The End of California's Pot Shops?

Today the California Supreme Court ruled (PDF) that people who merely provide marijuana to patients for medical use do not qualify as "primary caregivers" under the Compassionate Use Act, which means they are not allowed to grow or possess the drug. The act defines a "primary caregiver" as the "individual designated by the [patient] who has consistently assumed responsibility for the housing, health, or safety of that person." According to the court, that definition implies "a caretaking relationship directed at the core survival needs of a seriously ill patient, not just one single pharmaceutical need." Hence "a defendant asserting primary caregiver status must prove at a minimum that he or she (1) consistently provided caregiving, (2) independent of any assistance in taking medical marijuana, (3) at or before the time he or she assumed responsibility for assisting with medical marijuana."

The upshot, says California NORML Coordinator Dale Gieringer, is that only patients themselves or people directly involved in their day-to-day care, such as friends, relatives, nurses, or attendants, are permitted to grow and possess marijuana for medical purposes. That means dispensaries that claim to be "primary caregivers" because they supply marijuana to patients are now illegal, although cooperatives through which patients produce marijuana for their own medical use are still permitted. The court's reading of the law seems reasonable to me, but Gieringer is right that it "highlights the inadequacy of California's current medical marijuana supply system." He argues that "the law needs to allow for professional licensed growers, as with other medicinal herbs."

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  • ||

    While I find the crusade against sick people who use med pot to be so far beyond retarded as to qualify as monstrous, the phrase "primary caregiver" would not seem to apply to dispensaries.

  • ||

    Whether they comply with the letter of the law or not, MCDs provide a valuable service and offer patients many choices in how to use medical cannabis, from buds to hash to capsules, salves, balms, tinctures, food products and more. The real travesty is that every American does not have access to a dispensary. Having one nearby beats the heck out of having a Walgreens or CVS pharmacy, full of poisons and junk foods.

  • Paul||

    Next thing you know, they'll be banning the stuff.

  • ||

    What a crappy statute, purely from a drafting perspective. Given what the statute says, I think the court's interpretation is probably correct.

    Now, if they would only apply the same plain-English approach to the Constitution . . . .

  • Alice Bowie||

    Say YES to DRUGS and No to that Bullshit you hear on TV !!!

    Keep DOPE ALIVE !!!

  • ||

    i wish the regulators would lighten up.

    it's not like pot isn't already *winkwink legal in most of california anyway.

  • ||

    Seems like a reasonable interpretation to me, too. Even as I hope for legalization, it does seem a bit disingenuous of the pot shops to use "primary caregiver" in such a loose manner as to render it meaningless.

  • ||

    So a reworded proposition will probably be on the ballot next year, right next to another specifically permitting gay marriage, and I suspect they'll both pass.

    I hate the proposition process here in CA, but that sword does cut both ways.

  • Robert Goodman||

    I never understood why the dispensaries got as far as they did, inasmuch as I knew the language of the Compassionate Care Act to begin with. It seemed silly to me that the feds would raid them when most of them didn't seem to comply with the state law. And I think many of the votes the proposition got in its favor were based on the "caregiver" understanding. It's not clear to me dispensaries -- even if they're run by the police, to comply with federal law -- would have passed as easily.

    However, now that they've operated for years, people used to the idea of the dispenaries may be more inclined to vote for them than they would've been in the 1990s.

  • Dale Gieringer (Cal NORML)||

    The Mentch ruling hardly spells an "End to California's Pot Shops." Under SB 420 and the A.G.'s ruling, they can easily organize as "collectives" or "coops." That's what our attorneys have always advised. A lot of dispensaries have ignored our advice and pretended to act as caregivers instead. They'll have to reorganize.
    The ruling does seem to spell trouble for the numerous patients who can't grow for themselves and depend on neighboring "caregivers" to grow for them elsewhere. They will either have to establish a close relation with these caregivers, or somehow organize in a "collective."

  • ||

    Oxymoron of sorts, Alcohol is legal but Pot is not. You have to wear a seat belt in a car but your kids don't on a school bus. You have to wear a helmet on a bicycle but not on a motorcycle. It's not logical.

  • Just Plain Brian||

    Under SB 420



    Seriously? A California law about weed just happened to be #420?

  • Brian Sorgatz||

    The Mentch ruling hardly spells an "End to California's Pot Shops." Under SB 420 and the A.G.'s ruling, they can easily organize as "collectives" or "coops."

    The drug warriors are fighting a losing battle in slow motion. Sellers and buyers will soon adjust to a slightly different set of loopholes.

  • ||

    "And I think many of the votes the proposition got in its favor were based on the "caregiver" understanding. It's not clear to me dispensaries -- even if they're run by the police, to comply with federal law -- would have passed as easily."

    I'm sure there are different dynamics working in each group, pro and con.

    Maybe more people who would have come out to vote against it had it not been about medicinal use, but I doubt there are very many people who voted for it because it was restricted to medical use.

    And my guess is that the number of people who support decriminalization is growing in California, what with dispensaries having operated openly and no associated menace in the streets.

  • Mad Max||

    Better that ten patients in continual pain should suffer than that one dirty hippie should get high.

  • Paul||

    Better that ten patients in continual pain should suffer than that one dirty hippie should get high.

    So you admit that anyone who smokes pot for non-medical reasons is a dirty hippie. I knew it.

  • darkrail||

    I love the pot shops. Love them, love them, love them!

    I'm a well-paid professional in the entertainment business, a business in which it is markedly easy to find a friendly dealer with very high quality goods. But still, I am DELIGHTED to pay a little more to buy from the pot shops. Why? The raw, delicious freedom of walking into a fancy shop in a nice neighborhood and making an adult choice for myself in the broad daylight... the feeling can't be beat! The feeling is just as good as the feeling I get from the weed. I end up buying way more than I could ever use, simply because it's so fun to have that bright ray of freedom.

    It's rare that we see MORE freedom anywhere in our lives these days. The pot shops have been a soothing respite in the march toward totalitarianism.

  • Raoul Duke||

    The dispensaries usually make millions of dollars (that's why State of CA has been collecting taxes from the legal clubs, for quite some time now). So, it's not like State of CA is shocked, even if State Supreme Court seems shocked to learn money was\is being made.

    All in all, I personally think it's best if for-profit situations are not allowed for, especially if under a health and patient legal standing, of current state law. Even if pot was outright legalized and sold in grocery stores, I don't think it needs to be an expensive commodity. It's just a plant and would go wild in many US climates very aggressively, if allowed to.

    One of the problems is that lots of people assume that all pot smokers are experiencing "cheech and chong" theatrical lifestyles - but just as not all pepsi drinkers, or all beer drinkers act a certain way, not all pot smokers do. Even if we did all act like we're in cheech and chong movies, who cares anyway - what's it to you? Additionally, there are mentally ill people and criminals of all sorts that enjoy smoking pot - so, often their pot experiences get told as if everyone is experiencing what they are, except controls themselves not to do whatever criminal did - or mentally ill person did while smoking pot.

    It sounds ludicrous, but it really is something you need to experience yourself before you even have a clue about what is going on. Additionally, one cannot then assume everyone else has the same experience, point for point; also, you must not assume first pot smoking experiences will be how you will experience pot, after several more sessions. What's more, different strains can be radically different than other strains. In other words, pot is not black and white. All experiences with pot are not the same for one person and especially not the same for all people that smoke pot. Most importantly to note: it is vital to note differences between someone mentally ill smoking pot, or someone that is a criminal - versus other pot smokers. Point being: don't be a blowhard about this subject.

    Anyway, I have no problem with profit being taking out of the equation. Full legalization can help add more supply and lower taboo. In the meantime, I think patients should focus on growing their own pot; and, patients that aren't physically able to, or don't have the space to do it, etc. should have growing to be part of traditional caretaking being done - just as your traditional caretaker might grow other herbs in your garden, for you - or can maintain a garden for you as part of their other caretaking duties with you (such as assisted living. etc.) ... I think you can grow your own pot, if you are not in need of assisted living (i.e. you don't need a caretaker if you don't need assisted living, unless space is a problem - and I am not sure what to say, other than form a small collective that is not public and just between other patients you know - or exchange no money in your small collective for the pot.

    Thanks for reading my thoughts ...

  • ||

    As darkrail mentioned the shops are great. My girlfriend has the OK to purchase, so I actually just wait in the lobby.The high of freedom is quite the experience.

    I certainly hope things don't change. It's nice to have a safe and honest transaction.

  • Raoul Duke||

    "SomeDude" says: "It's nice to have a safe and honest transaction" makes a good point. The problem with this is that nobody is going to do this for no profit. So, my opinion is, if anyone is really into "safe and honest" - just grow your own (takes some work, but then you don't need to even leave your own house to get more pot) ... As long as pot is expensive enough for someone to want to open up a convenient store location, it won't be properly enjoyed. It's just a plant. A weed even really, in that it would grow aggressively outdoors on its own, in many areas.

    So, in the short term dispensaries are "safe and honest," but only safe in that it's legal (but now no longer is it appears) - and honest in that it's weighed out properly, but I don't think very honest in that it costs way too much. In the long term, if these stores didn't exist and less people needed to leave their own homes for their own pot, that to me means more safety and more honesty than any of these for-profit clubs.

  • Just Plain Brian||

    Anyway, I have no problem with profit being taking out of the equation.



    You make some excellent points, Raoul Duke, but I'm a bit confused why you say this. Once the legal risks are eliminated, it is just a plant, so it could be grown by just about anyone, just about anywhere.

    Competition would be more likely to increase the supply, and a result prices would go down. No matter how greedy a particular grower or seller became, they wouldn't be able to charge very much, because absent a law/regulation/licensing scheme anyone else could easily become a competitor.

  • Raoul Duke||

    Just Plain Brian: I said, "Anyway, I have no problem with profit being taking out of the equation," because I don't think it's important to exchange money for pot. If you can't grow your own, or your assisted living caregiver can't grow it for you, or you can't form a small, private collective where you grow only what yourself needs, then you probably don't have any business smoking, eating, or vaporizing decent quality pot. If you can't do one of these things, then fight for outright legalization in which traditional businesses sell pot (as it is now though, these dispensary owners make millions and millions of dollars; even the popular ones in bay area that offer "low prices" are making millions). My point is this: I don't really think I want to be a part of anything that has to do with pot and money making. It doesn't make any sense to me and I don't further want to feed the hands of millionaire medical pot kingpins - or legalized pot kingpins either, except for you folks that don't want to grow your own.

  • darkrail||

    Indeed, I'm also a little confused about why we should take the profit out of it.

    I usually choose to buy fairly expensive strains, because they tend to be better. And from the little I know about growing, it seems to take a ton of work to cultivate a healthy, well-cured plant. Since I like a variety of very different strains (and a relatively tiny amount of each strain), that would translate into much more work than I'm willing to put into it. Instead, I get paid for the time I work in my industry, and in turn use these payments to reward someone who has spent their time growing excellent weed.

    More power to you if growing is what you enjoy! I envy people who have the time and patience to do it--it honestly sounds fun. But for myself, I just enjoy vaporizing good weed. I couldn't be happier to make someone rich when he's fulfilling one of my needs or desires better than someone else. Yay capitalism!

  • Just Plain Brian||

    Ok, fair enough. The main reason they make so much money right now is the law, so if/when they remove that it'll be a very different landscape business-wise. If nothing else it will keep prices down and force the businesspeople to compete on quality when every single person has the option to make their own (admittedly they do now, there's just that "potentially going to prison" problem)

    I figure it would be more like beer, where anyone can home brew their own if they want to, but most will still buy it from someone else due to the reduced difficulty/effort or increased quality.

  • Just Plain Brian||

    or, what darkrail said (I knew I should've typed faster)

  • ||

    raoul duke--

    why force people to grow their own? i dont get it. it takes a lot of work, and takes years to do it as well as those who've devoted their life to it.

    and if you want to make cannabis cheaper, making it harder to legally acquire is the wrong strategy. trust me.

    i mean, the world would be safer if we all grew our own food or fuel too, but this is just as unrealistic. actually, i'd rather have burglars rob a dispensary then my garden or home where i would be FORCED to grow.

    it doesn't seem like you know much about growing cannabis or consuming it. if you were only gonna eat apples that you grew, which one would you grow? what if you got tired of that one, or couldn't get a clipping of the one you wanted? would it be okay to pay someone to teach you how to grow? would it be okay to pay someone for the seeds or clones you wanted? why not just pay for the flowers if its easier for you?

  • Raoul Duke||

    darkrail: there is no reason for any weed to be expensive. It is foolish to think that you're getting more bang for your buck by going to dispensaries than growing yourself. Some growers make it very complex. Others don't. Most eveyrone I know grows without much effort at all, once learned a few things. If you think pot should be expensive just because it's a lot of work to grow and good pot is "rare," then I have a bridge to sell you.

    With relatively minimal effort you can grow some outstanding pot (check out the publications of Jorge Cervantes).

    Here is my point: if you don't learn to grow, you'll need to go to old school drug dealers - or if dispensaries still exist as is, then you'll be able to keep status-quo.

    Basically, unless you're filthy rich and don't need to care, someone at some point in that dispensary chain of sales is going to be laughing all the way to the bank. Have you ever seen a massive amount of pot and then they weigh out this tiny amount called an ounce and then say $200-500+? Have you ever experienced that? Have you ever been shown the secrets to a scam, while simultaneously being exposed to the internal meetings? It is literally a joke you are willing to pay "expensive" prices for any decent pot - unless you're rich and then not quite so funny, unless charged extra for asking to.

  • ||

    when i mentioned seeds or being taught to grow i was referring to cannabis.

    anyways, the fact is people currently CAN grow if they want, but they mostly choose to go to dispensaries. putting dispensaries will not inspire people to grow their own, they will just buy it some other way.

  • Just Plain Brian||

    Have you ever seen a massive amount of pot and then they weigh out this tiny amount called an ounce and then say $200-500+?



    Sure, but most of that price is paying the seller for the risk they are taking.

    For example, in Amsterdam you can buy it in a number of different places and it's cheap as can be. The sellers still make a modest profit, but the margins are much smaller than in the US because they won't get arrested for selling it.

  • Raoul Duke||

    shmenny: because otherwise it costs a lot of money ... What other industries run stores that only sell one product and make millions and millions quickly? There are some, but pot is something that has no real reason to cost a lot of money - especially if not truly rare? Nobody is going to for free, or next to free sit around and run a store for you to go buy pot in. So, if you want to be raked over the coals, keep going to dispensaries. If you don't like getting rid of profit and dispensaries, then fight for outright legalization. So, if I am going to be intellectually honest with myself and admit that I am for universal healthcare, then why would I be for for-profit medical pot? If pot is legalized outright, then stores can pop up everywhere and costs will go down, AND you would still be able to go into a store and have everything be easy. In the meantime, this somewhat legalization under the healthcare-patient paradigm, you are just inflating costs and paying way too much, for something that really shouldn't cost much. It isn't hard to grow pot, if you really want to smoke it. It's amazing how easy pot is to grow, when you can't go buy it in a store (and wow, it's amazing how much pot you get for your money it turns out when you do grow). If you want to go into stores to buy ready-to-go pot, then spend your energy fighting for outright legalization and that way, you won't be still helping to create a boutique industry of inflated pot prices.

  • Raoul Duke||

    Just Plain Brian: as I already addressed, if taboo is lowered and supply is inflated (because "everyone" is growing) then "is paying the seller for the risk they are taking" doesn't become an issue any longer. If going into a store to buy pot is important to you, then fight for outright legalization. In the meantime, CA state medical pot law is not the right venue for for-profit stores (I may like for-profit medical pot stores, if I also liked for-profit healhcare and health insurance companies).

    If it's really important to you to buy expensive pot in a store-like setting, then start sending expensive donations to NORML and Drug Policy Alliance and do something useful to promote outright legalization. In the meantime, you are buy expensive pot from people making millions and making millions while looking at enormous amounts of pot at once, taking a thimble sized amount of it and then charging a ton just for that amount. If you have ever experienced this, you'd realize what a trick it is to think good pot is rare and expensive.

  • Just Plain Brian||

    Ok, I think I follow, you're not so much opposed to all profit as you are to the massive profits as a result of the black market, right?

    If so, I certainly agree.

  • darkrail||

    Raoul: I think you've got a lot of great points. Especially about the stigma weed suffers from in our society. In my business, it seems that nearly every normal, hardworking person uses it. It makes you realize how absurd the stigma is (even though I do admit to liking Cheech and Chong movies).

    I didn't say I get better weed by paying more for it at a dispensary than growing it myself. I'm sure that if I wanted a new hobby, I would end up growing some fairly magnificent weed. Someday, maybe when I'm retired (or at least have a big stretch of down-time) I will most likely do so.

    For now, though, I'm very happy to be "laughed at" when I buy from dispensaries. I chat with the guy who owns my local dispensary nearly every time I go in. He is terrified about the federal raids. Twice his store has been broken into, the culprits stole everything, and of course he can't rely on insurance to reimburse him for his loss. Some of his peers are now serving long sentences in federal prison for doing what he's doing. I consider these legal risks that he's taking a pretty big deal. I want him to get rich. It's my way of saying "Thanks!" for providing such a convenient service.

    Of course full legalization would be wonderful. I'm for legalization of everything, both things I enjoy and things I don't enjoy.

    Is there something wrong with what I'm doing? You said people like me probably have no business using quality pot. What am I missing? I certainly don't mind the way you use pot, why do you mind the way I do it?

    PS: Or if Just Plain's Brian assumption right above me here is correct, then that answers my question. I'm also against massive profits due to a black market. But it's not the profiteers that I'm against, it's the dumb laws that make it possible. The profiteers are the ones making my life better.

  • ||

    So how many of those judges were good liberal Obama-voting democrats? Being California, I suspect a significant number of them. I'm also not hearing a huge outcry from California liberals.

  • shmenny||

    well clothing is way cheaper too if you make it yourself. but i will keep buying it. dinner from restaurants too. the markup on cannabis at a store is about the same as the fancy clothes' markup at fred segal's.

    and they dont risk their freedom to sell you clothes.

    so... you dont sell the pot you grow? is that what you are telling me raoul?

  • Raoul Duke||

    darkrail: yes, Just Plain Brian summed up my position accurately.

    In response to this: "I certainly don't mind the way you use pot, why do you mind the way I do it" - well, that would be fine with me, if it's outright legalized. If it's truly going to be dealt with as a legal healthcare product, then I think the healthcare market as a whole should be working with it (whether this is status-quo system, or a universal\public system is a different story, but I think if every pharmacy had medical pot (just like it has opiates), then prices would be lower. So, my point is, I'd rather make expensive donations to NORML, Drug Policy Alliance, etc. than pay expensive pricing structures for medical pot (in hopes of outright legalization, or medical pot becoming more structured and less fly-by-night potential for new millionaires). In the meantime, dispensaries as they are currently are able to fix prices, claim rarity, point to low competition and then charge too much. Basically, when medical pot (or legalized pot) is sold everywhere, it won't be priced fairly compared to if not in a boutique atmosphere of ca medical pot dispensaries as they exist now.

    Current medical pot pricing structures should be evaluated with the visualization in mind of a room full of pot, a thimble filled and then buyer hands over a large amount of cash for that thimble - while looking at the room full of pot, just from one even smaller harvest, with relatively low capital, time and expertise needed to ratio of expensive thimbles.

    Anyway, I just think that less people need to pay so much for pot. It's dumb.

  • Raoul Duke||

    shmenny: no, I keep it for myself and that way I can grow just one part of the year and be fine all year. Lowers costs and keeps things simple, for me.

  • Raoul Duke||

    Brandybuck: that's because the good liberals grow their own S*... Only poser liberals mix capitalism and pot.

  • shmenny||

    what about starting a dispensary that doesn't overcharge raoul? what is a fair price for an 1/8th? can you connect me with principled growers that will charge me half as much (or less) as what they charge all the current dispensaries?

    if not, quit your complaining. the growers set the market, not the dispensaries.

  • Just Plain Brian||

    no, I keep it for myself and that way I can grow just one part of the year and be fine all year. Lowers costs and keeps things simple, for me.



    But in a way you're still paying the price for it, there's just less currency involved, because if you get caught doing it you'll get in just as much trouble as other growers (for comparable amounts). You just won't have huge amounts of cash to show for it that they will.

    Not that there's anything wrong with that scheme, as long as you're happy with it. You're just forgoing the "hazard pay" that would normally come with the risk.

  • Raoul Duke||

    shmenny: I am not the person to answer that question, because I am never just looking for "an 1\8th." Whoever first decided to first breakdown pot into pounds, ounces, 1\8ths of ounces, 20 bags, 10 bags, 5 bags, etc. is a capitalist "genius." I am more of the league that sells "Steal This Book" and grows my own. So, my position goes even deeper to question whether or not I even want to participate in a pot market. If you want to participate in pot market, then fight for outright legalization, or visit a non-state law protected, per 1\8 drug dealer. ;-)

  • shmenny||

    there's over 500 dispensaries in LA city, not LA county. there's plenty of competition. pounds cost between 1200 and 6000 dollars. thats what growers charge.

  • Raoul Duke||

    Just Plain Brian: you nailed it with "hazard pay." I am just working from a different point of view, politically, etc. than you are. You think (I guess?) "hazard pay" will eventually go away, if you keep status-quo and keep paying "hazard pay" to prop up millionaires. I prefer, politically speaking, to take a long-term view - and my own energy is only going into outright legalization, or medical pot system that doesn't make patients believe than 1\8th of pot is a good amount to purchase, when is just a joke of an amount to go acquire.

  • shmenny||

    and growers have it easy compared to dispensary owners. they manage plants, not people. just a thought. i know LOTS of dispensary owners. none of them are rich. as a general rule, they are more about compassion then the growers. they are the ones putting themselves out there in the line of fire! they are the ones trying to change how cannabis is perceived. dont hate the player, hate the game. if you wanna change things, sell what you grow for way less than it fetches on the open market.

    then you will be trying to fix what you complain about. then i'll be impressed.

  • Raoul Duke||

    shmenny: sure, they all charge about the same, because they know it's "hazard pay," - and they all know people think 1\8 is a great amount to get and buy (they know the expectation is still expensive and offering measly 1\8ths). Just Plain Brian very smartly pointed out the "hazard pay" wording.

  • Raoul Duke||

    shmenny: "dont hate the player, hate the game." Well, I do not believe the ends justify the means and so far you haven't effectively convinced me otherwise.

    "then you will be trying to fix what you complain about. then i'll be impressed." Yeah, because you know me and what I donate to and what I do. Right.

  • the shmennster||

    again, if you really wanna change things, sell what you grow for way less than it fetches on the open market.

    hell, i wish there were less growers "making millions and millions". i really do. i just think a good chunk of your hostility is misplaced.

    i hate what all kinds of stores charge for stuff. i wish my house cost less. i wish car batteries were cheaper. whole foods is a joke. so are these 60 dollar t shirts and 250 jeans.

  • Raoul Duke||

    shmenny: also, when you say, "if you wanna change things, sell what you grow for way less" - here is a better idea: grow your own &*^*( pot and then pay nobody for it. If you still are craving to purchase one measly eighth of one ounce, then you deserve all the punishment you can get. Anyway, that's that ... Maybe if people like you quit making a market need for pot, the price will go lower. Maybe I am old school to think you'll enjoy your pot more, if you grow it yourself. If you have a craving for buying small amounts of pot for large amounts of money, then don't ask for state "medical" pot law to protect you and go to the streets to look for pot.

  • shmenny||

    so i dont buy that crap. but i dont tell people not to if they want to or can afford it.

  • Raoul Duke||

    the shmennster: "i wish car batteries were cheaper. whole foods is a joke. so are these 60 dollar t shirts and 250 jeans"

    Maybe car batteries are a fairer price than most medical pot and who said one eighth of an ounce of pot is a fair price at ___whatever it is___? Maybe. I don't know without going over business models and profit margins, etc. specifically.

    250 jeans wouldn't exist, if they didn't sell. In the meantime, if you only think short-term (where can I get pot NOW and without growing it self?!), then you deserve only one tiny eighth for an inflated price. Long-term thinking is different and can help to change what the norms are. Sure, a tall order - but nevertheless still accurate.

  • Just Plain Brian||

    You think (I guess?) "hazard pay" will eventually go away, if you keep status-quo and keep paying "hazard pay" to prop up millionaires



    Not exactly, I'm more of the opinion that the differences in attitudes about weed are largely generational. I think part of the change we're already seeing is due to older generations dying off, and being replaced by more weed-friendly younger ones.

    I still support outright legalization, and I think efforts in that direction help, I'm just not so sure people's minds are that open above a certain age.

    I don't think "hazard pay" will go away all by itself, but ballot measures for medicinal marijuana are starting to pass in several states by large margins, and that's really just a first step in the right direction.

  • shmenny||

    actually, i rarely consume cannabis r duke. i definitely have never bought an 1/8th from a dispensary. i get it for free from grower friends. and i have a cannabis recommendation.

    do you think it should be regarded as medicine or just completely legal like cigarettes?

  • Raoul Duke||

    shmenny: "but i dont tell people not to if they want to or can afford it."

    Well, I do. It isn't outright legalized, yet and I don't think prop 215 caters to people that want to pay large amounts of money for pot (and in the meantime, I doubt anyone is going to be sitting around in a store waiting to sell you pot, unless large profit is involved - or you met a friendly pot smoking communist; so, change the law and comply until it's changed - just as you should seatbelt law, etc.).

    Just my two coppers. No conversion to my side, or you to yours is required - unless it's a genuine change of feelings, and so far nobody has changed my mind here.

  • ||

    The easy solution is for all the employees to have cards, its not like they don't give them out to anyone for any fucking reason under the sun.

  • Raoul Duke||

    shmenny: "do you think it should be regarded as medicine or just completely legal like cigarettes"

    I would prefer the latter, but the former is still the case now, legally in CA; therefore, these posts are my opinions about pot and dispensaries.

  • shmenny||

    r duke: "250 jeans wouldn't exist, if they didn't sell."

    my point exactly. but i dont tell everybody to make their own to put people out of business like you do. after all we are on a libertarian website, free minds and markets...

    cannabis will be cheaper when farmers sell it for less. it's pretty simple.

  • Just Plain Brian||

    and in the meantime, I doubt anyone is going to be sitting around in a store waiting to sell you pot, unless large profit is involved



    Sure, but you could say that about a lot of different products - why would someone sit around in a store just to sell you chewing gum? Yet, you can still find lots of places to buy it because it's just one of many products.

    As long as a weed store isn't legally required to sell weed only, it could be just one more product a store sells.

  • Raoul Duke||

    shmenny: "but i dont tell everybody to make their own to put people out of business like you do"

    ... and neither would I, if pot were legalized outright. It isn't in CA currently, but it is called "medical," so this idea that you should be able to go into a for-profit medical pot business is foreign to my brain.

  • shmenny||

    so you think cigarettes and alcohol and prozac and ritalin should all be sold not-for-profit?

  • Raoul Duke||

    Just Plain Brian: "why would someone sit around in a store just to sell you chewing gum? Yet, you can still find lots of places to buy it because it's just one of many products"

    Exactly. When pot is outright legalized it'll be under the same structure as your chewing gum example. Right now it's still considered a "medical" thing in CA, but with taboo that creates inflated prices (not just anyone in any place in CA can open a medical pot dispensary; it is a boutique industry and a price-fixed, controlled market as it is now - or was before this court ruling today).

  • shmenny||

    if cannabis is legalized outright, i really dont think the price will go down too much. its never gonna cost the same as a salad or an ounce of green tea.

  • shmen||

    actually, growers have already lost about a 1000 a pound on the price of their flowers since the proliferation of the dispensary.

    but in your experience, how much more does a store charge for cannabis then a black market dealer?
    because i know of stores that charge better prices than the homie who stops by your house.

  • Raoul Duke||

    shmenny: "so you think cigarettes and alcohol and prozac and ritalin should all be sold not-for-profit?"

    Nope, but I don't think pot should be sold for-profit in a boutique industry in a price-fixed, controlled market as it is now - or was before this court ruling today. CA pot law as it is now (prop 215) didn't create a market structure, specifically - but does allow patients with a doctor's prescription to grow and possess pot. I fail to see the connection to this allowing for $50+ an eighth sales in a store setting. If you want this, help pass outright legalization and end the taboo. As it is now, there is still taboo ("patients," hard to open a pot store and stay open in most CA towns) and this & more raise prices.

  • Just Plain Brian||

    Right now it's still considered a "medical" thing in CA



    I agree it should be 100% legal, I just think the medicinal thing is a step on the way there.

    The other big factor that I think will work in favor of legalization is the rough state of the economy. The argument for legalization gets a lot stronger for most people when the prospect of taxing it comes into play (not the most popular argument *here*, mind you), and when the average voter starts to view it as a potential revenue stream, I think we'll see huge leaps in the right direction.

  • Raoul Duke||

    shmen: "if cannabis is legalized outright, i really dont think the price will go down too much. its never gonna cost the same as a salad or an ounce of green tea."

    I am willing to believe this when I see more than just morons buying expensive pot. I know lots and lots of people that don't need to buy expensive pot, so that tells me you all are stooges, instead of any market realities that pertain to more than just stooges.

    "but in your experience, how much more does a store charge for cannabis then a black market dealer?
    because i know of stores that charge better prices than the homie who stops by your house."

    No homies need to stop by, because they know how easy it is to grow their own and don't need to go search out pot. Your problem is that you're expecting me to also live in a lifetime where pot is rare and anyone I know pays a dime for pot. I am sorry if this isn't your world (lots of people live in a world where people around them think expensive pot is the norm). However, I don't agree you can use prop215 to make profits. Make different law and then feel free to carry out as you are speaking of.

  • Just Plain Brian||

    I know lots and lots of people that don't need to buy expensive pot, so that tells me you all are stooges, instead of any market realities that pertain to more than just stooges.



    I'm all for it being cheaper, but it's not like I don't get anything for the money I spend now. For one thing, I get the peace of mind that comes from not taking the legal risk. And I'm able to use my free time for fun, and gardening isn't my idea of fun.

    I have a comfortable job that allows me to afford the luxury, and as long as it's illegal I simply can't afford the costs associated with being arrested with anything but very small personal amounts.

    I want it to be legal, but until it is I'm not willing to abstain completely or take big risks. For anyone that is, more power to them.

  • Raoul Duke||

    Just Plain Brian: "I agree it should be 100% legal, I just think the medicinal thing is a step on the way there."

    I too think it's a step on the way there, but not directly as part of the technical letter of the prop215 law. It's more so a step on the way there as a way for society to potentially (hopefully!) become more comfortable with completely legalizing pot. This is diminished when non-pot smoking (and voting and letter writing) parts of society see people going gah-gah over how great it is to go pick up one eighth of pot - and get raked over the coals with the pricing. Sounds like ravenous addicts more than anything good (unless you want to make the analogy of an old person buying cat food, so that they have enough social security left over to buy pot from some young wise acre with a fat wallet).

  • Raoul Duke||

    Just Plain Brian: "but until it is I'm not willing to abstain completely or take big risks"

    I understand where you're coming from. Good luck with that. I still don't think prop215 as it's written addresses this issue you raise. Therefore, if having a technical argument about state law and court decisions about the written laws in effect, I have to say that I still feel the same way that I already feel.

    If having a non-technical, non-legal discussion about this issue, you are preaching to the choir, man. I am the last person that likes going without and I am likewise the last person that likes huge hassles (and I wouldn't grow and would be looking for stores, if I didn't develop a personal system that is very easy, very efficient and very plentiful for my own amounts, with basically next to no effort - now that I have perfected my growing techniques, for personal amounts).

  • </i>||

    These comments are full of dirty ,patchouli stinkin' brain-damaged hippies.

    All drugs should be legal if there is a willing seller and buyer and no fraud is involved.

  • shmenny||

    r duke, the price is fixed by the growers!!! are you hearing me on this?

    very few dispensaries grow their own supply. but many dispensary owners do have an array of shrewd grower friends who give em a 10% discount on market value. if they are lucky.

    price will always be dictated by the grower. dispensaries aren't wal-marts that say, " give us this price or you don't get our massive account." it just aint so. there is also plenty of competition that makes many stores constantly tighten their margins. the biggest problem if you ask the dispensary? they cant get anything cheap enough to sell $20 eighths!
    how they PINE to sell a quality $20 eighth.

    onward: outright legalization will make philip morris sell cheap industrial cannabis cigarettes that many will smoke, and many won't smoke. and on the flipside, expensive boutique operations will ALWAYS exist for the connoisseur. just like wineries: 2 buck chuck, or 350 bucks a bottle.

    your assumptions about me are way off. you obviously have issues with those who have lots of money, and i think i skews your perceptions of reality. and fyi, i am not one of 'em. enough, i only wanted to talk issues.

  • Raoul Duke||

    shmenny: "r duke, the price is fixed by the growers!!! are you hearing me on this?"

    Yeah and they have willing buyers (dispensaries) and they have willing buyers, too (dummies like you that are willing to pay a lot). It all trickles down.

    If you want to have a general discussion, I am not going to bother really disagreeing with you. However, if talking about prop215 and the technical letter of the law, my current opinions are still my current opinions.

  • Just Plain Brian||

    This is diminished when non-pot smoking (and voting and letter writing) parts of society see people going gah-gah over how great it is to go pick up one eighth of pot



    I don't think the price makes that big an impression to the average person, at least not in terms of whether they think it should be legal or not.

    There's a market for bags of ice, and despite the fact that the formula to make it is pretty well-known, as well as the fact that most people can make it at home essentially for free there's still plenty of people who pay comparatively huge amounts for it. I seriously doubt this all has much effect on how people feel about ice.

  • Raoul Duke||

    Just Plain Brian:

    Like shmenny, etc., if you want to have a general discussion, I am not going to bother really disagreeing with you. However, if talking about prop215 and the technical letter of the law, my current opinions are still my current opinions.

  • Just Plain Brian||

    if talking about prop215 and the technical letter of the law, my current opinions are still my current opinions.



    Absolutely those laws are imperfect, I just don't want to make the perfect the enemy of the good.

  • Raoul Duke||

    shmenny: "you obviously have issues with those who have lots of money"

    Not so much really, but just because someone can afford to buy at for-profit dispensaries, that doesn't automatically and magically change prop215 language.

    So, again: if you want to have a general discussion, I am not going to bother really disagreeing with you. However, if talking about prop215 and the technical letter of the law, my current opinions are still my current opinions.

    Anyone who thinks pot is worth paying for is allowed to think that, but that doesn't mean prop215 language makes room for them, just because they feel like paying someone for pot that they could have grown and had pounds for next to no money, compared to buying it from someone asking money from them.

  • shmen the rich dummy||

    uh, again, i dont buy cannabis. just to clear that up. alright buddy? okay there fella. i'm outta here.

    like i said, hate the game. i ain't the problem.
    you are just a disgruntled socialist stoner moody wanker who wishes you had more money. and hey--i do too, but it doesnt make me dislike those who have more $ than me.

  • Raoul Duke||

    shmen: "you are just a disgruntled socialist stoner moody wanker who wishes you had more mone"

    I guess I hit a nerve with you. Like I said, I wouldn't bother disagreeing with you, if we were having a general discussion. However, we are not. This article and this thread are regarding prop215 and its technical, legal language. In a general discussion about pot, I wouldn't bother to post any serious disagreements with what you have posted so far. When you make that assumption about me, you are forgetting that this discussion is about prop215 - and prop215 doesn't allow for what you are speaking of, in my opinion.

  • Hacha Cha||

    Fuck California. The Free State Project and the NH LP need to get on the fucking ball, legalize gambling, prostitution, assisted suicide, and medical cannabis. oh and since they already aren't receiving federal highway tax dollars because of no state mandatory seat belt law they might as well lower the drinking age to 18.
    does Oregon and Washington have the "Pot Shops" like CA does? like pot vending machines?

  • Hacha Cha||

    the members of the local "cannabis growers association" agree with me, cannabis is like any other agricultural/pharmaceutical commodity. if you don't want to grow/make it yourself you pay for it or trade for it. no such thing as a free lunch or joint.

  • Gary||

    Hacha Cha is right, except for the fact that there are different levels of what is to be considered fair, versus what is considered to be only for morons as buyers (applicable whether it's car batteries, corn, milk, pot, or whatever).

    My point is that the standard pricing structures ($50 an eighth, etc.) are for morons - regardless of how many such morons exist that make in one existing market, among many (such as the pot market with smarter citizens that make fair trades, fair compensation, etc. and no trade is ever usually for small amounts - so only need one harvest a year... Maybe I just live in a better part of CA than you do ...)


    Re: "cannabis is like any other agricultural/pharmaceutical commodity. if you don't want to grow/make it yourself you pay for it or trade for it. no such thing as a free lunch or joint."

  • Raoul Duke||

    Excerpts:

    "The remaining legal defense for medical marijuana providers is to organize as patient cooperatives and collectives, which are legal under SB 420.

    'The Mentch decision highlights the inadequacy of California's current medical marijuana supply system,' California NORML coordinator Dale Gieringer told the Indy Bay News. 'The law needs to allow for professional licensed growers, as with other medicinal herbs.'"

    -

    "Amazingly, this case found its way to California's high court because bank tellers reported Mentch to law enforcement because his cash deposit smelled strongly like cannabis (Mentch was caught with approximately 200 cannabis plants that he believed he was lawfully tending, in compliance with Prop 215, for five medical patients who possessed a physician's recommendation)."

    FROM:

    http://blog.norml.org/2008/11/24/california-supreme-court-ruling-limits-medical-marijuana-distribution/

  • darkrail||

    I personally love to do moral things that are currently illegal. Breaking an immoral federal law by walking into a fancy shop on a fancy street and buying "fancy" weed just makes me so, so happy. If I didn't care so much about my safety, I would happily drive around beltless to flaunt the stupid seat-belt law. When we didn't believe in England's taxation system, we threw tea into the Boston harbor.

    That's what this is like to me. It's using an oddly worded ballot proposition to wave my middle finger at the feds. And it's turning into a quiet revolution of sorts, as the people all peaceably go about their weed buying/selling activities out in broad daylight and the feds can't do much about it. The weed itself is irrelevant; the "measly" 8ths I buy are huge to me; they always dry out before I smoke the whole thing.

    To me it's all about asserting our inalienable rights--the rights that the constitution says can't be taken away, but have been taken anyway. (And yes, I also support NORML and the ASA.)

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