Tuolumne County bans dispensaries

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Posted by Annie in Opinion, Political, Tuolumne County on October 5, 2011

For months we’ve been following the saga of the Sonora and Tuolumne County battles against medical marijuana dispensaries. The Union Democrat reported…

County carving out medical marijuana sales ordinance

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Written by Chris Caskey,
The Union Democrat
October 05, 2011 03:11 pm

Tuolumne County is moving forward with a proposal to ban medical marijuana dispensaries.
The county Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to have county staff finalize an ordinance that would make it a misdemeanor to run a retail center that makes available, sells, transmits or gives marijuana to two or more patients, primary caregivers or members of the public.

However, supervisors and other county officials suggested the ordinance should allow for clinical medicinal use of the drug that is legal under California state law.
Supervisors heard the first reading of an ordinance prohibiting pot dispensaries that, according to County Counsel Gregory Oliver, is similar to a law passed by the Sonora City Council on Aug. 1.

Under the proposed ordinance, a dispensary would not include a “qualified patient or a person with an identification card delivering, administering or providing medical marijuana at the primary residence” of a legal medicinal user.

According to the ordinance, the definition also does not include licensed clinics, health facilities, residential care centers for the elderly or those with chronic illness, or a home health care agency.

However, the first draft of the law does lump collectives and cooperatives together with dispensaries.

During a lengthy discussion, supervisors and county officials juggled a desire to expand what they considered a widely abused system into the county without restricting local access for residents who use it responsibly and legally.

“We don’t have a balance here,” said Chairman John Gray. “We’re trying to do what’s right because I think we all can agree that it’s been abused the way it’s being run now. But in fixing that, are we causing additional harm?”

It is difficult to estimate how many medical marijuana users live in Tuolumne County, Public Health Officer Dr. Todd Stolp said. While the county has issued 28 medical marijuana identification cards, the cardholder is not required to receive the substance through a clinical setting. [Continue Reading…]

How much sense does it make to have people running around the county delivering marijuana in their vehicles, when they could keep a better eye on the dispensaries if they are stationary?

The reasons there are only 28 medical marijuana identification cards issued are many and varied. Some people are waiting for the local police policies to catch up with state law. After all, I doubt many seriously sick people would enjoy a night in jail waiting for their day in court. Further, it is still difficult to find local physicians willing to prescribe marijuana.

Many people don’t possess medical marijuana prescription cards but smoke to stay alive.  Many have given up on the medical community being able to solve their health issues. The doctors solution is always to pump us full of narcotics, until the patient is unable to function on any level.

I have back issues that qualify me for a medical marijuana prescription card, but the back pain I can deal with, it’s the nausea and being unable to keep anything down that keeps me searching for alternatives. I’ve tried many things, ginger helps soothe my troubled tummy to some degree but smoking marijuana provides relief and allows me to keep up with my busy family.

Why can’t we all just get along and stop making the lives of those who struggle with medical issues harder still?

You say…

 “There’s no question that (the laws) have been abused. A considerable number of patients and health care providers have been very lax and unprofessional,” he said.
But Stolp said he is concerned — if the ordinance passes as is — about those who actually use it legitimately.

“It would be more difficult” for those patients to gain access to cannabis, he said.

To that, I say…

First off, who cares? Those inside cabins for miles around get to “enjoy” the sounds of vociferant music,  foul-mouthed drunks that spill out into the streets almost every evening. Compared to that, marijuana smokers are almost comatose.

The only reason I can see for the county Board of Supervisors to ban dispensaries must have something to do with all the federal dollars that pour into our county to eradicate marijuana being grown in the Stanislaus National Forest.

I know our county isn’t rich. We could use the tax dollars that would come from allowing these dispensaries. The new policy simply doesn’t make good sense from a fiscal standpoint or a social one. Besides, once marijuana is legalized, your ordinance won’t mean a blessed thing anyway and all you will have succeeded in doing is wasting a bunch of time on a non-issue.

Listen to what Ron Paul has to say on this topic…

Ron Paul on Marijuana Prohibition and its Scandalous Racist Roots!

http://youtu.be/Y58k1VC7yaw

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Comments (3)

In 1972 my uncle was arrested in Oregon for the possession of a single marijuana cigarette. He had just returned from being in Vietnam, fighting for his country as a helicopter gunner in the 101st Airborne. He’d seen the nightmares, he lived the nightmares, and the pot he smoked helped him to calm down… then one night an Oregon State Trooper pulled him over and found a joint stuck up in the visor of his car. It was off to jail for my uncle, and he spent six months in prison for that single joint. Our family was stunned, one of our favorite people had been taken away… For what?

It’s been many years since that night so long ago. But it changed me in so many ways. I’d always seen pot as a useful drug, as innocent as aspirin. It was medicine for some people, recreation for others. The big joke about “stoners” was that they got kinda happily dumb and ate a lot. There was a lot of laughing and some fun music. Pot never harmed anybody we thought. Then my uncle went to jail…

I read a lot about how cannibis came to be illegal back in the 1930’s. The laws against cannibis arose out of “reefer madness” movies and timber company lobbying against hemp production. At the time Hemp (cannibis sativa) was cultivated and used to make paper, and clothing and even Presswood— but the timber companies wanted a monopoly in the paper business and outspent the pro-marijuana faction by a scale of nearly 100 to 1… with the Tax Act of 1936 marijuana became classified as a narcotic and in the ensuing decades a lot of forests were clearcut… and a lot of people were classified as “criminals” because they had pot in possession.

Due to this “prohibition”, in my opinion, many people during these times were exposed to “legal” prescription drugs. Even cocaine wasn’t as bad as pot for a long time. Your doctor could prescribe you Valium or Quaaludes. And a great evil lurked behind. Meth.

If only they’d made marijuana legal before that happened. We wouldn’t have the crime, the gangs, the guns… I think it would be a much more peaceful society. And I place the blame squarely on our idiotic and perpetual ban on a substance less harmful than alcohol or tobacco!

To see our county proposing to ban the co-ops is yet another example of a useless waste of taxpayer money. Why don’t we look at ridding our streets of the gangs and the meth instead of wasting time and money looking into the effect of (legal by state law) medical marijuana co-ops? Why don’t we give the money we’d spend uselessly debating for days to our schools?

What will happen if you ban the co-ops? First, the patients with legal cards in the county will have to find a new source of supply for their prescriptions. Second, those cultivating legal gardens will have to find a way to get their crops to market. And third, a whole new black market will be created to solve the problem of the first two parts.

It reminds me of a dog chasing it’s own tail. Round and round we go, wasting money, time, and effort in a campaign to eradicate pot from our vocabulary. I think it’s time we face the facts. Let’s face it people. Pot is here to stay, and the sooner we quit fighting it the sooner we can get to the important things that our city and county commissioners should be talking about.

This whole thing is a waste of all our time.

Amen, Jerry.

My uncle (a Korean War veteran) lost his battle with cancer last week. Marijuana was his ONLY reprieve from pain, and it helped him cope day to day. The “treatments” he was getting caused him to deteriorate further and further until recently when he was finally accepted to a hospice – that didn’t allow marijuana. He passed away before he was ever admitted.

I am very distraught of how the sheriffs department handles medical marijuna and marijuana I’m general. I agree with the author that all of this is a waste of time. As a toulumne county sheriffs officer has said” this is just business”

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