Medical marijuana is often a front for recreational marijuana. This has led to crime issues and problems with the location of the ubiquitous “medicine” dispensing locations. LA is trying to control the chaos, but it seems to be tough sledding. From the story:
When the state passed a law allowing for medical-marijuana cooperatives in 2004, Los Angeles never set forth guidelines for how they should operate. That led to the rampant growth of dispensaries: The number in the city is estimated at 1,000, making medical marijuana one of the city’s fastest-growing industries. As more dispensaries opened, police, city officials and residents complained that many were illegal cash businesses that had little to do with medical care.
The city decided to crack down. “Today we took the first step in regaining the trust of the residents of Los Angeles by protecting the integrity and safety of our communities while…offering medical marijuana to those who truly need it,” Councilman José Huizar said in an emailed statement Tuesday evening.
I don’t know why anyone is surprised. Some in the medical marijuana movement always had wide open dispensing as the goal. And cities like LA and San Francisco took the toke and that let to the problems both cities are dealing with now.
But the Feds have plenty of blame here. Our politicians refuse to take action to reclassify marijuana as Schedule 2 or 3 under the Controlled Substances Act so that it can be tested and dispensed properly at real pharmacies via real prescriptions, rather than at store front head shops via doctors’ “letters.” And then the president made it worse by violating his oath of office by promising not to enforce federal law, removing the one remaining restraint that helped keep things somewhat orderly.
Change the law and regain integrity! Some worry that reclassification will push drug legalization. To the contrary, the mess we have now pushes drug anarchy, which is worse than legalization. Time for some centralized control to permit proper medicinal use without slouching toward a total drug policy collapse.