Dr. Philip Delio, Santa Barbara County Medical Society president, missed the mark when he wrote (as quoted by Dr. David Bearman) that “marijuana should be subject to the same prescribing guidelines and regulations that would apply to any prescription drug.” [Voices, “Tax and Regulate,” 6/9/10] Cannabis is a natural herb and as such should not be subject to regulations created for laboratory developed medicines. There is clear legal precedent showing that natural herbs and nutritional supplements are not subject to the same FDA regulation as laboratory prepared drugs, whether they are prescription or over-the-counter. What he is proposing is not consistent with U.S. law or practice.

I do agree that there is confusion, since cannabis requires a doctor’s recommendation, but that is one of the reasons the law will be changed in California in November.—Dave Lane, Santa Cruz

• • •

The City of Santa Barbara does not have the legal right to grant an occupancy permit to an entity or business giving it permission to engage in an illegal activity. It is a federal crime to sell and distribute a non-FDA-approved drug, such as marijuana, to be used for medical purposes. It is illegal for those who do not possess a pharmacy license to sell and distribute prescribed drugs.

There is no law giving the city a mandate to establish “medical marijuana dispensaries.” There is no evidence, even, that the claimed “medical conditions” cannot be treated by FDA-approved and legal drugs. Keep the city out of the illegal drug business.

Some councilmembers’ suggestion to place the issue on the November ballot [News, “Dueling Pot Initiatives?” 6/10/10, independent.com/competingplanstovoteon] is a cop-out as to their responsibilities. A recall of those councilpersons voting for “medical marijuana dispensaries” should be placed on the ballot.—H.T. Bryan, S.B.

• • •

The mailer urging a ban on marijuana dispensaries claims that those in favor of the ban are a majority in the City of Santa Barbara, failing to recall that in 2006 the citizens of this community placed on the ballot and passed Measure P, which was supposed to make the enforcement of both state and federal marijuana offenses the lowest priority of the city police. The majority who voted for Measure P were almost double the minority who voted against it. Where was this so-called anti-pot “majority” on election day in 2006?

Our City Council has suffered a similar memory loss, with Helene Schneider and Bendy White even advocating another ballot contest which would in effect ask whether those who use marijuana should have both hands or only one tied behind their backs.—Tracy Fernandez, S.B.


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