Pubdate: Thu, 03 Aug 2006
Source: Acorn, The (Agoura Hills, CA)
Copyright: 2006 J.Bee NP Publishing, Ltd.
Author: Scott T. Imler


Just a quick note of appreciation for your article on the abuses of
the California Compassionate Use Act of 1996. I regret that other
journalists who cover this issue are not as discerning, choosing
instead to paint everything in black-and-white (for it or against it),
with little or no interest in the nuances of the medical marijuana
laws or their implementation.

As the co-author of Prop 215 and the founder of L.A.'s first "cannabis
dispensary," the Los Angeles Cannabis Resource Center, I am appalled
at what is going on in the name of "compassion."

The reasons we undertook Prop. 215 in the first place was to escape
the black market, insure safe and affordable access for
legitimately-qualified individuals, and to get the pot dealers' hands
out of our pockets. But the sad fact is, at this point, it's all about
the money-and we're talking literally millions of dollars.

As you pointed out in your story there are now more than 50 cannabis
"dispensaries" in L.A. County alone. That these "caregivers" operate
illegally is bad enough. Nothing in 215 or Senate Bill 420 authorizes
sales of marijuana for any purpose.

That they routinely refer would-be "patients" to an in house
doc-in-the-box is disingenuous at best and dangerous to the person's
health in the extreme. That these outfits offer no charitable services
and charge outrageous amounts of money for the black market products
they are reselling is shameful. That they are indiscrimnate in who and
what they serve is a tragedy waiting to happen.

Simply put, the vast majority of the current medical marijuana
operators are little more than dope dealers with storefronts.

This was not the intent of the authors or the voters in Passing

Scott T. Imler

Resident Pastor, Crescent Heights United Methodist Church
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