Pubdate: Wed, 10 Mar 2010
Source: Honolulu Advertiser (HI)
Copyright: 2010 The Honolulu Advertiser
Referenced: The bill


As if this state wasn't swimming in a sea of troubles already, some
lawmakers are seriously contemplating various strategies for loosening
state curbs on marijuana use, beyond the current allowances for
medical purposes.

Have none of them been paying attention to what has happened in other
communities once this particular Pandora's box has been opened?

The proposal that seems to be moving fastest is Senate Bill 2213: It
passed the Senate and will be heard by two House panels at 10:45 a.m.
tomorrow in Room 309.

This bill would allow counties to establish "compassion centers" for
the sale of marijuana "to qualifying patients and their primary
caregivers." The argument is that many people who could benefit from
the comfort that marijuana provides are not well enough to grow it but
should be able to buy it.

There might be people with such benign motives, but where so-called
"dispensaries" have been legalized, they've been overwhelmed by
operators interested in only one thing.

Hint: It's not "compassion." It's all about the money.

And, judging by the language of the bill, that seems to be a
motivation of the government as well. The state and counties would
split the registration fee of $5,000 per dispensary and the $30 tax
customers would pay per ounce of pot.

Really, we know times are hard in this state, but do we have to stoop
this low?

For those who've missed it, direct your attention to the current
experience in Los Angeles, just to name one troubled jurisdiction.
Since the Obama administration has made pot busts a low priority given
the hodgepodge of state laws, the number of dispensaries has exploded,
not always in places where they're appreciated. The city's attempt to
regulate this has been met with lawsuits from all the newly wealthy
pot peddlers. Established drug traffickers are descending on these
newly legal retail outlets.

People laugh at ludicrous claims from folks like the Colorado pot user
who now says the habit is a sacrament in his Hawai'i-based church.
That might be funny; the prospect of state-licensed marijuana
dispensaries is not.

Police hate this measure, with good reason. The state is not in a
position to be a gatekeeper of medical marijuana, and should not be in
the pakalolo business. It's a dopey, dangerous idea.
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake