Medical Marijuana

L.A. Medical Pot Drama Gets Wilder

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L.A. after years of wrangling finally passed a highly restrictive new ordinance governing state-legal medical marijuana dispensaries, as Jacob Sullum noted earlier. Now this afternoon, the L.A. Weekly is reporting on a fresh L.A. Superior Court decision that if it gets upheld makes all that work nugatory.

That's because the ordinance L.A.'s City Council voted on explicitly allows the (non-profit) sale of pot to qualified patient members of your collective. However, today's decision, in a case involving an Eagle Rock neighborhood dispensary called Hemp Factory V, says, according to the Weekly's reporting, that such cash sales are straight-up illegal–an opinion that L.A.'s city attorney and county D.A. both agree with.

The whole twisted saga of L.A. and medical pot will be told in a forthcoming Reason magazine feature. Over at my California news and politics blog "City of Angles" this morning I surveyed the current state of pot in L.A. (prior to the "sales are illegal" whammy linked above) with many links.

NEXT: Reason Writers Around Town: Jesse Walker on Populism

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  1. That’s a fantastic word: “nugatory.” So sexy.

    1. It is after 8:00 AM Saturday and no new story.

      By the powers I have seized on my own, with, like, um, my super-cool Super Powers! I anoint this the open weekend thread and I present: Suki’s Weekend Links.

      1. Good Morning, Suki!

        Thanks for shaking it up. You are incorrigible.

        I will pick up on the purported warning about space aliens. I’m pretty sure there are at least two living and working in the DC area. However, I’ve never felt particularly threatened by them. They seem to be advancing the SOA of computer science. But they don’t have superpowers, unless they’re hiding them; indeed, one has some kind of metabolic disorder.

        Thoughts?

        1. Rich,

          I think they are making veiled references to James Carville and I am convinced he would not know Computer Science if it toppled over on him in a server room.

          Also, be cautioned, I have been in the DC area during Anime convention season. Many are convincing as extraterrestrials in and out of costume! Not sure what is going on down there as we write.

          Can you tell us more about yours without it being a threat to your molecular integrity?

          1. Well, ol’ James gets that a lot; but I think he merely has some naked mole rat ancestry.

            The two I suspect are joined at the hip. The older one is always neatly dressed in black (and NO, it is not Teh Jacket); the younger looks like a hippy.

            1. Now I am stumped. Carry on with your investigation and keep us informed.

              The secret extraterrestrial information center in DC is in the basement at:
              1717 PENNSYLVANIA AVE NW.
              WASHINGTON, DC
              20006

              Secret Challenge is: Cane
              Secret Reply is: Monocle

        2. Speaking of tricksters, this one lied to me about being a real alien AND the hidden camera! NSFW if you work in a Mosque.

          Oh, Incorrigible would be my middle name if I had one ๐Ÿ˜‰

          1. Nice photo, even if you’re not in it.

            IMO, it *is* SFW if you work in the Mosque of the Red Death.

            1. What makes you think I can’t morph into a Caucasian with my Super Powers? Huh?

      2. Snow report from John T. via Google Chat:

        “It’s snowing in Arlington, VA. Appocolypse (sic) to begin at noon. Conservative estimates are 10,000 deaths due to bottled water hoarding since tap water just won’t do.”

        1. Update: “Nature is so racist! Streets are white. No sign of cars set alight to warm stranded travelers in major intersections, yet.”

      3. Thank you for the link about the Tim Tebow prolife Super Bowl ad.

        Let me add another link:

        The feminist attorney Gloria Allred has attacked the free-speech rights of two corporations ? CBS and Focus on the Family. You see, CBS is planning to run a Super Bowl ad by Focus on the Family starring football star Tim Tebow and his mother Pam Tebow. Mrs. Tebow was a missionary in the Phillippines when she was pregnant with Tim, and doctors there advised her to get an abortion, which she refused to do.

        Allred sent a threatening letter saying that she’ll report the ad to not one, but two federal agencies unless it mentions that abortion was a crime in the Phillippines at the time. Apparently, failing to mention the illegality of abortion in the Phillippines would make the ad “misleading,” warranting the attention of the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission.

        Bear in mind that, as Allred acknowledges, she has not seen the ad and doesn’t know whether it will mention Phillippine abortion law. But she knows the relevant facts ? the prolifers are about to exercise free speech, and it’s time to stop them!

        1. What product or service would it be advertising misleadingly — babies, or delivery of same?

        2. Catch her as herself in Rat Race by Andy Breckman?

  2. Why not keep it simple? Make pot equivalent to alcohol. Anyone who has a liqueur license now has a liqueur and marijuana license. You can sell it under the same restrictions under which you can sell booze, no sales anyone under 21, etc. Simple, easy and quick.

    1. As if the politicians want pot sold to people without prescriptions for it…

      1. I thought you just died or was that a different writer?

        1. He’s more like Holden Caulfield than JD

          1. I think he was making a joke about Joseph Heller, not JD Salinger ๐Ÿ˜‰

            1. Got it. Mine is an insider joke.

              1. I still feel like such an outcast here ๐Ÿ™

                1. “I still feel like such an outcast here :(” Don’t. We woman need to stick together.

                  1. Wait,here comes the comments.

                    1. Rabble rabble rabble!

                    2. Senator, you’re no Jack Kenn..Joseph Heller

                    3. This message was not authorized or paid for by bleek obummer.

                    4. lesson learned?

    2. That whole licensing system needs to go too. Otherwise, I am with you. Same same with guns.

  3. They’re fucking up implementation of the medical-MJ law in MI, as well. I’ve just never understood what the issue was with a plant. It really is a weed. And help me understand again how the “war on drugs” is helping me by keeping my lungs away from inhaling burnt remnants of it. I won’t even get into the whole “by what authority” issue.

    TFU…

    1. Wait, I forgot about the excellent population-control side benefit to the “war” that we’re experiencing in Juarez and elsewhere on the Mexico/US border. A few more dead bodies and the “war” will have been well worth it. Thanks, government!

    2. Coca is a plant too. So are many of the sources of medicine. You are not really making a point.

      The real point is being free to ingest whatever molecule you like, no matter the source, as long as you don’t harm others.

    3. It doesn’t really have much to do with plants. It’s drug war hysteria (which is decreasing) combined with KULTUR WAR bullshit (damn hippies smoking dope!) combined with the fact that it gives the government and LEOs massive amounts of power and control. And they don’t want to give that up.

      1. I don’t care what they smoke. If they would just bathe and wash their clothes they would not be so offensive.

        1. Have you ever tried to get the bongwater smell out of cotton? It’s not like you can just pour some Tide on it and throw it in the wash.

          1. Wash that cotton?!

            No, man, you smoke it!

    4. Poison ivy is a plant too, but you wouldn’t want to legalize smoking that, would you?

      1. When did they make that stupid idea illegal?

        1. Tulpa was being sarcastic.

          ..right?

          1. Normally I would think so but it was missing a pinch of snark this time.

            1. Actually, I think Tulpa just had a sargasm.

              1. You almost made me spit Starbucks! ๐Ÿ˜‰

              2. That’s one step below a sarcophagasm.

      2. Smoking poison ivy is illegal? Since when? On whose authority?

        1. I don’t know if it is illegal, but it will kill you in a very nasty fashion.

          1. Which is why we need to send a message to the children by making it illegal.

      3. I knew a guy who accidentally smoked some.

        He was unhappy about it, but did recover after hospitalization.

        1. Was his name Robyn and did he wear tights and hang out with an older guy who liked costumes?

          1. I was thinking more Mr. Fujisawa from El-Hazard, but that works too.

          2. No, no, & no. But he batty and a do-gooder.

  4. Just pathetic.
    There probably isn’t more than 100 elected to DC office who haven’t toked. And they all presume that *they* can handle it, but black and brown kids should go to jail if *they* smoke.
    Why, it makes ’em crazy! Like Indians and fire-water!
    Hypocrisy knows no bounds.

    1. L. Ron,

      What are YOU on?

      There probably isn’t more than 100 elected to DC office who haven’t toked. And they all presume that *they* can handle it, but black and brown kids should go to jail if *they* smoke.

      Those 100 and the others are “black and brown” mostly.

      Do they show different pictures of DC government wherever you are than they do elsewhere?

      1. OK, correction by re-post:
        “There probably isn’t more than 100 elected to DC /federal/ office who haven’t toked. And /the ones who have/ all presume that *they* can handle it, but black and brown kids should go to jail if *they* smoke.”
        Better?
        If not, I’m missing the point.
        (And I have no idea how to do the line-outs of existing copy)

        1. Use the s tag.

          Okay, you wish us to believe that there are only 100 federal officials who have not partaken in illegal chem. (I am not an official, but I nevever have used illegal) and all of them are whites hating on “brown” people?

          1. I don’t know what an “s” tag is.
            Dope is not ‘foreign’ to most of those federal electeds, as it is not ‘foreign’ to most of us beyond the age of, say, 40. I would guess that, as someone who never used any illegal drug, you’re among a small minority.
            As regards ‘hating on’, I’ll state the claim the stats show that white/other vs rehab/jail show a significant delta between the “other” who go to jail, while “white” get rehab.
            You’ll notice the difference in punishment between coke and crack.

            1. L. Ron,

              The term “tag” when dealing with HTML would be the HTML tag. You use brackets around it (lass than, s, greater than) and then you close the tag with a slash . . .

              Oh, maybe you should look it up.

              You’ll notice the difference in punishment between coke and crack.

              Thanks to Rep. Rangel, before he changed his mind.

              I guess that discrepency between rich rap stars getting busted vs. rich grocers is all race too, not a bit to do with the behavior of the individual, right? Same with athletes vs. oil company executives?

            2. This has all the stuff you need to know to make your comments fancy, it is an html guide.

  5. “The whole twisted saga of L.A. and medical pot will be told in a forthcoming Reason magazine feature.”

    Looking forward to that. I’d also be interested if someone could enlighten us as to California’s great history of punting important questions to the people by way of referendums and the courts consistently striking down the results.

  6. “very clear unequivocal ruling that you cannot sell marijuana”

    So then, weed is free in L.A!.

    1. I knew there was some sort of welfare trick behind this!

  7. GOOD MORNING reason!

  8. Crazily enough there is a bill that would tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol in the legislature in New Hampshire this session, and it was 2 votes away from coming out of committee with an “ought to pass” recommendation! From the way they were talking in the committee, it’s a matter of when and not if…

    Take a look here:
    Video of the executive session

  9. I’ve been to three pot dispensaries in LA, two in Eagle Rock, one in W. Hollywood. I’m not a journalist, but I think it would be helpful if a good journalist would go get a medical marijuana card from a ‘doctor’ and go inside these places and report exactly what goes on there.

    Here’s my lackluster report on the three I’ve been to.

    The first one I went to was in Eagle Rock. It was run by a duo of retarded gangsters. They couldn’t figure out how to work the copy machine or the computer that were needed to validate my paperwork. The gangsters acted like they were running a crack house and asked me sit in a different chair every two minutes. I bolted for the door when the two managers got into a heated argument with each other.

    I went into dispensary on Sunset in W. Hollywood. I was met at the entrance by a sales gal who wanted me to buy one or two everything. The dispensary had a large assortment of edibles. But the sales gal had no idea how fresh any of these edibles were, how much pot was in them, or what type of pot was added. There were no labels on them either.

    Then I went into another dispensary in Eagle Rock. The managers understood how to process my paperwork. They didn’t have a sales staff. The bud-tender knew about the offerings. Everything was up front. He weighted my stuff in front of me, never mentioned money (this was understood by the suggested donation sign on the wall behind him) and the experience was fairly positive.

    That’s not a significant sample, but it does indicate the possibility that 2 out 3 of the dispensaries in LA would go out of business on their own, without additional regulation or other legal actions.

    1. I would tend to agree that in a legal marketplace the first 2 would go under. It takes a person to know both the buisness and the medicinal side of things to be succesful in a legal market. you have got to market and be able to tell your clientel what info they need wheather it be how fresh ( i repfercured 6-8 months) or how much thc is in an edible. if you have ever been to a good shop in amsterdamn, they run things well. the tenders are all very knowlegeable about all the strains and the differing qualites therof

    2. I would tend to agree that in a legal marketplace the first 2 would go under. It takes a person to know both the buisness and the medicinal side of things to be succesful in a legal market. you have got to market and be able to tell your clientel what info they need wheather it be how fresh ( i repfercured 6-8 months) or how much thc is in an edible. if you have ever been to a good shop in amsterdamn, they run things well. the tenders are all very knowlegeable about all the strains and the differing qualites therof

    3. The good place it was voluntary to pay or not and how much? When the gangsters and the munchies discover this they will put the one with good service out of business by making them their new supplier.

    4. “The first one I went to was in Eagle Rock. It was run by a duo of retarded gangsters…The gangsters acted like they were running a crack house and asked me sit in a different chair every two minutes.” No way that place will go under. I would love to go just to play musical chairs with the gangsters.

  10. I never understood how sales were considered permissible under the “caregiver” definition. I mean, you can pay a caregiver for service, but they don’t sell product. You might reimburse them for what they laid out, but they wouldn’t mark it up.

    1. Now I am lost on this whole thing. I am beginning to thing that I am lucky to have survived the few short visits I have taken there!

    2. You don’t use glycerol in your bubble bath potion? Thought that was supposed to work great?

      1. There is some glycerol as a byproduct left in from synthesis of some of the surfactants from triglyceride by transesterification, but it’s not an additive I seek. Glycerol works well at high concentration to stabilize individual bubbles, not so great for stabilizing foams from dilute solution.

        1. Ah, I should have known that but I have forgotten a lot of that stuff.

  11. I support drug legalization. However, “medical marijuana” has always been a joke. Everyone knew it was just an excuse to get high, and the facts are proving it out. Are there medical benefits of pot? Yep. But no sane doctor would every proscribe SMOKING as a method of delivery.

    People on both sides of this one are being dishonest. Either legalize it or don’t, but quit goofing around in this twilight-zone middle ground.

    1. If you are going to impersonate Chad/MNG/etc. then you need to stop sounding so reasonable and level headed.

      1. Anybody got any info on benefits to marijuana vaporizers?

        1. If your buddy doesn’t split the cost you can vaporize him too. Sounds like win win.

        2. The biggest benefit is that it doesn’t burn the plant matter, therefore there is no smoke; so no mouth/throat/lung irritation – you just inhale gaseous THC. Because the plant matter doesn’t burn, there is no smell either.

          Cons – vaporizers can be pretty expensive. The normal Volcano one is 500 – 600 dollars. I’ve seen portable vaporizers (about the size of an old, large nextel phone) for $300 or $400.

          1. I see another bonus. A [pretend] smaller carbon footprint!

        3. I tried a vaporizer once. It was awful. It took the enjoyment out of getting high because it felt like a medical procedure, like using an oxygen tank or something. Also sort of a learning curve.

        4. An additional con is that the lower end ones are much less effective than smoking.

        5. They run on high voltage.

    2. Either legalize it or don’t, but quit goofing around in this twilight-zone middle ground.

      …like you guys did with the public option as opposed to full-blown nationalized health care.

      1. You are right. We would be much better off with a fully national system.

        There is zero chance in cold hell we would go to the other extreme, so indeed, our choices are a national system, or variations of the hybrid public-private monstrosity that we have now, which manages to combine the worst of all possible worlds.

    3. What’s wrong with being dishonest if it gets you what you want, or at least part of what you want?

    4. God, trolls are such assholes. Hey Choad, read about the death of Peter McWilliams, then tell me there’s no validity to medical marijuana. Then go somewhere and kill yourself, you worthless fucking tool.

  12. Wow, right when you thought it couldnt get any wider!

    RT
    http://www.be-invisible.es.tc

    1. I think you’re missing an “l”, botty.

      1. Ha ha, nice typo, Skynet!

        P.S. Please don’t attack our enemies in Russia because you know the Russian counterattack will destroy your enemies here.

        1. Art, I think there is an ancient movie where the supercomputers network with each other and take over the world. If there isn’t there should be.

          1. That was the Star Trek episode where Wesley dies after smoking poison sumac.

            1. Why don’t you just send out the Epi, Naga, SugarFree Bat signal?

              1. You rang?

                1. Hi Naga sweetie! We were just talking about you.

            2. You have that dream too? How about the one where Wesley gets the death sentence on that world where breaking any law means death, but instead of saving him, Picard says “fuck that twink, let him fry, and fuck you too Beverly you red-headed harridan”?

              That’s my favorite dream.

              1. Bev was showing some camel toe in the episode that was on Thursday night on WGN America. The one where Troi bangs the guy Riker’s up against in negotiations to buy the wormhole.

                1. Still missing one from nerd roll call.

  13. Maybe someone will explain why the same doctors who won’t prescribe opioids for fear of losing their licenses will gladly prescribe marijuana.

  14. As early as 1877, the first United States (U.S.) states had passed laws to restrict the sale and labeling of margarine. By the mid-1880s, the U.S. federal government had introduced a tax of two cents per pound, and manufacturers needed an expensive license to make or sell the product. Individual states began to require the clear labeling of margarine. The color bans, drafted by the butter lobby, began in the dairy states of New York and New Jersey. In several states, legislatures enacted laws to require margarine manufacturers to add pink colorings to make the product look unpalatable, but the Supreme Court struck down New Hampshire’s law and overruled these measures.

    By the start of the 20th century, eight out of ten Americans could not buy yellow margarine, and those that could had to pay a hefty tax on it. Bootleg colored margarine became common, and manufacturers began to supply food-coloring capsules so that the consumer could knead the yellow color into margarine before serving it. Nevertheless, the regulations and taxes had a significant effect: the 1902 restrictions on margarine color, for example, cut annual U.S. consumption from 120 million to 48 million pounds (60,000 to 24,000 tons). However, by the end of the 1910s, it had become more popular than ever.

    With the coming of World War I, margarine consumption increased enormously, even in unscathed regions like the U.S. In the countries closest to the fighting, dairy products became almost unobtainable and were strictly rationed. The United Kingdom, for example, depended on imported butter from Australia and New Zealand, and the risk of submarine attack meant that little arrived.

    The long-running rent-seeking battle between the margarine and dairy lobbies continued: In the U.S., the Great Depression brought a renewed wave of pro-dairy legislation; the Second World War, a swing back to margarine. Post-war, the margarine lobby gained power and, little by little, the main margarine restrictions were lifted, the most recent states to do so being Minnesota in 1963 and Wisconsin in 1967. However, some vestiges of the legal restrictions remain in the U.S.: The Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act still prohibits the retail sale (in places like grocery stores) of margarine in packages larger than one pound. As of 2008, the sale of yellow margarine remained illegal (although unenforced) in the U.S. state of Missouri.

  15. Tax us! Regulate us! Set us free!

  16. Would it really be a good idea to legalize pot? Out of own experience, it was the bridge towards harder drugs (lsd, mushrooms) for me.

    The world would be a lot more mellow though…

    1. @Jones Scott. Was marijuana illegal when you claim it “was the bridge towards harder drugs” for you? Did the illegality prevent you from using any illicit substance?

    2. So did MJ make you do those other drugs or did you do those other drugs as well as MJ?

  17. How long before marijuana use is mandatory for some persons labelled mentally ill?

  18. Wow, right when you throught it couldnt get any wilder.

    Jess
    http://www.be-invisible.es.tc

    1. That’s better! Next week you should do better on your spelling test.

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