Pubdate: Tue, 02 Jun 2009
Source: Anderson Valley Post (CA)
Contact:  2009 The E.W. Scripps Co.
Author: George L. Winship
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)
Bookmark: (Cannabis)


Medical Marijuana Comes In Many Forms

Anderson resident and business owner Gina Munday, 48, is tired of being
made to feel as if she is a criminal when she uses cannabis.

A long-time sufferer of chronic pain, Munday has legally obtained a
Redding doctor's recommendation for personal use of medical marijuana.
Until she started growing her own plants, she had to drive long distances
- - often in pain - to a distant collective in order to obtain the
controlled substance. Once there, she endured the sometimes lengthy
process of signing up and processing as a member of a collective to obtain
a several-weeks supply of the drug-laced cannabis plant.

"I was a waitress for many years and injured my back. I still get migraine
headaches and I cannot sleep," Munday said of her condition that she eases
with small doses of THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive
substance found in the female plant's buds.

A third option, that of purchasing the drug illegally on the street, has
little or no appeal for Munday, who operates a residential construction
company and considers herself a responsible, law-abiding citizen.

"For many people, it is often easier to obtain liquor without a license
than to get medical marijuana," she said in an exclusive interview with
the Valley Post.

In February, Munday formed a collective, The Green Heart, as allowed under
California state law. She is currently involved in identifying and
verifying medical marijuana recommendations held by 11 other individuals
whom she then supplies with legal amounts of medical marijuana.

For her trouble, Munday is allowed to recoup her costs for growing
supplies, light, fertilizers, water and other reasonable expenses but
cannot make a profit off any transaction. Through her contacts with other
collectives throughout the state, she is also able to supply her
collective's members with other forms of THC including lozenges, suckers,
essential oils, salad dressings, powders and herbs used for cooking, she

Under provisions of Proposition 215, passed in 1996 by 56 percent of
California's voters and currently a part of the state's Health and Safety
Code, people with a doctor's recommendation for medical marijuana
(cannabis) may legally have in their possession up to 12 immature or
non-flowering pot plants or up to six harvestable or flowering plants. A
person carrying a valid recommendation may alternatively have up to 8
ounces of processed cannabis or THC-laden product, the same state law also

It is the bud of the cannabis plant, not the telltale seven-pointed leaf,
that contains significant quantities of the powerful THC that is
considered a mood elevator, stress reliever and pain killer, among nearly
100 natural remedies that were previously listed prior to 1937 when the
substance was outlawed in the United States, according to a Web site
maintained by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws

Munday's difficulties in obtaining her cannabis legally, along with the
expense in time, money and energy that she has invested in identifying and
propagating several potent strains of cannabis with slightly different
healing properties, has led her to want to share her knowledge and
resources with others in a similar situation.

"We want to open a nice, professional dispensary where people can feel
safe. We want to have a professional reception area where we will check
their identification and verify the doctor's recommendation before we
process their application to join the collective," she said.

Once a collective member is properly enrolled, only then will they be
allowed into the dispensary's back room where the products will be

Munday was to make her second appearance in as many meetings before the
Anderson City Council Tuesday, June 2, in order to request a zoning
variance or rezoning that would allow such a dispensary in Anderson's city

So far, neither Planning Director John Stokes nor city attorney Michael
Fitzpatrick are holding out much hope that the council will consider the

"Unless it is addressed specifically in our zoning laws, it is not
allowed," said Stokes, who has conveyed similar information to Munday.

"I don't have a zoned district that would accommodate her," Stokes told
the Valley Post.

At the request of Stokes, Fitzpatrick issued a legal opinion on the
question Thursday that flatly states such an amendment to the city's
zoning ordinances should not be considered "because California law does
not allow cities to pass ordinances in violation of federal law."

Munday noted that Redding has at least three and possibly as many as five
such dispensaries.
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