California Reins In Marijuana

California Reins In Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on June 14, 2005 at 19:42:49 PT
By Dean E. Murphy
Source: New York Times
San Francisco, Calif. -- The best sellers at the Green Cross medical marijuana dispensary here are whipped up in the kitchen of Kevin Reed, the founder and president.Fresh-baked marijuana cakes. Marijuana cookies with Ghirardelli chocolate chips. Marijuana peanut butter, lollipops, peanut brittle and espresso truffles. Each comes packaged with a warning: "Please keep out of the reach of children and pets."
Mr. Reed, 31, a former mobile home salesman from Alabama who moved here after being arrested twice for marijuana possession, said the warning was added to the sweets when a customer reported that "their grandma ate one of them."The Incredible Edibles, as the confections are called, account for 40 percent of sales at the Green Cross, a thriving nonprofit organization in a neighborhood of hip bars, trendy restaurants and Victorian row houses. The 150 or so customers it serves each day can pay with Visa or MasterCard and need only a doctor's recommendation to gain entry.It has been nine years since voters in California passed the first state law allowing sick people to use marijuana for medical purposes. The measure passed in San Francisco with 78 percent of the vote, the largest percentage in the state. But the city, where dozens of dispensaries like the Green Cross, known as pot clubs, have sprouted, is now among many struggling with the excesses of the law's success. Even before the United States Supreme Court last week upheld federal authority over marijuana, including in states where its use for medical purposes is legal, city officials, dispensary owners and medical marijuana advocates in San Francisco began questioning how much of the drug was enough. Last month, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors imposed a six-month moratorium on new dispensaries after health officials counted at least 43 unregulated facilities, including one in a building where formerly homeless people were receiving drug and alcohol abuse counseling. Even with the moratorium, there have been reports of new clubs setting up shop. "The absence of laws has allowed adverse opportunities to emerge," said Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, who proposed the moratorium. Capt. Rick Bruce of the San Francisco police said more marijuana was on the streets than at any time in his 30 years with the department. Captain Bruce said that while there were many sick people who legitimately turned to the drug for treatment, countless dealers have used the dispensaries as a cover for illegal sales."It's a huge scam," said Captain Bruce, who heads the city's Bayview station, which covers some of the highest-crime neighborhoods. "We see guys coming out of these places and the only description I can come up with is that it looks like a Cheech and Chong movie. They are what you would call your traditional potheads; whether they have a medical condition beyond that is subject to debate."Though public opinion polls show that Californians continue to support the medical use of marijuana, the problems associated with distributing the drug have troubled many towns and neighborhoods. In the past year at least five California cities have banned dispensaries because of fears that they would lead to crime and abuse. In addition, 47 cities and counties have imposed moratoriums on new dispensaries, according to a survey by Americans for Safe Access, a marijuana advocacy group in Oakland."It seemed like a bit of a panic was spreading," said Hilary McQuie, a spokeswoman for the group. The State Legislature created guidelines in 2003 for carrying out the medical marijuana law, but local officials across the state still struggle with how to control the dispensaries. So far, only 17 cities and counties have passed ordinances regulating them, according to Americans for Safe Access.The task was made even more complicated last week with the ruling by the Supreme Court, which affected California and the 10 other states that allow some uses of medical marijuana. (The other states are Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.)Advocacy groups reported that a handful of small dispensaries closed last week, and state health officials said they were moving more cautiously on a plan to begin a statewide medical marijuana ID card program. An estimated 100,000 people in California use the drug for medicinal purposes, far more than in any other state, according to the Drug Policy Alliance, a group that supports medical uses of marijuana. "Right now we are analyzing the federal law," said Norma Arceo, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Health Services. "We don't know how much of that affects the state law."Getting inside the dispensaries, many patients say, is not difficult. Under the state law, would-be marijuana users seeking relief from a range of ailments, from chronic pain or nausea to cancer or AIDS-related symptoms, must receive a doctor's recommendation, which is roughly the equivalent of a prescription for federally approved medicines. If their usual doctors are reluctant to make a referral, patients can turn to "compassionate physicians" who advertise their services in newspapers and on the Web.One of those physicians, Dr. R. Stephen Ellis, whose practice is explained on, promises to refund examination fees if an appointment does not result in a recommendation. MediCann, a chain of 10 clinics in the state run by a Santa Cruz doctor, Jean Talleyrand, processes about 700 patients a week, with about three-quarters of them getting a recommendation, said a spokesman, Nicholas Jarrett."Our concern is always about the patients," Mr. Jarrett said. "We want them to have access to whatever medicine they need."Dr. Joshua Bamberger, the medical director for housing and urban health at the San Francisco Department of Public Health, said the department issues about 4,000 medical marijuana ID cards a year. Patients pay a $25 fee, provide the doctor's recommendation and agree to have their photograph taken. The card is offered to make buying medical marijuana more convenient and is accepted at dispensaries in San Francisco and five nearby counties. But Dr. Bamberger said the county had no ability under the law to control how much marijuana patients buy with the cards. To prevent federal authorities from using county records to prosecute cardholders, the county does not keep records of who has received a card or the name of the doctor who provided the recommendation, but it does number each card for tracking purposes.When some drug dealers are arrested, even with large quantities of marijuana, Captain Bruce said, many of them produce a medical marijuana card and insist they have done nothing wrong."It might as well be the summer of love out here," Captain Bruce said.The complaints in San Francisco worsened last year when Oakland, across the San Francisco Bay, passed an ordinance limiting the number of dispensaries, leading to a migration of clubs here. In March, Mayor Gavin Newsom called for new controls on the clubs, and Supervisor Mirkarimi held public hearings on the problems. Mr. Mirkarimi said regulation was the only way to save the dispensaries from a public backlash."We will probably see a thinning out and recalibration of many clubs," he said. "But at least it will be a legitimizing process of the club infrastructure, so these clubs don't have to operate in a subterranean atmosphere."Ms. McQuie of Americans for Safe Access said advocacy groups had reached the same conclusion and have been working with city and county officials across California to devise rules for the clubs. Not only would regulation defuse opposition, she said, but it would demonstrate to the federal government that California lawmakers stand behind the state's medical marijuana law."We want licenses, we want zoning, we want permits," Ms. McQuie said. "Since states are meant to be the social laboratories, we want to show how well medical marijuana can work."Many operators of the dispensaries, which under state law must be not-for-profit establishments run by patients, have joined the call for greater oversight. Some have gone to great lengths to make their clubs appear more like a "Walgreens pharmacy than a drug house in the middle of Ghettoville," said Mr. Reed of the Green Cross.Mr. Reed collects sales tax on purchases - $10,000 last month - provides health and other benefits to his 10 employees and has 16 security cameras at the dispensary. A bouncer is posted at the door, and an employee outside keeps the sidewalk free of loiterers."I am in this to help people and show people it can be done right," Mr. Reed said, "not to go to prison."Mr. Reed sells his confections for $5 each, but if patients prefer to bake their own, or smoke the marijuana instead, they can choose from an assortment of dried marijuana buds. Prices for the 50 or so strains in stock are uniform: $300 an ounce.The so-called budtenders who work behind large glass display cases provide assistance in selecting the best strain. All of them are medical marijuana users, and they typically are medicated while working."We have a great time here," said Mr. Reed, preparing marijuana buds to treat a back injury he sustained in a car accident 13 years ago. "And we make people smile."Complete Title: Even Without a Federal Push, California Reins In MarijuanaSource: New York Times (NY)Author: Dean E. MurphyPublished: June 15, 2005Copyright: 2005 The New York Times Company Contact: letters Website: Related Articles & Web Sites:Americans For Safe Access Marijuana Information Links Medical Marijuana, a Casual User's Tale as Medicine Marijuana as a Schedule II Drug
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Comment #17 posted by runderwo on June 15, 2005 at 10:58:08 PT
That is a great article. He forgot to mention two things that I can see that would complete the argument. One would be when he mentions taking the law enforcement budget and putting it towards health care (including addiction treatment). What he should have mentioned here is that these costs to the taxpayer would be further offset by the taxes brought in from drug sales (alcohol, nicotine, marijuana mostly), and he should have also given a figure of the average cost of maintaining a prisoner for one year versus the cost of addiction treatment for an individual in one year.The other concern I found missing is the "what about the children" issue. This can be responded to in one sentence: The black market does not check ID. Then people might say that legalization shows that we condone or approve of the use of drugs, so more children will use them. That is a whole sub-debate in and of itself, but a big thing here is that for a teen who is dead-set on getting high, we would be substituting relatively harmless products such as marijuana for things like huffing and prescription narcotics. Hopefully organizations like DARE would also change their tune to reflect reality instead of the delusions they currently propagate.
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Comment #16 posted by runderwo on June 15, 2005 at 10:32:41 PT
Well, that argument goes both ways. Some say that removing term limits would weaken the influence of money on politics because politicians wouldn't have to fund campaigns just to keep their seats. I would only agree with the removal of term limits if it were coupled with a continuous voting system, so that he could be voted out of office at any time in the future and an election for his seat called. You are correct that simply removing term limits would seriously hamper the public's participation in the political process.
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on June 15, 2005 at 09:26:04 PT
UPI: California Marijuana Clinics Under Watch
By Hari KrishnanJune 15, 2005 California's marijuana shops, which legally sell the drug to sick people for medical purposes, are coming under closer scrutiny as laws are tightened.    Last week's ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court upheld federal authority over marijuana. But even before that, authorities in states such as California where marijuana's use for medical purposes is legal had begun to question how much of the drug was enough, the New York Times reported Wednesday.    Last month, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors imposed a six-month moratorium on new marijuana clinics after health officials counted at least 43 unregulated facilities, the Times said.    A San Francisco police officer says more marijuana is on the streets now than at any other time. He said countless dealers used the marijuana clinics or dispensaries as a cover for illegal sales, the report said.    In the past year at least five California cities have banned such dispensaries.    The Supreme Court ruling has affected California and the 10 other states that allow some uses of medical marijuana. The other states are Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington. 
    Copyright 2005 United Press International
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Comment #14 posted by PainWithNoInsurance on June 15, 2005 at 09:17:08 PT
Lugar Renewable Fuels Bill Introduced as Amendment
Lugar introduced an amendment to the senate energy bill yesterday to increase production of ethanol. This bill will be voted on next week.
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Comment #13 posted by ekim on June 15, 2005 at 08:20:04 PT
saw that
But Dominichee did say that ethanol will be made from many things that are not well known today. is a pdf overview of NREL/Genencor work from 2003.
Here is an NREL Press release about Genencor/NREL winning a Top 100 R&D award in 2004.
There is a lot more information available with a simple web search. Google "NREL genencor" for starters and review the results listing.
I think you could get more specific information if you called NREL itself. NREL Public Affairs: (303) 275-4090.
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Comment #12 posted by runruff on June 15, 2005 at 08:04:35 PT:
On C-Span this morning a caller ask Senator Pete Domenici {R} New Mexico and head of the Energy committee if they were considering bio-disel as an alternative fuel,He said he didn't know what that is and changed the subject!I say he is a bald face lier. The new swimming pool in his backyard may be but one of his rewards for his selective ignorance.It seems a long hard road to the light.Namaste
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Comment #11 posted by afterburner on June 15, 2005 at 07:12:38 PT
From 'The Sainted Clause'
"While the possession of a gun is not in and of itself a commercial activity, the possession of marijuana is." This statement shows the total illogic of the recent US Supreme Court ruling on Gonzales (authorizer of torture) v. Raich. Where the H-E-double hockey sticks does a gun come from? Is not the self-manufacture of a gun analogous to the 1942 wheat-growing for his family case(Wickard v. Filburn)? How many people actually create their own guns anyway: do they not buy them, sometimes across State lines?
Wickard v. Filburn (1942) [59]
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Comment #10 posted by kaptinemo on June 15, 2005 at 06:39:56 PT:
Not related: It's Christmas at AlterNet
A couple of articles critical of the DrugWar:An ex-Police Chief speaks out against the War on (Some) DrugsWar on Crime, Not on Drugs By Norm Stamper, AlterNet. Posted June 15, 2005. Sainted Clause By David Morris, AlterNet. Posted June 15, 2005.
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Comment #9 posted by AgaetisByrjun on June 15, 2005 at 04:45:19 PT
Off-topic: Sensenbrenner
Looks like the same Sensenbrenner who wants to turn the U.S. into a Stalinist police state also wants to eliminate the 22nd amendment (which sets term limits). I really wouldn't want a monarchist representing me.
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Comment #8 posted by jose melendez on June 15, 2005 at 03:58:28 PT
Got priorities?
Police personal agendas lead to decreased public health, safety: Compare to: Plague, caused by a bacterium called Yersinia pestis, is transmitted from rodent to rodent by infected fleas.Plague is characterized by periodic disease outbreaks in rodent populations, some of which have a high death rate. During these outbreaks, hungry infected fleas that have lost their normal hosts seek other sources of blood, thus increasing the increased risk to humans and other animals frequenting the area. - - - State monitored war protestersIntelligence agency does not distinguish between terrorism and peace activismBy Ian Hoffman, Sean Holstege and Josh Richman, STAFF WRITERSDays before firing wooden slugs at anti-war protesters, Oakland police were warned of potential violence at the Port of Oakland by California's anti-terrorism intelligence center, which admits blurring the line between terrorism and political dissent. The April 2 bulletin from the California Anti-Terrorism Information Center (CATIC) arguably offered more innuendo than actual evidence of protesters' intent to "shut down" the port and possibly act violently. CATIC spokesman Mike Van Winkle said such evidence wasn't needed to issue warnings on war protesters. "You can make an easy kind of a link that, if you have a protest group protesting a war where the cause that's being fought against is international terrorism, you might have terrorism at that (protest)," said Van Winkle, of the state Justice Department. "You can almost argue that a protest against that is a terrorist act." In fact, CATIC -- touted as a national model for intelligence sharing and a centerpiece of Gov. Gray Davis and Attorney General Bill Lockyer's 2002 re-election bids -- has quietly gathered and analyzed information on activists of various stripes almost since its creation. "They've done it since Day One," said a Bay Area counterterrorism official. Mark Schlosberg, director of police policy practices for the ACLU-Northern California, called Van Winkle's remarks "just shocking. "First of all, it's disturbing that protest information is being gathered and distributed out of a counterterrorism center," he said. "But to equate protesting against a war with terrorist activity, if in fact that's what's being done, is contrary to American values. And I would hope there are guidelines in place to prevent that being done." CATIC's analysts in Sacramento monitor terror alerts from federal agencies and sift through local police tips. CATIC regards itself as a hub. CATIC's collections and advisories run the gamut. Some counterterrorism officials regard the center's midday notices of Critical Mass cycling brigades and police funerals as little more than a clipping service. Center analysts compile dossiers on "extremist" environmental, animal-rights and white supremacist groups. They pass along national terror intelligence, including a recent FBI alert on turning industrial hydrogen cyanide or chlorine into weapons. The center draws $6.7 million a year in state funds to prevent terrorism. Analysts must obey one federal rule to limit the intelligence they gather, analyze and disseminate: It must have a criminal predicate, a "reasonable suspicion" that criminal acts will be committed. "If there's no criminal predicate we would not issue the information on anyone. That's the rules and we abide by that," said CATIC director Ed Manavian. Yet causing a traffic jam can be enough to trigger a CATIC analysis and bulletin. At the Port of Oakland, where trucks would be blocked from reaching shippers such as APL, a protest target, that logic might have been more compelling, Manavian and Van Winkle suggested. "If we receive information that 10,000 folks are going to a street corner and going to block it, that's breaking a law," Manavian said. "That's the kind of information that we're going to relay." Said Van Winkle: "I've heard terrorism described as anything that is violent or has an economic impact, and shutting down a port certainly would have some economic impact. Terrorism isn't just bombs going off and killing people." Both men say CATIC merely supplies information, but it's up to police to decide what to do with it. Still, a warning of potential violence from the state's anti-terror nerve center, staffed with personnel from the FBI, Defense Intelligence Agency and other federal, state and local agencies, carries a strong imprimatur of danger. "It has extra weight," said San Francisco Deputy Police Chief Rick Bruce, who leads the department's special operations division and is in charge of both counterterrorism and planning for protests. Said the ACLU's Schlosberg: "That sends a message about what the nature of a protest would be and what the response should be. Whether that caused the response or not, I don't know." The state's anti-terror center also operates without a clear definition of terrorism. Asked for one, Van Winkle replied: "I'm not sure where to go with that. But as a state organization, we have this information and we're going to share it." - - -CONTACT PERSON: Captain Rick BruceCommanding Officer - Ingleside Police Station #1 Sgt. John V. Young LaneSan Francisco, Calif. 94112phone (415) 553-1602 fax (415) 337-1773 The Bayview Police District covers one of the largest areas and includes the southeastern part of the city, extending along the eastern edge of McClaren Park (Cambridge Street) to the Bay and south from Channel Street to the San Mateo County line. The area includes 3Com Park, home of the San Francisco 49ers, and is the focus of a major redevelopment effort with a new municipal rail line to extend the length of Third Street.201 Williams St.San Francisco, CA 94124(415) 671-2300Emergency, dial: 911Non-emergency, dial: (415) 553-0123TIP LINE:  (415) 392-2623 Email: SFPDBayviewStation Fax	 415-671-2345
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Comment #7 posted by PainWithNoInsurance on June 14, 2005 at 23:41:12 PT
Off Subject: Increasing Interest in Bio Fuel
Great article by Jonathan David Morris it says it right too. One of the growing concerns I have noticed in every level of government is fuel cost and making ethanol at home. Several senators are trying to get the feds to invest in bio fuel research, and I hope they do. I was reading one of the reports and it says nothing about using hemp but says almost anything grown can be used to produce ethanol. The report talks highly of ethanol but needs research to bring down the cost of producing it. In the last few years the cost has been cut in half thanks to advances in  technology. On C-Span three senators are talking about reliance of foreign oil and say the up rising of Asian economies such as China will increase demand for oil thus making it more expensive, by far, in the future. The report I read at senator Lugar's web site sounded a lot like Jack Herer's except went into more details about the difference between ethanol and gasoline. It stated how Henry Ford used bio fuel but just mentions him using corn and was in the alcohol prohibition time (not good to make when people were looking for some vodka to drink). I also went through my State's gov web site, and I noticed tax credit bills pending for bio fuel along with other bills pertaining to bio fuel. In my area there has been an anouncement of a bio fuel plant being planned. It was stated that it would create several jobs as well. Bio fuel is on the move, but I have heard no mention of hemp. It makes me wonder why, is it because there is something about hemp that won't work or the authors (senator Woolsey and Lugar) just don't want to mention hemp. I guess if I were Lugar I would just stick to the subject at hand because legalizing hemp seems to be a monster to takle.I pray that sick people get what they say mitigates their pain and suffering.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on June 14, 2005 at 22:31:10 PT
Off Topic: I Hope Everyone Is OK!
Earthquake Off California Coast 
Wednesday, June 15, 2005A powerful earthquake of a magnitude of 7 has struck off the coast of northern California, sparking a tsunami alert. There were so far no reports of casualties and the tsunami warning was quickly cancelled. This is the third quake along the Pacific edge of the Americas in less than 48 hours. One struck northern Chile late on Monday killing eight people and a second was felt in the Aleutian Islands, off Alaska, on Tuesday.
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Comment #5 posted by runderwo on June 14, 2005 at 22:14:37 PT
Conservative Voice
Oh wow. What a great article. Why can't we see more of this from the religious right?
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Comment #4 posted by BGreen on June 14, 2005 at 21:33:23 PT
What exactly DOES a sick person look like?
"It's a huge scam," said Captain Bruce, who heads the city's Bayview station, which covers some of the highest-crime neighborhoods. "We see guys coming out of these places and the only description I can come up with is that it looks like a Cheech and Chong movie. They are what you would call your traditional potheads; whether they have a medical condition beyond that is subject to debate."There never would have been a medical cannabis movement if it weren't for the recreational users who discovered the medical benefits by chance.It only reasons that a lot of medical cannabis patients are former recreational users because they're the people that can accept the concept of medical cannabis without getting their panties in a wad ... like Capt. Rick Bruce of the San Francisco police.God bless the recreational users for their part in medical history.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on June 14, 2005 at 21:22:54 PT
I Like This Part of The CV Article
If America is truly built on Judeo-Christian principles, let's see some Judeo-Christian compassion here. The greatest political rebel of all, Jesus Christ, illegally healed people on the Sabbath; he told his detractors the law took a back seat to helping those in need. The same should hold true in the modern USA. If Jesus could scoff at the law in order to make people feel better, shouldn't we? 
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on June 14, 2005 at 21:21:14 PT
News Article from The Conservative Voice 
Opinion : Smoke For JesusBy Jonathan David MorrisJune 15, 2005Last week, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of pain. And not just pain, but severe, crippling pain -- the kind of pain you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy. For years, people in less than a dozen states have been smoking medical marijuana to help cope with such things as brain tumors and multiple sclerosis. The federal government, however, sees such attempts at pain relief as selfish. These people are undermining the war on drugs, the feds say.And, last week, the Supreme Court agreed. In a 6-3 ruling, the court confirmed that federal anti-drug laws overrule state medical marijuana laws. Federal power is far more important than some cancer-havin' stoner's excruciating pain. So now the feds can feel free to bust anyone who smokes, grows, prescribes, or distributes medical marijuana, even if they live in one of the few states where doing so was approved democratically. Why is it the American government so hates average Americans? I'm not really being facetious here. I think a strong case can be made, based on this decision, that the government actually hates and despises ordinary people -- that they, in fact, wish pain on us. I've discussed a number of civil liberty issues in my column the last few years. We can argue all day about forced mental screenings and the Patriot Act. But this goes beyond civil liberties. It goes beyond federal thugs tapping your phone and rummaging through your sock drawer. This ruling gets to the basic core of human decency. Here you have people with terrible, painful afflictions, who smoke pot because, God forbid, it actually makes them feel better. And Washington wants to stop them? What the hell for? Do they like watching people with tumors writhe in pain? Is that somehow fun for them? The Constitution gives Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce. A few months ago, we learned that this includes the performance-enhancing drugs so popular amongst kids and Major League Baseball players. Now we learn that it includes legally prescribed pain relievers like marijuana, too. According to the Supreme Court, state medical marijuana laws are a problem because marijuana grown for in-state use could easily find its way to the interstate market. And since marijuana isn't legal on the national level, the feds are therefore entitled to stem its production state-by-state. Well, that's great. But what I want to know is, why does Washington care so much? What, exactly, are they trying to stop? I'm not the kind of guy who rails against drug companies. I think drug companies do plenty of good. But I also think the pharmaceutical industry is like the skinny immigrant pool boy living in the FDA's secret backyard shed. I mean, the FDA-approval process seems like a mutually beneficial relationship to me; both the agency as well as the companies stand to make a fortune off it. Which is fine, you know. They're entitled to make money. But medical marijuana is a homegrown remedy. It's out of the loop. Could that be why Washington worries about it? And, if so, wouldn't it kinda, sorta be wrong? I'm not the kind of guy who rails against oil, either. People treat it like it's the Blood of Satan. I'm not sure I agree with this viewpoint (I've always imagined Satan's veins coursing with Ovaltine), but I do have my suspicions about the oil companies. After all, the use of oil is deeply embedded in our society. Yet there's apparently a limited worldwide supply of it, and a small number of people control every last drop. Industrial hemp is a renewable, eco-friendly natural resource, and some say it's the perfect alternative to many synthetic, oil-based products. But since hemp is marijuana's cousin, Washington doesn't want us to use it. Doesn't this seem a bit fishy to you? Or at the very least, a bit stupid? I realize it sounds like your basic stoner conspiracy theory, but I'm neither a stoner nor a full-time conspiracy theorist. I just think it's weird how the oilmen in the White House care so much about cancer patients rolling joints. It's hard to believe that Washington's anti-pot stance has anything to do with the drug's ill effects. Marijuana's track record is probably better than anything ever approved by the FDA. (Painful four-hour erections, anyone?) And while it's true some pot-smokers smoke their lives away, other people gamble, shop, and argue their way into similar oblivion. Self-destruction is self-destruction, with or without marijuana. Most of the people who smoke this stuff simply eat some Doritos and go to bed. (Heck, I'm a beer man, and I usually do the same thing.) But that's beside the point. Even if recreational marijuana remains illegal, even if it's the worst thing you can do short of stapling your face to the living room carpet -- there's still no reason why medical exceptions can't be made. I don't know if the American government "hates" us, per se. They may have the best of intentions here. But if anyone stands to benefit from their medical marijuana policies, it's them -- not us. People like to call marijuana a gateway drug, but, if you ask me, the true gateway drug here is absolute power. Washington took its first hit of the stuff when the threat of secession ended in 1865, and they've been gobbling up other checks and balances like Robert Downey, Jr., on a weekend coke binge ever since. If America is truly built on Judeo-Christian principles, let's see some Judeo-Christian compassion here. The greatest political rebel of all, Jesus Christ, illegally healed people on the Sabbath; he told his detractors the law took a back seat to helping those in need. The same should hold true in the modern USA. If Jesus could scoff at the law in order to make people feel better, shouldn't we? Jonathan David Morris writes a weekly column on politics and personal freedoms. His website is and he can be reached at: jdm readjdm.comCopyright: 2004-2005 The Conservative Voice
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on June 14, 2005 at 21:02:58 PT
Bay City News Wire
SF Supes Support Medical Marijuana AmendmentSAN FRANCISCO (BCN) June 14, 2005The San Francisco Board of Supervisors today passed a resolution in support of the Hinchey-Rohrbacher medical marijuana amendment. The resolution, sponsored by Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, passed with unanimous support after Mirkarimi proposed the resolution as an urgent matter during today's meeting. U.S. Reps. Maurice Hinchey, D-New York, and Dana Rohrbacher, R-Calif., are expected to offer the amendment today or tomorrow during the U.S. House of Representatives' debate on the Science, State, Justice and Commerce Appropriations Bill. The amendment would prohibit the U.S. Department of Justice from spending funds to prosecute people who use medical marijuana in states that allow such use. Mirkarimi said the resolution of support was imperative, as he's still unconvinced that the amendment has the support needed to pass.
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