Counter Point: California’s medical marijuana debate lights up
Erik Ysea, Opinion Editor
October 25, 2011
Filed under Opinion
Current marijuana dispensaries are burnt out
The War on Drugs has been a treacherous and fruitless series of battles over the past couple decades.
It’s become apparent that we will never see the end of this war; however, that does not mean the United States should simply surrender. California’s medicinal marijuana laws have appeared more and more like a surrender on behalf of the federal government, that is, until recently.
At the beginning of the month federal prosecutors sent out letters to landlords of medical marijuana dispensaries throughout the state of California. The landlords were instructed that the distribution of marijuana was to cease within 45 days or else they risk loss of property or more severe penalty. The letters also informed that despite the legality of the dispensaries on a state level the collectives are still infringing upon federal law.
In light of this, a small uproar has arisen against the closure of the medical collectives. Many of the protesters, if not most, are far from ill. This in itself proves the gross misuse of these establishments. It has become increasingly apparent that the dispensaries are not exclusively meeting the needs of the sick but also recreational users at large.
The lack of effort needed in to acquire a medical marijuana card is a testament to the corruption that has taken hold of the newborn industry. Acquiring a card can be as easy as making an appointment to a “marijuana doctor.” Once their fee is paid, one can plead their case by explaining their horrible struggle with debilitating “migraines,” crushing “back pain” or the classic “insomnia.” The doctor then writes up a recommendation for medical marijuana use and once the patient registers this recommendation with the state they can then purchase marijuana “legally.”
This is a gross exploitation of the legal system by certified physicians. Many of these doctors even advertise themselves, much like the dispensaries, and in many cases, alongside dispensary advertisements.
It’s also become quite obvious that serving the needs of medicinal marijuana users is not the sole intention of many marijuana dispensaries. A prime example of this is the advertisements they use to obtain clientele.
It’s safe to say that most of us have seen advertisements for local pharmacies, whether on television, heard on the radio or seen in print. For the most part these advertisements promote their company by conveying their convenience and exemplary customer service.
Now, while dispensaries may promote similar qualities through their advertisements, they leave one very large difference, the promotion of free “prescription drugs.”
Cannabis collectives litter our neighborhoods and colleges with flyers offering free “goody bags” for signing up with their marijuana friendly “pharmacies.” It’s a well known practice for drug dealers to offer free samples of drugs in order to hook potential clients, if this isn’t moral ineptitude, I don’t know what is.
There is an argument that medicinal marijuana has its benefits for the ill, however, the system through which the sick meet this need is too unstable and unreliable.
Until a more suitable solution can be found we cannot allow the continuation of blatant law-breaking in order to benefit a small sect of the community. These dispensaries have made it far too easy for the spread of potent, high grade drugs to find their way into our communities and allowing this kind of misconduct to take place is no different than endorsing it.