The Fine Line Between Regulation and Prohibition

A recent report from the Los Angeles Police Department recommends "stringent regulation" of the city's medical marijuana dispensaries, which it says are attracting recreational users and crime. It suggests 41 rules for the city to adopt, covering matters such as location, security, signage, labeling, recordkeeping, maximum sale quantity (one ounce), maximum garden size (99 plants),  and hours of operation (10 to 6). Some of the rules, such as those demanding bank-style anti-theft precautions, would require substantial, possibly prohibitive investments, while others would limit access by legitimate patients. Probably the most consequential restriction would be the one prohibiting dispensaries "within 1,000 feet of any school, day care facility, church or house of worship, nursery, public park, or any location utilized for the exclusive care of children between the ages of 0 [and] 18 years old." The report does not say how many of the city's 98 dispensaries would be shut down by that rule, but it does note that "all medical marijuana dispensaries showed proximity of less than 1,000 yards to a house of worship, public or private school, or other location where children are likely to congregate, such as a public park." So with a little tweaking of the police department's proposed location restrictions, the city could easily regulate the dispensaries out of existence.

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  • ||

    Is there any evidence that any children are getting pot from a dispensary without a doctor's order?

    I thought not. That would mean the sole purpose of the restriction is to prevent adults from getting medical pot.

  • ||

    And after all, selling pot to a kid 1001 feet from school is completely different, morally speaking, than selling pot to a kid 999 feet from school.
    And why the fuck are houses of worship in here? I assume that if god is offended, he can get off his fat lazy omnimpotent ass and do something about it.

  • ||

    And why the fuck are houses of worship in here? I assume that if god is offended, he can get off his fat lazy omnimpotent ass and do something about it.

    Literally, LOL. Thanks.

  • ||

    "within 1,000 feet of any school, day care facility, church or house of worship, nursery, public park, or any location utilized for the exclusive care of children between the ages of 0 [and] 18 years old."

    What about home schoolers? Howe do we deal with that?
    Trying to zone something out of existence, contrary to the expressed intentions of the people, is friggin' evil.

  • Dan T.||

    I don't see how protecting our children from being accosted by lowlifes all hopped up on pot is a bad thing.

  • ||

    Yeah. Goddamned cancer patients. Scum of the earth, the lot of them!

  • ||

    What about those who treat the medical marijuana centers as places of worship?

  • Warren||

    Troy,
    Thanks for the giggle.

    This is the kind of thing that twists my scrotum. I go farther than most in my libertarian purity, but I'm not reflexively opposed to this sort of regulation. I'd like to see MJ regulated like alcohol. I'm OK with age requirements, licensing, sin tax, etc. Not happy mind you but I can live with it. It seems to be a good compromise that works well.

    But then there's this approach where they use 'the children' as a pretext to regulate out of existence.

  • ||

    less than 1,000 yards to a house of worship

    What if it's a Rastafarian house of worship?

  • ||

    Bill O'Reilly talked about this issue last night. Surprisingly, he even pointed out how stupid it is to think kids and lowlifes are getting pot from the dispensaries because the prescription costs $250, i.e., the illegal weed pusher sells for much less than the legal dispensary. Of course, once millions of dollars in cash are lying around, once guns are confiscated and once lowlifes get into the business of unregulated pot, there is going to be a crackdown. Apparently, even though there are millions of dollars to be made, not a single businessperson in Los Angeles is capable of running a respectable dispensary. Fascinating. Bizarre!

  • ||

    I believe I read yesterday that there were guns confiscated. I was confused by that. Were unregistered guns being kept at the shop for protection? Were patrons carrying illegal firearms? Were these legal guns which were incorrectly seized?

  • ||

    "Federal agents seized more than 5,000 pounds of marijuana, more than 100 plants, an estimated $200,000, seven handguns and one shotgun in Wednesday's raids. Also confiscated were large quantities of marijuana-laced edibles such as ice cream bars, lollipops, cookies, candies and candy bars, Pullen said."
    From the LA Times story

  • I. Self. Divine.||

    marijuana-laced edibles such as ice cream bars, lollipops, cookies, candies and candy bars

    *drools*

  • Pi Guy||

    I don't have an LA map that indicates the location of every school, day care facility, church or house of worship, nursery, public park, or any location utilized for the exclusive care of children are but I'll be willing to bet that even in a city as big as LA that there isn't any single point within its limits that wouldn't be within 1000 yards - that's over a half mile! - of one such place.

    And, really - churches? Does every house of worship necesarily tend to the exclusive care children? So, if you object to a dispensary's location, can you merely start a Bible study group nearby and have them kicked out after-the-fact?

  • ||

    Come on people... it should be obvious. Prohibiting such activity from school, day care facility, church or house of worship, nursery, public park, or any location utilized for the exclusive care of children comes right out of the moralist playbook on banning gentleman's clubs and other forms of adult entertainment!

  • ||

    gentleman's clubs

    Isn't that a euphemism for titty bars?

  • Paul||

    Hello? Smoking ban will fix this.

  • ||

    "That would mean the sole purpose of the restriction is to prevent adults from getting medical pot."

    Now, now, good-faith panic and ignorance is just as likely and explanation.

  • ||

    Lamar,

    I watched O'Reilly last night, too (ONLY because Colbert was to be on). To be honest I did not pay the closest attention to what he was saying, but I thought that he or his "liberal" anti-drug activist stated that people were picking up drugs and reselling them at a profit. Fairly certain it was the drug warrior who said that. He and O'Reilly agreed that it was due to the allure of the black market. (Their implication was that we need tougher enforcement against illegal use, for the kids' sake, not the end of prohibition.)
    Anyway, O'Reilly repeated with outrage, "They found guns there." No mention if they were legal or illegal, if the guns had been implicated in any crime, just guns were found there. What kind of a small, cash business operating in a shady area of the law would not have guns on the premises?

  • Seitz||

    I suppose the good news for sex offenders is that if they can actually find a place where they aren't prohibited from living, there will probably be a lot of legal pot sellers in the immediate vicinity.

  • ||

    Bee, Highnumber:

    The guns were apparently there because there are security guards. If there is a million in cash lying around, you'd better have armed security. I saw that O'Reilly talked about the allure of the black market, but I just watched the segment again, and O'Reilly definitely said that kids can go down to the corner and get the stuff cheaper because they don't need the $250 prescription. He later talked about the black market, but I assumed (given his prior statement) that he was talking about bulk sales.

    I also thought that the girl arguing for the dispensaries was ineffectivel, to say the least. Given O'Reilly's lip service to the "noble intentions" of the pot dispensaries, I think she really dropped the ball.

  • ||

    And I thought both Colbert/O'Reilly segments were mediocre, until O'Reilly said that his tough guy image was an act, and Colbert, fauz-stunned, asked "if you're an act, what am I?" THAT was my moment of zen for the evening.

  • ||

    The interview on Colbert's show was much funnier, but disappointing just the same. The "what am I" line was easily the highlight of the interviews.

  • Senescent||

    As an Angelino who's in the process of getting a recommendation, and who relies mostly on "diverted" dispensary product in the meantime, I can say that the advantages of the dispensaries over the street comes down mostly to selection and convenience.

    Selection, because rather than taking whatever your dealer has on hand, you can choose by name from a variety of award-winning strains, prepared in whatever form (buds, kief, edibles, infused butter for baking) you want.

    Convenience, because rather than having to call up someone you know, and hope he's in town, and hope he has some product on hand, and try to set up a meeting, you can just walk to the store, pick something out, take it to the cash register, and leave.

    Some of the price difference comes down to the dispensary product just being better - stores sell more boutique strains and less generic Mexican ditchweed than the street - but the rest of the $5-$10 per eighth markup is pretty easy to justify as worth it.

  • ||

    Keep in mind also that this report comes from LAPD chief William "Broken Windows" Bratton, who has largely yet to realize that LA has neither the care nor the resources for his crusades that he enjoyed in New York under Giuliani. And even if all the recommendations did get applied, that would presumably leave independent municipalities like Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and West Hollywood, not to mention the unincorporated LA County land policed by the less moralistic Sheriff's Department, to set their own policies.

  • Ron Hardin||

    You'll only be able to get medical marijuana in pedophile hot zones.

    They put them in the same places.

  • ||

    You'll only be able to get medical marijuana in pedophile hot zones.

    They put them in the same places.


    Altar boys' pants?

  • Larry A||

    Federal agents seized more than 5,000 pounds of marijuana, more than 100 plants, an estimated $200,000, seven handguns and one shotgun in Wednesday's raids. Twenty-seven people were detained for questioning, and all of them have been released without charges being filed, Pullen said.



    Divide by 11 locations, that's:
    *454 pounds of marijuana
    *9-10 plants
    *$18,181.82
    *Less than one firearm
    *2.5 people detained, 0 charged with any crime
    per raid.

    Gee whiz. These are the worst of the 200 shops?

  • ||

    Not within 1000 feet of churches? Good catch on the Rasta thing. Isn't every muslim home technically a "place of worship"? What about the seperation of church and state?

  • ||

    Regarding Troy's comment, there's the classic Tacitus quote, "Deorum injuriae Diis curae": Leave offenses against the gods to the care of the gods.

  • Godfrey||

    Point #1 According to a passage in Bratton's Wikipedia bio: "Bratton's predecessor, Bernard Parks, and many others have criticized Bratton for relaxing hiring standards, allowing candidates with minor drug use in their past to join the LAPD."

    If the above is true it seems at least plausible that Bratton's public grumblings about marijuana are a preemptive political maneuver to counter potential criticism should he run for some sort of office.

    Point #2: shit, I forgot what point #2 was. Something about brain cells.

  • ||

    Marijuana is one of the safest drugs of any kind on the planet (safer than asprin... potentially safer than WATER). Educated people should NOT be willing to compromise on marijuana usage. Compromise indicates that there is a reason to compromise, which there isn't. Maybe if O'Reiley smoked pot, he'd stop spewing such insane, hateful shit from his mouth-hole.

  • ||

    Frank, the reason to compromise in many situations is because someone else disagrees with you.

  • Dan T.||

    lol im of the hom0sexual persuasuin.

  • Asharak||

    I don't see how protecting our children from being accosted by lowlifes all hopped up on pot is a bad thing.

    Well, well, well, "liberal" Dan T. reveals himself to be an apologist for the War on (some) Drugs. I always knew he was a fraud.

  • ||

    The 99 plants thing is so it's not a federal crime.

    But of course this is absolute BS.

  • Guy Montag||

    Sounds like they copied all of those stupid federal regulations for being a gun dealer and added some crap from common tavern restrictions, plus a few random notes.

    Sorry I have been away, I am slaving away in a parking lot at Dolphin Stadium, when I am not in my accomodations in Biscayne Bay. How are things back up there in DC?

    Oh yes, did not get to check previous threads, but is California finally imposing the same stupid smoking ban on pot that they enforce on tobacco?

  • ||

    May I suggest mandatory drug use and hand guns...if you're not smoking weed and packing heat it's off to jail you go...

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