Paul Wellman

The ‘Green Rush’ Is Crushed

Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Closed; Patients Left with Few Options

Thursday, March 21, 2013
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At this point, it is hard to imagine, but just a handful of years ago, Santa Barbara had more medical marijuana storefronts than it did Starbucks coffeehouses. Now, after a perfect storm of local government regulation and high-profile arrests ​— ​coupled with multiple rounds of federal raids on South Coast dispensaries and threats of property seizures ​— ​this county has gone the way of so many others in California: It is now a cannabis club–free zone. Whether you love them, hate them, or simply need one for help with a serious medical condition, the fact remains that there are no longer any legal dispensaries operating in Santa Barbara.

As senior city planner Danny Kato confirmed last week, “We now have zero medical marijuana dispensaries. I don’t know for certain about illegal ones, but I haven’t heard of any enforcement [issues] with those, either.” Moreover, according to Kato, what was once a healthy waiting list of would-be clubs seeking city approval is now nothing more than a blank page with no evidence of interest in joining the brick-and-mortar ganja game.

The real rub of this new dispensary-less landscape is the impact it’s had on the estimated 10,000-plus medical marijuana patients who call this county home, the men and women who, with a doctor’s recommendation and according to California state law, are legally able to use various cannabis-based medicines to treat a lengthy list of ailments like attention deficit disorder, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and insomnia. Without a storefront to safely and consistently secure their medicine, these folks are left with only three options: enter the black market and look for relief through an illegal drug dealer, grow their own, or seek out a collective to join, the latter often a clandestine operation run out of a residential neighborhood that doesn’t advertise and, by nature, is often hard not only to find but also to join.

“Basically, the people who are suffering most right now are exactly the types of patients that the voters of California were thinking about when they passed Prop. 215 back in 1996,” said Dr. David Bearman last week of the Compassionate Use Act. A family physician based out of Goleta, Bearman, who is widely considered one of the nation’s foremost authorities on marijuana medicines, continued, “The very sick, the elderly, and those with little to no experience with recreational use of cannabis have been left to fend for themselves [in Santa Barbara]. It is a truly unfortunate and difficult situation.”

By Paul Wellman

State lawmakers are working to better define what a legally operating dispensary or collective should look like.

Personal Case Study

As fate would have it, I recently found myself living the fallout of the very situation Bearman talked about. After a scary run of bad health late last year, I ended up in Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and was subsequently diagnosed with a fairly serious and rare condition called transverse myelitis. It wreaks havoc on my nervous system and messes with my ability to do simple things like walk and pee and use my hands, and, best of all, modern medicine has no real idea about what causes it or even how to consistently treat it.

Needless to say, my life has changed a fair bit in recent months, and those changes include all sorts of doctors’ appointments both in town and with “experts” in Los Angeles, a gnarly drug regimen, some occasionally ass-kicking chronic pain, and a future that looks more and more like it will include some sort of diagnosis of an auto-immune disease and an accompanying long-term immuno-modifying drug therapy. During this nightmarish whirlwind, I have, on more than one occasion, had straight-shooting doctors point out to me the potential usefulness of medical marijuana.

It seems, for everything from pain relief to helping offset some of the wickedness associated with my high-dosage steroid prescription to fighting inflammation to the positive effects cannabis is believed to have on protecting otherwise deteriorating neurological systems, ganja (pardon the pun) is evergreen. The only problem, given the current state of affairs in Santa Barbara, is that actually securing ​— ​or scoring, if you will ​— ​said relief through legal channels has been anything but easy. In fact, despite being The Santa Barbara Independent’s on-again/off-again “pot” reporter for much of the past decade, it has, until recently, been virtually impossible. But Rite Aid ​— ​the place that dishes me the highly addictive pain meds that medical marijuana proves to be a marvelous stand-in for ​— ​remains right around the corner from both my house and my office.

Into the Void

“I would expect that patients who rely on medicinal marijuana are finding ways to get it locally. How, exactly, I have no idea,” speculated Mayor Helene Schneider last week. Explaining that things have been “very quiet” in terms of complaints from medical marijuana patients (as well as medical marijuana critics) since the dispensaries went dark in the wake of the feds’ most recent raids last May, Schneider said she figured patients are simply using a presumed network of collectives to get their medicine, a system that she admits the city has no real authority over and thus very little knowledge about.

As per 2003’s California Senate Bill 420 (a k a the Medical Marijuana Program Act), a “collective” is essentially a group of people ​— ​with doctor permission ​— ​who cultivate and combine their own meds. What exactly such an outfit looks like or how it works varies greatly, but in basic terms, it often features a gathering of patients who share the costs of one to three growers who in turn provide medical marijuana via informal distribution. As per guidelines issued by then–attorney general Jerry Brown in 2008, a collective must be a nonprofit, include only verifiably legal patients, and never source or distribute its medicine outside membership ranks. And so, in order to function properly, a collective has no real need for a storefront (though dispensaries often claim “collective” status), and thus they are often run out of people’s homes.

Because, by nature, they are more tight-knit than, say, a standard dispensary, collectives rarely seek new members publicly, let alone openly advertise their existence. Add to this the fact that doctors making medical marijuana recommendations are legally prevented from advising their patients where they can purchase their healing herb or how they might join an established collective, and you have an end result that is anything but user-friendly for patients, especially new ones.

“At this point, you better hope you know somebody already in a collective, have a connection to one, or know how to navigate the Internet pretty well to find a delivery service,” said Bearman of what it now takes to get medical marijuana in the Santa Barbara area. “It’s that, or you wind up on the black market.”

Interestingly enough, even the delivery services referenced by Bearman ​— ​of which there are roughly a half-dozen between Summerland and Solvang ​— ​are anything but legally clear. Falling under the “collective” classification, these door-to-door services, using the Internet and telephone as their primary contact, approve patients’ picks from an online menu before emailing or phoning in their orders. Then, generally within 24 to 36 hours, a driver brings the meds to doorsteps. And while these services run the gamut from mom-and-pop operations to more sophisticated affairs that offer delivery throughout Southern California, most of them are little more than reimagined versions of now-shuttered dispensaries, albeit with lower profiles and overhead costs.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity earlier this month, a grower for one such group who used to make a living growing for dispensaries said: “Not much has really changed in terms of how we go about our actual business ​— ​same strains of weed, lots of the same patients, basically the same prices. We have just had to crawl back under a rock, so to speak.”

Smoked Out

The delivery model ​— ​not technically part of the city’s medical marijuana ordinance ​— ​is ripe for breaking both state and federal law, said Santa Barbara City Attorney Stephen Wiley. Noting that SB 420 clears no definitive legal space for transporting marijuana in a car, Wiley said last week, “I think that someone who merely delivers medical marijuana to your door for money and a tip would have a hard time proving that he or she qualifies as a ‘primary caregiver’ to a ‘qualified patient.’” He went on to add, “Most municipal lawyers (and a few private lawyers) that I know are advising their clients that a medical marijuana delivery service remains a possible (even probable) criminal violation of the state Health and Safety Code.”

Santa Barbara City Attorney Stephen Wiley said recently: “I think that someone who merely delivers medical marijuana to your door for money and a tip would have a hard time proving that he or she qualifies as a ‘primary caregiver’ to a ‘qualified patient.’”
Click to enlarge photo

Paul Wellman (file)

Santa Barbara City Attorney Stephen Wiley said recently: “I think that someone who merely delivers medical marijuana to your door for money and a tip would have a hard time proving that he or she qualifies as a ‘primary caregiver’ to a ‘qualified patient.’”

Santa Barbara police spokesperson Sergeant Riley Harwood said this week that little has changed for his department since the closure of the clubs and the advent of the delivery/neighborhood collective era. Echoing the mayor’s assessment, Harwood said the police department receives roughly one complaint a month about delivery operations, a number not very different from a few years ago, and that often, after the Narcotics Section investigates, it finds there are no actual crimes being committed.

“We just don’t get many complaints about that sort of stuff,” said Harwood. Trouble arises, he said, when outfits get too large and push the limits of SB 420 and the spirit of the attorney general’s guidelines. “Collectives aren’t new to the landscape for us. We did our homework on them at the same time that we were investigating dispensaries,” Harwood explained. “What we have found again and again is that when they are small ​— ​we are talking just a handful of people ​— ​they are generally operating as they are supposed to. However, none of the larger operators have we found to be lawful. They either couldn’t make it work once their numbers grew, or they had no intention of following the rules from the start.”

Now What?

It turns out Santa Barbara’s medical marijuana patients aren’t alone in their limited ways to get medicine. According to Kris Hermes from Americans for Safe Access, a medical marijuana advocacy group based in Oakland, more than 500 clubs have shut down since the Department of Justice started its crackdown on California dispensaries in October 2011. These efforts, light on arrests and prosecutions but heavy on raids and threats of seizures, have been so effective that ​— ​despite the 50 city and county ordinances on the books throughout California (including the City and County of Santa Barbara) that define what it takes to legally run a dispensary in a particular municipality ​— ​there are no longer any operating storefront dispensaries between Los Angeles County and Oakland.

And while he admitted with a chuckle, “It certainly hasn’t been good times lately,” Hermes remains confident that better days are ahead, buoyed by local ordinances and recent efforts by government officials in San Diego and Oakland and Mendocino to push back against federal tactics. “Just as it was with the Bush administration, this very aggressive attempt to undermine California’s state law by the Obama administration will prove to be temporary,” said a defiant Hermes.

At the state level, lawmakers continue to better define what a legally operating dispensary or collective should look like, which, if ever achieved, would go a long way toward remedying what plagues regulators and operators alike. Right now, San Francisco’s State Assemblymember Tom Ammiano is once again working on a bill, as are State Senators Mark Leno and Darrell Steinberg. And, while both efforts are in the early stages, they provide hope for a problematic situation that is long overdue for a solution.

As Santa Barbara’s State Assemblymember Das Williams recently put it: “No matter your viewpoint, be it in support of or against medical marijuana, the current state of affairs is disastrous disarray in the State of California.”

In the meantime, for us here in Santa Barbara (myself included), it seems that a road trip to L.A. or Oakland, growing your own medical marijuana, or finding a delivery-based collective to join are your only legal options for finding relief ​— ​growing necessitating a certain skill set and the luxury of time, and finding a collective requiring you to scour the Internet and then open your home to whomever you find.

Such is life in a town where, as Dr. Bearman put it: “We don’t really mind that people are using medicinal marijuana. We just don’t want to see it.”


Independent Discussion Guidelines

'But Rite Aid ​— ​the place that dishes me the highly addictive pain meds that medical marijuana proves to be a marvelous stand-in for ​— ​remains right around the corner from both my house and my office.'
This sentence says more about how this country works(¡) than it does about Marijuana. Ever live in a neighborhood with a liquor store on the corner every few blocks? Nice, huh?

spacey (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 12:31 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Every elected official who played a part in this war on the voters and cannabis dispensaries should be ashamed:
Salud Carbajal, Dale Francisco, Janet Wolfe, Marty Blum, Frank Hotchkiss, Pedro Nava, Michael Self, Joe Armendariz, Dianne Feinstein, Randy Rowse and a few more to be sure.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 3:12 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I've said (wrote) it before, go the Pharmaceutical route and secure the the patent for selling either pill or a vapor product in a self-contained facility with medical disposal and the Law can't touch you in Court but no one with pharmaceutical background has yet to make this happen. The Advertising department can even use a rustic shack appearance as a store front to give people that homely feel.

dou4now (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 5:02 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Until pot plants become a patented cultivar with license fees and royalty payments, the crimininal-medical-industrial complex backed by Big Pharma will keep messing up everything.

Support local agriculture.

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 8:22 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Ethan, thanks for your excellent and truthful piece, long overdue.
Sorry this is so darn long.
Your story sounds very much like the start of my own journey two decades ago, during which time I've suffered many difficulties but also obtained the great relief that medical marijuana provides for my many and very serious ailments.
Not anymore though, thanks to a few local sadists!
You know who you are and I'm calling you out. I've written to at least one of you. If you try to argue with me, fine, but I know history, and scientific truth. And I'm NOT alone anymore.
Like too many who have been directly and sadistically affected by our local authoritarians, all I want is to live out my remaining years in peace, which is why I rarely comment on this issue, or anything else. Yet I've personally known Dr. Bearman for years, as well as many others in the medical cannabis movement here and in the state itself.
I have helped produce a book about Federal Cannabis research patients (yes, there are four left nationally). It is called "My Medicine," by Irwin Rosenfeld, a Florida stockbroker, available everywhere, especially online. Check it out. (I get no money or royalties, in case you're a cynic.)
The crazed opposition of extreme right-wing wingnuts here in Santa Barbara County is based on politically ginned-up fear-mongering and the same old ignorant nonsense that hasn't changed at all since the racist lies of Harry Anslinger in 1937.
I suppose many of our cash-strapped politicians need contributions from this fringe, or think they do. But just maybe the better angels of our nature are waking up again, as evidenced by this cover story. I simply wish a few more compassionate souls still lived here!
With far more relevance to the safety of this community and its children, something else has also happened as a result of this terrible and paranoid attack on the sick and the elderly. Many of these self-satisfied locals and their political cronies are too willfully blind to see the very obvious and immense increase in alcohol consumption, especially by the young. The cruel crackdown has had serious (and, for some, highly lucrative) unintended consequences. These anti-pot monsters keep approving more liquor stores and maybe we can only hope that they will end up drinking themselves to death soon, after being responsible in no small way for the innocent victims they have perverted, or even caused the death of, with their misguided stupidity.
I have seen a HUGE upsurge in binge drinking here in I.V. since this unconscionable local crackdown. No one seems to be doing much to educate these young folks and school them in the actual TRUTH about EVERY drug they come across, including alcohol. I don't blame kids who think we have been lying, because WE HAVE BEEN, for decades.
Only a completely ignorant and hateful individual would equate alcohol and marijuana, just for starters.

geodel23 (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 1:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I've listed those individuals above, and you can add DA Joyce Dudley who seems to have no qualms about ruining lives to further her career.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 2:04 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I would add to Geodel's comment by saying I knew a woman who smoked a lot of pot and on rare occasions, drank. When she was stoned she would get tired and fall asleep, but when she drank she turned into a raving lunatic. How many calls for the cops go like "my husband is attacking me, he's high on pot" vs. domestic abuse calls for drinking?

billclausen (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 3:35 p.m. (Suggest removal)

It is a shame that people like Ethan are being prevented from obtaining medicine, because clearly marijuana has medicinal use. The problem however is that the governments response to dispensaries in California is a reaction to, right or wrong, its determination that there are those using the medical marijuana law to use marijuana recreationally (still illegal) and to make profits (still illegal). Don't the doctors that are handing out recommendations to anyone who walks in the door with $500 and the dispensaries who are in it to make money carry some if not almost all the blame for the current problem?

johnny123 (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 3:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

It's more than a shame! It's criminal, in and of itself.
There is something called the Compassionate Use law, passed in the last century by CA voters. I agree with the poster above, however, that this fuss is going to look as silly as, oh, Prop 8 does today—A stupid, pedantic fight over definitions; meanwhile the suffering that the voters hoped to ameliorate is even greater. I doubt live I'll live to see the inevitable vindication of my position.

geodel23 (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 4:29 p.m. (Suggest removal)

And while people wring their hands, this scientific research regarding the positive effects of marijuana against cancer is rapidly becoming verified across the board.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 5:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Preach it Brother Ken.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 8:29 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If I could drink liquor I would and I wouldn't feel no pain..But other people would people whom I have injured under the infulence of alcohol, they are many..I'm outright friggen crazy when I drink. But not when I smoke weed I may have pain but I really don't care about the pain when I smoke weed. I too take muscle relaxers when I have to I have health problems I'm an old fart and I hurt that is all anybody needs to know. Don't like it talk to my woodchipper!

Byrd (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 8:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I dread the thought of managing my medical problems without cannabis, one of those problems caused by a pharmaceutical.

byronsnake (anonymous profile)
March 22, 2013 at 8:46 a.m. (Suggest removal)

As long as the ignorant religious fueled moral police play any part in policy, we'll be at the mercy of their naivete and ignorance. These people are no more inclined to offer opinions than any one of the homeless bums who hang out on State St. yet they seem to wield an untold amount of power. These ignoramuses are equally as moronic in both their chosen faith and their insistence of inserting themselves into the public policy debate but whats worse is how our politicians chose to listen to their babble over the voices of their constituency.

iamsomeguyinsb (anonymous profile)
March 22, 2013 at 11:21 a.m. (Suggest removal)

SB government’s efforts to obstruct access to legal medicine are one aspect of local government policy that includes lack of interest in SBPD’s policy of allowing officers in good standing to illegally possess narcotics for use in fabricating heroin possession and sales charges against innocent residents. Schneider's statement that she's unaware of SB's status regarding compliance with California law in providing medical cannabis patients access to legal medicine is a welcome admission of SB's lack of responsibility in implementing CA law.
The fact is that Schneider, the entire city council, city administrator and city attorney (including Das Williams, excluding Randy Rowse, who was participating in illegal lobbying by SB Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse) are controlled by POA campaign funding and income from arrests and asset forfeiture to the extent that they threw out the AG's statement supporting patients' access to medicine and replaced it with one representing a police state in its support for the arrest and conviction of cannabis users, tacked Jerry Brown's name on it, then supported Francisco's use of this fiction in corrupting the legally mandated oversight process by forwarding it to the County Grand Jury as a basis for their report on mmj dispensaries.
The information regarding local access to medical cannabis shouldn’t be corrected in the media. Law-abiding citizens have had more than enough evidence of the importance of protecting themselves from criminals in government.

14noscams (anonymous profile)
March 22, 2013 at 11:44 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Please do some research 14nos. Schneider, Murillo and House at the very least have been very supportive of dispensaries and medi marijuana patients, as has Doreen Farr on the Board of Supes and Williams.
I know. I've attended council meetings in which the topic was debated.
Check the list of peops above for an accurate accounting of who is responsible and who is not.
Obviously I'm a huge supporter of medicinal marijuana but blindly throwing mud at the wall gets us nowhere.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 22, 2013 at 11:52 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Ken-Volok: Please do some research on this. The mmj ordinance written by Danny Kato has been removed from the city's website and the city clerk's office. The Grand Jury hasn't responded to the fact that their report was based on disinformation, but I've distributed many copies. I attended city council meetings and provided my 2 minutes of public comment more than once, and have distributed copies of patents for medical mmj uses issued to the US Department of Health and Human Services (incompatible with Schedule 1 drug status) to many in the community. Murillo wasn't a cc member during discussions of this issue. Murillo, Schneider, and Grant House
supported investigation of police corruption, concealed the fact that destruction of forged Trombetta releases by SBPD was a violation of city records retention law as well as CA law, removed the records retention code from the website and city clerk's office, then repealed it as a consent calendar item with no discussion. Actions speak louder than words.
County mmj cards allow mmj patients to transport mmj for use by mmj patients with no qualifications regarding collective membership or caregiver status. Concentrated cannabis is legal mmj based on a 2003 AG Bill Lockyer decision. I haven't answered phone calls from the DEA because I really have nothing to discuss with them.

14noscams (anonymous profile)
March 22, 2013 at 12:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

How do you know they concealed evidence? They didn't do a very good job if you know about it. And if so why reserve the story as an anonymous blog post? Easy to hurl accusations under pseudonym, provide some solid evidence with sources and people will take you seriously.
Otherwise this is the type of wingnuttism the mmj movement does NOT need.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 22, 2013 at 12:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The stoners did this to themselves. It was totally out of control and above the radar. I heard of doctors selling cards, all sorts of shenanigans. Plus were the medical needs so great that 10 dispensaries needed to open? Wow that is a lot of sick people! The whole medical thing was ruined because the recreational had easy access to reefers after it was accepted. And all the sudden, weed cures everything! Righht....will it wash my car too?

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
March 22, 2013 at 3:45 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Bimboteskie, your bigotry betrays you.
If medical needs aren't so great why do we have multiple CVS, Rite-Aid and other opharmacies in town? Let's linmit those to three than Francisco, Rowse, Nava, Blum, and Carbajal can shut those down too.
You can argue with the scientists on their research, but may I ask if you believe in gravity because your arguments have none.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 22, 2013 at 4:27 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ken_Volok: I know the ordinance written by Kato was destroyed because the format I saved it in and printed it was either Word or PDF, and I decided I should also save it in HTML format that included the city website info. I couldn't find it online, so I went to city hall and was told by the city clerk that there was no copy in their office and was referred to Kato for a copy, but I didn't ask him. I know this was the reference for the GJ report because the GJ report refers to the statement that wasn't made by Jerry Brown and isn't in his published Guidelines. I made a statement of these facts at a cc meeting that's recorded in the video of the meeting, along with my name. Kato commented that the GJ had no problem with the issue. I made another public comment statement at another cc meeting regarding Francisco's lies concerning the origin of the mmj program and the people involved in circulating the Prop 215 ballot initiative petition and Francisco's allegation that these original supporters never envisioned mmj use for other than terminal AIDS and cancer, that providing medicine for such a small population didn't justify the number of dispensaries under consideration, and therefore the number of SB dispensaries at the time were selling cannabis for recreational use. The list of conditions qualifying for use of mmj is identical to the SB 420 list, and both end with "any other condition that cannabis helps" (approx. wording). Other people I know spoke to Schneider & cc members. We were all ignored - these issues received no response from city government other than the usual - "You're time is up; next speaker, please" from Mayor Schneider. You may not have been aware of this, but the people in a position to act on the info I posted above are aware of it and also know that my name is on record as the person making the statements I repeated above (including GJ members). I haven't posted anything I can't document.

14noscams (anonymous profile)
March 22, 2013 at 5:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ken_Volok: I forgot - there was no public response by cc, but I emailed Grant House re Francisco's statement, with no response. A friend talked to Das Williams, who said the cc policy
was based on long-term partisan planning; playing chess, not checkers, and Nick Welsh included this analogy in one of his columns.

14noscams (anonymous profile)
March 22, 2013 at 5:50 p.m. (Suggest removal)

14noscams: I'm not at all surprised partisan gamesmanship is more important to people's lives for many of these people. It's disgusting.

Bimboteskie: Here's more far out info from NBC news regarding the anticancer benefits of cannabis:

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 22, 2013 at 5:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ken_Volok: My after-the-fact interpretation of "long-term partisan planning" is that it's a euphemism for POA endorsement and campaign contributions.

14noscams (anonymous profile)
March 22, 2013 at 6:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I personally avoid Drugs, legal or not because of the Catch-22 in using them.

I do admit to using a low dose aspirin daily along with an old fart multi-vitamin and glucosamine chondroitin. I also enjoy a very moderate use of alcohol.

I have studied medical data on Mary Jane and really don’t see why it should not be available from your local Drug Store.

We have created a strange system of State run Drugs, follow the money, when my Father was dying IV Morphine was a used in the hospital but when his wife died 48 days later at home with liver cancer, Hospice only offered oral Opiates which were many, many times less effective. No reason they could not have put a line in her and allowed us to use IV Opiates. I would say she suffered much more than her husband and I do mean suffered. My Father-in-Law, the same thing only oral Opiates at home. Terminally ill people should all have access to IV Opiates, in the hospital or in the care of their families. I am not sure I would want Hospice at home after seeing two people pass without IV Opiates.

Current Medical Policies in this Country make no logical sense. It revolves around controlling the Money more than addressing the Patient.

No doubt the crap we consume adds to and creates many of our medical issues. Back when I drank soda, I did not realize the amount of sodium and modified plastic sugars I was putting in my body or gluten, talk about dumping inflammatory substances into my body that could have resulted in many medical issues down the line.

Regulations don’t Work. Education does and we don’t do enough of it. Stress is another major factor in our health along with the plastic food.

Today’s society is all about Centralized Control and the Crony Capitalists that pay for the ear of Government.

I don’t know if Pot is a miracle drug like common Aspirin has been for over 100 years but it surely seems that it ought to be a therapy available from your local RX.

Hell if a doctor can prescribe Oxy, Pot certainly should be available.

The quality of human life is really diminishing with all these attempts to control the whole experience from cradle to the grave.

The War on Drugs, don't get be started, when your war lasts over 35 years and you still can't win, it's time to question what you are fighting for and what freedoms you have lost in the process.

howgreenwasmyvalley (anonymous profile)
March 25, 2013 at 12:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

HGMV, the reason current medical policies don't make sense is because politicians keep wanting to play doctor.
Great post btw, thank you for sharing.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 25, 2013 at 12:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Try meditation and stick with it - safer, cheaper and more effective. It cures you, rather than covers things up.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
March 25, 2013 at 6:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)

foofighter: It's hard to make a case for "covering things up" with cannabis use, since our bodies are designed with cannabinoid receptors.

The current political situation regarding cannabis hasn't changed much since Harry Anslinger's days, when the federal record recorded the fact that AMA -licensed MD's didn't recognize the racial slur "marijuana" as the cannabis they were using in medical research.
Meditation is great, not more effective for treating Alzheimer's,
diabetes and cancer than cannabinoid-based medicine.
Anyone growing medical cannabis for personal or residential collective use - my experience is that if $4K worth of legal plants are stolen and reported, SBPD won't send an officer out without mention of your attorney, fingerprints and footprints aren't investigated, and no police report is filed. Also, SBPD and SBCO have confiscated and destroyed thousands of legal mmj plants grown in green houses and indoors. I hope Ethan's mmj access problem has improved as a result of this article.

14noscams (anonymous profile)
March 27, 2013 at 11:19 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I tell you chase out of office every politician who keeps the craziness going. They are obviously either:
(A) too misinformed/intellectually incapable of governing properly.
(B) too corrupt to be allowed to stay in office.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 27, 2013 at 11:45 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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