Pot Dispensaries Good for Cities, Too, Group Says

Pot Dispensaries Good for Cities, Too, Group Says
Posted by CN Staff on September 08, 2006 at 07:51:34 PT
By Gig Conaughton, Staff Writer
Source: North County Times
San Diego, CA -- A handful of Northern California city leaders and a medical marijuana advocacy group held a press conference Thursday in San Diego to say cities and counties would benefit by creating dispensaries where patients could get their legal pot.The city officials were gathered at the San Diego Convention Center to take part in the League of California Cities 108th annual conference.
But holding the dispensary news conference in San Diego had special significance, said Steph Sherer of Americans for Safe Access, the medical marijuana advocacy group that coordinated the event.San Diego County has become ground zero in a long-simmering tussle over California's 10-year-old, voter-approved medical marijuana law, the Compassionate Use Act.In December, San Diego County supervisors filed a precedent-setting lawsuit to try to overturn the Compassionate Use Act. The court battle is slated to begin in November. Supervisors argue that California's law should be superseded by federal law, which says all marijuana use is illegal.In addition, the San Diego County district attorney's office has helped federal drug agents essentially "shut down" all local medical marijuana "dispensaries" ---- even though state Attorney General Bill Lockyer said local law enforcement were not obligated to help enforce federal law.Finally, the region's second largest government ---- the city of San Diego ---- hasn't acted on whether it wants to create regulations to allow medical marijuana dispensaries to operate inside the city's limits.Sherer directed Thursday's sparsely attended press conference at the San Diego Convention Center downtown.She said the group hoped that San Diego City Council members would still create dispensary regulations that would give local patients a place to buy marijuana safely, rather than "forcing them into the streets.""Our hope is that San Diego City Council moves forward despite what the county is doing, and show that they are more compassionate than our county," Sherer said.The roughly 20-minute press conference featured testimony from Northern California city council leaders of cities that had already created regulations allowing marijuana dispensaries to operate ---- and featured the release of a report that studied several dispensaries in the San Francisco Bay area.Oakland Councilwoman Desley Brooks; Councilman Lee Pierce, of Santa Rosa; and Councilman Mike Rotkin, of Santa Cruz, each said their cities benefited by allowing dispensaries to operate.They said creating the dispensaries had not increased crime as critics feared and had actually decreased street drug trafficking, improved security in surrounding areas, and sponsored economic growth in some spots.Rotkin, a five-term councilman and former mayor of Santa Cruz, said the city had created regulations allowing for two dispensaries over the last 18 months ---- making sure to create zoning that would keep them away from schools residential neighborhoods.He said residents howled "not in my backyard" when the issue was debated but that the dispensaries had proved very successful."Literally, in 18 months of operation," Rotkin said, "we've not had a single complaint from anybody about either of the two dispensaries. The end result is that the very same people who started out very skeptical and very critical ... have all become active supporters."Sherer and Amanda Reiman, a postdoctoral fellow at the UC Berkeley School of Social Welfare, also introduced Reiman's 19-page study, "Medical Cannabis Dispensing Collectives and Local Regulation."Reiman, who is also a medical marijuana user and a member of the Cannabis Consumers Campaign, said she visited and studied seven medical marijuana dispensaries in Berkeley and San Francisco. Reiman said in her report that they not only gave patients a safe place to get the drug they needed to control their pain or ease their symptoms, but that it combated crime. Reiman said the dispensaries had their own security, which discouraged criminal activity in the immediate areas; and street drug sales decreased, although the report did not offer statistics to back that assertion.However, Reiman said the Bay Area dispensaries could also serve as models for other dispensaries around the state in the services they offered."The cannabis (selling) is a very small part of what a lot of these dispensaries are offering," she said. "They include peer counseling, substance abuse treatment services, and also palliative care services ---- like massage, arts and crafts, day trips, cannabis-related services such as legal advice."Meanwhile, a couple of San Diego County residents who have been deeply involved in the recent controversies said they hoped that the city and county of San Diego would help medical marijuana patients.Wendy Christakes, 29, of La Mesa, said she had been using medical marijuana to help ease the spasms and pain of a broken back in 2002. But she said she's had to quit using the drug since the San Diego County district attorney's office and federal drug officers cracked down on dispensaries.Christakes said she can't grow her own marijuana at home because she has two small children and doesn't feel it would be safe.Since she could no longer get marijuana, Christakes said: "I've had to go to the hospital and get morphine injections, due to the pain."And they've given me prescriptions for sedatives and Class Three narcotics which I've had to take," she said. "I'd really prefer not to. They damage your liver and kidneys. But unfortunately my back goes into severe spasms."Jeff Meyer, 32, said he ran a medical marijuana dispensary in Clairemont until federal drug officers threatened to send him "to federal jail."Meyer said he was also a medical marijuana user, and got into the dispensary business because he had been to several local dispensaries, and thought they could be done "more professionally." He said he preferred to keep his illness confidential.He also said he had struggled since the county cracked down on dispensaries."We're struggling to get by," he said. "I opened up a smoke shop right next door to keep most of my employees. What I doing now is focusing efforts on working with the (San Diego) City Council to enact regulations and guidelines (that would allow dispensaries)."Source: North County Times (Escondido, CA)Author: Gig Conaughton, Staff WriterPublished: Thursday, September 7, 2006 Copyright: 2006 North County TimesContact: letters nctimes.comWebsite: http://www.nctimes.comRelated Articles & Web Site:Americans For Safe Access Pot Dispensaries Promoted Keeps Pot Issue On Its Medical Radar Get OK To Oppose MMJ Challenge
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Comment #21 posted by ekim on September 10, 2006 at 08:11:31 PT
thank you Jose
i see in the Kal Gazette today that United Solar Ovonic LLC plant in Greenville will be adding a second plant the first will begin operation in 2007 and the second will be on line in 2008 with plans to build up to five more plants in the city. The company is based in Auburn- Hills.i think that the story in 2004 and the new plants are the same tech. So the question is why is there no mention of the Cellulose tech and what happen to it as a google of genencor shows it was sold to a danish food company.
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Comment #20 posted by Hope on September 10, 2006 at 07:31:52 PT
Hey, Afterburner!
Hope you all are having a great time!
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Comment #19 posted by Hope on September 10, 2006 at 07:31:15 PT
Impressive, indeed.
"...fleet of eight 53' tractor-trailer trucks and ten artist buses is fully powered by B99, a 99%-pure, American-made, soy-derived biodiesel fuel."
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Comment #18 posted by jose melendez on September 10, 2006 at 04:49:53 PT
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Comment #17 posted by ekim on September 09, 2006 at 20:12:22 PT
Jose do you have the right URL for this story
Biomass and Solar Technologies Lauded
 Monday, July 12, 2004Golden, Colo. - Two technologies developed by the U.S. Department of
Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory are among this year's most
significant innovations, as judged by Research & Development (R&D) Magazine.The Laboratory's two R&D 100 Awards for 2004 are for an innovative,
lower-cost method for transforming plant material into the sugars that can
be used to make fuels and chemicals, and a thin-film solar cell that
produces electricity directly from sunlight, which has greater efficiency,
and is lighter weight and more flexible than previous devices.This year's announcement brings to 37 the number of R&D 100 Awards garnered
by NREL."Once again, the technologies developed by our Laboratory's researchers are
being acknowledged for their importance to the nation," said Stan Bull, NREL
associate director for science and technology. "It's particularly gratifying
that the R&D 100 Awards this year include two NREL technologies that can
enhance our nation's energy security and reduce our reliance on foreign
sources of oil."The Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Biomass Cellulose to Sugars technology is
expected to allow a wide range of biomass resources to be used to produce
energy and chemicals. It is an important step toward realizing the potential
of bio-refineries-in which plant and waste materials are used to produce an
array of fuels and chemicals, analogous to an oil refinery today.Through this technology, the cost of converting cellulosic biomass into
usable sugars can be reduced by more than 20 times per gallon of ethanol
produced.The award is shared by NREL, Genencor International and Novozymes Biotech,
Inc. NREL researchers who worked on this project included Michael Himmel,
Jim McMillan, Dan Schell, Jody Farmer, Nancy Dowe and Rafael Nieves.Also recognized for 2004 are light and flexible thin-film copper indium
gallium diselenide (CIGS) photovoltaic modules, which can be manufactured in
various sizes and have a compact, foldable design that allows for easy
deployment, transport and storage.As a result, the modules have twice the power-to-weight ratio, and three
times the power-to-size ratio as competing products. Because of this, they
are especially suited for military applications, portable power for consumer
and public use, boating and other marine applications and building-related
uses, such as for bus shelters and in PV-integrated roofing.The award is shared by NREL, Global Solar Energy and ITN Energy Systems.
NREL researchers who worked on this project included Harin Ullal, Ken
Zweibel and Bolko von Roedern.NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy's premier laboratory for renewable
energy research and development and a leading laboratory for energy
efficiency R&D. NREL is operated for DOE by Midwest Research Institute and
Battelle.For further information contact NREL Public Affairs at (303) 275-4090.NR-3404
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on September 09, 2006 at 16:34:03 PT
Thank You Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
'Walk Lighter on the Planet' Is the Green Mandate for CSNY's Paradigm-Shifting, Biodiesel Powered, Nationwide 'Freedom Of Speech '06 Tour' 
 **** Rock (2006-09-09) LOS ANGELES (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Official Website/ - With this summer's acclaimed "Freedom Of Speech '06 Tour" - concluding Sunday, September 10 in Pittsburgh, PA - legendary rock quartet Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (CSNY) did far more than passionately serve up what the Boston Globe recently called, "What a rarity: a concert that sends you home thinking, feeling, and rocking." The tour's high-profile social consciousness quotient underscores its politically-charged dialogue with an environmental statement that marks a profound paradigm shift for the concert touring and event transportation industry. 
The band's new transportation model supports CSNY's belief in challenging the cloaked in secrecy energy policies that have cost the United States so much on so many levels - including diversion of taxpayer money from other areas that would benefit most Americans, and wartime casualties in the fight to preserve the petroleum-driven status quo. Finding that unacceptable, they built their own energy plan based on transparency, community involvement, and cooperation, contacting local suppliers of domestically grown renewable fuel nationwide to power "Freedom Of Speech." Working with San Francisco-based transportation provider Roadshow Services, "Freedom Of Speech" '06's fleet of eight 53' tractor-trailer trucks and ten artist buses is fully powered by B99, a 99%-pure, American-made, soy-derived biodiesel fuel. The largest undertaking of its kind ever to use crop-based, cleaner-burning alternative fuel, CSNY's current tour is also the only one to employ pure agricultural biodiesel rather than the more commonly used 80/20 blend with high levels of petroleum, thus eliminating most harmful particulate matter. It supports local farming, preserves the environment and reduces our dependence on foreign oil. CSNY Production Manager Tim Foster (who's worked with Neil Young for 33 years), says the group's switch to biodiesel first came about for Young's 2004 Greendale concert tour after the artist read Joshua Tickell's seminal green energy primer "From The Frying Pan To The Fuel Tank - The Complete Guide To Using Vegetable Oil As An Alternative Fuel." Foster recalls that Young passed the book along to him with the directive that, going forward, they "walk lighter on the planet" while on tour. In addition to their famous social and political activism, environmental causes have long been passionately advocated by all four of CSNY's principals. In 1979, Graham Nash co-founded No Nukes/M.U.S.E. - Musicians United For Safe Energy - with Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt and John Hall (currently running for U.S. Congress in New York), and the all-star concerts organized under the M.U.S.E. banner remain seminal benefit events. David Crosby was one of the first individuals to employ bio-diesel for his personal vehicles, and has been driving a crop-fueled truck for years. A number of Young's cars and trucks are biodiesel driven, and Nash and Stills are converting their vehicles over as well. One of the most thoroughly tested alternative fuels on the market, biodiesel is completely renewable and self-sustainable, is available nationwide and can be used in existing engines and fuel injection equipment. It has none of the ozone-polluting and carcinogenic chemicals that abound in petroleum based diesel; it's healthier for flora and fauna of every kind, and air quality for drivers, crew and passengers of the fleet is massively improved. "It used to be," says Foster, "that when you walked through the backstage area at one of our shows, say at the Hollywood Bowl, the air would be heavy with petroleum. Now, you don't smell anything, it's clean." Also, of critical importance to CSNY, biodiesel is American-made and is a means - right now - of reducing dependence on foreign oil while boosting the U.S. economy and protecting the environment. "Freedom Of Speech" is running as clean as possible with 99% soy-based fuel. "Nobody else is doing that now," says Roadshow's VP Sean O'Rourke. "Because B99 is not as readily available, we're coordinating refueling - via tanker trucks - for ourselves, servicing the entire fleet at once." Through working with CSNY, O'Rourke has become a vocal expert on and advocate for biodiesel. "A lot of it has to do," he says, "with the fact that we're a Northern California-based trucking company silly enough to be working in San Francisco, as cost prohibitive a place as any to run an interstate business. But I like to think our business is based on our progressive ideals, and I feel truly patriotic about this endeavor. That's where CSNY approaches it from, understanding that it's good not just environmentally and for the climate, but also for our national interest and the world. As an agent of change in any area, part of that is being an educator. We are compelled to make a difference." When Rudolf Diesel demonstrated his diesel engine at the 1900 World's Fair, he used peanut oil to operate it. While Diesel designed it to run on a diversity of fuels, including petroleum and coal dust, he saw field crops as the long term future for the engine because of the virtually unlimited supply. Over a century later, his visionary invention is shared by enduring agents of change Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, who believe, "We can change the world." For Official CSNY Tour, Ticket and Fan Club information, visit Final "FREEDOM OF SPEECH" tour date: 
Sep 10 Pittsburgh, PA Post-Gazette Pavilion
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on September 09, 2006 at 16:14:54 PT
We were late as usual and AB had to page us! LOL!
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on September 09, 2006 at 16:14:05 PT
BGreen and Ekim
Yes we will be with you in Spririt in Amsterdam. The guys are resting now and then when it gets a little darker we will have a nice fire outside and cook some hot dogs and roast some marhmallows and sit around the fire and watch the evening ......The concert tomorrow will be incredible. I saw the Columbus show and we missed about the first 6 songs and it still was incredible. The weather seems perfect too with the moon out so bright on this early fall night.
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Comment #13 posted by BGreen on September 09, 2006 at 16:03:47 PT
Did you stand there at the airport with a sign that read "Afterburner." LOLI'm with all of you in spirit and I'll be rocking with you tomorrow night. I know you'll be with me in spirit when I'm in Amsterdam, too. LOLHave a good visit. Mrs. Green and I will be thrilled to meet all of our CNews family.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #12 posted by ekim on September 09, 2006 at 15:39:33 PT
sounds like great fun FoM
say hi to the whole fam damily:)
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on September 09, 2006 at 15:26:49 PT
Hope and Everyone
We picked Afterburner up at the airport and we are having a wonderful time. It is amazing meeting people that we already know. 
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Comment #10 posted by Hope on September 09, 2006 at 06:56:12 PT
The concert and meeting an old friend we haven't seen before. Amazing times we have here. I'm so excited for you, FoM. 
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Comment #9 posted by Hope on September 09, 2006 at 06:46:19 PT
A stronger sense of freedom? 
Whig said, "I think we're able to be a lot more open here than anywhere else because we have even the local public officials on our side completely."A stronger sense of freedom...and excited about it.
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on September 09, 2006 at 06:01:21 PT
greenmed and whig
Thank you. It's a beautiful fall day here and we really are looking forward to meeting AB and seeing The Boys as AB calls them. I haven't found any news so far and we will be leaving for the airport in a couple of hours but I will look when we get back and up until when we leave. I hope you all have a great weekend.
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Comment #7 posted by greenmed on September 08, 2006 at 23:07:24 PT
FoM and Stick and Afterburner
Have a fun time this weekend. The weather forecast for Pittsburgh Sunday looks promising with temp around 70 for the start of the concert ... good flannel shirt weather. :)
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Comment #6 posted by whig on September 08, 2006 at 22:56:09 PT
So he can open a smoke shop
But not a marijuana dispensary.I want to think about that for a moment. You can open a smoke shop, sell tobacco, which causes every kind of health problem and makes most people sick to be around, and nobody complains about that being in their neighborhood. But even just one secure, private, patients-only dispensary would mess up their beautiful clean city.
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Comment #5 posted by whig on September 08, 2006 at 22:52:00 PT
Enjoy the concert. I know it will be a real fun time and you and Afterburner are going to get along great. I love how our family is getting to know one another in person.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on September 08, 2006 at 20:30:56 PT
I think California has great activists. I hope we see change in other states this election time. We will be gone tomorrow to pick up AB and Sunday for the CSNY Freedom of Speech Concert so I might miss an article but I know someone will post a link. We have been working so hard around here this is going to be a wonderful weekend. 
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Comment #3 posted by The GCW on September 08, 2006 at 19:33:21 PT
A little funny; considering... the topic.
The Publisher of this newspaper's name is Dick High.
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Comment #2 posted by whig on September 08, 2006 at 13:39:49 PT
It's hard even for me and I'm in California. I'm still shocked at the difference between the Bay Area and other parts of the state. I think we're able to be a lot more open here than anywhere else because we have even the local public officials on our side completely.That's how the seed has to grow, I think. It needs to have sunlight, and we have it here. That's why I can say all the things I do on my blog about what I do and have no concern about being arrested or thrown out of my home. That's why there is Oaksterdam and soon it will be in a lot of other places if it isn't already.But in the meantime there are a lot of places that are still buried, and we're digging out as fast as we can. We can write to you and tell you everything that we see here, and then it spreads because other states cannot hold back the truth forever.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on September 08, 2006 at 12:33:45 PT
Just a Comment
It's hard for me to keep up with what is going on in California since there are so many different issues. I wish them good luck and I do hope someday the laws will be changed in every state and at least allow medical marijuana. I don't expect it to happen until we get the Republicans out of power though. If good things happen this election maybe a Democrat will get elected in 08 and we might see some positive changes happen. We are stuck right now.
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