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Thursday, March 28, 2013
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Congratulations to the folks who vilify marijuana, be they police, feds, local government officials, drug company propagandists, or just self-righteous narrow-minded do-gooders.

By closing down all the medical marijuana dispensaries you have been successful in preventing thousands of people who daily endure excruciating long-term pain from being helped by a healthy medicinal weed that people in Colorado can legally grow in their gardens. One of the most common symptom of unrelenting pain is chronic depression that is its’ own living hell and can result in death by suicide.

The law-abiding citizens of Santa Barbara and other locales must now either become criminals by buying pot illegally or spend thousands of dollars on more dangerous prescription drugs that are addictive and usually cause much worse side effects.

Does anyone wonder where all that seized weed went? Was it burned or sold? Wherever it went, thousands are suffering in ways they would not have to do if this city and our country weren’t so puritanical and backwards. But I guess as long as alcohol is easily available and the drug companies happily enrich themselves at our expense, we shouldn’t worry.

This letter was amended on March 29 to correct an editor's confusion: The writer's intended meaning was that unrelenting pain (which marijuana relieves) can cause chronic depression leading to suicide. She did not mean that marijuana relieves depression.

Comments

Independent Discussion Guidelines

Hey Joanna, it is legal in California to grow your own weed. Just sayin'

skaterspoint (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 10:50 a.m. (Suggest removal)

So do pot growers and sellers provide it out of the goodness of their heart or do they enrich themselves at the consumer's expense as well?

Botany (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 11:25 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Botany your argument is desperate at best. When the pharmeceutical companies start handing out their drugs for free then you can present this argument. Until then you're just a whiny lil nanny.
And yes skaterspoint, one can legally grow in California.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 12:14 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I didn't make an argument, I just asked a question. (but could you tell from my voice that I was whining?)

Botany (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 12:53 p.m. (Suggest removal)

A different choice of words would give a better impression.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 1:18 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Just using the author's words Ken.

Botany (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 1:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

You may not realize that by law dispensaries are supposed to run on a nonprofit basis, being able to make enough to pay employees, rent etc. No other pharmaceutical company and certainly no bar if one insists on including alcohol is put under this requirement.
I personally think all pharma companies should be nonprofit, an idea I got from a local Conservative- one of the few worthy of the term.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 1:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ken_Volok: Non-profits associated with pharmaceutical companies and university bio-medical research are a rapidly expanding industry. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21...
Non-profit doesn't imply low income, it's defined by the primary purpose of the business - to provide its particular product or service, rather than to maximize income, and requires that income above expenses is reinvested in the business. Almost all of the CEOs of non-profit organizations lobbying against mmj dispensary operators and stating that mmj-related non-profit staff were legally required to work as volunteers had annual incomes of $100K-$200K.

14noscams (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 2:27 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Botany: I don't know if every local dispensary operated on this basis, but many had a policy of providing free medicine to members unable to afford payment. I'm not aware of anyone with an mmj prescription who wasn't able to obtain medical cannabis based on cost.
Related trivia - the city of Sacramento's income from taxing sales of mmj in 2010 was $552,000, less than the projected $1 million due to DEA raids.

14noscams (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 2:42 p.m. (Suggest removal)

So medical marijuana must be cheap then if no one is making any money at it. Is that correct? What's the going price for 1 oz. of good quality medical marijuana?

Botany (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 2:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Yes I'm well aware of those CEOs. They're a disgrace. Are we allowed to list them or their orgs?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 2:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

good question botany. everybody always wonders if they are paying too much.

lawdy (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 2:53 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I think some people are assigning their materialistic values to others.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 3:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

another subsidized industry that makes us sicker than pot:
junk food. Let them and the animals they eat feast on corn. Cheaper, faster, more profit for a few people (corporations).

spacey (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 3:13 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ken_Volok: Non-profits are required to make their IRS Form 990 returns (same as 1040) available to the public, so YES. Guidestar.com, Charitynavigator.com, many other sites have many org.'s 990's posted, this isn't mandatory - inspection at their offices is legal, but the info is public domain.
"Drug warriors also have a strong economic incentive to fight legalization. “The money [from the federal war on drugs] is just too big for police departments through grants and asset seizures,” explained (ret. Deputy Chief of Police, LAPD, Stephen) Downing of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. “The state prison population is going down for the first time ever, but the federal prison population is increasing. All of that has to do with money.”"
http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/...

14noscams (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 4:38 p.m. (Suggest removal)

14noscams,
I was talking about the CEOs etc who showed up at the City Council meeting to attack cancer patients.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 4:48 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ken_Volok: DO IT: I did some of this a few years ago, but it was probably lost in the noise. My biggest issue is the public non-profit CEO's who essentially wrote the dispensary ordinances, had private meetings with council members and rallies, who were violating federal law banning lobbying, and who contract with the city for court-ordered services resulting from cannabis arrests, a "follow the money" disincentive re mmj.

14noscams (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 5:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I'll never forget Frank Hotchkiss' surprised schoolgirl act. he gave everyone the impression he was going to be raional and sane, then when the right-wing police group (there's a liberal one too!) stated they were against it, this was surprising information to him. Is he really that out of it? Or just a failed drama queen who was able to sucker some voters?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 5:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"Bloomberg business news said that marijuana could eventually be upward of a $110 billion industry in the United States. That's right: on par with the domestic beer market." Media Awareness Project, http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v13/n0...

Santa Barbara elected officials prefer cannabis arrests, taxing residents to build another jail, and bankruptcy due to public safety pension liability increased by corrections staff. Colorado & Washington are encouraging.

14noscams (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 5:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Well, since no one answered my question, I decided to research it myself. An ounce of weed varies from between $150-300 per ounce.

https://legalmarijuanadispensary.com/...

Assuming that each dispensary sells more than a few ounces each month, someone is making some serious coin on these sales. It may be non-profit or not-for-profit for some, but there are definitely people making a killing on this stuff.

Where's your contempt for these 1%'ers Ken? They probably aren't paying taxes on the profits either.

Botany (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 9:39 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@ Botany, as Italiansurg likes to say, "What've you been smoking?" -- and, you really need to take your research to a higher level, investigate bongs, volcanoes, all the critical paraphernalia which also form an essential part of your toking study...
but seriously, follow the Colorado/Washington examples and legalize it further, regulate it, tax the heck out of, and eliminate the criminal part...
if you want to do some truly serious in the field research just wait around for the next panga that washes up on our local beaches with hundreds of pounds of the packaged stuff: just west of Refugio State Beach is a good place to start, I'd get there early in the morning

DrDan (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 10:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I would like to go backwards...to before 1937...when marijuana was legal.

It's an embarrassment that the people of this country haven't voted out the foolish politicians who criminalize people who use marijuana--and insult is added to injury by the fact that none of these people oppose the use--or even say anything against--alcohol which is much more harmful.

Prohibition of alcohol didn't work, and likewise, the drug war has failed. The fact that we even have to have this conversation shows the true contextual meaning of the word "backwards" as in how backwards thinking in this country is.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 10:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I'll just rely on your extensive research Dan.

Botany (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 10:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I agree with you on this one, Bill.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
March 29, 2013 at 12:22 a.m. (Suggest removal)

“The availability of huge federal anti-drug grants incentivises departments to pay for SWAT team armor and weapons, and leads our police officers to abandon real crime victims in our communities in favor of ratcheting up their drug arrest stats,” said former Los Angeles Deputy Chief of Police Stephen Downing. Downing is now a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, an advocacy group of cops and prosecutors who are calling for an end to the drug war.

“When our cops are focused on executing large-scale, constitutionally questionable raids at the slightest hint that a small-time pot dealer is at work, real police work preventing and investigating crimes like robberies and rapes falls by the wayside,” Downing said."
There is also a minimum number of county jail inmates necessary for SBCO to qualify for federal grants.
We pay for law enforcement and county jail costs and LE gets a free toy. Compensation to counties under CA prison realignment was based on number of county jail inmates. Santa Barbara ranked 11 out of 58 CA counties in incarceration rate/100,000 population in 2010, and 41 out of 58 in overall crime rate. http://casi.cjcj.org/?q=technical/ass...
"High use: The 18 counties that take up more prison space and money than their violent crime rates justify. These counties are spread across the state, including Santa Barbara and San Bernardino, as well as Santa Clara and Shasta." Tough on Crime on the State's Dime". David Ball Santa Clara School of Law, June 28, 2011.
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cf...
Decriminalize cannabis? Legal mmj dispensaries?

14noscams (anonymous profile)
March 29, 2013 at 11:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Botany don't ever claim any expertise or wisdom at running any kind of a business for or without profit, especially with the rents in this town.
Your rather Marxist definition of one percenters is quite hilar.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 30, 2013 at 12:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Why not? I have a business. You're just a frustrated loser.

Botany (anonymous profile)
March 30, 2013 at 7:21 a.m. (Suggest removal)

you guys sound like JohnLocke and me on another thread! Remember when you asked us "to be nice", Ken?
And Botany, your fake query, oh, then "sellers provide it out of the goodness of their heart "? as well as your snide ref "I'll leave it to your extensive research" to me reveals you as a pious handwringer, defender of the 1% and... just keep hiking up Rattlesnake Cyn., eh?
To the point of the article: mj does really help some people, particularly those enduring cancer treatments (which I have) who lose their appetites and the weed gives 'em the munchies which helps them survive. I call that medicine, and organic natural stuff, besides. At the same time, the governments' overlapping jurisdictions (federalism, it's covered in one of the main Articles in the Constitution) have created confusion and thus loopholes and thus opportunities for scamming and making huge profits, much of that illegal.
Let's have full legalization, no moralization (Botany!), purify the product, sell it at CVS, tax the living bejesus out of it (sin tax)...and let's move on.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
March 30, 2013 at 8:08 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I foresee the day when my CVS receipt says:

"Extracare Coupon: $3 off your next purchase of marijuana"

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
March 30, 2013 at 10:20 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Beck says it for me

http://vimeo.com/17098703

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 30, 2013 at 12:41 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Here's a twist - legalize, regulate, and tax it, BUT also mandate that users be sterilized.

Yeah, sterilized. Shouldn't affect terminal patients, would discourage recreational users, and would weed out "medicinal potheads" from the gene pool.

Sothep (anonymous profile)
March 30, 2013 at 10:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

How about we sterilize self-righteous prohibitionists and Brown Shirts.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 30, 2013 at 10:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I think perhaps the most galling thing, the most difficult aspect to swallow of this issue for people like Marty Blum, Dale Francisco, salud Carbajal and Frank Hotchkiss is the inherent message "We don't need you.".
We don't you and assorted commentators to tell us what medications to take, and if someone does "abuse" a med, we question your authority and propriety to prevent someone from doing so.
I'll say it right here. We the people don't need you to tell us how to govern our lives.
We don't need you.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 30, 2013 at 11:27 p.m. (Suggest removal)

assuming you're sarcastic, Sothep... if not, when writing (pun?) that you "would weed out 'medicinal potheads' from the gene pool" maybe you don't know how wicked and nasty eugenics was, & KV's Brown Shirts comment would fit you.
Ken, I'd say that if the "abuse" of a med harms other people then government does need to intervene (DUIs and rules vs. drunk driving, BC agrees here), but absent that, yes, my libertarian side agrees with you.
What about H-B Jackson's proposed law to prevent children in state-funded day care centers from watching more an an hour of TV @ day in those centers?? I'm all for that.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
March 30, 2013 at 11:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)

We have to define TV to be honest. Are we talking about a film like "Fantasia" or maybe even the 1933 "King Kong" being shown (without commercials) vs a commercial broadcast. the key is the advertising.

No advertising and cultural/artistic significance, let'em watch 8 hours of it. Advertising content, zero seconds.

When I was in summer school as a child one of the highlights was a screening of the '33 "Kong". I think fellow students were as thrilled as I was plus; it reenforced my own interest in the art of filmmaking and maybe other students' interests in art as well, but at the very least a kid didn't walk away from that film intellectually stimulated.

In HS classes we saw "Grapes of Wrath:" and "Hamlet" as well as "Star Wars and "The Sting" and Charlie Chaplin. Invaluable cultural experiences. If Hannah Beth Jackson wishes to deny children and young adults and especially budding artists these experiences she can cross me off her friends list right now.

I am will not countenance PC censorship anymore than cryptofascist/ pseudo Christian censorship.
She already has a blackmark in the free speech category imho.

If she's operating on the 100 yo bias against moving pictures she will indeed set herself up for embarassment.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 31, 2013 at 12:08 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I should have been more explicit: she's talking about kids 3-5, and in fact the bill would ban "facing screens"....
You are aware that Am kids watch well over 7 hours of screen stuff per day!! Whatever the quality, that cannot be wholly positive. And I doubt much of it is the quality stuff you are referencing.
Take a look at Lanier's YOU ARE NOT A GADGET on this.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
March 31, 2013 at 12:18 a.m. (Suggest removal)

yes details matter!
I'm not sure what daycare or miracle could get any kid age 3-5 to watch anything 7 hours straight.. educational is ok BUT an in the flesh human being teacher is the best.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 31, 2013 at 12:32 a.m. (Suggest removal)

OK, this argument has gone on long enough that I think it's almost time for someone to incite Godwin's Law...who's it gonna be?

MesaJim (anonymous profile)
March 31, 2013 at 3:35 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Yeah, though I won't incite G's Law, but I will invoke it: this thread died when "Brown Shirts" came in...bye bye

DrDan (anonymous profile)
March 31, 2013 at 8:15 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Botany: Have you ever done financial statements for your business? Your accounting expertise reminds me of SB city government-with the exception that income is restricted to OPM .

14noscams (anonymous profile)
March 31, 2013 at 3:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The whole "war on drugs" and the ideology that drugs and anyone who does them, sells them, makes them, or any combination, is a horrible person who should be locked away is just plain ridiculous. Whether using weed for fun or for medicinal purposes, the point is the government shouldn't be telling the people what they can and cannot put into their body. Simple really.

Muggy (anonymous profile)
April 8, 2013 at 1:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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