on June 11, 2010 at 19:56:23 PT

I read recently that it would take 7 years for all the oil to empty out at the current rate it is happening now. I am only upset with BP not Obama. This isn't an natural disaster and a couple thousand people died and help didn't come fast enough like Katrina but a man made failure. Life won't be the same down on the Gulf. The pelicans soaked in oil really bother me. I always thought they were fascinating birds and they delivered babies when we were young remember! LOL! Gotta laugh sometimes.
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Comment #20 posted by Hope on June 11, 2010 at 19:14:09 PT

Afterburner comment 16
I've heard that before, too. I was just saying to my husband the other day, what about all that support under the ocean floor that's pouring out. Something has to give at some point, it would seem.Yes, FoM. It is horrible. It's an area that has had more than it's share of natural disasters and now this. Man made disasters add the element of responsibility, blame, and guilt and anger at some one or some group of people, of course, and the "If only" element.Many people, many creatures, and the entire Earth, itself, are suffering and going to suffer from this particular disaster. That's for sure. It's awful. At this point, I imagine that size of the openings where the oil is coming back is probably extraordinarily larger than they are telling us... or even larger than they even know.It's easy to imagine it being the beginning of the end of life on this Earth. I hope not. People are smart and resourceful. We can overcome this... maybe... but it's, no doubt, an Earth and life changing event for the entire earth and all of humanity... and the animals and creatures... and especially for all the life in that entire, very large widespread area.It's very frightening and very sad. I can only imagine the chaos and misery the people fighting it are going through. And the creatures... not knowing the danger and not knowing to get away from it as quickly as they can, if they can.It's horrible. Humans let it get loose. Humans can't seem to stop it. Maybe the power of the all that is, The Beginning and the End, will have mercy on us, in our stupidity, and humbled condition, and on the earth... and let some ideas that will work get through to some of those willing human brains and hearts or maybe... the right seismic shift that could close the fissures.When you think about water pressure and all... and I'm no scientist... but that oil must be under, to me, unimaginable pressure.
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on June 11, 2010 at 18:38:48 PT

I am very grateful we have Barack Obama as President during this difficult time in our country. I can imagine how it would be if McCain was President.
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Comment #18 posted by rchandar on June 11, 2010 at 13:39:48 PT:

Don't Give It In So Soon
I see. What exactly has the GOP promised, said, executed, at the local level that eclipses the Dems' performance?Do they have any "plan" to fix this, or any possible ground that could ever say they were committed to a clean environment? Name even ONE time when the GOP was good at sacking big business for polluting the environment!No Nuff Said at all, for that matter what are they doing that's so good, and what we're doing is so bad?We should never throw in the towel, before we've had a chance to really fight 'em. We believed when Barack won the election; if defending him be tough, we should do it.--rchandar
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on June 09, 2010 at 19:21:56 PT

I didn't know that. This is so bad I can't find the words to say how upset I am about it. I really think the Gulf will be a dead sea for many years. If this hits Florida like it looks like it will Florida's economy will be destroyed. Florida depends on the beaches on the Gulf and the Atlantic for survival.
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Comment #16 posted by afterburner on June 09, 2010 at 17:17:59 PT

Something to Pray about Indeed!
I read a comment today saying that removing lubrication from under the ground and under the sea leads to techtonic instability. 
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on June 09, 2010 at 16:34:01 PT

Cooley Says Online Pot Sales, Deliveries Illegal
June 9, 2010Calif. -- Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley says delivery of medical marijuana and selling the drug online are illegal.Cooley, who is running for California attorney general, said Wednesday those who deal in either instance could face felony charges. Cooley has long maintained that the state's law permitting medical pot does not allow for the sale of the drug.Cooley's statement is in response to recent revelations that medical marijuana providers in Los Angeles found a loophole by making house calls to those seeking pot. On Monday, hundreds of dispensaries were ordered to shut down or else face civil fines or possible criminal charges.Voters will decide in November whether to legalize pot, which remains illegal under federal law.Copyright: 2010 The Associated PressURL:
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on June 09, 2010 at 16:30:57 PT

I am very angry about this oil disaster. I feel bad for people losing their jobs but when I see beautiful pelicans and other birds coated in oil I about lose it.
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Comment #13 posted by Hope on June 09, 2010 at 15:23:32 PT

I don't think I've prayed about the oil spill.
It just occurred to me. Might be time to do some praying if one is so inclined.
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on June 09, 2010 at 07:08:21 PT

Paint with light
If Obama can get some breathing room it would be great. The gulf oil disaster will consume him for longer then I can imagine with no good end in our lifetime I believe. Florida will never be the same. I always thought high water would finish off Florida. I never thought it would be oil. AP Journalist Dives Into Gulf, Can Only See Oil
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Comment #11 posted by Paint with light on June 09, 2010 at 00:58:15 PT

comment #6
As usual Sam's comments are on the mark.If Obama can get some breathing room from some of the things he has been dealing with, I want to see if he keeps his pledge to replace the dogma with science.That is one of the reasons I supported him.I would really like to know his private true feelings.The least he should do is revisit the Schafer Commissions findings and in the meantime start the movement towards rescheduling cannabis.In the meantime we have to join forces(hemp, meds, and fun) and keep up the fight.Legal like alcohol(kills thousands directly and indirectly each year)..........or aspirin(kills fewer thousands each year) deaths......ever......
........and that is a long time.Cannabis.......safest drug shouldn't call it a should call it a....healing herb.
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on June 08, 2010 at 18:23:07 PT

L.A. Councilman Wants To Ban Pot Delivery
June 8, 2010URL:
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Comment #9 posted by b4daylight on June 08, 2010 at 17:04:20 PT

"When Brent Poer moved into his quaint Los Feliz home a year ago, he knew the boxy green building at the corner of his cul-de-sac was a marijuana dispensary."Sounds like the guy who moved next to the RR tracks, dumpgrounds, flight path, and porn store and somehow have a problem with this. 
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Comment #8 posted by Hope on June 08, 2010 at 15:02:53 PT

What Sam said...
Comment 5

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Comment #7 posted by dongenero on June 08, 2010 at 14:37:24 PT

Truth doesn't matter
You just say it, say it, say it, and say it again, over and over. It is then parroted for you by others. By that point it is essentially true for all practical purposes.A page right out of the Karl Rove playbook.It's amazing how well it works. It is a cynical but accurate view of the general public's attention span, that works to many polluticians benefit.
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Comment #6 posted by Sam Adams on June 08, 2010 at 14:19:06 PT

isn't it interesting
none of today's articles mention ANY of the recent scientific and medical information from the recent "Science News" article. Or any information or statements whatsoever on the efficacy of cannabis as a medication. Or any words like "cancer" or "pain".The US political class is increasingly acting in a parallel universe where dogma replaces science. And the corporate media are more than happy to perpetuate that.
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Comment #5 posted by Sam Adams on June 08, 2010 at 14:10:02 PT

>>This is like legalized drug dealing; a way to make money, not to help someone."Wait till you check out liqour stores!  They are, of course, legalized drug dealing.I think this guy moved into a crappy neighborhood and won't admit it.I see a lot of hearsay and totally unsupported smearing going on - did anyone from the newspaper actually check to confirm that there were garages broken into by dispensary customers? Is there any actual proof that cannabis was sold to under-agers, or to people without recommendations?  I highly doubt it, they are re-circulating second-hand hearsay. Many law-enforcers and prosecutors are constantly lying about these issues, you know the newspaper didn't check, it's just parroting them.And if these abuses DID occur, the solution is better licensing and enforcement, not closing 85% of the outlets that serve sick people.
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Comment #4 posted by EAH on June 08, 2010 at 11:26:53 PT:

End Prohibition with a medical exception
While done in a somewhat confusing way, this writer argues it's time to legalize.The LA city council seems to think that mandating closures will make all that production and distribution activity cease. It won't. They seem to believe that 
they can impose prohibitive policies and that is a "control" of the activity. It isn't.Once more, cowardly politicians embrace fallacies that they think preserve the status quo that they think voters insist be maintained. All problems associated with cannabis are due to prohibition, the impossible to create strict medical exception, and the failure to implement policies of normalization to legal cannabis that would make it similar to beer and wine.
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Comment #3 posted by runruff on June 08, 2010 at 08:54:53 PT

"Time To End The Marijuana Charade?"
Yes, it is statements like these that veritably drip with irony! That unintended, quirky, long necked double entendre' that reaches right around and bites them on the gluteals.It is to argue that the sun rises in the west while it is visibly rising over your shoulder in the east as you speak.If I could teach all the insects and and other pest of the world not to bug me I would but they don't listen? That is when I put on my bug screen, turn my smiling face to the wind and shout; THIS IS MY LIFE TOO! 
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Comment #2 posted by dongenero on June 08, 2010 at 08:30:49 PT

 Time To End The Marijuana Charade?
Would that be the charade of prohibition and prohibitionists?That is the true marijuana charade. 
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Comment #1 posted by Zandor on June 08, 2010 at 07:35:43 PT

What the F&*k?
So to be a patient you must what..Wheel in on a stretcher? Maybe crawl through the doors...Would that make it better?Not all medical conditions require patients to walk with limps, or puke when you walk through the door!!Thanks LA...Now the price is going up, the street dealer's business is going to triple and the secret gardens will keep on growing. The underground market will come back with a great vengeance led by the Mexican Drug Cartels (who need the money.Great work LA...You just increased the drug problem by 100 times!This should keep the Police Union, the Prison Guard Unions and the Christian Right happy for many years! LETS GIVE EM A BIG HEAPING PILE OF SHIT BURGER TO SNACK ON THIS NOVEMBER AND LEGALIZE IT OUTRIGHT! (at least the lawyers will make money)
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