Point: California’s medical marijuana debate lights up
Justin Wells, Staff Writer
October 25, 2011
Filed under Opinion
Medicinal marijuana should stay.
Shortly after a San Diego Judge ordered that nine medical marijuana dispensaries are to be shut down, the U.S. Attorney’s office decided to take it a step further by ordering the closure of dispensaries from San Francisco to San Diego.
On Oct. 7 the U.S. Attorneys from Sacramento, San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco sent letters to landlords of/and to medical marijuana dispensaries giving them 45 days to shut down or face criminal charges.
So over the next month and a half Californians will have to witness the federal government completely ignore their votes as well as waste taxpayer’s dollars to continue to fund the War on Drugs, more specifically the battle against cannabis.
Keep in mind that this war has been going on since 1971 and has wasted billions of dollars.
One of the generals of this war Benjamin Wagner, the U.S. Attorney in Sacramento, stated in an e-mail “our interest is in enforcing federal criminal law, not prosecuting seriously sick people and those who are caring for them.”
However shutting down medical dispensaries does not help patients in any way, it can only add more pain and aggravation to a patient’s life. If the shops are forced to close down then patients will have to find their medicine through illegal outlets or suffer. Needless to say, it is much safer for an ill person to purchase their medicinal marijuana at a building with a security guard than meeting a private dealer in some parking lot or dark alley way.
Collectively the attorneys claim that they are fighting to put and end to dispensaries that are abusing the law and trying to get rich.
So instead of taxing the dispensaries that are “trying to get rich,” which America already has a problem with, the federal government plans on shutting them down.
While there are some people taking advantage of California’s cannabis laws, many others are following it and need it. They should not be penalized because a few people abuse the law.
This alternative medicine should not be something that should be thrown in the same class as other drugs like LSD, heroin, and ecstasy; rather it should be available to everyone that it can help without penalty. In fact it should be allowed for personal use but regulated much like cigarettes and alcohol already are.
“The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world,” declared the Global Commission on Drug Policy following a meeting on June 2.
Only four months later and it seems that America wants to proceed with the failing.
U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy claims that medical marijuana has “gone mainstream. Not only is it inappropriate – one has to wonder what kind of message we’re sending to our children.” The message being sent is that Californians have voted and approve of medical marijuana. However one also has to wonder what kind of message was sent to kids when the schools had recently gone through budget cuts.
If children were of a major concern then manpower and tax dollars would be invested in their schools as opposed to trying to shut down the medical marijuana industry or even investing in more drug education for children.
Resources are constantly being wasted in the fight against cannabis. It is already evident that people who want to smoke will get their product regardless of what the law says, so why not just tax it. Why not just do away with the harmful and even fatal drug trafficking by creating a safer medium.
The federal government should instead look to eliminate many of America’s gang’s number one source of funding. America should find a way to regulate this very profitable business because the people will not be regulated.
As of Oct. 17 every medical marijuana dispensarie in Oceanside, has been closed.