Medical Pot Dispensaries Promoted 

Medical Pot Dispensaries Promoted 
Posted by CN Staff on September 08, 2006 at 06:46:18 PT
By Jeff McDonald, Union-Tribune Staff Writer
Source: San Diego Union Tribune 
San Diego, CA -- Some of California's leading medical marijuana activists released a new report yesterday touting dispensaries as a benefit to both patients and the communities in which they operate. Americans for Safe Access, an Oakland-based advocacy group for medical marijuana patients, said in its analysis that storefront dispensaries are the most effective way for chronically ill people to obtain their medicine and for city and police officials to make sure the drugs are not abused.
The 23-page report was released outside the San Diego Convention Center, where the League of California Cities is holding its 108th annual conference. The issue of medical marijuana is not on the agenda for the four-day meeting, which concludes tomorrow. Elected officials from three California cities joined Americans for Safe Access and a University of California researcher in presenting the report, which details medical marijuana policies and promotes specific rules to grant patients safe and routine access to marijuana. Some two dozen cities across the state have passed ordinances regulating dispensaries – something elected officials in San Diego County have refused to do. The politicians who spoke yesterday said the laws helped set ground rules for everyone concerned. “We have not experienced any complaints,” said Lee Pierce, a Santa Rosa councilman. Mike Rotkin, a Santa Cruz city councilman, told reporters that the ordinance his community adopted has helped patients, police and residents. “All these people have realized that if it's regulated properly, it doesn't end up in street-dealing or kids lighting up in class,” Rotkin said. “This is about medicine.” University of California professor Amanda Reiman conducted more than 130 patient surveys over six months before concluding that dispensaries are the best way to provide reliable access to medical marijuana. She said politics too often influence government policies. “It's really hard to argue science against ideology,” she said. “That's been a big issue in drug policy.” But Damon Mosler, who oversees the narcotics unit for San Diego County district attorney Bonnie Dumanis, said there is nothing in the state medical marijuana law that permits selling the drug from a storefront. “The dispensary mechanism is illegal,” he said. “There probably are solutions, but they have to come about through legislative changes. Then, of course, we would accept something like that.” Snipped: Complete Article: San Diego Union Tribune (CA)Author:  Jeff McDonald, Union-Tribune Staff WriterPublished: September 8, 2006Copyright: 2006 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.Contact: letters uniontrib.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Americans For Safe Access Get OK To Oppose MMJ Challenge The Pot To The Patients Marijuana Is Here To Stay
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