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Palo Alto council takes stand against marijuana measure

Original post made on Sep 11, 2012

With marijuana advocates pushing for Palo Alto to allow pot dispensaries, city officials took a firm stance Monday night against a ballot measure that would legalize and tax up to three such shops. ==B Related story:==
• [Web Link Legal questions muddle Palo Alto's pot debate]

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, September 11, 2012, 9:59 AM

Comments (51)

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Posted by MB
a resident of Woodside
on Sep 11, 2012 at 10:36 am

I wish we could grow up on this issue, marijuana is not a drug that harms or impairs in relation to alcohol which is destructive, leads to abuse in many cases, impairs driving abilities and creates dysfunctional family structures that can last for generations and is perfectly legal and regulated. It's a tired argument that dispensaries will lead to higher crime or loitering, loitering...? I've smoked marijuana on a daily basis for over twenty-years, I run a very successful business, have dozens of employees, raised two kids who went to college, and participated in many volunteer activities to support my community. There are many of us out there, perfectly productive pot heads, I guarantee you know a few. Council should take a toke and chill out, they sound like they are right out of "Reefer Madness."

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Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Sep 11, 2012 at 11:05 am

> Marijuana is harmless (or words to that effect)

Virtually everything you put in your body is harmful, in one way or another, depending on frequency and amount--

Marijuana use in teens linked to higher risk of testicular cancer:
Web Link

While it's probably true that marijuana is not as debilitating as alcohol is, there is ample evidence that it is not harmless. Teens are not exactly the smartest of individuals, so making marijuana openly available in the community will only increase the use of marijuana by more people--including teens.

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Posted by concerned adult
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Sep 11, 2012 at 12:04 pm

And I thought Palo Alto was a progressive place. It sure does not feel the same advanced thinking as back in the day. Maybe this is a reflection of the type of people who are sitting on the council

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Posted by frankf
a resident of Ventura
on Sep 11, 2012 at 12:21 pm

If the city council would approve it's own version allowing dispensaries (no doubt in a more restrictive way - but allowing them) then there would be no need for a ballot measure.

As for the mother who's son bought it from a man who got it from a dispensary - I assure you that pot was available to high school students long before anyone had every heard of medical marijuana.

If you avoid your responsibility to legislate then the public will write the ballot measure they want to see - sometime they will even pass.

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Posted by Marilyn
a resident of Meadow Park
on Sep 11, 2012 at 12:46 pm

Everyone knows that "medical" marijuana dispensaries quickly become co-opted by recreational marijuana users armed with medical prescriptions written by quacks. That's where the money is, and that's all the promoters care about.

Flying marijuana dispensaries under the "medical" flag is bogus in the extreme.

Palo Alto voters will vote a resounding NO on Measure C and send this concept packing once and for all.

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Posted by Prohibition
a resident of Meadow Park
on Sep 11, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Marilyn: you prefer that recreational smokers buy their pot out on the streets?

"become co-opted by recreational marijuana users armed with medical prescriptions written by quacks"

As Frank said, it's available in high schools.

Prohibition against Booze or Pot never works. It just creates a (profitable) criminal class.

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Posted by Logic
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 11, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Idea: The Federal Government make Marijuana legal and each state vote on weather or not they want to make it legal or spend monies on making it illegal and enforcing the laws. This way there is no gray area. And for the naive argument of "there is currently no way to efficiently determine, without blood tests or other intrusive methods, whether someone had been smoking pot while driving."... I thought police have been administering field sobriety test for years?

And Marylin... No, not EVERYONE knows/thinks whatever uneducated gibberish you said.

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Posted by Marilyn
a resident of Meadow Park
on Sep 11, 2012 at 1:28 pm

I believe a vast majority of Palo Altans, and all Palo Alto council members, agree with me.

Your NO on Measure C will prove it.

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Posted by Peter
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 11, 2012 at 1:33 pm

It is unbelievable that this is the year 2012 and we are still listening to comments
like this.
“… there is currently no way to efficiently determine, without blood tests or
other intrusive methods, whether someone had been smoking pot while driving.”
There is also no way to determine whether someone ingested pain killer pills or any other
prescribed medicine cocktail, which any doctor will prescribe indiscriminately.

“… Palo Alto High school parent whose son reportedly bough marijuana from an
adult who picked it up at a dispensary.”
This is proof that you do not need to open a dispensary in Palo Alto. Furthermore,
I think that this parent needs to do some parenting and paid close attention to the child. What about alcohol? Should we stop selling alcohol because an adult gives a minor a beer?
Palo Alto high school students have been able to buy pot for many, many years now. Just
like having access to alcohol, sex, pain killers, etc.
Parents need to do parenting to their children and find out what their children are doing, all the time.

What about legalized gay marriage? Will this turn more gay people, or even worst
will this turn my children gay? I know, what about no gays allow in Palo Alto.

I would like to inform the city council that the earth is not flat. The city council should
represent the people of Palo Alto.
I would be more interest in listening on the argument of the rising violent crimes in Palo Alto by the city council. Please if you do, do not use your personal opinions. You should consult the police chief, statistics, and other professional sources to make your decisions.

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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 11, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Ultimately pot will be decriminalized in CA for those over 21 yrs-it is states rights issue-as VPOTUS to be Ryan stated.

The main stumbling block at this point is pot use and driving.

For alcohol we have objective measures to determine BAC-driving above the limit is a crime and if the driver kills someone in an accident when over the BAC limit they can be charged with Felony DUI Homicide and be sentenced to up to 25 yrs in State Prison.

We do not such a standard for THC blood levels and until we have them we cannot decriminalize pot.

Currently-- if a pot user kills someone in a car crash and has ANY level of THC in her body then she could be charged with Felony DUI Homicide and face 25 yrs in State Prison.

THC stays in the body for a long time-we needs evidence based standards for what level constitutes legal impairment for

1/ Drivers-both commercial and private
2/ Pilots
3/ Heavy equipment operators
4/ MDs, lawyers, teachers, cops etc -who are on duty.

Until the issue of testing is resolved pot should remain illegal with Zero tolerance for those workers #1 through # 4 while on duty.

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Posted by Lying Ryan
a resident of Ohlone School
on Sep 11, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Wow, Sharon, just wow.

VPOTUS? Ryan has won already? Pretty funny considering Romney/Ryan are getting killed in the battleground states and behind by about 100 electoral votes; and real clear has Obama up by almost 4% nationwide!!

Ryan's statement about state's rights for pot was just ANOTHER Romney/Ryan FLIP FLOP.

Ryan changed his mind within 18 hours. The dope must have worn off.

Or just another flip flop. He'll never talk about pot for the rest of the campaign. It will be another banned topic for interviews, like going into details on his budget, etc..

flippity floppity flippity floppity flip.

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Posted by KP
a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 11, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Maybe if the buildings were designed as huge 3 or 4 story buildings with shopping, dispensaries and housing, the city council would go for it! LOL!!! HAHAHA!
Anyway, whether they approve or disapprove, I really don't care. It won't change how people use "medical" marijuana or "recreational" weed!
The people who use will continue and the people that don't, won't. Simple as that!

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Posted by Thomas Moore
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 11, 2012 at 2:04 pm

I hating it when all you people say no to my pot. I smoked pot every day for help with my bad bak. I lived on disability and the smoked pot mad my bak pain and noit being hapy go away

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Posted by KP
a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 11, 2012 at 2:24 pm

@Thomas Moore - Maybe you should try some other form of medication and put the weed down, your spelling/grammar could be a sign of brain issues! LOL! "just put the weed down"!

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Posted by John
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 11, 2012 at 2:28 pm

People better get passionate about defeating this measure. Spread the word get people to vote NO! If this does pass palo alto is up the creek with out a paddle. I beg of you all to drive by some of the dispensaries in san jose, SF, Oakland, Sacramento. You'll see what damage they have done.

I believe medical marijuana has it's purpose but it needs to be federally governed. Real doctors writing real FDA prescription,s marijuana being dispensed from real pharmacies.

PS: All of you do know that you don't actually see a Dr. and get a prescription for marijuana. That would be illegal since prescriptions are FDA controlled. What you do do is go see a pot DR. They set up shop usually inside or right next to a pot shop. For $75 bucks you tell the pot Dr about all your pain. He then will write you a RECOMMENDATION for marijuana to treat your pain. These quack Drs. can write all the recommendations they want with out any fear getting in any kind of trouble. Since it is not a legal prescription just a piece of paper saying he thinks you could benefit from marijuana.

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Posted by a physician and mother of 3
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 11, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Ok, since no actual physicians have weighed in yet, let's begin...

First, as a board certified internal medicine physician, I have seen firsthand how many medications have been replaced by the use of cannabis. I was told in medical school (in a state in which it is VERY illegal and concealed weapons and racism is rampant) all the same stuff just propagated without any questioning... It will make a person lose brain cells, it is just a gateway to other drugs, it will make someone lose all motivation... All the same supposed truths

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Posted by Paralysis Pain Survivor,
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 11, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Drive to an actual medical Co-op in San Jose. GO in the Lobby. See what it's like. Ask what the rules are. Go outside, look around and decide if that's what you want in your neighborhood. There is usually law enforcement within eye shot. We'll be paying for this, too.

Don't be so moronic to make a decision by reading posts online. Understand the law and the regulations yourself. Look at the situation. Then Vote. Don't be someone's puppet vote.

Drugs, alcohols, domestic violence, and teenage pregnancy are all problems, regardless of laws to prevent them. It's the community's job to help support each other and teach our children, support them, and guide them. When they stray, we need to help them, not point fingers at others. Understand. Vote.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 11, 2012 at 4:16 pm

This is not a debate about whether pot is or is not useful in helping deal with pain.

This is a debate about whether or not we want pot shops in our neighborhood.

I have no doubt in my mind that regardless of the benefits of pot for those who use it, we do not want a pot shop in Palo Alto.

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Posted by Jim Stamm
a resident of another community
on Sep 11, 2012 at 4:24 pm

G.S. Mr.Klein et al, The individual who sold pot from a clinic is the criminal and not the clinics. Your assumption it is the clinics fault is totally ridiculous. It is like blaming the store that sold the axe to Lizzy Borden. Why has there been no effort to go after the man responsible for selling to the minor? The people voted to legalize medicinal pot back in 96. It is the primary duty of all politicians to facilitate the will of the people rather than looking for weaselly ways to circumvent it. These are medical patients despite all the lies & heckling of dopist* prohibitionists. In see no concern for the well being or suffering of these patients at all. It is disgraceful.

The issue of stoned driving is also pretty much a non issue. Any standard DUI field test should be adequate to determine if a person is reasonably impaired. Just be sure to video tape it. The true facts are that in states that have legalized medical cannabis traffic fatalities have gone down. Web Link

@KP Mr. Moore sounds like an foreigner which would mean he is struggling to be bilingual and not having "brain issues". The fact that he may be somewhat bilingual probably makes him more intelligent then you. Your comment was very disrespectful.

@John, You do actually have to see a Dr.. Quit spreading lies and disinformation. Any DR. can recommend cannabis to a patient but few do because when California re-legalized medical cannabis the first thing the feds did was threaten the licenses of Dr.s who did so. Thus the pot doc businesses came into play. Even so many regular physicians are now giving recommendations, especially in cancer and aids other serious cases. I had to show my xrays and submit to a physical exam of my scars and submit a detailed medical history in order to get my pot RX. You are being willfully ignorant of history and science. But then again ignorance, fraud, malice and oppression are the main tools dopist* prohibitionists use to prey upon the naive.

I have said it before and I'll say it again.
Cannabis prohibition has been a scam from day one. The scammers are riding a gravy train of at least 40 billion dollars per year of tax payers money. Over the last 75 yrs it has added trillion to the national debt. Prohibition was wrought from blatant racism, fraud and corruption & monopolistic business practices by Sec Of the Treasury Andrew Mellon and his soon to be unemployed alcohol prohibitionist nephew, Harry Anslinger. Andrew nepoticly set Harry up in a life long position as the head of the newly created Bureau of Narcotics. They did this when they realized alcohol prohibition was not going to last. They pandered to monopolistic business interests, The Duponts, the synthetic fiber, plastic and cotton industries, the Hearsts and paper pulp industry, the Rockafellers and the fossil fuel industry. They used blatant racism and fraud to obtain their goal of marijuana prohibition. The word "marijuana" was introduced into our society by Anslinger and his consorts to deceive people and pander to anti Mexican racism. Prior to the 30's the word was only used in the far southwest along the Mexican border and Southern California. Nobody knew they were talking about hemp, cannabis or refer as it was commonly known as back then. The racism wasn't just directed at Mexicans either. It included blacks asians & middle Easterners too. How sleazy is that and who in their right mind would support or condone it?

Cannabis has been used as good, safe and effective medicine in every major culture since the beginning of recorded history 5,000 yrs ago. In fact pot is safer than aspirin or tylenol to use. A smoker would theoretically have to consume nearly 1,500 pounds of marijuana within about fifteen minutes to induce a lethal response. Cannabis is one to the 50 fundamental herbs of Chinese medicine since 2700 BC.. Cannabis was listed in the US Pharmacopeia from 1985 until 1942, 5 years after prohibition began. Here is a link to the ANTIQUE CANNABIS BOOK Web Link with 2,000 pre-1937 medical cannabis products documented. It took Harry Anslinger (the godfather of prohibition) 5 years to get cannabis removed from the pharmacopeia because the AMA was opposed to cannabis prohibition. In fact they were not informed about it until a few days before the hearing because the whole thing was railroaded through congress in just a few days. Only one Dr. was allowed to speak and he was cut off after a few minutes when he stated the AMA's opposition to prohibition. In 1944 The La Guardia Commision came out with a scathing report condemning cannabis prohibition as being a scam with no legitimate need for it. Anslinger responded by getting them all fired and threatening to jail anybody who contradicted his opinions or did any research on cannabis without his permission. He then ordered a group of doctors to prepare a sham report confirming his opinions. Many years later the doctors recanted their report and admitted it was a sham. Now that there is some ability to study it there are numerous current scientific studies showing that cannabis is a safe and effective medicine. It is estimated cannabis can be used to treat over 200 ailments and complaints. Because of our stupid prohibition most of the currant research and knowledge on cannabis is coming from Israel and Canada.

One year after prohibition began Popular Mechanics published a front cover headline article about hemp's potential to become the nations first billion dollar crop. This happened because nobody knew hemp had been outlawed because of the fraud involved and the way it was railroaded through congress.

In 1935 2 years before prohibition began in 1937, 2 decorticator machines were patented in the USA. The decorticator mechanicly processes hemp fiber and pulp. THe decorticator machines would have made hemp fiber an economically viable competitor in the market place. Prior to that processing hemp was a labor intensive hand process. Here is a grphic depicting hemp vs cotton. Web Link

In 1940 Henry Ford unveiled a car manufactured with hemp and run hemp bio-fuel. Hemp bio-fuel produces nearly 100% less sulfur pollutants and 80% less global warming co2. Prohibition ruined his plans. Our country and the world might not be in such environmental danger if Henry's dreams had been fulfilled.

These are just some of the negatives of prohibition. If you want to keep up to date on the latest in hemp news lifestyle and the legalization movement follow me on twitter @legalizepot2012 Thank You

*It is time for some new words dopists and dopism are like racists and racism only the hatred, malice, fraud and oppression are directed at drug users, both medical and recreational.

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Posted by Chris Zaharias
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 11, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Adding to the debate the following three points:

1. Everyone who has eyes to see knows that pot has been as integral a part of Palo Alto as alcohol, since at least 1970. That use cuts across all ages, races & socioeconomic groups. It's most likely not an exaggeration to say that more people smoke pot in Palo Alto than vote.

2. Pot does have medicinal value.

3. With thousands of Mexican citizens being killed in a full-out drug industry war south of the border, we have to face the fact that those deaths are occurring, in no small part, because we're not willing to make a hard decision on recreational drugs = either make it legal, or have much, much, much harsher sentences for usage. IMHO, the only conscientious thing to do is legalize pot.

Chris Zaharias
4:20pm, Tue Sept 11, 2012

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Posted by a physician and mother of 3
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 11, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Ok, last post cut off. So by and large, the VAST MAJORITY of my university and medical school classmates smoked pot occasionally, usually at the end of a long exam cycle, after we had taken our exams, on free time... NEVER ONCE did I, or any of my immediate classmates, say, "wow, I would love to try heroin, or cocaine, or meth". We were all taught that all of these were somehow equivalent with marijuana, but no one could tell US how marijuana had EVER harmed anyone, anytime.

I moved to California for my residency, and after starting, was amazed that there was this state senate bill which made medical cannabis available for patient use. At first, for nausea from chemo, and wasting from aids related illnesses, but increasingly for many other uses. I was forbidden from ever even mentioning it to any patient ever, regardless of the fact that they had end stage HIV or were getting malnourished from cancer. Unfair, but thankfully even residency programs started to change.

I have seen the awful GI bleeds and renal failure caused by NSAIDS given for pain, even at low doses, countless cases of vasculitis from IV phenergan, severe fungal infections from chronic steroid use, amnesia from benzodiazepines, impotence, urinary retention, and severe constipation from oral opiates, lethargy from all sorts of anti anxiety prescriptions, and rarer side effects such as complete bone marrow cell suppression, and all sorts of acute organ failures from medicines we give, routinely, to help with our patients' quality of life...

Now we have tons of literature available on most medications we give, and we can only imagine what COULD happen to them in the future, from something we gave after they were injured at work, in a car accident, or suffering from an acute viral or bacterial illness. What we DON'T have, in all of this, is a SINGLE death related to marijuana, in 10000 years of reported clinical use. We cannot say that for caffeine, nicotine, cigarette smoke, processed sugars, alcohol, stimulants, sedatives, etc.... they all have deaths and acute direct side effects reported YEARLY.

Simply because we cannot tell by looking at someone always WHY they need to use a type of medication does NOT mean they don't need it. Please remember this when you start to classify someone you see as "a stoner kid" or "using recreationally" when in fact that is a human trying not to take another pill for insomnia, neuropathy, pain, fibromyalgia, arthritis, severe anxiety, panic, depression, nausea, cervical disc disease, lumbar disc disease, joint pain from previous trauma, etc. And yes, there have been a multitude of positive subjective and objective clinical findings reported in ACTUAL CURRENT MEDICAL RESEARCH... like from... Stanford....just look.

Increased police? No. Increased crime? Again, no. Ask a police officer, ask 10... 20.

There are many sources from which to learn. Just don't make the decision based on a set of beliefs based upon misconceptions, racial stereotyping, and past drug czar propaganda... base it upon what actually IS.

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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 11, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Look at evidence,

1/ Marijuana Use Doubles Risk of Testicular Cancer
Web Link

2/ Smoking pot causes COPD and head, neck and lung cancers

3//Adolescence pot use reduces IQ permanently and is a cause of schizophrenia.

4/ Road side sobriety tests are not reliable without a chemical test of blood levels for alcohol, pot or medication-we have reliable tests for alcohol and medication levels and if you exceed those levels you will be prosecuted for DUI, if you kill someone you will also be prosecuted for Felony DUI Homicide and sent to State Prison for decades.
We have reliable tests for chemical impairment by teachers, MDs, pilots, cops, lawyers, train drivers etc when they are on duty

Pot these days is 4x + as strong as it was 10 years ago

We need an evidence based test for THC impairment and a safe delivery system-like a skin patch with standardized doses and purity.

Until we have these things pot should remain illegal-when we have them it should remain illegal for those under 21 years of age.

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Posted by A Noun Ea Mus
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 12, 2012 at 3:31 am

Maybe we could re-animate the Stanfords and make such dispensaries illegal for another few decades in Palo Alto--- just like liquor stores were up to "Whiskey Gulch".

This is silly. People in Palo Alto who have medical marijuana cards can easily drive a few miles to get their cannibas, or even grow their own (get an Earthbox from Summer Winds and just follow the easy instructions---like tomatoes). If dispensaries are allowed in Palo Alto all it will do is 1) lessen the driving done to farther away areas with resultant less freeway congestion and pollution 2) add some tax revenue. Anyone who thinks that Palo Alto dispensaries will usher in "criminals" is wallowing in a profound pool of delusion.

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Posted by Mike Lubin
a resident of Atherton
on Sep 12, 2012 at 4:36 am

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] The comfortable nature, nurturing environment and secure locations of cannabis is in fact a crime decreaser, as medical marijuana patients do not have to hunt down their nearest street dealer. You can explain the booze drinking and the XXX movie parlors to your kids, but you can't handle telling them about cannabis? Shame on prohibitionist Palo Alto!

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Posted by daniel
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 12, 2012 at 8:02 am

If alcoholic beverages are legal, and they are far more harmful to their users and to others(impaired driving, violent behavior, etc) then pot should be legal as well.
I find it astonishing that our civic leaders oppose he legalization of pot.
Additionally, pot is already used widely in Palo Alto, and will continue to be used by teenagers, parents, professionals and even older people, so opposing its legalization is reminiscent of those pretending that people are having sex only after marriage. This is puritan nonsense that is hilariously anachronistic.

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Posted by A Noun Ea Mus
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 12, 2012 at 10:15 am

I am not really so sure that "our civic leaders oppose the legalization of pot". In fact some seem to have gone to some pains to distance themselves from others voting the same way. They just voted not to allow medical marijuana dispensaries to operate inside "the Palo Alto Bubble". Suddenly the headlines seem to scream that they are "taking a stand".

So silly. So historically Palo Alto (Ron Rosenbaum please come do some journalism on this!).

Medical Marijuana actually has a fairly solid foundation. Sure experts disagree, but they are experts. The climate change deniers would salivate to get 10% of this scientific cred. If they had 0.003% of the ethical problems of Big Pharma, NEJM editors getting fired, etc. it would be blown up about 300% at least.

And sure, it's been "abused"! I am shocked, shocked that people are smoking marijuana and seeing actual medical doctors (ugh they actually are doctors folks). And it's capitalism at work at it's very finest. Is it really abuse of the system for someone to seek out a licensed professional for a legally sanctioned drug? And especially when it keeps you out of any (totally stupid and pointless) legal trouble.

When one gets a card you get a lecture (don't drive, take on an airplane, if an actor don't use to get in the character of HST) that, if every liquor store gave, would end up as a few shootings every night.

Go to any ER and see how much pain meds are prescribed to bolster "customer satifaction" surveys.

And they take a stand. Can we all stand up and do fake flatulence?

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Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 12, 2012 at 1:17 pm

If Medical Marijuana is truly for medical use, why isn't it dispensed by pharmacies like other prescription drugs? Serious question.

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Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 12, 2012 at 2:30 pm

I propose that the City sponsor a forum on this and ask experts from the Stanford Cancer Institute to sit on the panel. I anticipate hearing that marijuana provides needed relief to cancer victims. To my way of thinking, a city with a cancer center should give this particular issue serious consideration or at least stay neutral and let the voters reach their own decision. As for the issue of potential abuse, why govern to that low standard? If a loved one of mine was suffering and pot would help I wouldn't hesitate. I doubt those opposed would either - maybe they are just NIMBYs on this issue.

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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 12, 2012 at 4:35 pm

The FDA approved prescription THC years ago--Marinol
Web Link

This can be prescribed by a licensed MD

Therefore there is no need for "pot dispensaries" in Palo Alto-or anywhere else.

No qualified MD would suggest that anyone smoke anything-smoking causes immediate cardiovascular harm and over time cancer of the head, neck and lung as well as COPD.

As THC-Marinol is already legal as a prescription drug-and as MDs cannot and will not prescribe pot why are we having this conversation.

There are arguments for decriminalizing personal use of illegal drugs to destroy the profit motive for drug gangs

but this has nothing to do with medicine.

MDs can already prescribe narcotics, stimulants etc if they are indicated for their patients by medical standards and they weigh the health cost/benefits.

There is no need for medical pot because prescription THC has been a legal, regulated prescription medicine for years.

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Posted by Joseph E. Davis
a resident of Woodside
on Sep 12, 2012 at 7:20 pm

What business is it of the Palo Alto city council or the federal government if a citizen chooses to smoke a plant? The answer: none whatsoever.

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Posted by geesu
a resident of Green Acres
on Sep 12, 2012 at 7:20 pm

marijuana causes lower intelligence ''iq''. yeah, like the guy who inspired the name of famous company through his record label. paul mc carney, lower iq, ''yesterday'' tghe most played song ever. damn marijuana, you'll never make a living with that evil stuff. btw, marijuana can make you predict news events, thats why they dont want u to use it. you can predict kinds of things in the news. you can see relations between events and the conseqences for them.

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Posted by Mary Jane
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Sep 12, 2012 at 8:25 pm

Chill out, fellow Palo Altoids!

Having a pot shop in our neighborhood will be fine - just see all the above comments, it's legal, there are already a lot of pot smokers, and even an MD wrote above to support it!

We should have no problem adding things to our community that are legal and something people already enjoy in the privacy of their own home, like recreational pot, err, I mean "medicininal marijuana".

Besides you wouldn't have a problem with a new bar opening, right?

OR a tobacco/cigar shop? People enjoy cigarettes and cigars legally both outdoors and in their homes.

How about an adult video arcade or a strip club? Most of the kids already look at porn on the internet, and there are many fine upstanding strip clubs in places like LA, San Francisco and Oakland. Furthermore, prostitution should be legal here as well,like Nevada. True or False - isn't interfering with a woman's right to sell her body basically the same as interfering with a woman's right to chose? Besides, why should I have to drive anywhere far from my home and family to be able to buy adult material or look at strippers.

We should open a casino too! That'd be awesome, think of the tax revenues! I hate having to travel to Vegas, plus have you ever ventured outside of the casinos, into the city of Las Vegas? 20% poverty level, so depressing, I'm glad Palo Alto is nicer than that! We could bus seniors in from far and wide to gamble right here.

Let's also open a payday loan lender on University ave, it's so inconvenient to maintain a banking account these days. Bank of America are corporate crooks! Besides, this will add a few jobs and free up credit to cash strapped citizens in this dismal economy.

So to recap, all of these ventures are legal or will be legal soon any way, so we should strive to add them to our beautiful community. We will not rest until we add pot shops, more bars, tobacconists, adult arcades, brothels, a casino, and a payday lender within a lovely stroll or bike ride of our neighborhoods!

Thank you for championing this cause, it will only help to make our community a more open and fun place for everyone.


PS Helmut laws suck!

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Posted by David
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 12, 2012 at 8:56 pm

This is not a debate about whether pot is or is not useful in helping deal with pain.

This is a debate about whether or not we want pot shops in our neighborhood.

I have no doubt in my mind that regardless of the benefits of pot for those who use it, we do not want a pot shop in Palo Alto.
I fully support the statement above. It is NOT a stand against legitimate medical marijuana. I fully believe citizens of California blindly approved the medial marijuana measure without fully grasping the ramifications of dispensaries in our communities. We opened up pandoras chest. This is an opportunity for Palo Alto to say 'enough' until legislation is passed along with diagnostics discovereries on how to regulate drivers, pilots and other careers where drug use is prohibited by law.

Full legalization of legitimate medical marijuana IS in our near future. I strongly believe the current method in California is a failure.

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Posted by Joseph E. Davis
a resident of Woodside
on Sep 12, 2012 at 10:02 pm

Mary Jane, if those businesses could attract enough customers to pay the steep rents and survive on University Ave., who are you to tell them that they should not be there, and that their customers should not be satisfied?

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Posted by A Noun Ea Mus
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 12, 2012 at 10:30 pm

Mary Jane...when you look at the total "ving" of all your bundled concerns......OMG it's class warfare!

I imagine the Stanfords and many others back in the Prohibition days used much of the conceerns.

After all, we're so much better than people so desperate to use those associated evil places.

Palo Alto Bubbles, sung by Don Ho.....

And the prostitution that exists in Palo Alto.....ahhh trophy wives abound and look down on those strutting their stuff in a different way.

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Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 13, 2012 at 6:54 am

The comments by the Board Certified Internet/Mother of 3/Barron Park resident piqued my interest-

> So by and large, the VAST MAJORITY of my university and
> medical school classmates smoked pot occasionally, usually
> at the end of a long exam cycle, after we had taken our exams,
> on free time...

> NEVER ONCE did I, or any of my immediate
> classmates, say, "wow, I would love to try heroin, or
> cocaine, or meth"

And yet, up to one out of every six doctors (and healthcare workers in general) have a problem with personal substance abuse:

Web Link
Web Link
Web Link

Presumably this woman, and the VAST majority of her classmates (all future doctors), seemed to have no problem breaking the law where marijuana was concerned, giving them, no doubt, a foundation for breaking other laws concerning illegal drugs—becoming addicted, according to some sources at a greater rate than the general population.

The Barron Park Mother of Three seems either ignorant of these facts, or unwilling to admit them in this discussion. So, based on the reality that possibly one-in-six doctors have (or will have) substance abuse problems, we have to ask: how did these fine folks get started with their use of drugs? Didn’t their medical training give them the necessary knowledge to recognize the damage drugs do to the body/mind and general welfare of the individual?

This Mother-of-Three dismisses the idea of “gateway drugs”, yet it would seem that most of her classmates had used marijuana. One can only wonder if they had not been so dismissive of the law--and the possible damage to their bodies-—if they might not have become addicted to far more damaging substances?

And then there is the nagging question that follows: If the VAST majority of this woman’s peers felt that the laws prohibiting marijuana (and other illegal-to-use-drugs) didn’t apply to them as doctors—to what other laws do doctors generally believe they should not be subject?

One-in-six doctors with substance abuse problems seems like a serious problem to me. I will not be voting to change Palo Alto's laws in any way that might lead to an increase in this number.

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Posted by A Noun Ea Mus
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 13, 2012 at 8:53 am

Gee Wayne, maybe a whole generation can be thus condemned as blighted by marijuana usage?

Funny thing is, among my co-workers, any poll would no doubt show that the people who have/do use marijuana are among the most intelligent and competent. The ones who went through their lives disdaining to even try it are so contorted and twisted inside. Like they're not free. Like someone going off the deep end and imaging all sorts of things somehow leading to other things.

"Presumably this woman, and the VAST majority of her classmates (all future doctors), seemed to have no problem breaking the law where marijuana was concerned, giving them, no doubt, a foundation for breaking other laws concerning illegal drugs—"

Yes, every time I'm at a crosswalk with a red light, and then see someone on the other side jaywalk towards me.....I shudder and hope they don't murder me.

No doubt.

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Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 13, 2012 at 11:40 am

Not certain which “generation” this poster is alluding to? Not at all clear from this single sentence.

> Funny thing is, among my co-workers, any poll would no doubt
> show that the people who have/do use marijuana are among the most
> intelligent and competent.

So, what litmus test(s) has your company typically applied in the past that determines the relative intelligence/competence of its employees? Are you saying that most of your co-workers would admit to management that they are drug users? Presumably this poster would make the same claim about “hard”/designer drug.

> The ones who went through their lives disdaining
> to even try it are so contorted and twisted inside.
> Like they're not free.

This statement—presented as “fact”—seems to suggest that the poster knows all of his/her co-workers’ “insides”. How many people reading this thread can make the same claim about knowing their co-workers in as intimate a way? If most people can not make such a claim, then it’s doubtful that this poster really is telling us the truth about his/her co-workers. Maybe that is his/her opinion of his co-workers, but it's doubtful that he/she will confront them and tell them how "twisted" they are because they are not using drugs.

> Yes, every time I'm at a crosswalk with a red light, and then see
> someone on the other side jaywalk towards me.....I shudder and
> hope they don't murder me.

Most people don’t fear for their lives from other pedestrians—other than in some sections of high-crime, urban centers, like Chicago at 2:00AM on a Saturday morning.

If the poster is trying to somehow rebut my arguments—it’s pretty clear that the role/power of doctors in our society are not remotely equivalent to those of ordinary citizens. There is simply no parallelism in this “rebuttal”. Doctors have far more power to affect people's lives than some guy waiting for the light to go green.

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Posted by Dave
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 13, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Funny how so many of you keep arguing how pot is not dangerous and not something bad.
I agree I dont have a problem with pot or the people who smoke pot responsible.
I just dont want any pot shops in my town sorry but I will be voting NO!

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Posted by Prohibition scofflaw
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Sep 13, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Prohibition of alcohol didn't work, and America was effected in three distinct ways - all negative (not really)
- it 'organized' previously unorganized crime
- it gave political clout to women (kidding)
- it gave women more social access, once bars were illegal and speakeasy's then allowed women, which bars didn't before (again - kidding about that being a negative)

Prohibition raised an entire generation to not respect the law, they scoffed at it, hence the phrase 'scofflaw'. Not a good attitude for a community to have!

Prohibition of Pot hasn't worked, and will never work.

It criminalizes otherwise law abiding citizens. It creates a massive underground economy to be run unchecked and untaxed.

Argue whether you want it in the neighborhood or not, that is a zoning issue. But arguing against the weed is specious; booze is far more damaging. Tobacco too.

Prohibition does not work.

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Posted by A Noun Ea Mus
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 13, 2012 at 4:51 pm

It's the last wimperings, this "taking a stand", of The War On Drugs. And that is just really a War on Americans. And it's now super-imposed on The Twilight of the Elites (who act like aristocratic NIMBY's)..

Web Link

What makes this whole issue of any real interest at all is the specific Palo Alto history, now echoing..

Web Link

Our first legal downtown cocktail was served in 1971..

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Posted by fright
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 13, 2012 at 6:26 pm

believe it or not, there are people who started ''pot'' AFTER they saw the flying saucers, not the other way around,guffaw...

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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 13, 2012 at 6:52 pm

The fact is that any qualified patient can get a prescription for FDA tested, safe and effective THC- Marinol in either pill of aerosol form.

Web Link

By prescription from any local licensed MD.

Medical THC is therefore easily available as a schedule 111 safe and effective drug by prescription.

No competent MD would advise any patient to smoke pot-because smoking causes immediate cardiovascular damage and later cancer of the head, neck and lung-as well as COPD.

THC is available by prescription from CVC

Therefore we do not need any pot shops in Palo Alto-or anywhere else.

If pot heads want to have their drug of choice decriminalized then that has absolutely to do with the availability of THC by prescription for patients.

THC is already legal by prescription at any pharmacy.

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Posted by A Noun Ea Mus
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 14, 2012 at 9:25 am

THC is only one of the potentially beneficial constituents of cannabis. There are many others besides THC... CBC CBL CBD CBE CBG CBND CBN CBT and so on.

Despite Big Pharma's attempt to muscle in and narrowly define.

And one need not actually smoke ala cigarettes. You can vaporize and/or make into butter. Recipes abound.

Do you stand outside liquor stores and lambast the "booze heads"?

And so "pot heads" with a medical marijuana license can easily grow their own inside Palo Alto anyway. How ya like them apples?

Hey is Walgreens going to be allowed to sell liqour?

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Posted by Kind Bud
a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Sep 14, 2012 at 12:05 pm

So as alluded to above, this debate seems to have two components: debate over use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, and debate over the presence of dispensaries in Palo Alto.

I think the debate was intended to be about the latter, but is dominated by the former.

Is there any real rebuttal to the NIMBY (not in my back yard) argument? Is it not reasonable that one support the availability of medical marijuana, but not want dispensaries in one's own neighborhood?

also, nobody responded to the (serious) question above that if marijuana is medicinal, why is it not sold in pharmacies.

Any honest answers?


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Posted by Truth
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 14, 2012 at 8:10 pm

As a teacher, mother of two sons who were using mj and become addicts and responsible citizen, I will support closing all mj(pot) shops.They are making money for themselves and create indifferent young people who don't want to know anything and don't care about nothing.However, they want to get high to escape from reality at any cost.And when it is not enough they look for other drugs.
I suggest to sell medical marijuana legally strictly to people with severe medical problems(cancer, chemotherapy,severe artritis at the regular pharmacies) not dispenseries.
It is criminal business which makes dirty money because it's creates addiction, delusion and psychosis.Most of the time, people who sell mj are not using this stuff at all.They are inserting too many additives into cakes, fugies, ext.
It is like to promote selling a nicely wrapping poison.

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Posted by TR
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 20, 2012 at 12:50 pm

I tend to take a more Libertarian view....that is, I don't really care what people do in the privacy of their own home - as long as they stay in their home (our laws concerning driving while impaired a FAR too lenient).

As to the NIMBY question, I think it's purely about community character. I fully support a Palo Altan's right to go to a strip joint. We could have strip joints up and down University Ave. - but we don't. Why? Because that is not type of businesses we want in our community. Strip joints are legitimate businesses and so are pot dispensaries - but just because a business is legitimate does not mean we want it in our community. So are some Palo Altan's inconvenienced because they have to travel to go to strip joints or pot dispensaries? Sure, but I have no moral dilemna in supporting someone's RIGHT to something versus an obligation to make it convenient/easy for them to exercise that right (example - gun laws).

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Posted by Why not make medicine?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 3, 2012 at 12:02 am

So why don't the medical research and pharmaceutical companies work with the Federal Government to come up with a medicine that contains the active ingredients in marijuana? Understanding that it is illegal, there would have to be some sort of "deal" brokered. If a patient really has cancer or HIV, marijuana is no worse than other controlled substances that they can legally obtain. If marijuana has more benefits and lacks side effects, why not develop it as a prescribed and controlled medicine? Also, medication has quality assurance to make sure the dosage is correct and there's no contamination.

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Posted by WTH
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 8, 2012 at 11:13 am

YEH is an idiot, how do police know you are under the influence of any drug now? DUH!

Palo Alto Police barely give tickets now to drivers going over 25mph on Middlefield. Everyday I bike I see cars lined up Loma Verde Ave, on the bike lane and it clearly says NO PARKING. I have yet to see one car with a ticket and I bike from Ross up to Bryant everyday including weekends when I bike for fun. Not to mention that I have almost been hit by a car several times when there are cars parked on the bike lane and a car turns right onto Loma Verde Avenue at high speeds and nearly runs me over.

If they want a new Police dept they should give more tickets. Yeh thinks that stone drivers are a problem I think they are less of a problem then the ones we already have. At Least they will drive slower........

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Posted by WTH
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 8, 2012 at 11:19 am

By that same logic we should close all bars and fast food.These two things are worse for you then MJ.
See the research.
Plus not OD's off pot and they do not start fight........

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Posted by Thomas Seay
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 6, 2012 at 11:38 am

As a Palo Alto resident, I strongly object to the way this measure appeared on the ballot. I don't have the ballot in front of me now, but it was worded in such a way that conveyed that the dispensaries would be allowed ANYWHERE. I know that was further qualified, but that word "ANYWHERE" will be key for people who did not spend much time studying this issue. They may assume that dispensaries would be allowed in proximity of schools. I wish that I had known about this verbiage earlier, so that I could have protested it.

The Palo Alto council is made up of a bunch of conservative twits who use liberal language to fool their constituents.

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