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San Diego Voters To Decide On Medical Marijuana In 4 Cities But Not Encinitas

They are LEGAL dispensary owners trying to pass a LEGAL ordinance. They have been running fundraising drives along with their signature drives (done by volunteers) which were necessary to place the ordinance on the ballot. There are people in the community who are passionate about this issue and have donated to the cause. Their book-keeping is under more scrutiny than anyone else in the state right now, I think that's obvious.
Doctors (lots of doctors, really almost every legitimate health organization in America now supports medical marijuana) say that it's close enough to medicine to be used like it, and that it's safe enough for pretty much everyone (I can't say absolutely everyone- and this is why I support medical over legalization) to have access. It's safe for less sick people to use (which we allow as long as they have SOME medical condition and obey all the rules and regulations) and it is a flat out life saver for many. The National Institute of Health says it should no longer be schedule one- this is a big change in their position and shouldn't be taken for granted.
These people believe in helping people with cannabis- they make money doing it- but they can't make as much money as they could doing pretty much anything else because all dispensaries are non-profit organizations. If the dispensaries have enough business to stay afloat, then I guess there IS a need for that many dispensaries- the market dictates that, not your random guess about what sounds right.
Prop S is restrictive, and if we don't accept regulations like that, then based on San Diego's voting history of medical marijuana support, I believe that legalization isn't far off. Would you rather have that?
If you want to make the most money possible off of medical marijuana patients, allow dispensaries and store fronts. Otherwise, patients will still have access, because it is already voter approved, but the city won't profit. All these dispensary shenanigans are just an inconvenience to most patients, but they are a risk to the very seriously ill. Our state courts support medical marijuana, the medical establishment supports marijuana more and more every day, and I think a lot of California's voters do too.

October 2, 2012 at 1:50 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Medical Marijuana Dispensaries On The Ballot In Four Cities

One last thing, I swear!
Why allow store fronts if patients can get it other ways?
Because they allow a solution for patients who do not have a safe place to receive a delivery or to grow, these being their only other two options.
Store fronts are collectives of patients who donate to other patients who grow for them- exactly what is described by those who do not want store fronts- the only difference being that they have a sign and don't operate in someone's home.

More serious regulations can certainly be put in place that limit them, but eliminating store fronts really doesn't change much except for this:
The city makes less money off medical marijuana patients!! The store fronts paid rent, taxes, attracted business to areas, there were all sorts of ways that they paid money to the city that are now reduced. Why take less money from medical marijuana patients? It barely limits regular access, it's just an inconvenience and risk to the very seriously ill. There's no point in banning the shops other than appearances. Go ahead and take as much money from the medical marijuana patients as possible. If they all grow and share their own, we don't get the tax money!

October 2, 2012 at 1:06 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Medical Marijuana Dispensaries On The Ballot In Four Cities

I'm sorry, but when I hear outright falsehoods, I have to say something.
The medical marijuana page on the site should give those of you on either side of the fence some real information- no opinions, just facts presented in a pro/con format. It's important to inform yourself, because there have been many changes in the last few years that have led medical professionals to support marijuana more and more.
It certainly isn't traditional medicine, but the alternatives- constant pointless drug war that mirrors alcohol prohibition, or total legalization- are worse in my opinion.
Think about this- decriminalization means that marijuana users have fewer penalties now than ever for their use. Possession is now just a fine. Violating medical marijuana rules could be given much more harsh penalties.

Marijuana is not toxic or addictive, it definitely doesn't cause brain damage or mental illness (!!!!???!!!) and after many years of testing, doctors haven't been able to link it to cancer (though with cancer it is hard to know what causes it), but they have found that it may prevent head, neck and throat cancer and slow the metastasis of serious cancers. These are scientific facts. This doesn't mean that cannabis is harmless, side effect free, or that it's good for everyone. It just means that it is safe enough according to the standards that we use in this country for every known substance.

There is no tar in marijuana, just like there is no tar in tobacco. Tar is added by cigarette companies to make their product burn more smoothly; it is not naturally occurring in these plants. What you observe as "tar" is combustible material, which can be dangerous to lungs, but is extracted by devices that medical professionals insist that their patients use. Medical cannabis prescriptions are given for either 6 months or 1 year, they all expire after this time. The limit per month in California is 6 ounces. Different states vary in the monthly limit they allow.
The two largest groups that use medical marijuana are veterans and the elderly. The many young men you may have seen around San Diego dispensaries may be explained by the large military population we have here. Would you like to restrict the options that a veteran has to deal with his pain from injuries he sustained in the war? Also, though they make up a large portion of patients, you may not have seen the elderly at dispensaries because they feel more comfortable with a delivery service.
I hope San Diego will support the medical community in this election, and if they don't, I hope it's not because of lies they were told.

October 2, 2012 at 12:43 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Medical Marijuana Dispensaries On The Ballot In Four Cities

Hey, HealthFirst, I'd like to respond to some of what you've said.
The case that you are referring to was out of Long Beach, and the decision that you're talking about was actually overturned. So cities and counties cannot ban voter approved dispensaries according to the courts. In our state courts, medical marijuana is legal, access is allowed and cannot be banned. According to federal law it is still illegal, and a man in federal court for operating a dispensary according to state laws was recently given a sentence of probation. This light sentence shows that the court system probably finds marijuana prohibition to be on the level of alcohol prohibition, and definitely that they are no longer supportive of convicting medical marijuana users.

Now to the FDA. Consider vitamin supplements- on the package it says that the FDA has not given it their seal of safety, but does this mean that they do nothing or that they are dangerous? No, it simply means that they are not to be considered pharmaceutical drugs. Pharmaceutical drugs are the ones who must pass rigorous standards and testing. The FDA deals with a specific type of medicine that has more of people's trust than herbal remedies, and they are very successful because of this system. The FDA has attempted to make a pharmaceutical version of cannabis, and has failed miserably. The FDA just needs to put their warning on marijuana and let people decide if they want to risk it.
Since pharmacies can't distribute herbal products directly, they tend to sell them in the lobby of the pharmacy area. This could be done easily, or doctors could work with growers they trust to provide marijuana or edible products needed. Knowing the strain and growing history of the plant is very important, because the wrong strain can cause anxiety in some people. Thankfully there are strains that reliably don't cause these effects. A patient with psychological problems should proceed carefully not matter what, though- remember that pharmaceutical antidepressants can cause suicide.
Here is another important fact- You may "feel" differently at different potency and dose, but because of the dose/response ratio, a small amount is basically the same to your body as a large amount, the "potency" has no real affect and is largely psychological, not physiological.
The FDA doesn't have the final say about what people want to use as medicine, and they continue to defy medical marijuana because it leaves them out of the profits. Hospitals and doctors, however, can and want to be involved with and profit from people's use of cannabis.
Courts and the medical establishment are supporting marijuana- this means that some form of legalization is coming in the future. Do you want it to be highly regulated medically or sold like alcohol on every corner and in every bar?

October 1, 2012 at 11:44 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Medical Marijuana Dispensaries On The Ballot In Four Cities

The National Institute of Health (the organization that the government always defers to regarding marijuana) has very recently CHANGED its position on cannabis. They have issued a statement saying that the schedule 1 classification of marijuana (which makes it illegal even for medical use) is, and I quote, "not tenable" and that it should be moved to schedule 3. The NIH has been researching lung cancer effects with cannabis for 30 years, and they have concluded that it does not cause cancer, and may even have a preventative effect.
Nearly every health institute (including the Lymphoma Foundation of America and National Association for Public Health Policy) now agrees that cannabis NEEDS to be available to doctors nationwide. Some patients truly need it for cancer and multiple sclerosis, some of them will want it for insomnia. So, what to we do about those people we don't think really "need" it? Leave that up to doctors- their medical career is on the line.
The average age of a patient is 39. They all have to consult with a doctor about their condition, whatever it is, yearly. Marijuana use outside the home will still be illegal, and if the person is caught using outside, they will lose access to their medical privileges. Personal use, not sale, in home only, really puts no one else at risk.
Cannabis has been part of the criminal culture for a long time, and I know that worries people. But right now, all taxpayers are paying for this marijuana struggle. If there was a regulated market to collect money from marijuana users- this very money could be used to combat any crime that may result. Don't like "stoners?" Let them pay for their own legal, criminal, and health issues instead of insisting on paying for their use with your taxes!
Is it a "back door to legalization?" Well, I suppose, but here is how it is very different- the distributors are only allowed to be NON-PROFITS. This is the MOST important thing to consider. This means that those who want to sell marijuana will have their profits strictly limited, which decreases interest in sales on its own. Any profits are passed on to the city- this has made billions of dollars for CAs school system.
There are "tax and regulate like alcohol" initiatives on the ballots in three neighboring states this year. I believe medical cannabis is a much better option because of the non-profit structure and strict rules about who is eligible to purchase or sell it.
If it becomes a drug sold like alcohol, anyone off the street will have instant access and distributors will be the ones making billions instead of the city. If marijuana remains illegal, non-users will constantly be paying to keep a substance technically less dangerous than alcohol and cigarettes which doctors desperately want to be able to prescribe, off the streets. Your money is going to fund a battle that will never end! Elimination isn't possible, but control IS. Support medical. It's the conservative alternative to legalization.

October 1, 2012 at 9:46 p.m. ( | suggest removal )