Pubdate: Sun, 17 Jan 2016
Source: Nevada Appeal (Carson City, NV)
Copyright: 2016 Nevada Appeal
Author: Guy W. Farmer


Sheriff Ken Furlong blamed a marijuana deal gone bad for a murder 
that occurred here last Monday morning. And that got me thinking 
about the "medical" pot shop that will open in Carson City later this 
year. It was going to open last year, but that didn't happen.

In a recent Appeal column, Jim Clark pointed out since marijuana is 
still illegal under federal law, "no state credit union is going to 
open an account" for a pot dealer, and that's true for states that 
have already legalized recreational marijuana, like Colorado and Washington.

Clark, a Republican activist (although pot isn't a partisan political 
issue), wrote some Nevadans "are proposing a state-chartered credit 
union . . . to get around the (cash) problem." But because a state 
credit union couldn't participate in the federal reserve system, "it 
would need an armored car instead of using electronic funds 
transfers" any time it wanted to transfer cash. That sounds like fun.

Clark also noted President Obama's Justice Department has issued 
"guidance" to state and local law enforcement agencies stating the 
Feds would "defer prosecution" of marijuana cases in states where 
weed is deemed legal. But what happens if the next president is 
someone like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a former federal 
prosecutor who has vowed to enforce all federal laws - including drug 
and immigration laws - if he wins the presidency?

But wait, there's more to the "medical" marijuana issue. As you know, 
I don't think marijuana smoke is medicine because if it was, it would 
be prescribed by doctors and dispensed by licensed pharmacies. Clark 
was wrong to refer to pot "prescriptions." Instead of a prescription, 
a licensed physician - perhaps someone like Dr. Reefer, who operates 
in Las Vegas - will charge you $100 or more to write a permission 
slip so you can purchase medical pot. That's how it works.

The Sacramento Bee recently covered the annual Marijuana Olympics - 
aka the Emerald Cup - at the Sonoma (Calif.) County Fairgrounds. 
Reporter Erika Smith wrote "thousands of weed aficionados were on 
their feet, cheering, as a thick curl of pungent blunt smoke wafted 
by . . ." A little something for the kids.

The California Legislature last year passed strict laws to regulate 
marijuana growers, as did the Nevada Legislature. As a result, 
formerly clandestine growers will now face a highly structured 
process to become legitimate, and will have to maintain growing 
records and pay all applicable taxes, as will Nevada pot growers.

Meanwhile, states like Colorado and Washington that are already deep 
into the marijuana business have discovered pot growing isn't green. 
As Bloomberg News reported last month, "The $3.5 billion U.S. 
cannabis market is emerging as one of the nation's most power-hungry 
industries. . . . Without design standards or efficient equipment, 
the facilities in 23 states where marijuana is legal are responsible 
for greenhouse gas emissions almost equal to those of every car, home 
and business in New Hampshire."

And it isn't just greenhouse gas emissions. CNBC recently reported in 
California, "Thirsty (marijuana) plants are sucking up a priceless 
resource: water. . . . If no action is taken in the drought-wracked 
state, the consequences for fisheries and wildlife will be dire." 
CNBC said the average marijuana plant requires about six gallons of 
water a day to survive and thrive.

So how do our local police feel about medical pot shops? Well, as 
Carson Undersheriff Steve Albertsen told me last year, "Medical 
marijuana is a farce that will create more problems for local law 
enforcement." Enough said.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom