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on Oct 4, 2011
I don't like the tone of this article. Why say that voters will have a chance to overturn the ban? Does this mean that the Weekly feels the ban should be overturned?
It would be much better to say that voters will have a chance to show their support of the ban.
Even better, it would be better to say that voters will be voting on the proposal next year.
My own opinion is that this is nothing to do with the supposed benefits of pot and the Council knows it. It is much more to do with political support of the individuals and an attempt to produce more revenue.
For every vote the Council makes on this, there will be voters watching for the future runs of councilors. If they really want revenue then they should start allowing some decent retail for a change that will make a difference to our shopping habits.
"With little discussion and no dissent, the City Council voted...". Seriously? NO DISSENT? I almost want to move back to Palo Ato just so I can vote NO on this, as it will adversely affect us here in Menlo Park too. I have no desire to keep pot out of the hands of the terminally ill who *might* actually benefit from it's use. But these so-called dispensaries bring nothing positive to our society - even the projected "revenue" comes at a huge cost. I've smoked pot, I know what it's all about. It's bad stuff, and I watched it destroy several of my friends. Don't make it easily accessible in Palo Alto. Vote NO. And you folks on the City Council should be ashamed of yourselves.
Of course its about money.Crime will rise in palo alto,and this will keep ploice on the beat.The plan is modern day slavery,lets make some good out of the bad right in our faces.The black market will grow even bigger,push pounds to the club.
Pathetic. It is unbelievable that this city council would even consider such an irresponsible idea.
Our poor kids! Every time I take my kids downtown I have to answer questions about why there are people peeing on buildings, sleeping on benches and we can't sit down, people yelling drunken obscenities, and now we can add marijuana to the list! I will be waiting for the day when they ask me to buy them some marijuana for their allergy sinus pain! Palo Alto is really becoming a less desirable place to live in so many ways. This city is run by activists. I think I will start a new initiative to see if Palo Alto will get rid of all of the pollen in our air so we can breathe freely and lessen the chronic allergy related illnesses. It is becoming a chronic problem that should be addressed. Asthmatics don't need marijuana, they need the trees that produce bucket loads of pollen to be removed from the city!!!!
Nayeli--did you even read the story.
It clearly states:
"The council was forced to revisit the subject this week by a citizen initiative that received more than enough signatures to qualify for the ballot. Faced with the choice of adopting the ordinance outright, crafting its own version, or forwarding it to the voters, the council voted 7-0, with Vice Mayor Yiaway Yeh and Councilwoman Gail Price absent, to go with the lattermost."
The council had to deal with the matter so they kicked it to the voters.
Just saw this article on Yahoo News....
"IRS: Oakland's Largest Pot Dispensary Owes Millions
Harborside Health Center loses high-stakes tax battle; advocates say ruling could cripple the industry."
Here is the link:
Coming from one of the most intellectual and progressive communities in the country, the comments above are deeply disappointing. Fifteen years after Palo Alto residents voted 3-1 to allow medicinal cannabis, ignorance and superstition still reign. Compassion, sadly, seems to be in short supply.
Cannabis has a 5,000 year history of medicinal use with zero deaths The Drug Enforcement Agency ruled in 1988 that cannabis is "one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man" and "safer than many foods we commonly consume." DEA judge Francis Young also stated as a finding of "remarkable fact" that he was unable to find a single documented case of a death from cannabis in all the medical literature. Web Link (see section VIII)
Tens of thousands of patients up and down the Peninsula use cannabis to treat a wide variety of conditions, from cancer, epilepsy, arthritis and chronic pain to anxiety, ADHD, PTSD and depression. For using this incredibly safe and effective substance they risk being fired from their jobs, evicted from their housing, and having their children taken away. Small wonder most won't show up to testify on their own behalf; the fear and intolerance in their own city makes being a public cannabis patient impossible.
Discrimination against patients is easy because they mostly can't fight back. Reefer madness rhetoric robs them of their free speech as it demeans their suffering.
Safe access to medicinal cannabis is a basic human right. When Palo Alto residents voted to allow it, did they really intend that their own city government should turn around and ban providers? Legal cannabis, like legal abortion, is useless in the absence of safe access.
Contrary to the reactionary assertions above, cannabis dispensaries are not correlated with any increase in crime. A recent RAND study found that crime actually decreased around dispensaries, and both the L.A. and the S.F. police chiefs have acknowledged there is no demonstrable link between dispensaries and crime. L.A. until recently had over 1000 dispensaries, yet violent crime in that city is at a 50-year low.
All businesses are subject to robberies. Banks, for instance, are robbed at 3x the rate of dispensaries. Why are there no calls for a ban on banks?
Public policy should be based on science and reason. Fifteen years ago, the citizens of California voted to allow compassionate use. Next year, the people of Palo Alto will once again get the chance to tell their elected officials they want to see their sick and suffering neighbors protected, not demeaned.
Americans for Safe Access, Silicon Valley Chapter
I knew this was coming. The council is afraid to take a stand so they lob it to the voters at greater expense. Why not? They're great at spending money, and more than happy to duck responsibility.
To the person who went off on a rant about trees. If you have a problem with pollens, move to a big city where all the trees have been chopped down and paradise has been paved.
Palo Alto and Menlo Park are desirable because we do our best to protect our trees so we have oxygen to balance pollution.
For decades people have moved to open-minded, accepting California from all over the world because of it's endless appeal. Sadly, they've brought their small, closed minds with them and failed to permit them to open and flower so now we have massive amounts of money spent on iniatives like Prop. 8 that deny people their rights.
As a California native, it breaks my heart to see small minds at work destroying my/our beloved state!
Open your heart and exercise your compassion muscle. It's there, you've just never used it.
Thank you Jonathan Steigman. It's so hard to hear these heartless comments from uninformed people. Just because some think they know what it does, doesn't mean that they really do. People need to talk to real patients. People with real problems that it really helps. But how do we have that happen when they are so closed-minded and hard-hearted and blind to their own bigotry and fear.
I'm so disappointed that they did not simply lift the ban. And disappointed that they're letting this seriously flawed measure go to the voters, many of whom (obviously from the comments above) are so uninformed on the issues. We need access. I asked the council to amend the measure so that it reflects ASA recommendations. It does not; it is far too restrictive.
The public has been purposely misinformed on these issues.
To any medical marijuana patients out there: Contact me. Let's see what we can do to get them to lift the ban without restrictions.
If people need this for medical reasons then they should be allowed to privately grow their own, pick it up at their doctor's office, or be given a prescription to pick it up at the pharmacy. But to actually set up a store front with different selections like buying candy in a candy store for our kids to see and peek in the window is ridiculous seeing that marijuana is still illegal in California.
I hope it passes so people have a nice place to go and play Scrabble and listen to music.
At least something good while the rest of our world goes to -- well, pot.
Besides, PA is oh-so-green and this is more exciting than its compost obsession.
VoteNo: Medical cannabis is LEGAL in California for patients with a valid doctor's recommendation. Patients are not criminals.
Because cannabis remains illegal at the Federal level (despite overwhelming evidence for its safety and efficacy), doctors can't prescribe it, only "recommend" it. Pharmacies similarly can't stock it -- even though every single drug they DO stock, both prescription and over-the-counter, is statistically more dangerous than cannabis. Many drugs found in pharmacies are widely abused but no one is calling for a ban on pharmacies.
The death toll from legal prescription drugs *used as directed* is around 100,000 Americans per year. Cannabis, meanwhile, has yet to claim a single life in its 5000-year history.
Cannabis dispensaries do not have window displays and they do not allow anyone in without a valid doctor's recommendation. They do not bring crime to the neighborhoods, just sick and suffering patients. Patients deserve a neighborhood location where they can safely acquire their medicine.
Medicinal cannabis is available in hundreds of strains that have different effects for different types of conditions. Growing quality cannabis is extremely difficult and requires years of expertise. The notion that an 80-year-old cancer patient can just "grow their own medicine" is ludicrous on its face, as is the notion that they should be allowed to use cannabis but no one should be allowed to sell it to them in a safe, professional environment.
Americans for Safe Access, Silicon Valley Chapter
I'm a bit shocked by all the vitriol and nasty comments. I guess if we believe that marijuana should be legalized, then it has to be able to be sold somewhere.
Remember this is supposed to be a free country, meaning that we should be open minded to try things ... like we tried prohibition ... and if they do not work we can reverse them too.
I am skeptical that there is a good location in Palo Alto for a dispensary, but why not wait and see and let's not let some irrational voices from either side sway us from just doing the experiment and seeing how it goes.
Just today I heard on the news about two decapitated heads being found in a city in Mexico due to the drug kingpins having so much power and money. When there is so much power and crime like that in Mexico how can we expect this not to affect the US? Let's take some of that money away and take control of the marijuana market in the US ... it seems rationally the best thing we can do right now. Regulate it and fix problems that arise because of it. Let's do ourselves and the Mexican people a favor.
Note to the Palo Alto Online editors: The correct term is "cannabis." "Pot" is a derogatory term that demeans patients and caregivers. I doubt you would refer to amphetamine-based Ritalin as "crank," and you should similarly refrain from smearing one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man with such an inflammatory term.
Jonathan - you were posting the same thing last year on the Mountain View Voice Online. Why are you now trying to sway our city?
"Posted by "Just Think About It", a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Sep 14, 2010 at 8:57 pm
Who is Jonathan Steigman? What does he have to gain by making medical cannabis available to residents of Mountain View? What is the difference between "medical cannabis", "cannabis" or "pot"? The bottom line is they are all the same thing. Maybe one might have more bud in it than another but the bottom line is it's pot. It is readily available to our kids now. Why make it easier to for them to obtain it............"Just Think About It"................"
To Jonathan Steigman,
Can you point out an online (or other) resource that explains the details of medical cannabis so some people can become more informed as to how medical is different from garden variety?
> It is readily available to our kids now. Why make it easier to for them to obtain it............"Just Think About It"................"
That's a good point, why don't you think about it, "hmmm". If "cannabis", "pot", "marijuana", whatever you want to call it is already available to kids now, how is a dispensary that does stringent ID and and prescription checks going to affect that or make it worse. Think about it and get back to me.
I wonder given the closeness of shady underworld characters in the "cannabis" industry what regulations there are on these dispensaries myself.
For instance, where does the inventory come from. If I know business, there is minimal if any checks done as to quality, or contamination. Is it possible that cannabis grown in contaminated soil, say where there is heavy metals can pick up and transfer lead for example to the user?
What about pesticides or other adulterations? is there any standard or regulation. It is my understanding that the locations of where the "cannabis" is grown are not known or inspected.
Is there any followup on patients to see if they are getting common problems that might be caused by problems in the cannabis supply.
Another question is, the Mexican drug lords have so much power in Mexico and so much American money, how do we know that through shadow investors they are not the owners of some or all of the cannabis supply in the US and funneling profits back to Mexico where they terrorize the country?
Any answers to these questions?
Mr. Jonathan Steigman
If I could heart-click you I would! To Nayeli and Enough and all the other nay-sayers, by discouraging dispensaries you are supporting the black market/cartels and refusing people their American right to (medical)consumption. When this subject is brought up, how come nobody supports prohibition or refusing people the right to tobacco? It’s because you’re close minded and brain washed. “But what about the kids”? Oh no, you might actually have to TALK to your kids about this. Support dispensaries, legalize it, and let gays get married already. Let’s MOVE ON PEOPLE!
Ha! Looks like the mmj revenues have started becoming avail to the community already. I see the PA Weekly is getting advertising revenue from a mmj evaluation doctor. Thanks Dr Barth for supporting the Palo Alto weekly and the community it serves. A few more dollars the paper doesn't have to worry about making.
Will be amusing when the outer liberal meets their inner NIMBY.
Please don’t ever negatively comment on this subject again as you are not educated on the issues at hand. First off, you assume and generalize that everyone in the “cannabis” industry is shady, really? The inventory comes from people that are recognized as medical users and are allowed to grow and supply the authorized dispensaries. The marijuana is subject to medical-grade lab tests (look up the company Steep Hill, a medical marijuana testing facility) to ensure its quality. And by discouraging the operation of dispensaries you are supporting the black market and the cartels.
How about talking to your kids about right and wrong instead of being close minded? And following your rational and logic, let’s start up prohibition and ban tobacco while we’re at it, huh?
> Please don’t ever negatively comment on this subject again as you are not educated on the issues at hand.
That is nonsense....
0) Where do you get off telling anyone what or how to comment? Who do you think you are?
1) I have followed this issue for a long time and I have questions and concerns, asked clearly, neutrally and objectively.
2) I made no statement or generalization about the industry being shady - but I want to know who is behind it. I asked a question. If you cannot tell the difference why are you are posting?
3) Saying the inventory comes from people .... is a non-answer. In a courtroom you would be deemed evasive and non-responsive for that. If the people who produce it get paid, then they have motivation to maximize their profit and may cut corners, how does the public know?
4) Finally you answered part of my question, but you do not say by what measurements, how much, how often, what are the results, etc, and are they voluntary or involuntary to the dispensaries? I would bet that you want the financial industry to be regulated, but you seem to be balking here or evading the question.
5) Finally, again, why do you assume I am discouraging the operation of dispensaries? Why are you so sensitive and defensive about answering questions? Maybe you do not have answers. The lack of answers is an opportunity for improvement, not an invitation to tell the questioner he is being negative.
If you do not have answers to these questions, maybe you ought to think about why you have a knee-jerk reaction to attack my post by mischaracterizing what I said when my questions are geared toward the safety of this product and the process by which it gets produced and sold?
-- Jonathan - you were posting the same thing last year on the Mountain View Voice Online. Why are you now trying to sway our city?--
Hmmm... - I am a volunteer activist with the Silicon Valley chapter of Americans for Safe Access, a nationwide human rights organization dedicated to protecting patient access to cannabis medicine. (www.safeaccessnow.org) I fight on behalf of sick and suffering patients and their caregivers up and down the Peninsula; thanks for noticing! I am not affiliated with any collective or dispensary and have no financial stake in the industry.
That said, many of my fellow activists are dispensary operators. These courageous caregivers risk arrest and financial ruin to help sick people. They are the best among us and they deserve praise and honor, not ignorant smears.
bru, you said:
"I wonder given the closeness of shady underworld characters in the "cannabis" industry what regulations there are on these dispensaries myself."
Then you minutes later said:
"I made no statement or generalization about the industry being shady"
And now you've said enough...for me anyways. I agree with David.
JB: A good place to review some of the promising benefits of cannabis therapeutics is here: Web Link
"Medical" and "recreational" cannabis are the same plant, although cannabis sold in dispensaries tends to be higher quality than street cannabis. Most dispensaries and providers are understandably discreet about revealing the source of their medicine because the Feds are wont to arrest and destroy large-scale growers, even when they are clearly growing for medical patients. Requiring transparency is unrealistic as long as the Federal government continues their ridiculous and unscientific classification of cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug.
That said, cannabis has the most extraordinary safety record of any plant on earth. Chinese herbalists are not subject to such levels of minute scrutiny over their supply chain even though many of their medical plants are probably more dangerous and toxic than cannabis.
> Cannabis has a 5,000 year history
> of medicinal use with zero deaths
What an absurd statement. While it is possible that MJ was used even before 5,000 years ago, most societies had not developed writing that long ago, and most certainly there was little in the way to chronicle the deaths of anyone--much less those who might have died from the "evil weed".
Palo Altans are not as easily duped as you might think. If you can't tell the basic truth to the good folks who live in this town--maybe it's time for you to "hit the bricks", or stop smoking so much.
How about a website where you can order your medical marijuana supply online and then have it delivered to your doorstep via activists like Jonathan?
Actually, I do not support marijuana in ANY form. I don't believe in illegal, black market drugs...and I don't support unregulated "medical" (*cough cough) marijuana. It is simply a highly inebriating drug that has no place in modern society.
I have seen the effects of marijuana firsthand...and I disapprove of it as a "recreational" inebriating drug. Unfortunately, that is exactly what medical marijuana often amounts to. It gets into the hands of people who just waste their lives in pursuit of the inebriating, mind-altering effects of the drug.
Medical cannabis prohibition is a crime against humanity and is being combated by a modern day civil rights movement.
Treating blacks unfairly, treating women unfairly and treating the sick unfairly are all barbaric and despicable acts.
An injustice anywhere, is an injustice everywhere.
Cannabis was used as a medical application for over a century in the United States. Introduced by Mexicans, cannabis became the active ingredient within 30 medications here. In the early 1900's big business, our government and bigots all slept together and through propaganda and legislation they virtually eliminated the ability for anyone but wealthy caucasions to legally obtain it.
Every 3 minutes, in the United States alone, at least one person dies from the side-effects of prescription drugs. 200,000 Americans perish annually. 100,000 from "abuse" and another 100,000 from "as directed use".
In 10,000 years of worldwide cannabis consumption (hemp was found on pottery in Asia that dated back 12,000 years) there have been 0 documented cases of death due to its side-effects.
Since the enactment of our medical cannabis laws here in California, our youth usage and our violent crime rate have declined while allowing literally hundreds of thousands of cannabis patients access to their medication.
According to our own state government statistics our youth usage has reached some of its lowest levels since the attorney general begun surveying junior high and highschool students while our violent crime has reached a 40 year low statewide.
When I was 5 I was diagnosed with ADHD and then chronic migraines at 8. I was prescribed an array of medications that wouldn't allow me to eat or sleep. I felt nausea and anxiety all day, everyday, while depression forced me deeper into the abyss. I broke 9 bones in 11 years. The side-effects of these prescriptions were devastated me. I was a walking dead young boy. This is what happens when many children are prescribed amphetamines for hyperactivity disorders and sadly it is apparently condoned by medical professionals and our society.
Cannabis has eradicated my migraines while allowing me to focus and concentrate without the detrimental side-effects of all those prescription drugs. I have been considered a jewel a gem an asset with every employer I have ever worked for. I am able to maintain a healthy life while being a productive component of society and I owe it to the medical properties within cannabis.
When the FDA and Justice Department erroneously placed cannabis in a drug category that "has no proven medical value in the United States" they blatantly lied while disregarding science, history and the health and well being of the American public.
There are good laws, and there are occasionally bad laws, and it conforms to the highest traditions of a free society to offer resistance to bad laws, and to disobey them. Californians did this by voting yes on 215.
There are 58 counties in California. According to poll results Santa Clara County had the 7th highest approval rating for the "Compassionate Use Act" (64%). Guess what city led that charge? Yes, Palo Alto with roughly 75 percent. One of the highest acceptance ratings in the entire state.
The propositions first sentence specified that the initiative was created so that patients could "use and obtain" cannabis. It is interesting that instead of creating a way for patients to "obtain" cannabis, the Palo Alto city council overruled their constituency by banning collectives the first year the law was enacted. Undemocratic and shameful. Now the voters of Palo Alto have the ability to right their "leaders" wrongs.
I urge the voters within Palo Alto to lead courageously by doing the right thing and supporting facts and displaying compassion when going to the ballot box in 2012. The falsities and falsehood about cannabis must cease and the truth about this miraculous plant should be allowed to begin healing millions of our fellow citizens.
Nayteli - am most curious about your stance as it relates to your claim - ""recreational" inebriating"
What about other recreational substances?
Do you favor the prohibition of alcohol?
Prohibition of tobacco?
Or perhaps the most RECREATIONAL drugs of all (*cough cough) - ED drugs?
Jonathan Steigman and Jonathan Lustig are fellow activists for Americans for Safe Access. If someone doesn't want a marijuana dispensary sitting in their neighborhood do you have any other ideas or alternatives to help your patients get their supply? I'm sure there is a compromise to make both sides happy.
I must say, the display of ignorance on this thread is quite shocking.
I was under the impression that Palo Alto consisted of some of the most intellectual minds that exist in the world.
Persecuting patients and making a mockery of their medication is deplorable.
Are we monsters or intelligent, informed and civilized human beings?
JL - Patients deserve mercy, not sacrifice.
the reason world is messed up, is former and current presidents and leaders used to get high on weeds but now they are warmongers. they are going against what weeds thaught them. you go against what the weeds teach you, you get a mess. weed oil is the total opposite of petrol.the highest quality oil on earth is cannabis. no oil more safe and powerful. petrol is the total opposite poison. notice a petrol nation demonizes the oil that is totally opposite and can raise nature consciosness. the 2 oils, the complete opposite of each other. petrol poisaoners ,versus cannabinoil, the rainbow reflector of life. cannabis doesent have ''effects'', it has REFLECTS. it just reflects your life, there are no drug side effects. safer than soda.
@ Prohibition works?
There is a difference between alcohol and marijuana. Alcohol can be enjoyed (and even beneficial) in moderation. However, marijuana has an immediate inebriating effect.
While I really hate tobacco smoke, it doesn't have an inebriating effect. However, I do believe that it should be banned from public places or from "secondhand" places (like apartments).
In fact, I wish that Palo Alto would ban smoking from apartments that are joined with non-smoking areas. I live in an apartment...and my neighbor smokes like a chimney...and it funnels into our apartment. It is disgusting...and we sometimes have to go out for walks just to escape and breathe clean air.
I have no problem with a person who smokes completely away from others, because it is not inebriating for a person if they leave.
And, of course, I have no problem with medicinal drugs that are completely and safely regulated by the FDA. There are medical drugs that are inebriating, but they are typically for pain. There is nothing that marijuana can provide medicinally that isn't available through safe and proven medication.
We all know the REAL reason that people want marijuana legalized. It has NOTHING to do with medication for illnesses. The people who are campaigning for it aren't all suffering from glaucoma (and refuse other forms of medication that are proven to be better). Rather, they just want to legally obtain marijuana for the purpose of INEBRIATION (or, as a few here have claimed, "altered consciousness").
Life is too valuable to spend it inebriated or with some distorted sense of reality.
There are just too many issues associated with the use (and availability) of marijuana in a community.
So, you are saying that marijuana doesn't have any "effects?" You don't believe that it has any "drug side effects" either?
Mental inebriation is the main characteristic of the drug. There are arguably some very important side effects of it as well.
Besides, marijuana pushers are deceiving themselves if they try to pretend that marijuana use would bring about world peace. War is not the result of the lack of temporary mind-altering effects of marijuana.
Life is good...and there just isn't any need for reality-altering inebriation.
"There are just too many issues associated with the use (and availability) of marijuana in a community."
In your mind.
Legal pot vs legal alcohol? I see far more debilitating effects for individuals and society from alcohol.
Illegal pot? Far more costs to society than legalizing it: vastly increased organized crime, the prison industrial complex, widespread disregard of the law, much bigger government, reduced civil liberties, etc...
Prohibition does not work. Never has, never will.
ReadWhatYouWrote ... understand what you read ?
>>bru, you said:
"I wonder given the closeness of shady underworld characters in the "cannabis" industry what regulations there are on these dispensaries myself."
>>Then you minutes later said:
"I made no statement or generalization about the industry being shady"
>>And now you've said enough...for me anyways. I agree with David.
Maybe parse your sentences more closely, I said the cannabis industry is "close" to the underworld ... what does that mean to you, because to me it means there is an abstract value named "closeness" that is being used to describe the relationship between the underworld and the cannabis industry.
It might mean there are "close" in that they have the same product, or it might mean close in the sense or related by competing for customers, and it just as well might NOT mean that they are close in the sense of being the same people, but it might mean that as well in some cases. Information about that would be pertinent instead of trying to hide something. Would you like possible drug lords from with legal moneymaking corporations making legal dollars in America and affecting the American economy ... more than they do already?
If you would do a little thinking about the meaning of what you read and the possible intent of the author instead of looking for things to pounce on and grandstand about your posts might be ... better ... or acceptable perhaps. ;-)
****Replys to the "statements" made by Nayeli****
"There is a difference between alcohol and marijuana. Alcohol can be enjoyed (and even beneficial) in moderation. However, marijuana has an immediate inebriating effect."
The side-effects of alcohol kill 70,000 Americans a year.
"While I really hate tobacco smoke, it doesn't have an inebriating effect. However, I do believe that it should be banned from public places or from "secondhand" places (like apartments)."
The side-effects of cigarettes kill 450,000 Americans every year.
"And, of course, I have no problem with medicinal drugs that are completely and safely regulated by the FDA. There are medical drugs that are inebriating, but they are typically for pain. There is nothing that marijuana can provide medicinally that isn't available through safe and proven medication."
200,000 Americans are killed by prescription drugs every year. Half of them die from "as directed use". God bless the FDA.
"Life is too valuable to spend it inebriated or with some distorted sense of reality."
With all due respect, propaganda has made you drunk.
"We all know the REAL reason that people want marijuana legalized. It has NOTHING to do with medication for illnesses. The people who are campaigning for it aren't all suffering from glaucoma (and refuse other forms of medication that are proven to be better). Rather, they just want to legally obtain marijuana for the purpose of INEBRIATION (or, as a few here have claimed, "altered consciousness")."
I commend and applaud the older couple who have courageously faced ridicule for funding this initiative. Blessed are those persecuted for righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
"So, you are saying that marijuana doesn't have any "effects?" You don't believe that it has any "drug side effects" either?
Mental inebriation is the main characteristic of the drug. There are arguably some very important side effects of it as well."
Mental inebriation would imply that individuals who use cannabis are incoherent and incapable of functioning appropriately and safely within society. Do I and the other patients on this thread sound unmotivated, reckless and ignorant?
The National Cancer Institute reported last year that 20-40 percent of the cancer patients that die annually here in the U.S. do not die from the actual cancer. 100,000-200,000 cancer patients die every year due to malnutrition because current drugs are incapable of stimulating their appetite. Starving to death is one of the most painful ways you, your family member, your friend or your neighbor could crossover. Imagine how many cancer patients lives alone can be saved if cannabis was readily available for those who are unable to consume vitamins, nutrients and minerals.
Tylenol, cough medicine and water kill people every year.
In 10,000 years of worldwide cannabis consumption there have been 0 documented cases of death due to its side-effects.
Thank you Jonathan and all others for helping educate those who just don't understand yet. We all know they mean well, but can't see the forest for the trees. For anyone out there who has actually read this far down the comments (I haven't even read them all yet). I just want to put out there that I've been told that if I can raise $250,000, I can have a dispensary up and operating in Palo Alto in a week. The old city council's ban (never even put in front of the people after more than 80% of Palo Altan's polled voted to support access) is probably completely illegal; and there are people out there ready to easily win any lawsuits if we pony up the cash. It's just that patients are generally weak and poor and can't fight the ignorant hate groups to get what they need to live healthy productive lives. These well-intentioned hate groups don't know yet how they are supporting the deaths of thousands of innocents every year in the failed war on drugs. They don't understand they are forcing us to become criminals to stay healthy--Where will I buy quality, tested medicine? They don't know how hard it is to grow right. They don't understand the many medical conditions it helps, conditions which can limit a patients ability to even grow. Anyway, if anybody wants to come up with that money, we should just do it. Let me know.
Attacking legitimate medicine that is created by scientists and regulated by the FDA is a very poor defense of the inebriating effects of marijuana or the detrimental effect that it has upon society.
Of course, I suspect that those people who disingenuously claim that they are trying to "help" those who are sick will try to come up with yet another attempt to "educate" those of us who are enlightened enough to believe serious, credible scientific studies about the harmful effects of long-term marijuana use on the brain.
Yeah, there is NO NEED for marijuana to be sold in this community. The disadvantages far outweigh the advantage (to make a few people who want to be inebriated happy).
Just vote no!
Vote NO on this ridiculous measure!
Of course, we will see whether or not people in this community actually want this silly substance sold in our streets.
Let me ask those "medical marijuana dispensary" supporters something:
Do you seriously want this for the sick...or are you in favor of marijuana in the hands of anyone who wants it?
Of course, we all know the answer. "Medical marijuana" was simply a ruse used by people who want marijuana legalized...and couldn't get it to happen in any other way.
Tracey, how can I contact you to ask you some questions about medical uses of cannabis?
"Of course, we will see whether or not people in this community actually want this silly substance sold in our streets. "
VERY VERY VERY funny!
There IS pot sold on the streets.
Prohibition doesn't work. It's easier for kids to get pot than it is to get booze.
Prohibition doesn't work.
I am going to say this one last time. This thread is not about banning the stuff. It is not about whether or not it is medically required for some people. It is not about whether or not people should recreationally use it.
This thread is about whether we should have 3 pot shops or medical dispensaries in Palo Alto.
We are a small town. We do not have a suitable area where these could be placed far away from residential neighborhoods, schools and parks. All business areas are reasonably close to residential neighborhoods. All downtown areas are reasonably close to residential areas.
We do not have suitable places to house these facilities. We do not see that there is a need for those who require to purchase in Palo Alto rather than by delivery services or out of town. We do not want to attract out of towners to come here in search of their fix. We do not want to be known as a destination for those who require medical marijuana to come, use and return to their homes under the influence of a substance which can cause problems to those drivers who have imbibed.
We don't want any financial advantage from these dispensaries particularly considering our city council will not grant us large supermarkets and big box stores which will generate sales tax.
We will remember who on the council is in favor of this and when they come up for re-election, they will pay the price.
For those who want to eat, inhale, rub, smoke, get it from somewhere else, please.
"We will remember who on the council is in favor of this and when they come up for re-election, they will pay the price."
In spite of the negative comments here, the people of Palo Alto are strongly in favor of this measure. A scientific poll of residents showed over 60% will vote for it.
I was at the meeting last night and was moved by the powerful testimony of Tracey Chen, who described how cannabis has relieved her from chronic pain and suffering. It was courageous of her to relate her personal situation so honestly. I am thankful that cannabis has been able to help her and hope that soon she will be able to get the medication she needs safely and legally in her own community.
@ Prohibition works?:
I didn't mean ILLEGAL POT sold on the streets by criminals. I meant the citizens of Palo Alto. I have too much faith in the citizens of this city that they wouldn't approve of this sort of lunacy.
This isn't like the prohibition of alcohol. Alcohol had been legal...and was a custom for generations. It has positive health benefits as well.
Marijuana is just an inebriating drug...period. There isn't anything positive with it...other than the "altered reality" that its supporters constantly long for.
The legalization of marijuana for non-medicinal use just will not stand in California. Even in today's day and age, there is just too much common sense within voters for them to approve of such an asinine notion.
Life is far too valuable than to spend it in an inebriated stupor of "altered consciousness." Plus, there are plenty of studies -- REAL medical and peer reviewed studies -- that describe the harm that marijuana does to the individual and society that accepts it.
People will see through the propaganda...and realize that inebriating pot dispensaries don't belong in our community.
Do you seriously think that those who are promoting marijuana dispensaries in our city want it for "medical" purposes?
These supporters want it because of its inebriating effect...and know that it cannot possibly be legalized in any other way. This is their "gimmick" so that they can obtain it more readily (and with phony cards).
I imagine that if we were to ask each ardent and loud supporter, the majority of them would readily admit that they want marijuana (and even other drugs) legalized...period. "Medicinal purposes" is just the ruse that they hope will lower prejudice against the inebriating effects of the drug itself.
Where is the link to that poll you mention? I very much doubt Palo Alto citizens are in favor of this. Most of them are home owning parents or grand-parents who want no such "dispensary" anywhere near their property or their kids or grandkids.
I rarely agree with Nayeli but I do completely agree with her on this one.
"A scientific poll of residents showed over 60% will vote for it."
What scientific poll Ian? I never voted???
How are we supposed to vote for dispensaries when we aren't even given the location of the proposed sites? If the dispensaries are far off the beaten path then maybe I would vote yes, but if they are next to my house, downtown, or near children then I would vote no. Like "Resident" said "This thread is not about banning the stuff. It is not about whether or not it is medically required for some people. It is not about whether or not people should recreationally use it. This thread is about whether we should have 3 pot shops or medical dispensaries in Palo Alto."
The Jonathan's posting on this board are really changing my mind to a "NO" vote. The way you are preaching these studied facts through your training program and with a very argumentative tone. Being a successful activist is not to argue with the other side to the point that even if they do agree with you they will not vote your way because they are so put-off by your approach, but to bring them in by having a little compassion and understanding of their oppositional views and trying to show them a different side they may not have seen or recognized. Also, to some people that don't agree with you, a compromise to make both sides happy can be a win win for everyone. Instead your comment was "Patients deserve mercy, not sacrifice." And Tracey's approach is not much better saying that those who disagree with her are "well-intentioned hate groups who don't know yet how they are supporting the deaths of thousands of innocents."
I wonder if the people who are against the legalization of marijuana (medical or otherwise) are aware of this: When you're under 21, it's much easier to buy illegal drugs than it is to buy alcohol. Vendors selling alcohol are required to check identification, drug dealers don't care if you have an ID or not.
Put that in your pipe and smoke it. ;-)
Nayeli writes "Marijuana is just an inebriating drug...period. There isn't anything positive with it...other than the "altered reality" that its supporters constantly long for."
I wonder if you've ever been close with someone who became emaciated because the drugs used to treat their cancer also robbed them of their appetite. I have. It's heartbreaking. Marijuana is a safe way for these people to have more appetite. Or would you rather they have a G-tube?
Yes, I have been around people who had cancer. The doctors informed those patients about their medicinal options. None of them suggested marijuana. We even helped search online (through medical journals) about treatment options. We never found a credible study that recommended marijuana as the best treatment for any condition.
Besides, I suspect that you...like most pot supporters...want it legalized BEYOND any medicinal purposes. Of course, you could correct me if I am wrong.
However, I did read an article accompanied by a poll where the advocates for marijuana admitted that the "medicinal purposes" ruse was merely being used as a stepping stone and potential "temporary victory" to help in their cause for pure legalization of the drug.
Do you think that there is any truth to this?
I wonder if 'David' is a marijuana epicurean I used to know from the College terrace area back in the 70's.
I am not opposed to people being prescribed marijuana for medical treatment. Sure helped my mom when she was going through chemo for her ovarian cancer. I AM opposed to people sitting around in a shop/storefront getting blasted. And don't say that doesn't happen, I've seen people sitting around smoking in a pot club. Get your prescription filled and go home to medicate.
Sounds like you're disputing that marijuana gives people the munchies. Surely, you have at least heard that it does...
And yes, I think legalizing medical marijuana is a stepping stone to legalizing marijuana and other drugs. I do believe that all drugs should be made legal and should be regulated, taxed, and distributed legally. Regulation would help keep drugs out of the hands of underage users (wouldn't completely eliminate drug abuse by minors, but I do believe it would help). The government kindly lets me pollute my health by smoking cigarettes, I don't see why they would care if I pollute my health with other drugs.
Thank you YSK!! I agree.
This article appeared in the San Fran Chronicle about one Pot Dispensary in Oakland: Web Link
The article says they have 94,000 clients, and did $22 million in business in 2010. These dispensaries are pretty big business. In comparison, an average McDonald's restraurant does around $2.3 million in sales - roughly 10% of what this dispensary does.
I think I need to buy a pizza parlor in PA before this passes.
Having [cough cough] been there & done that, I see medicinal pot as a low risk to our community, certainly lower than either cigarettes or alcohol. So I'm for the measure.
On the flip side,
Wait, what was I gonna say?
Nayeli: You have filled this comment thread with evidence-free ad hominem attacks on sick people who use medical cannabis and those of us who fight on their behalf. We get it. You don't think cannabis has any medicinal value and all the patients who use it only want to get high.
Perhaps you could share your vast knowledge about how cannabis has no medicinal value with the thousands of doctors and researchers worldwide who study this miraculous plant. Maybe start with those deluded scientists at the University of California's Center for Medical Cannabis Research Web Link. Then get in contact with the researchers behind the nearly *17,000* worldwide articles and scientific papers studying medicinal aspects of the cannabis plant: Web Link
Then you might want to send a telegram to the scientists at the American Cancer Society, the American Medical Association, the American College of Physicians, the California Nurses Association, the Federation of American Scientists, the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine and the New England Journal of Medicine. All of these misguided organizations have supported research into the medicinal uses of cannabis, and many support immediate access to therapeutic cannabis. Web Link
As far as dispensaries go, the NIMBY crowd is once again allowing misinformation and fear to rule their beliefs. A well-run dispensary has no more or less impact on a neighborhood than a copy shop or nail salon. Without a valid doctor's recommendation, they won't even allow you inside. They do not sell cannabis to children. They will not sell it to your kids.
Dispensaries are robbed at much lower rates than banks and liquor stores. San Jose has over 100 dispensaries currently operating and they do not have any increased problem with crime. Simply put, there is no reality-based reason to deny sick and suffering patients a safe, local dispensary where they can get their medicine.
As former State Assemblyman John Vasconcellos said so eloquently last night, "I plead with you to listen to the people, the law, science and your hearts."
Common Sense, you quoted the revenues from the largest dispensary in the nation, then compared it to an average McD's. Comparison failure.
The highest revenue McDonalds is $9 million.
If this initiative passes, Palo Alto would be a magnet for all on the Peninsula who now go to either San Jose or San Francisco, so I could see these dispensaries attracting a huge client base - perhaps as large as the one in Oakland.
The initiative restricts the dispensaries to be no closer than 150 feet to a residence; given that restriction, the places where these dispensaries could locate in Palo Alto are most likely Downtown, California Ave/Fry's, Stanford Industrial Park, the Commerical areas near the airport, or the commerical areas near San Antonio/Charleston, and parts of El Camino Real.
common sense: You seem to be suggesting Palo Alto should not allow dispensaries because they would attract sick and suffering patients from up and down the Peninsula. As a patients' rights advocate, I see that as a great thing. The people of Palo Alto should be proud if they alone show the backbone and compassion their political leaders -- and every other political "leader" between San Jose and San Francisco -- have failed to demonstrate.
Dispensaries, which often serve sick, elderly and disabled patients should be located in a central business district accessible by public transportation. All the areas you cite would be excellent choices.
If Palo Alto voters pass the ordinance in 2012 it will send a signal to all the other communities up and down the Peninsula that Palo Alto favors science and reason over cowardice and lies. Hopefully, other communities will be shamed into following Palo Alto's lead. If they don't, at least Palo Alto residents can sleep well knowing they have improved the lives of countless patients.
"...dispensaries because they would attract sick and suffering patients from up and down the Peninsula."
Guess we ought to get rid of that nasty Stanford medical complex!
Prohibition doesn't work.
It just makes it easier for kids to get pot, decreases adherence to the rule of law, makes criminals of otherwise law-abiding citizens, fills our prison with expensive non-violent pot offenders, costs our communities too much in a drug "war", etc...
JL asked "What scientific poll Ian? I never voted???"
I couldn't find a link to it but I have a copy in my hand. It was a survey by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (FM3), a public opinion research firm. They polled 400 likely Palo Alto voters between Sep. 25th and 27th, and found that 61% were in favor of the ballot measure to allow 3 dispensaries in Palo Alto. 36% were opposed and only 3% were undecided. No information was provided to those polled besides potential ballot language. The margin for error is "+/-5.0 percentage points at the 95th confidence interval." In other words, the voters are solidly in favor of this measure.
"The illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world." --Dr. Carl Sagan
Read his full essay here: Web Link
what if ''feeling better'' IS the ''medical benefits'' of cannabis?? after all ,there are people taking dangerous drug company drugs that can cause death immediately! they feel ''depresed'' but one of the effects of cannabis is almost complete ignoring of daily problems in favor of just observing life . your daily life is a waking dream, the normal waking state is actually ''sleep awakening''rather than ''sleepwalking''.your night dreams are unpredictable but so are the ''waking dream'' of living.think of daily waking life as a projected dream because thats what cannabis makes the world look like. it doesent change or didtort what you can see or do. thta is why famous cannabis athletes are able to perform. in short, cannabis marijuana weed, just makes you see the dreamlike waking reality. youre alreadt dreaming the cannabis just makes you aware of it more. you are actually , already stoned . the cannabis just lets you see the natural flow of your life . you dont normally notice it. the cannabis is like a life lubricant.sort of like a magnifying glass. it has no drug effects. the ''high'' is sort of like peppermint for the mind. too much sugar is far more dangerous than marijuana.
@ Jonathan Steigman:
Nonsense. I didn't wage "ad hominem attacks on sick people who use medical cannabis."
In fact, I acknowledge that there are some people who can use marijuana as an alternative form of medication.
However, I am suggesting (and it was confirmed) that this isn't why many marijuana advocates want such dispensaries to be opened.
As acknowledged earlier, most marijuana users are less concerned with the "sick" who might choose marijuana as an alternative form of existing traditional (and proven) medication...and they are just using this ruse as a "stepping stone" because the public largely opposes the legalization of marijuana for any other reason.
There are just too many negatives associated with such dispensaries. There are too many people who aren't truly sick who somehow obtain access to the inebriating drugs sold. This has been reported in news reports from existing dispensaries in San Francisco and Oakland...and has (rightfully) led to raids upon those businesses.
As a compromise, I suggest that those who truly choose "medical marijuana" as an alternative to a legitimate illness to obtain such medication from the state itself in highly regulated means and only in limited doses. I also think that every person who chooses such "medication" should be aware of safe, viable alternatives that do not have the inebriating and stuporous effect of marijuana.
BTW, I seriously doubt the legitimacy of that "poll" of Palo Alto residents. We can't see the control factors of the poll, so it is useless as "evidence" for its claims. It would be interesting to find out who, if the poll actually exists, actually commissioned the poll in the first place and how it was worded.
BTW, that ballot initiative doesn't appear on the website for the company mentioned by Ian.
The only ballot initiative poll listed for Palo Alto that was conducted by that agency is in response to the $76M Library bond in 2008.
> Dr. Carl Sagan
Anything Carl had to say is good enough for me! Really miss that guy, he was a great humanitarian and he would have a lot to say about the state of the country these days. It is a shame he is gone.
Opinion Polls are paid for by groups who want them to come up with a certain result.
Here is a very humorous, but enlightening way they work.
I really wouldn't put too much weight on the opinion poll cited above.
ad ho·mi·nemAdverb/ˈad ˈhämənəm/
1. (of an argument or reaction) Arising from or appealing to the emotions and not reason or logic.
2. Attacking an opponent's motives or character rather than the policy or position they maintain
Your earlier posts repeatedly smear all medical cannabis activists by claiming we all have a secret agenda to legalize cannabis across the board. You also repeatedly assert over and over again that cannabis has no medical value and only gets people inebriated. Apparently, the broad consensus of the medical and scientific community (other than Federal agencies) means nothing to you.
Your latest response above contains more unsubstantiated and highly inflammatory claims but not a shred of proof. For instance:
--I am suggesting (and it was confirmed) that this isn't why many marijuana advocates want such dispensaries to be opened.
Confirmed where and by whom?
--As acknowledged earlier,
-- most marijuana users are less concerned with the "sick" who might choose marijuana as an alternative form of existing traditional (and proven) medication...and they are just using this ruse as a "stepping stone"
Do you understand that this is another unsubstantiated attack, not any sort of evidence?
--because the public largely opposes the legalization of marijuana for any other reason.
False. The failure of Prop 19 (a poorly-written ballot measure opposed by many activists) notwithstanding, the latest polls show a majority of Americans (55%) support decriminalization. Web Link
--There are just too many negatives associated with such dispensaries.
No, there aren't. Do you have any evidence other than your own belief and heresay?
-- There are too many people who aren't truly sick who somehow obtain access to the inebriating drugs sold.
Again, an ad hominem attack on patients without any evidence.
--This has been reported in news reports from existing dispensaries in San Francisco and Oakland...
What news reports?
And on and on. Truly, I encourage you to open your mind and heart. Your kind of "reefer madness" ignorance makes life worse for patients and is the reason most of the tens of thousands of patients on the Peninsula who have benefited from medicinal cannabis won't come out publicly. For every Tracy Chen, who courageously testified publicly about the near-miraculous way cannabis improves her life, *thousands* of patients of all ages and backgrounds with similar experiences are forced to suppress their free speech. Just because you don't hear their stories doesn't mean they're not out there.
Man all this drabble about it destroying the community is completely ridiculous.
I live in San Francisco about 2 blocks from a dispensary and let me tell you, you'd be totally surprised by the clientele that comes out of there. I would say the majority of clients in there are women 40+ Of course I cannot back this up with any proof, just my own observations.
I feel completely safe around the dispensary since security is incredibly tight. I have never seen kids go anywhere near it and don't think I ever will.
As someone who did grow up in Palo Alto (PALY class of '04) I can tell you that is was much easier for kids to obtain alcohol than cannabis. I'm sick of ignorance.
Live and let live.
In my last comment I MEANT to say easier cannabis than alcohol.
If you don't want to use marijuana, don't. It isn't up to you to make that decision for anyone else. People are going to get it one way or another, legally or otherwise. It's like abortion, you don't stop abortion by banning it, you just force it underground. I'd rather see people get marijuana legally than turn to the cartels. There is no one more opposed to legalizing it than the local drug dealer. It's funny to see how some people see themselves as kingmakers, threatening politicians who dare to disagree with them. It's still one man one vote.
For those who question the validity of the scientific poll I mentioned, Palo Alto Patch has a non-scientific poll on this issue, and it is winning with 67% yes vs. 12% no. This isn't surprising, since 60% of Palo Alto voters voted for prop 19, which would have legalized marijuana for all adults, and 75% of Palo Alto voters voted for prop. 215, which legalized medical cannabis 15 years ago. It appears that every time they have gotten the chance, Palo Alto has voted for cannabis. They will get another chance next year.
These cannabis dispensaries are putting street weed sellers out of business. I called my regular "source" and she said "sorry, I'm not selling. I get mine at the dispensary". So I called my backup source. Same thing! How WONDERFUL that cities are smart enough to tax it now, and better yet, make street weed much harder to find. This is great news for the future of our children. Like booze, it should be off limits until you are 21. Everyone needs to get off pills and let's put big pharma out of business next!
@ Jonathan Steigman:
We can all see that your arguments have less to do with providing MEDICINAL marijuana as it has to do with just the full legalization of marijuana for recreational inebriation.
It is an inebriating drug...pure and simple...and a dispensary would simply make it more readily available to people who aren't in need of "medicine." You know that...and this is part of the rationale behind your "fight."
As for the evidence about the detriments that marijuana imposes on users and society: It is has already been presented previously. You can find this in previous discussions about marijuana...or you can simply use PUBMED database and look up REAL credible, scientific, peer-reviewed studies on the effects of marijuana.
BTW, yesterday, my husband called by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (FM3) (the public opinion research firm that was cited) and was informed by that
company that they had never heard of the poll that was cited earlier that supposedly
demonstrated support in Palo Alto for this ridiculous measure. They told my husband that they have only conducted a survey or poll once specifically regarding Palo Alto, but this had nothing to do with marijuana or dispensaries.
Is this an attempt to make up a poll in order to dishonestly make it seem like Palo Alto residents actually support this?
As for the other non-scientific poll at the "Palo Alto Patch:" Do you have a link for it? Is it nothing more than a question on a blog?
Did you read the link that I provided earlier? The largest pot dispensary in the world was just raided because it didn't pay its taxes.
So, please don't try to argue that marijuana would be a source of "tax revenue" -- especially as if the "cons" include more readily available pot to people who do NOT need it for medicinal purposes.
We're already the only city that allows car-dwelling -- am I the only one who's envisioning a smoke-filled peace van full of baked hippies parked on my lawn?
Facts vs Fear. I choose facts.
[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
"The largest pot dispensary in the world was just raided because it didn't pay its taxes."
Makes them like GE and Exxon, I suppose.
Nayali: they're right:
- you are in the minority (med pot passed by election)
- you've provided no facts relevant to what you've been trying to argue, only a link on a bad corporate citizen, which at this point, is also only alleged and not adjudicated
Not really. I have noticed that there is a certain segment of Palo Alto Online readers who "start" a rancorous debate simply because someone has an opinion different from their own.
On a personal level, I have always appreciated a different viewpoint or perspective -- even if I disagree with it -- as long as the person isn't factious or prejudicial from the get-go.
This is a diverse world. There is room for diversity. Even in a place that is as "progressive" or "liberal" as the San Francisco Bay Area, one out of three voted for John McCain in the last election.
Unfortunately, this isn't always the case here. I have noticed that people will angrily dismiss an alternative view if it differs from the local norm.
If I disagree with the HSR, I am labeled a NIMBY. If I point out that bicycle theft problem at Stanford because my sister's bike was stolen, I am labeled as being "too selfish." If I mention that I don't support Obama, I am labeled a "right wing fanatic" (which isn't even true). If I mention that I am anti-abortion, I am dismissed as a "religion-motivated puritan." If I mention that I don't believe in legalized marijuana, I am labeled as "close-minded" and "ignoring the facts" (that aren't even presented to begin with).
There is something wrong when a society shuts off the person simply because we disagree with their opinions, conclusions or sociopolitical persuasions.
Graham Allison, in his ESSENCE OF DECISION, offered quite a bit of insight into the Kennedy Administration. One thing that was a hallmark of that administration was its use of groupthink...but from a variety of different opinions. Kennedy didn't surround himself solely by "yes men." He had men who were brave enough to voice difference of opinion.
Unfortunately, many in today's society surround themselves only with those who agree with them. This is true of Conservatives and Liberals, Republicans and Democrats, Libertarians and Socialists. It is especially true in regard to specific issues.
I knew that the moment that I commented in this thread, I would be rhetorically ostracized by a handful of very vocal and passionate supporters of legalized marijuana. Why? Well, it has been the experience here in the past.
Previously, I have shared exactly the reasons that I didn't approve...and even cited credible peer-reviewed medical, social and scientific studies about it. However, that didn't matter. To some, unfortunately, it seems that I don't have a right to a different opinion. I was lambasted for simply having an opinion -- based upon my own moral, religious, cultural and factual beliefs -- simply because it differed from those who tried to control the conversation.
I have learned that this is very common in Palo Alto...and the Bay Area as a whole. However, I am also thankful that there are many good people who post here...and many people who welcome differing views on the same matter. They don't "attack" simply because their conclusions or beliefs are different. They welcome diversity.
In this issue, I don't agree with the idea of marijuana dispensaries in Palo Alto. I believe that, for most marijuana advocates, they are using it as nothing more than a ruse in their efforts to make "recreational" marijuana legalized. I don't buy the "it will bring in tax dollars" argument -- and included a link about how this isn't true in other communities. However, there is more.
I have seen enough questionable precedent (in newspapers, nightly news and crime statistics) to disapprove. I have seen enough studies to disagree with contentions about "fact." I also have my own moral, religious and social views on the matter. Moreover, I have seen how those who are pushing for this treat those who disagree with them. I have seen the hate...and how, as someone else put it, it causes us to NOT want them to get their way as a result.
And, of course, I find it odd when someone flat-out LIES about a "survey" (even naming the company that supposedly conducted it) in a misguided and misleading effort to add credibility to their claim that a majority of Palo Altans agree with them.
By the way, here is an article about how the Feds are now currently targeting pot dispensaries in California:
@ Prohibition works?:
As I said before, there is a difference between "medicinal marijuana" and it being used as a "stepping stone" ruse by people who simply want it legalized regardless of whether it is for "medicinal" purposes or not. Earlier, someone even admitted it.
There are questions about the extent by which the 15-yr old law is legal (in application).
Moreover, there is a difference between a question of whether MEDICINAL marijuana (and ONLY medicinal marijuana) should be legal...and whether the people of Palo Alto want a dispensary in our community.
Since the claimed "survey" or "poll" ended up being a lie...and the unscientific poll mentioned earlier from "Palo Alto Patch" blog is not credible (even though it seems that the majority of participants were AGAINST these dispensaries)...then we can't really make a claim one way or the other.
I will say that I will vote against it...my husband will vote against it...and many people that we know have said that they are against it. Take that with a grain of salt.
Natali, welcome to Palo Alto. There's quite a few of us appreciate comments from americans like you. Dont let a few haters intimidate you with their hateful words. We need more common sense around here.
Just to clarify..
I am not fighting for the rights of sick and suffering fellow citizens to expedite or even encourage full legalization of cannabis. This movement continues because denying anyone medication that they can benefit from is unethical and unacceptable. I voted no on Proposition 19, the body of the law was poorly crafted. 60 percent of Palo Alto voted yes.
Harborside in Oakland is the largest medical cannabis dispensary in the entire world. They were not raided for illegal sales of medication, they were raided because the federal government has deplorably changed their course of action by denying medicinal cannabis facilities the ability to deduct rent and employee wages from their income. They claim that they are not allowing those expenses to be write-offs because the medicine collectives are dispensing are not legal under federal law. What the IRS is doing is unprecedented and would destroy any business.
During our conversations I have not always agreed with Steve De'Angelo (Harborside CEO) but I do know he is a good man who should be embraced and supported instead of being persecuted and thrown under the bus. Shame on you Obama, Congress, DOJ, IRS and the FDA.
Lies hurt everyone.
The truth heals us.
Natali: "There are questions about the extent by which the 15-yr old law is legal (in application)"
Pretty serious questions if within a mere 15 years, absolutely nothing has been done about it.
Prohibition of pot doesn't work. Hasn't worked, will never work.
Prohibition didn't work.
During Prohibition, America imported more cocktail shakers than ever.
Before arguing that prohibition ever works, do your homework: watch Prohibition this week.
Mark Twain: "Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits"
"Fanatics will never learn that, though it be written in letters of gold across the sky. It is the prohibition that makes anything precious."
@ Prohibition works?:
So, I am a "fanatic" now? ¡A otro perro con ese hueso! Tambien, yo tengo una tía que toca la guitarra.
Prohibition works very well for crack cocaine, crystal meth, and other drugs.
Do you want to repeal the "prohibition" against those drugs too?
@ Jonathan Lustig:
Didn't you try to open a marijuana dispensary in Mountain View? So, I suppose that you have a vested interest in this?
Just to confirm, that I agree with you on this issue although have disagreed with you on other issues. Fine by me.
I feel you are losing ground here and maybe it is time to bow out.
However, I will say that all the weblinks that I have seen from these advocates are from sites which are designed to promote pot use and are not unbiased sites, although the studies might be. It is hard to tell. I have linked some credible studies from The Lancet and other medical sites (others are not free therefore cannot be linked) which have been ridiculed by the advocates as junk science.
Therefore, I don't see that there is any point in debating with them because they are not listening.
Lastly, we may not win in the whether or not it is beneficial debate, but the voters are voting on whether to have pot shops in Palo Alto and I think that provided the topic is whether to have pot shops here and not whether or not it should be legalized, we may have more in agreement.
The NIMBYs may like the idea of making it legal in theory, but when it comes to having it in our own backyard, not as many may be in agreement.
I think that you are right. I appreciate the kind words that have been spoken...and I even received a phone call and a word of encouragement from someone who read through this thread (but didn't post). I also appreciate the fact that people can agree to disagree on issues without resorting to inappropriate conduct.
My husband called today and told me that he received word from the polling organization that was cited earlier, and they did confirm that the "survey" mentioned earlier -- complete with "results" -- simply did not exist. They didn't know why someone would even cite their name in the first place. I guess that they will go to great lengths -- including fake polls -- just to make it seem like a majority of Palo Alto residents actually support this.
But, you're right, I think that it is time to bow out. It doesn't look like a healthy discussion can take place anyway.
I apologize if I offended anyone. That wasn't my goal. I simply disagree with such dispensaries in Palo Alto.
I'm pretty sure "Pw?" didn't call you a fanatic in your obsession to keep a prohibition on marijuana. He/she was just using a popular Mark Twain quote on prohibition:
"Fanatics will never learn that, though it be written in letters of gold across the sky. It is the prohibition that makes anything precious."
Prohibition breeds crime.
Your statement: "Prohibition works very well for crack cocaine, crystal meth, and other drugs."
No, you are wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. It precisely ISN'T working "very well". The war on drugs is a massive failure and meth is "Exhibit A".
Meth is an epidemic in America. You can find it all over town, all over the state and all over the country. Meth is absolutely destroying parts of some states, for example - Kentucky. Do a google on "meth epidemic in America" and you will find plenty of supporting documentation.
Web Link from 2006, of course, it's worse now.
Saying that our current prohibition on meth and the other drugs you listed "works very well" is the most completely FALSE statement on this thread.
You are completely unaware of reality.
"works very well"
Please don't post a lame response saying I'm for legalization of all drugs like some libertarian. I'm not.
I am bowing out but I just wanted to respond to the latest post...
To make blanket statements that "prohibition doesn't work" is silly -- because it works quite well in the case of crack, cocaine, crystal meth, Extacy and other drugs.
Marijuana is an inebriating drug that is illegal...like those other drugs.
Prohibition obviously works for those drugs.
Now, again, I bow out...
Nayeli makes a claim, it's "refudiated" with facts, including a link.
She then returns to the same baseless claim and says, no really, it is true, again without any support.
Prohibition of drugs works so well there are daily stories of drug killings, billions in illicit profits, a trillion tax dollars wasted on an ineffective war on drugs, drug cartels in the US, Mexico and Colombia, etc..
Yet any school kid can get virtually any drug he or she desires.
"Prohibition obviously works for those drugs."
"Prohibition works very well for crack cocaine, crystal meth, and other drugs."
Please define "works."
Here is how prohibition "works" in the real world:
1. We have spent over a trillion tax dollars on the war on drugs. From Fox: "AP IMPACT: After 40 years, $1 trillion, US War on Drugs has failed to meet any of its goals" Read more: Web Link
2. The war on drugs has given us the highest prison population in the world: "The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. A very large portion of people who are incarcerated are imprisoned for drug-related crimes. In 1994, it was reported that the "War on Drugs" results in the incarceration of one million Americans each year. Of the related drug arrests, about 225,000 are for possession of cannabis, the fourth most common cause of arrest in the United States..."
3. America's prohibition of drugs is ruining our neighbors: "Since Mexican President Felipe Calderon took office in September 2006, there have been well over an estimated 13,600 drug-related killings in the country. The killings are tied to Mexican drug cartels which supply vast amounts of marijuana, methamphetamines, and cocaine primarily to U.S. markets."
The list goes on and on. Yet with all that, the trillion dollars, the death and destruction, a million in jail, virtually any school kid can acquire just about any drug they want.
Most kids don't for a variety of reasons.
Prohibition doesn't work. Your denial is akin to holding your breath until you turn blue just to try and claim that your opinion is correct.
Prohibition doesn't work. It didn't with alcohol, it doesn't with drugs.
"Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits"
@ That User Name...
Still up to the mudslinging? I am trying to bow out...but, to quote Michael Correleon, you "keep pulling me back in."
Prohibition DOES work with other illicit, mind-altering and inebriating drugs. In addition, tobacco is prohibited in many places -- and I am very thankful for it!
Secondly, here are some links about the dangers and detrimental effects of marijuana use on individuals and society:
Of course, there are MANY, MANY others...but you will simply need to go to PubMed and look them up for yourself. It is widely accepted science.
I can provide several thousands more if anyone would like to see them. In college, I had to write a few papers on the effects of illicit drugs upon individuals and society, and I was surprised by the enormous amount of evidence -- which is why the government continues to keep marijuana (and other drugs) illegal.
Did you actually look at those links? Many draw no conclusions and others cite benefits! From your links:
"Conclusively, CBD [a psycho-inactive constituent of marijuana] may block anxiety-induced REM sleep alteration via its anxiolytic effect, rather than via sleep regulation per se." (in study of cannabis and PTSD-related sleep disorder).
"The evidence that smoking cannabis leads to features of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, such as airflow obstruction and emphysema is not convincing."
[Related, from the Washington Post: "Study Finds No Cancer-Marijuana Connection" Web Link]
"Lifetime cannabis use was associated with better performance on acquired knowledge, facial affect recognition and face identity recognition....Lifetime cannabis-using individuals might constitute a subgroup with a higher cognitive potential."
Do you really think all those mainstream medical organizations I cited -- the AMA, NEJM, ACS and dozens more -- are deluded about their belief in the therapeutic value of cannabis? Are you also a climate change denier, an evolution denier?
Perhaps you think the DEA lied when they ruled unequivocally:
"4. Nearly all medicines have toxic, potentially lethal effects. But marijuana is not such a substance. There is no record in the extensive medical literature describing a proven, documented cannabis-induced fatality.
"5. This is a remarkable statement. First, the record on marijuana encompasses 5,000 years of human experience. Second, marijuana is now used daily by enormous numbers of people throughout the world. Estimates suggest that from twenty million to fifty million Americans routinely, albeit illegally, smoke marijuana without the benefit of direct medical supervision. Yet, despite this long history of use and the extraordinarily high numbers of social smokers, there are simply no credible medical reports to suggest that consuming marijuana has caused a single death.
"6. By contrast aspirin, a commonly used, over-the-counter medicine, causes hundreds of deaths each year." Web Link
To all still reading at this point, please keep in mind that our government has deliberately blocked almost all legitimate research into cannabis that does not link it to abuse. Most recently, a study of cannabis to treat PTSD in returning veterans, which was approved by the FDA, was blocked when Health and Human Services (the only legal source of cannabis for research) refused to supply the medicine. So our veterans, who sacrificed so much already, are now shafted by our anti-scientific government. Web Link
Science and reason sadly take a back seat to politics and greed when it comes to cannabis research and policy. Luckily, the people of Palo Alto overwhelmingly support medical cannabis and don't fear the bogeyman of a safe, convenient dispensary where their sick and suffering loved ones and neighbors can acquire high-quality medicine.
What on earth are you talking about - "mudslinging"?
You claim prohibition is working for meth, crack, coke, etc... That is a completely ridiculous claim.
Our failed war on drugs has cost a trillion dollars, made huge drug cartels possible, given us the highest prison population in the world, taken resources away from our children and so much more. And kids can still score anything they want on campus!
Prohibition doesn't work.
"Prohibition works very well for crack cocaine, crystal meth, and other drugs."
That was absurdly foolish claim. If you think it is valid - offer evidence.
Yes, I did read the links. I don't think that you did. You may have read the simple summary, but the actual journal article is quite telling. While they may speak of some possible (and they often stress the word "possible") benefits from canibus, the "cons" far outweigh the "pros."
Prohibition has helped society in regard to many inebriating drugs -- including marijuana. Our society no more wants harmful drugs available to our citizens than we want other criminal activity.
You can sing it until you are blue (or green) in the face -- but we know that your "war" on "prohibition" of drugs has little to do with credible science or those who might choose it as an alternative form of medicine. Most pot-activists are simply and selfishly seeking to legally inebriate themselves.
I urge you to look up "marijuana effects" on PubMed.gov. You will likely find that the list of articles highlighting the dangerous effects of marijuana outnumber any partially "favorable" articles 1000-to-1.
BTW, I think that Resident is correct: Discussing this is like trying to reason with the unreasonable.
I just wonder why pro-pot activists think that most people are against marijuana being legalized. Do they think that we are so moved by media reports and politicians? I have long approached politicians with suspicion...and I often question the practical and legal fortitude of existing laws.
However, in this case, I firmly agree with the majority sentiment that marijuana is a harmful drug that should not be made even more readily available on the streets of Palo Alto.
BTW, this is my final post on the subject. Any post that is directed may be read...but I will not respond -- regardless of any questions, insinuations, criticisms or ridicule that may be directed at me.
See you at the polls!
nayel's final, final, final, final, no really this one is his final, final post on the subject.
With an almost perfect track record: makes ridiculous claims about meth and crack, is asked several times to substantiate the foolish statement, and runs away.
" "Prohibition works very well for crack cocaine, crystal meth, and other drugs." That was absurdly foolish claim. If you think it is valid - offer evidence."
Also, please substantiate your claim: "...MOST people are against marijuana being legalized."
You'll ignore this, as you can't back it up, anyway. At best, it's probably really close to 50/50 statewide.
And now this: California Medical Assn calls for legalization of marijuana Web Link
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