Local Pot Laws Stink

Local Pot Laws Stink
Posted by CN Staff on August 09, 2006 at 07:09:40 PT
By Raheem Hosseini
Source: El Dorado Hills Telegraph
California -- My first encounter with marijuana came as a freshman in high school. During the morning carpool rides, our driver's friend would casually hunch beneath the passenger window and light up a small pipe he had packed moments earlier.Thankfully, our driver Matt never indulged and while his friend was kind enough to offer me my first hit, I politely abstained as well.
A freshman classmate of mine did one better, folding himself into the fetal position and pulling a jacket over his head for the remainder of the ride. It was the only quiet I ever got.I reflected upon this peculiar episode during a recent Folsom City Council meeting in which council members unanimously outlawed medical marijuana dispensaries in the city.While I vehemently disagreed with the decision, I couldn't blame these elected officials for making it. After all, it seemed pretty clear they were representing the apathy of their constituents.It has been more than 10 years since the Compassionate Use Act was passed by California voters, yet many local municipalities still struggle with implementing the law, at least in the cases they bother acknowledging its existence.Roseville flirted briefly with allowing such dispensaries in its community before letting the federal government - in the form of brutish drug enforcement agents - bully it out of the medicinal cannabis business. Elk Grove has structured its laws in such a way that getting a permit to open a pot dispensary is as likely as winning permission to operate a brothel. Rocklin practically spat at the idea, while El Dorado County's stance remains somewhat ambiguous.As for Folsom? Not a single resident spoke during either the initial public hearing on the proposed ban or two weeks later when the council approved it. The only people to speak out about the ordinance both came from The American Alliance for Medical Cannabis."This particular industry has a lot of bigotry and fear in it," said the alliance's Lanette Davies, who compared terminal patients filling their marijuana prescriptions to those getting their painkillers at a Walgreens pharmacy. "This moratorium hurts patients, not criminals."Davies and political affairs director Ryan Landers went on to tell council members that regulating these businesses actually help decrease crime, that they contribute to the local economy and that they provide a crucial service to the dying and afflicted, but those arguments didn't change the inevitable outcome.Council members cited the conflict between state and federal laws as the primary justification for making the city's ban permanent."I understand the people have spoken on this issue, but unfortunately the people haven't filled in the details," said Council member Jeff Starsky. "And that's what we're talking about - the details."Vice Mayor Kerri Howell said her support was nullified by federal regulations as well and wondered why cannabis patients weren't permitted to get their prescriptions filled at pharmacies.I sympathize with the position locally elected officials are put in, but I also see my fair share of buck passing.Sacramento is one of the few cities to acknowledge the decision made by California voters and while the Feds have busted down a few doors, the city has stuck to its guns. Roughly half a dozen dispensaries currently operate in the state capitol. Take that, John Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzalez.The truth of the matter is Folsom ducked a similar fight nearly a year ago, when it voted down a clean needles exchange program Sacramento County was shopping to local municipalities.Incidentally, the same argument that the "disease prevention program," as it was called, would increase criminal activity around pharmacies was also used to naysay the allowance of the pot dispensaries. It's an argument that's been trotted out against Wal-Mart and sex shops, as well.So if you ever hear someone ask, "What do pot dispensaries, sex shops and Wal-Mart have in common?" you already know the punchline.Local communities are microcosms of the world in which we live, where compassion and freedom are being increasingly traded for comfort and safety.More than that, you can see the affect tunnel vision has had on world affairs. The tide has turned here at home against the war in Iraq, but if the Middle East is indeed a colossal bungle, the fault lies with us. A democracy is only as good as its people's involvement.But people seem to only care about what happens in their proverbial backyards, whether it's a Wal-Mart Superstore potentially opening in Broadstone or a midsize theater setting up in the El Dorado Hills Business Park.Folsom has passed laws outlawing residents' ability to consume alcohol in front of their own homes or leave trash bins down on the corner more that 24 hours after pick-up, while El Dorado Hills residents seem to think way too much about their neighbors' roofing materials and home color preferences.As each community takes greater strides toward realizing their Stepford aspirations, I wonder if it's time to candy-stripe one of the homes in Stonegate Village, just to break up the monotony.It's been said that all politics are local. The same could conceivably be said about all mistakes, as well. Source: El Dorado Hills Telegraph (CA)Author: Raheem HosseiniPublished: Tuesday, August 8, 2006Copyright: 2006 Gold Country MediaContact: http://www.edhtelegraph.comCannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #10 posted by Toker00 on August 10, 2006 at 14:54:13 PT
After further thought, I realize now Rummy is just gathering all his fodder for the Middle East BLOW OUT.My God, people! We have to stop these madmen! NOW! Sorry about the drought. I don't know about your area, but here, it works like clockwork. We are in the lull between last years produce, and the new crop. Happens every year. Here's for Greener tomorrows!Toke.
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Comment #9 posted by afterburner on August 10, 2006 at 08:55:28 PT
Toker00 #2
There seems to be a bit of a cannabis drought developing here in Grandmother's Land. Are the PTBs setting us up again for another bait-and-switch to their deadly poisons? Pirates of the Caribbean?Cannabis -- Safer!
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on August 09, 2006 at 22:37:40 PT
I checked out the link. I guess I really don't understand why they do what they do. My mind doesn't work that way.
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Comment #7 posted by Dankhank on August 09, 2006 at 22:10:12 PT
70% ...
It is less important how they can prove 70%, though we all know it is BS, than the fact that all illegal and legal drugs are easily gotten all over Florida, are purer, and cheaper.
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Comment #6 posted by Toker00 on August 09, 2006 at 18:07:18 PT
Yep. You're BOTH right.Someone needs to get it through these Neo-Con's thick skulls that Christians and Muslims with fry up just as crispy and toasty as Jews and Atheists in a Thermonuclear War. And, contrary to those who believe Christians will be caught up by the rapture by some super hero BEFORE these wars happen, uh uh. I ain't convinced. As for the War on Drugs, day by day, folks, day by day...Toke.
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Comment #5 posted by Wayne on August 09, 2006 at 18:00:55 PT
FoM #1
Sorry, but it's time for me to play my numbers game again. Only because South FL is where I live...How does the DEA know that they cut drug trafficking here by 70%? What's happening with the other 30%?I liked the quip from Bill Nelson though. I actually got a response letter from his counterpart, Mel Martinez (who is 'technically' an illegal alien, but we won't go there). They're both vehemently against legalization. Guess there's two MORE incumbents I won't be voting for next time. Methinks the list is getting longer..
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Comment #4 posted by mayan on August 09, 2006 at 17:53:48 PT
So, Ronald Dumsfeld wants those helicopters to fight the war OF terrorism? He's probably hoping for full-fledged civil war in Iraq also so he can have an excuse to move our troops over to Iran and Syria along with those choppers!
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on August 09, 2006 at 16:21:05 PT
I think they need to open up a way to get the drugs to the people since they are allowed to grow poppies now in Afghanistan since Bin Laden isn't in control. I really look at the whys of things anymore. There is plenty of time to crack down again later. It's like perpetuation the drug war instead of fixing it. Don't mind me it's just a thought and I'm not sure I even believe it could be that bad.
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Comment #2 posted by Toker00 on August 09, 2006 at 16:11:56 PT
FoM's article
Rumsfeld's letter indicated the resources are needed to fight the war on terrorism instead.OMG. This is an admission of a difference between Drug War and Terror War. I wonder what Old Johnny thinks of Old Rummy now? And from a BUSH (as in his brother's) state. wow.Maybe the southern border got a little too hot for Rummy's CIA Drug runners, so he's providing another "way"?Or, maybe, no that just...couldn't be. Rummy predicting an end to the Drug War? Nah...TOO wishful.Toke.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on August 09, 2006 at 13:20:35 PT
Video: Rumsfeld and The Drug War
Rumsfeld Wants To Pull Army Helicopters From Drug War*** August 9, 2006Video: -- South Florida is surrounded by water, making it one of the most vulnerable areas for drug traffickers, terrorists and illegal aliens to enter.NBC 6 has learned that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld wants to remove some of the key military assets that currently protect the state.Drug Enforcement Administration agents, Bahamian police, the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Army all watch the waterways stretching from Miami 500 miles south to the Bahamas.This year alone, they've confiscated 1,700 pounds of cocaine and 94,000 pounds of marijuana.But now, Rumsfeld wants to pull the Army from the team.In a memo, Rumsfeld wrote to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, "I intend to discontinue this support."Rumsfeld said he would remove Army helicopters from the drug mission -- seven helicopters that the DEA says participate in 50 to 75 percent of the drug busts.Rumsfeld's letter indicated the resources are needed to fight the war on terrorism instead."I couldn't believe it," said Florida Sen. Bill Nelson.Nelson said the Rumsfeld plan would leave South Florida exposed to more drugs and potentially terrorists."It's just been too valuable to stop not only drugs, but people -- illegal aliens trying to sneak into the country, and who knows? Among them might be some terrorists," Nelson said.When NBC 6's Willard Shepard flew with Army pilots on a drug raid two years ago, they said the helicopters were perfect to cut off the drug runners."Of course, the aircraft can go anywhere you need at anytime. It's definitely invaluable," one pilot said.DEA agents said they are puzzled by the decision because the flights have been a huge success over the years, cutting drug traffic to Florida by 70 percent."I don't exactly know how we would compensate yet," said DEA Agent Mark Trouville.Trouville said if the pressure is not there, it makes economic sense for drug traffickers to return to their old ways. Some island landing strips could be active again and water drops would be easier.The DEA is trying to figure out what it will do without the Army flights."We have to put somebody in there. If not the Army, who?" Trouville said.Rumsfeld's memo said all the flights will be terminated in just over a year.NBC 6 also learned that U.S. Attorney General Gonzalez recently sent a letter to Rumsfeld, telling him how important the military assets are in the war against drugs and urging him not to pull them out.Copyright 2006 by 
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