As We See It: Medical Marijuana Abuse?

As We See It: Medical Marijuana Abuse?
Posted by CN Staff on March 12, 2007 at 08:19:09 PT
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel
Santa Cruz --  Like Capt. Renault in the movie classic "Casablanca," we were shocked — shocked! — to discover that some proprietors of medical marijuana clinics have pulled down millions of dollars, even as "nonprofit" clinics.We're also shocked — shocked! — at reports that just maybe some people without a medical condition are picking up their pot at medical marijuana stores.
Most people in California, including us, support the idea of those in need of relief from disease or from chemotherapy being provided with marijuana to take away pain.But we can't understand what has led this state to adopt a system of distribution that is so easily corrupted. The 1996 state initiative that allowed legal medical marijuana is such a badly conceived law that we think even pot smokers should have voted against it.There must be a better system of providing treatment for patients who need it. After all, some medical patients are given morphine to help relieve pain, but that hasn't meant that morphine clinics are springing up all over the state.Former state Sen. John Vasconcellos has blasted the federal Drug Enforcement Agency for keeping an eye on medical marijuana clinics. He told The Associated Press recently: "We're helping people who are sick and they have this fascist mentality against good health and pleasure."Actually, there's more to this than "good health and pleasure," and Vasconcellos should know better. For example, agents went into a Sacramento marijuana clinic and took away two loaded handguns and 60 pounds of processed marijuana.In Los Angeles, agents raided several clinics, and discovered that the average clinic had about $20,000 in profits each day. There were four dispensaries in Los Angeles in 2005; today, there are more than 100. There's more here than just getting marijuana to sick people. Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton has actually gone on record saying that the outlet operators are more interested in big money than they are in providing a service to ill people.Police officers and narcotics agents found that the operator of another clinic in Los Angeles deposited $2.3 million a bank account within eight months of starting business.We realize that some clinic operators are doing so out of concern for clients in need. Not every clinic is a problem. But it's obvious — handguns, millions in bank accounts, Porsches, huge amounts of processes marijuana — that there's some abuse going on here.Some might say that marijuana trafficking is a kind of victimless crime and that at least sick people are being served. But any time you have big money, handguns and suspicious involvement from people on the street, you know there's a problem. Local cities and towns more and more are going to be looking at ways of keeping trouble out of certain areas.After all, cities try to regulate the number of liquor stores and bars, just because abuse can happen. It's obvious that pot clinics need regulation as well.What we'd prefer seeing is putting marijuana prescriptions in the hands of doctors, and removing the potential for abuse in obviously under-regulated marijuana dispensaries.Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel (CA)Published: March 12, 2007 Copyright: 2007 Santa Cruz SentinelContact: editorial santa-cruz.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #12 posted by FoM on March 13, 2007 at 08:30:01 PT
Had Enough
Stick is going to check the mail to see if Massey Hall has arrived. I'm listening to it now on the link. I just love Neil Young. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #11 posted by Had Enough on March 13, 2007 at 08:17:38 PT
Massey Hall Concert
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #10 posted by FoM on March 12, 2007 at 21:36:51 PT
They are streaming the full Massey Hall Concert on this link. I thought you might like to listen to it too.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #9 posted by FoM on March 12, 2007 at 17:04:04 PT
News Article from The Baptist Press
Medical Marijuana Group Sues Feds ***By Dustin McNab March 12, 2007WASHINGTON (BP)--An organization advocating legalization of marijuana for medical use is suing the federal government over alleged inaccurate information used to warn of the drug’s dangers.Opponents of marijuana for medicinal purposes, however, note that there are justifiable reasons for not legalizing the drug in such instances.Americans for Safe Access (ASA), a pro-medical marijuana group, has filed a lawsuit citing the Department of Health and Human Services and Food and Drug Administration as defendants. The lawsuit calls for both HHS and the FDA to retract the claim “there have been no studies that have scientifically assessed the efficacy of marijuana for any medical condition.”The FDA’s stance “on medical cannabis is incorrect, dishonest and a flagrant violation of laws requiring the government to base policy on sound science,” said Joe Elford, chief counsel for ASA.The Drug Free America Foundation (DFAF), a foe of medical marijuana, has countered, “It is important to realize that the campaign to allow marijuana to be used as medicine is a tactical maneuver in an overall strategy to completely legalize all drugs.”The DFAF is a non-governmental organization committed to developing global strategies and policies to reduce illegal drug use, drug addiction, drug-related injury and death.Barrett Duke, the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission’s vice president for public policy, expressed concern over the lack of knowledge about marijuana, citing 400 chemicals in the drug that scientists have very little information on. A longtime foe of medical marijuana, Duke said this means states do not have mechanisms in place to assure the quality of the drug that is being used or the knowledge to discern the effects of the chemicals on the human mind and body.In response to such concerns, Kris Hermes, legal campaign director for ASA, said even if there are negative side effects from marijuana, the person who is suffering should be free to choose those consequences over living with the symptoms of his medical condition.As a basis for its suit, the ASA cited the Data Quality Act (DQA), an amendment passed in 2001 to ensure the quality, objectivity, utility and integrity of information disseminated by federal agencies. The ASA said multiple scientific studies confirm the medical efficacy of marijuana, as evidence of why HHS should retract its claims about marijuana.HHS has delayed requests filed under the amendment in the past, according to the ASA, which claimed it had no other option than to file a lawsuit asserting that the government’s statements deter sick and dying people from obtaining the medical relief they need.The FDA does not comment on pending litigation, the agency’s senior policy advisor, Kathleen Quinn, said in response to a Baptist Press request for reaction to the Feb. 21 lawsuit.Duke and Hermes also disagreed on the broader impact of medical marijuana.The legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes will reduce the drug’s stigma, resulting in many people becoming “more comfortable with the idea of its use, and some of them will decide to experiment with it,” Duke said. “This experimentation will certainly lead to increases in drug use by all age groups, and especially by youth.”The ASA expressed no concern about this possibility, however.“If ... Duke can show evidence in the states that have passed medical marijuana laws that such laws have directly increased drug use among the broader population, I might have a reason to comment,” Hermes said.The Drug Free America Foundation, meanwhile, has said medical marijuana initiatives and bills address protecting the rights, privacy and safety of the user, but that is only part of the issue. The DFAF warned such measures offer no explanation as to how states intend to keep marijuana cultivators and users from distributing to minors, driving under the influence, consuming in public places or endangering others they come in contact with.“Marijuana decriminalization legislation puts society at risk of drug-related injury, illness, addiction and death,” the DFAF said.Eleven states have legalized marijuana for medicinal use.Copyright: 2007 Baptist Press
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #8 posted by FoM on March 12, 2007 at 14:05:19 PT
The GCW 
Thank you. I have it posted now. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #7 posted by goneposthole on March 12, 2007 at 13:30:16 PT
It is shocking
That six years ago there were very few Americans in military uniforms in Iraq. Now, there is an entire force of Marines, Army, and Navy over there running around shooting at everything.It is shocking.It is shocking that Budweiser sends out beer by the truckload to all points across the nation when in the days of prohibition it had to be smuggled under cover of darkness.Shocking beyond belief, I tell ya. I am shocked!What is shocking is that there is no end to the lies that the US government will promulgate via airwaves to all points across the earth. Shocking! However, I am not surprised.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #6 posted by The GCW on March 12, 2007 at 13:19:32 PT
A special request:---Hello everyone, Aloha. We hit the jackpot last Sunday with a terrific frontpage story in this island's largest newspaper! The real paper edition contained green-ink Cannabis leaves above and below 'the fold', and it included two other photos: one of a Volcano vaporizer and the other of me standing (and smiling real big!) in a field of heavy and ready-to-harvest, 10'-12' Purple-urkle' ganga plants. It's a totally amazing edition of the biggest paper of the week, and it was printed on the full moon, too for extra emphasis. I love that! Really, it looked more like a High Times cover than the local newspaper. Here's the online edition with follow-up comments. Enjoy! I sure did. Love, Roger P.S. Would someone please submit this story to Mahalo. ---From
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by Storm Crow on March 12, 2007 at 13:06:00 PT
Hey, don't be insulting the Cro Magnons!
They got civilization going! To find a more apt comparison,I think we need to go back to Homo erectus! Or maybe a bit further back!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by Celaya on March 12, 2007 at 12:12:33 PT
Santa Cruz Sentinel Does It Again
The folks who run the Santa Cruz Sentinel deeply despise the fact they live in one of the most liberal communities in the nation, where, not only do they have medical marijuana, but the city's citizens voted to make marijuana arrests the city's lowest law enforcement priority - even after jay-walking!The Cro-magnons running the Sentinel should either move their newspaper to Oklahoma or sell it to someone who will represent the community they serve.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by museman on March 12, 2007 at 10:41:00 PT
money of course
Is that income taxable? If so what's the big deal, you political bastards get a raise! If it's not, boy did you drop your own stupid ball.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by dongenero on March 12, 2007 at 09:35:00 PT
They're making money? The American way, huh?
Gee....sounds just like the pharmaceutical industry.Dispensaries are popping up, just like pharmacies, two on every corner. 
I'll be impressed once their television advertising surpasses the pharmaceutical industry.But we have to realize that the real difference is that Big Pharma is only interested in helping people. Heck, they'd probably be nonprofit if it weren't for the need to advertise on at every, single commercial break on every single channel, and have print ads on 10% of the pages in every, single magazine published.Yea, why can't the dispensaries be as altruistic as the pharmaceutical companies?
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by Hope on March 12, 2007 at 09:20:40 PT
It's ok to make as hog wallering a profit as you can in any business...except when it's the leaf.It's ok to let it rot a couple a million years then suck it out of the earth and charge people whatever they want to for it. Wonder why this guy didn't get all bent out of shape about the profits the oil businesses take from everyone of us and at this crucial time in our history? We're at war! War profits are fine though. The "right" people are getting the profits.
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment