Failing in Other States

As Massachusetts contemplates whether to become the 18th state to allow “medical” marijuana, we would be wise ask “How is it working out in other states?”    The reality is stark.  Widespread abuse of the program is having huge negative ramifications.  Many states are backtracking hard.  Massachusetts can prevent this by Voting No on Question 3 in November 2012.

Here is the news from these battlegrounds:

CNN: Easy to get medical pot in CA–MA Law is similarly loose

20 minutes, $80, a self-diagnosis of back pain, and no physical exam nets you a medical marijuana card from a “doctor” in CA’

Then you can get in line behind 21-year-old Justin and 19-year old John, who suffer with insomnia and anxiety and trouble focusing respectively. They’re buying marijuana and hash and sheepishly react to the question ” do you really need weed?”

As far as the law is concerned, glamour-shot, self-promoting, Dr.420* says, “The law’s worded loosely, there’s lots of loopholes in there, and a lot of people are capitalizing on that.”

The Massachusetts law proposed under ballot Question 2012 is similarly full of loopholes and similarly subject to exploitation. Watch the CNN story first then watch Question 3 in 3 Minutes to see where we’re headed if Question 3 passes.

AZ–abc-5.com: Surveillance video shows shooting at Tempe medical marijuana co-op “Top Shelf Med”

“One of the employees was shot. The robbers left with nothing. Top Shelf Med, formerly AZ Go Green, is closed indefinitely. Their employee is still recovering from his gunshot wound. Police believe the suspects were looking for easy drugs and money. Tempe police detectives said they have reason to believe illegal drug deals were going down at the medical marijuana co-op. Police are investigating them with the help of the DEA.”

atodblog: Marijuana legalization: Damn the science, full speed ahead

November 4, 2012
atodblog.com — a research-based discussion about substance abuse

“If tobacco was not legal, and we knew the full scientific extent of its health impacts, would we legalize it today?

Not a chance. A substance that’s dangerously addictive and kills half the people who use it as directed? The FDA would never allow it. But we didn’t know the science hundreds of years ago, and tobacco became a common part of society. It’s too late to illegalize it.

Several states are considering legalization of marijuana. While the federal government has said it will not allow marijuana to be legal, state ballot initiatives notwithstanding, many Americans who would vote to legalize marijuana are doing so without knowing – or without believing – the science about the drug.”

Worcester Telegram & Gazette: CA Town plans tax hit for pot farmers

November 4, 2012
“…the mellow days are coming to an end. Even Arcata residents who support legalization of marijuana have become fed up with high-volume indoor growing operations that take over much-needed housing and take advantage of the state’s loosely written medical marijuana law.

The neighbors of these clandestine pot farms — operated behind curtains, shutters and alarm systems — complain of the skunk-like stink of cannabis, fire hazards, rising rents, vicious guard dogs, caches of guns, illegal pesticides, roadside dumping of unwanted growing gear, and late-night visits from shady characters.”

“Our hope is to drive the large-scale growing operations out of town,” said Shane Brinton, a city councilman and vice mayor who has pushed the novel idea.

“I don’t view it as anti-marijuana,” said Brinton. “It’s a land-use issue, a public safety issue, and environmental issue as well.”

Huff. Post: Michigan Medical Marijuana: Supreme Court To Consider Legality Of Pot Dispensaries

October 11, 2012
“The fate of Michigan medical marijuana dispensaries are on the line in a case that will be decided by the state’s highest court. Michigan’s Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments Thursday on the legality of the establishments, WWJ Newsradio reports.

State-licensed marijuana patients who do not grow their own pot go to the dispensaries to purchase the herb from other authorized growers.”

Huff. Post/SF Weekly: Medical marijuana tax revolt coming

October 6, 2102
“Storefront marijuana businesses may operate as nonprofit collectives or cooperatives under laws and guidelines passed by the legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown. The state began collecting sales tax on every transaction in 2007. But is walking into a dispensary and exchanging money for OG Kush a “sale”? Is it a “donation” to cover the cost of producing and distributing the product? Or is it something else entirely?”

Trick or Treat? “Medical Marijuana” Lollipop Bust in Baffalo NY

October 2012
Zito, 26, allegedly arranges to obtain the marijuana on trips to California under the guise that it is for medicinal purposes and then has it shipped here through the U.S. Postal Service. Medical marijuana in California is legal under state law, but that is not the case in New York.

San Bernadino’s fight against marijuana dispensaries not over

In some instances, customers with medical marijuana cards were buying marijuana from dispensaries and turning around to sell them to people without cards. Some of the buyers were high school students.  ”Some dispensaries were set up very close to schools, into neighborhoods,” said Fontana police Capt. Bob Ramsey. “There was a huge amount of traffic, people using drugs, buying drugs, illicit drug use in neighborhoods.”

IL Courier-News: St. Charles man charged with possessing pot, marijuana-laced candy

“According to North Central Narcotics Task Force Master Sgt. Bill Backus, police believe that Weaver brought the marijuana and marijuana candy back from Colorado, where medical marijuana is legal. …police recovered 2,001 grams of marijuana and 500 grams of candy laced with THC, the hallucinatory chemical found in marijuana, police said. Officers also recovered 35 grams of THC oil, 30 grams of psilocybin mushrooms, less than half a gram of cocaine and various pieces of drug paraphernalia, police said.”

KPCC Southern California Public Radio: Sorting out the latest medical marijuana news

“All sides in the hotly contested debate anxiously await the state Supreme Court’s decision on the issue, but not federal prosecutors. They promise more raids on medical marijuana dispensaries, many of which they say are glorified fronts for drug dealing.”

The American Thinker: Legalizing Weed in Colorado is Reefer Madness

What comes after medical marijuana? Full recreational legalization.  Consider Colorado’s fight and that Massachusetts can draw the line here and now:“The reality is that as legal dope proliferates, so does its illegal use by adolescents, especially when the cultural stamp of approval comes from the government itself.  That’s already happened in Colorado.  As medical marijuana shops have boomed statewide, so has the number of youths illegally using the drug.  In the last four years, suspensions for drug violations at Colorado public schools have increased 45 percent.”

Pot shops provoke bitter Neighborhood Council election, Los Angeles Times, October 15, 2012

“Tensions between neighborhood leaders fighting a surge in medical marijuana dispensaries and the industry’s increasingly assertive supporters spilled into neighborhood politics over the weekend in a bitter contest for control…”

“Marijuana Only for the Sick? A Farce, Some Angelenos Say”, New York Times, October 7, 2012

“Despite years of trying fruitlessly to regulate medical marijuana, California again finds itself in a marijuana-laced chaos over a booming and divisive industry.”“These are folks who are just out to protect their profits, and they do that by having as little regulation or oversight as possible…”“Medical marijuana dispensaries are very much like what they distribute: they’re weeds. You cut them down, you leave, and then they sprout back up.”

Police Chiefs, Drug Investigators Say Medical Marijuana is Out of Control, CBS Denver, September 29, 2012

“…the lack of regulation allows pot to flourish on the black market and to fall into the wrong hands, including children’s.  Colorado is touted as this heavy-regulated medical marijuana program state that everybody else should follow, and one of the big things that we’re running into is that it’s not,..”  September 29, 2012 article at CBS 4 Denver

Santa Monica Calls Medical Marijuana Shops a ‘risk to the public peace, health, and safety, LAist, October 4, 2012′

“Santa Monica also references unnamed “other California cities” who found that having legal dispensaries causes problems such as increased crime, and more illicit use of marijuana.”

A Letter on Marijuana From Washington State, September 2012:

“There are so many things that we can do to create healthy communities that support positive youth development and legalizing a drug that is harmful to young people is not one of them.” September 2012

Montana:  State lawmakers say medical marijuana use is ‘out of control.

“Would-be “caregivers” laughed at a gravely ill woman Schmidt knows because the woman had never been stoned before. When the woman finally found what she thought was a reputable caregiver, she was distressed to discover the person seemed “half-baked all the time,” Schmidt said.

There is such abuse going on and it’s our responsibility to bring this back under control”, July 2010

Medical Marijuana: Buyers Remorse in California Reaches New Heights

July 2012
Siding with neighborhood residents and public health experts like the American Medical Association, the Council took a courageous stand against what has become a magnet for crime, nuisance, and addiction…”Most of the dispensaries operating in California are little more than dope dealers with store fronts.”

What Happened to All the Pot Shops In Santa Barbara, California?–A Timeline

September 13, 2012
Legalization, loopholes, bogus prescriptions, gang fights,  diverted marijuana, pot shops next to schools, illegal cultivation, smuggling, moratorium, arrests, closures…legalizing marijuana was supposed to allow it to be regulated. Santa Barbara’s experience is just the opposite.

Medical Marijuana is Bad Policy, Ft. Collins, CO

September 24, 2012
Most of their customers are healthy looking young men who appear to be about 18 to 30 years old. According to the medical marijuana boosters, these guys are supposed to be in perpetual pain…

Recruiting Medical Marijuana Patients For Profit

September 22, 2012

Over-production — churning out more pot than patients are allowed to have by law — is at the heart of virtually all federal marijuana prosecutions in Oregon…

Medical Marijuana Growers with Criminal Records are Being Licensed

September 23, 2012
The Oregonian reviewed dozens of recent cases involving people registered by the state to be growers, patients or caregivers who were later accused of selling marijuana. The newspaper turned up people with histories of violence, property crimes and drug offenses…

Drug traffickers exploit Oregon medical marijuana program’s lax oversight and loose rules

September 22,2012 Elizabeth Saul shipped high-grade Oregon marijuana to the East Coast to pay the bills. In five months, the southern Oregon woman pulled in $125,000…

Marijuana in Oregon: Pot legalization measure would give kids quite an education

July 16, 2012.  The measure isn’t just a pushback against federal drug laws. It’s also a backdoor attempt to make public schools teach weed-friendly lessons to students.