The Corner

Medical Marijuana Has Downsides

According to some Mendocino County officials.

June 3 (Bloomberg) — Dr. William Courtney says he has prescribed marijuana to more than 2,000 patients in Mendocino County, California, taking advantage of a measure passed eight years ago to decriminalize pot and allow the possession of as many as 25 plants.

Residents of the county 140 miles north of San Francisco may make it harder for Courtney to continue the treatment. Today they vote on a plan to make recreational use of pot illegal again and to limit the number of plants allowed for medicinal purposes to six per person.

Measure B, as the proposal is known, “would be an incredible step backward for the county,’’ said Courtney, 55, who has an office in the town of Mendocino. “Every one of my patients will be entrapped by Measure B — as soon as they harvest, each one will become a felon.’’

Medical benefits aside, supporters of the proposal say the rural county of 88,000 residents erred when it became the first in the U.S. to legalize pot with its 2000 ordinance, called Measure G. They say it has spawned crime, drug cartels and teenage pot use, and scared off developers.

“The fact that we passed Measure G makes us stand out like a sore thumb,’’ said Dave Bengston, commissioner of Mendocino’s Agriculture Department. “It’s a failed experiment, and I think it’s time to reverse it.’’

Me: I await the inevitable overreactions from some readers. 

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