Berkeley Turns Medical Marijuana From a Treatment to an Obligation

"So what you call insanity, we call solidarity!"Credit: Dank Depot / photo on flickrDammit, Berkeley! America is getting more and more comfortable with legalizing marijuana, and then you had to turn around and Britta the whole thing! Via KCBS in San Francisco:

The city of Berkeley will require medical marijuana dispensaries to give away two percent of the amount of cannabis they sell each year free to low-income patients.

The City Council voted unanimously at Tuesday's meeting to amend the city's medical pot rules, which would also allow for a fourth dispensary in Berkeley.

"Basically, the city council wants to make sure that low-income, homeless, indigent folks have access to their medical marijuana, their medicine," said Berkeley City Councilmember Darryl Moore.

Under the proposal, at least two percent of all medical weed dispensed at a club would have to be provided at no cost to very low-income members — and it must be the same quality that's dispensed to regular paying customers.

Not only is it intrusive regulation, it's probably also unnecessary. KCBS points out that one local dispensary, the Berkeley Patients Group, has been giving away free marijuana to the poor and has been for 15 years, but they'll actually have to increase the amount in order to comply with this rule.

In the interview Moore notes that medical marijuana is not as cheap as non-users might think it is. True, but this City Council vote is likely to end up driving those prices up further.

Critics of medical marijuana like to try to delegitimize its use by arguing the ease by which somebody can land a prescription, particularly in California, where they've got pot shops next door to funnel cake vendors on Venice Beach. The libertarian response is not that the argument is wrong but that it's irrelevant. People should be able to consume what they want anyway.

Ordering pot dispensaries to provide their goods for free to one select group changes the dynamic. Now one group of marijuana users is subsidizing another. Now, suddenly, whether the prescription is legitimate means something. And the fact that the subsidy has a limit also means something. What if it turns out there is enough of a demand for medical marijuana among the poor to actually consume five percent of a dispensary's merchandise? Will those with medical marijuana prescriptions for actual ailments lose out to those who just said the right words to a friendly doctor? Leave it to Berkeley to make a libertarian worry about fake medical marijuana prescriptions.

On the other hand, Berkeley is Berkeley, and the residents there all know as much. The KCBS reporter went looking around for residents opposed to this plan and could find only one woman whose sole concern was marijuana falling into the "wrong hands." She was fine with it as long as they had a prescription. Being Berkeley, it's entirely possible that paying medical marijuana users there don't mind subsidizing the poor. But if that's the case, doing so doesn't require city action.

(Hat tip to Tom Palmer)

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  • Drake||

    Is there anything Commies can't ruin?

  • perlhaqr||

    Probably, but I'm sure it starts with a barren, radioactive wasteland, and goes downhill from there.

  • Brandon||

    No sex without written consent in this wasteland! And we have no paper!

  • stefan2563||

    If you think Patrick`s story is impressive..., five weaks-ago my son in law earnt $8989 workin 40 hours a month from their apartment and the're neighbor's mom`s neighbour done this for 3 months and made more than $8989 parttime on there pc. apply the guidelines on this site works33.com
    (Go to site and open "Home" for details)

  • Free Society||

    Words cannot adequately describe how stupendously ignorant of economics and philosophy these California progressives are.

  • Idle Hands||

    Forget it Free Society, it's Californiatown.

  • Square||

    Please don't confuse Berkeley with California proper. It is it's own special place.

  • Free Society||

    Yeah, they've attained a higher level of stupid.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    See, this is why we can't legalize teh drugs until we get the government out of medicine.

  • Jordan||

    +1 Jerb

  • waffles||

    Riposte

    Giving pot to the homeless is really pointless. Nothing about getting high will help their situation. It will make it more tolerable, but it is basically accepting that these people are indigent wild humans who will spend the rest of their days as a parasitic nuisance.

    I read a guide to being homeless a fews years back when I was experimenting with different lifestyles and it strongly recommended against smoking pot. Being homeless is super dangerous and being high makes you more vulnerable and more paranoid.

  • kilroy||

    But selling your free pot on the other hand...

    I don't care if a homeless person(or anyone else) sells pot but it shouldn't be subsidized by someone else against their will.

  • Jensen||

    Hell, I've actually bought pot off a homeless guy before. It was utter shit but cheap and it was clear he was selling it to fill some other substance habit.

  • waffles||

    their medicin

    I think I'm as pro-pot as anyone but this phrase always makes me cringe. No one has ever died due to a lack of thc.

  • SweatingGin||

    If the seizure girl in NJ really checks out as being helped exclusively by pot, you may have to update that.

    Seems like medicine could also be just to relieve symptoms. Benadryl is still medicine, right?

  • perlhaqr||

    *puts on EMT hat*

    Diphenhydramine is a life saving medication at times, we administer it in an IV format to people who are having severe anaphylactic reactions. Shellfish, bee stings, etc.

    So, yes, while it is most commonly known to many people as a simple symptom relief drug, it definitely has critical care uses.

    *takes off EMT hat*

    Not that I care about pot use. It's a goddamn weed. Anyone should be at liberty to grow, sell, or consume as much of it as they like.

    *waves vaguely with the EMT hat*

    Fuck, it'd be a lot nicer to deal with stoners than to have to give Narcan to OD'ing heroin users...

    "Sir? Sir? Yes, you have 'cotton mouth'. Drink a big glass of water, eat two sandwiches, and next time use the three foot bong instead of the six footer. And don't call 911 because you got too stoned again."

  • SweatingGin||

    It was the first thing that popped into mind.

    Nice to see another Perler in the wild.

  • It's a Wagon Wheel!||

    I think I'm as pro-pot as anyone but this phrase always makes me cringe.

    I feel the same, and yet, I know I'm wrong. Some people use it to sleep, some say it helps with appetite, and then there are the PTSD people and the seizure treatments.

    I'm just not quite comfortable with that for some reason, but as I said, I kind of know it's my problem.

  • Free Society||

    Yeah but when I'm nauseous that THC keeps me from puking and the room from spinning. When up with insomnia as I'm wont to do, it helps me get sleepy with the right strand. But the main draw is that I like to smoke pot in general. The medicinal effects a periphery concern, though they're no less real.

    Not to mention the research showing the multi-pronged effectiveness of cannabinoids in combating and even preventing cancer.

  • BakedPenguin||

    No one has ever died due to a lack of thc.

    From what I've read, it's mostly the cannabinoids that do the heavy lifting for medical uses. They've even developed low-THC / high cannabinoid strains for people who use medically, but don't necessarily want to get high.

  • waffles||

    Which is why I said thc rather than the cbd which is for seizures. Thc gets you high the cannabinoids color the effect.

  • SQRLSY One||

    No one ever died for lack of thc?!?! Utter bullshit!!! The Government Almighty KILLED a libertarian hero, Peter McWilliams, by taking away his “permission” to take THC!!! See http://www.cannabisculture.com/articles/1660.html

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Next up - a law saying that everybody must get stoned.

  • SweatingGin||

    Can't have icky smoking. Package it in pill form, call it Soma or something.

  • perlhaqr||

    Johnson's Lozenges!

  • ||

    +1 Rainy Day Woman

  • Idle Hands||

    +1 "They'll stone ya just a-like they said they would"

    Who knew Bob Dylan was a prophet?

  • Jeff R.||

    At least we would not feel so all alone.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Well, okay.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Sometimes you gotta love Berkeley. They're just so ... Berkeley.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    So, Berkeley will be forcing marijuana businesses to give away enough pot to get poor people hooked, but not nearly enough for them last a whole year.

    Isn't that what dealers used to do in the Bad Old Days?

  • It's a Wagon Wheel!||

    to get poor people hooked

    They still make you?

  • Drake||

    Get the hook in 'em.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Californians- if you couldn't fuck 'em, there'd be a bounty on 'em.

  • Hawk Spitui||

    Beware of movements that with the words, "it's nobody's business but my own!". You can be sure it'll wind up becoming your business, whether you want it to be or not.

  • Hugh Akston||

    If something is a good idea, then making it mandatory must be a great idea.

  • SusanM||

    Slightly OT from the journal of stygian proggie darkness

    http://thinkprogress.org/justi.....-research/

  • Idle Hands||

    No I will not give them page views.

  • Matrix||

    I was hoping to find something in the article about the city reimbursing the dispensaries for marijuana they have to give out "for free." But I found nothing. So, it would be like a grocery store being forced by the government to give free food to the poor, or a restaurant to cook a free meal for poor people... wtf?

    So when prostitution is legal, will prostitutes have to give free blowjobs to homeless guys?

  • gaoxiaen||

    Why stop with hookers? Neighbors, friends, acquaintances and coworkers could all help provide this valuable service.

  • toolkien||

    That which isn't forbidden is compulsory.

    I really don't want to be an internet revolutionary and add pages to my "FBI NSA CIA NOAA NASA OMB IRS FCC FDA ERISA FDIC SSA" file, but I will NOT live in such a society. I refuse. I can't live civilly in a world where "interest" in every affair and transaction of an individual has to pass through a hundred filters of what is allowed and not allowed and mandated. I just ins't going to happen. And the biggest problem is, with so many layers of government and Force First solutions, you'll be damned if you do and damned if you don't.

  • Rob Ives||

    I agree, bud, but always remember...it is those rightys who want to control your life. I am sure that Berkeley must be controlled by a bunch of 'em.

  • wareagle||

    so there's a right to free weed now?

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    That which is not forbidden is mandatory.

  • SweatingGin||

    OT: NSA targeting TOR, Tails, and Linux Journal as a source of info about those.

    http://daserste.ndr.de/panoram.....age-2.html

  • Matrix||

    Merely visiting privacy-related websites is enough for a user's IP address to be logged into an NSA database.

    I suppose we're all terrorists now?

  • SweatingGin||

    OT: NSA targeting TOR, Tails, and Linux Journal as a source of info about those.

    http://daserste.ndr.de/panoram.....age-2.html

  • GILMORE||

    "you had to turn around and Britta the whole thing!"

    When you look up the link, and the comment still makes no sense? ITS A SHITTY POP-CULTURE REFERENCE

    I thought... what do 'Water Purifiers'... erm....

    Here's a horrifying truth =

    When weed was illegal, cool people did it. That's what cool people do. Or used to do. I'm not cool anymore, i have no idea.

    Now that its a thing for *everybody*, soon its going to be gayer than a teenage fat girl's best friend who loves Depeche Mode. Its going to be mixed with hummus and served at Yuppie parties.

  • From the Tundra||

    ...gayer than a teenage fat girl's best friend who loves Depeche Mode.

    Truly, you have a gift, G.

  • Swiss Servator, CH verlort :(||

    He does...sometimes I scroll down in TI threads just to see his fashion review...

  • From the Tundra||

    Aren't you drunk yet, SS? It's almost noon!

  • ||

    So what you're saying is heroin from vending machines won't be cool?

    The Sneetches, all the sociology you need to get by.

  • GILMORE||

    My guess is that the Drugs of the next actually 'culturally rebellious' generation ...

    (sorry Gen Y/Millenials = you're the domesticated lapdogs of the Boomers and somehow passed entirely through your 20s without any kind of generational Yawp of independence at all. You brought us Pajama Boy and selfies. well done btw)

    ...will be psychedelics/MDMA offshoots.

    Smoking pot is easy. Its basically a mental laxative.

    Potent psychedelics? (I'm talking real LSD, Mesc, peyote, etc.) *take real balls*. And only people with pretty solid psyches do well with them (the rest either quit forever, or get unhelpfully-weirder)

    So even if 'most' commercial drugs are decriminalized, i suspect the real action will not be in the traditional 'opiates/speed' spectrum, but novel mind-altering substances that derive from things that fuck with your nervous-system/brain.

    Which actually leads me to wonder = where's the anti-drug-war movement regarding legalization of LSD? just curious.

  • MSimon||

    Seems to help with PTSD.

  • Hawk Spitui||

    Provide a leftist with a service and in a week he'll be calling it a human right.

  • Gene||

    Well they better fucking buy them some papers too.

  • Swiss Servator, CH verlort :(||

    And lighters.

  • PapayaSF||

    Ah, Berkeley.

    "We have a tremendous homeless problem, with people coming from all over the country to be homeless here. We keep adding free services for them, but nothing seems to help. What can we do?"

    "Mandate that other people give them free pot?"

    "Brilliant!"

  • Rob Ives||

    Yo, libertarians, this is why you can't trust leftys. No matter what you do they will mandate that you do what THEY think you should do.
    Ha, sooner or later you run out of other people's pot.

  • Idle Hands||

    Yo Rob Ives which is why liberals suck, as do conservatives because both can boot licking statists when it comes to their hobby horses.

  • Dread Pirate Roberts||

    I lived in Berkeley for nine years and their politicians are the pits. From their point of view, everything is either mandatory or forbidden.

  • Square||

    The only city in the country with a foreign policy.

    I think of that every time I hit a pothole in Berkeley.

  • bassjoe||

    They're called love dips, you corporatist car driver, you.

  • Libertarius||

    Yeah, that's just what poor people need, free dope. The left is a sewer of mindless nihilism and blind emotionalism, they are disgusting excuses for human beings.

    You bet your asses I'm making a VALUE JUDGMENT

  • Josh The Radio Dude||

    HAHA! You used "Britta" as a verb! #SixSeasonsAndAMovie

  • Dread Pirate Roberts||

    Next week from the Berkeley city council: streetwalkers will be required to service 2% of their tricks to the homeless and indigent for free.

  • Intn'l House of Badass||

    Apparently, in Berkeley, you will no longer have to fight for your right to party.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Is there some official homeless card that you need?

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