Marijuana: Petition authors on why they want MMJ limited to DEA-approved pharmacies

dean beers.jpg
Dean Beers.
The White House has established the We the People website, where folks can post petitions on the topics of their choice -- and if they garner enough support (currently 25,000 signatures in thirty days), an administration will review it and offer a response.

Currently, many of the most popular offerings focus on marijuana reform. But none are quite like the offering from Fort Collins' Dean and Karen Beers, who want medical marijuana limited to DEA-approved pharmacies. They explain why in the Q&A below.

In "Marijuana Legalization Tops White House Petition List," on our Toke of the Town sister blog, Steve Elliott notes the success of marijuana-related petitions such as this one arguing that marijuana should be regulated in a manner similar to alcohol -- a proposal that mirrors the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act of 2012, which is aiming for the November 2012 ballot in Colorado. Its goal was 5,000 signatures by October 22; at this writing, it's got 61,882.

Thumbnail image for karen beers.jpg
Karen Beers.
As for the Beers' petition, it's got a long way to go. Thus far, it's garnered just five signatures. Still, the pair, who operate Associates in Forensic Investigations, bring plenty of experience to their proposal. They're both veteran death investigators, with Dean having served as deputy coroner with the Larimer County Medical Examiner's Office. (Update: Dean adds that Karen has worked as a deputy coroner, too.)

The pair don't dispute that marijuana has some medical properties. But they believe the manner in which it's regulated in Colorado has been a disaster, and they're troubled by the conflict between state and federal law. With that in mind, they contend that marijuana, "a mind-altering narcotic," should be "controlled and dispensed through approved Drug Enforcement Administration registered pharmacies" rather than a retail dispensary system.

Below, Dean and Karen argue passionately and at length about the flaws in the present system, and why their idea would be a vast improvement, in a Q&A conducted via e-mail.

Westword: What motivated you to put together this petition?

Dean and Karen Beers: We have lived in Colorado, specifically Fort Collins, for greater than 25 years (Dean was born in Fort Collins and is a 7th generation to the area). This is a beautiful state and city -- now known as the marijuana mecca. First, it was wrong to use the state Constitution for such a measure. Second, it was wrong to use 'medical' as the foot-in-the-door method towards legalization (or 'decriminalization').

Every day the print and television media has another issue about medical marijuana. This issue has impacted, negatively, our community and state. The growth -- in one year (2009-2010) from 5,000 to 53,000 is alarming and indicative not of need -- but of abuse. It is a sad state of affairs when you see medical marijuana dispensaries everywhere and the state registry continues to grow. Quite a huge amount of people -- over 100,000 people are now registered as of January, 2011 as having debilitating illnesses. Either there are a bunch of doctors making money on signing off on medical marijuana slips (we personally know of a retired doctor who was living in another state who did this), or Colorado must have a sick environment to have this many people fall ill in two years' time. We have personally witnessed the effects of friends and family members, who were and are long time marijuana users, end up homeless, jobless or in prison - even domestic violence perpetrated by users; this does not show a pattern of "harmlessness." Marijuana is a mind altering, depressive drug; it is not harmless. People like to argue that you can drink alcohol and it is mind altering, etc., yes it is, but it is not touted as a "medicine" although people did use it historically for pain management and hygiene. Part of the motivation was some of the petitions posted on the White House site were demanding not to prosecute marijuana offenders and to legalize marijuana.

medical marijuana display.jpg
Historically there have been supportive studies of the medicinal properties of marijuana. If this is truly the case, seek the road for which the people of Colorado thought they were voting when supporting the Constitutional Amendment. This was intended to treat persons with chronic debilitating illnesses, as determined by a patient's bonafide relationship with a physician and medical history. This has been abused.

There is no regulation -- in fact no medical certainty -- of how medical marijuana should be meted by dosage. Medicines, even over-the-counter, have recommended dosages. Narcotics regulated by the DEA and approved for medical use require a prescription with dosage. Medical marijuana seems to be the only exception. It is really pseudo-medicine to have 'strains' of marijuana -- as determined by the dispensary and not a scientific working group -- for specific illnesses. And these are called such attractive names as 'purple haze', 'mountain majesty', etc.; not medicinal. Finally, there is no criminal history background requirement of persons operating clinics -- but that is another petition.

In addition, we have personally and professionally seen the impact the abuse of marijuana has caused. Although not exclusively, it cannot be ignored. If medical marijuana is to be construed as a bonafide treatment, it should be regulated as such. It is being treated similar to a liquor store, which is now the mantra of pro-legalization (original pro-medicinal use). There is no bonafide recreational use.


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45 comments
Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Priceless !!

The dope-addled myopic stoners have been BEGGING the Government to "legalize, REGULATE and TAX it!" ...

... won't they'll be disappointed when they get EXACTLY what they've been asking for!

Lady
Lady

So a couple of Beers want the DEA to make Marijuana safer... Oh the irony. 

LOLWut?
LOLWut?

This may be the worst thing I've ever read from Westword compared to their normally stellar MMJ coverage.  Why, as someone else asked, give these people and their foolish petition the attention?  To me, this is the most myopic and limited intelligent discussion regarding MMJ I have yet to read.  The Beers' statements are not only misguided, but seem to be lacking any real understanding of narcotics, CSA scheduling and as evidence by their current 7 signatures - just out-right ignorant. 

Comoc1
Comoc1

"Is that really what we want in Colorado -- to have storefront drug dealers?"

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that what Walgreens is? These two must REALLY hate Walgreens!

Josh s
Josh s

Why did westword even waste time coving this bullshit?

High Country Caregiver
High Country Caregiver

Colombian neck ties for anyone who gets in the way of your god given right to grow, distribute and use cannabis.

Charles North
Charles North

Whoever wrote this is extremely biased against MMJ users. This must have been written by a DEA associate. It's sad they are trying to utilize irresponsibility on their part to slander many humans who are indeed using the substance as medicine, but they would rather hurt people then help them.

Donatas
Donatas

Spread the message and promote this message.1) EVERYONE that sees these links sign up and weigh in on the debate - http://pvox.co/CdiFqY - http://wh.gov/gDQ - http://wh.gov/gf3 2) Propagate those  links and ensure that everyone that sees them go to those sites. Too many people are blaming the President for enforcing the federal marijuana prohibition. Contact Congress (the LEGISLATIVE branch [that's the important one when it comes to law]) via the first link. Contact Obama (the EXECUTIVE branch [until Obama vetos a passed H.R. 2306 it's on Congress - but tell Obama anyway]) via the second link. It really is THAT easy. Participate in democracy!

Michael Novak
Michael Novak

get off it. their proposal is stupid. it will not stop people they say shouldn't have it from getting it. all it will do is send people back to the street to get it, increase crime, and send more good citizens to jail and ruin their futures.

Michael Novak
Michael Novak

get off it. their idea's will not at all fix the problem of people they think shouldn't use it getting it. would just send people back to the streets, increase crime, and send good people to jail.

Vincent Von Dudler
Vincent Von Dudler

The end of federal prohibition is right around the corner.  We just need your voice and every other person that cares about these civil liberties to speak up.  NOW is the time.  Tell the federal government to leave the decisions up to the states.  They will listen or be replaced.Tell your representatives: http://pvox.co/CdiFqYTell the Obama administration: http://wh.gov/gDQ

MJ Freeway
MJ Freeway

One major inaccuracy is that the comment of no criminal history background to run a dispensary.  The background checks for everyone that works in this industry in Colorado is extensive.  Several other mis-statements, but I wanted to call this one out in particular. 

Denvercruiser
Denvercruiser

Their reasoning is hilarious and appears to be predicated on misinformation and propaganda rather than empirical observation as they would have you believe.  Nowhere in their answers do they successfully or convincingly create a causal relationship between cannabis and the afflictions they cite as being justification for its status as an illegal substance.  This story was good for a laugh after a long day of work, but I hope the Westword doesn't give these moral messiahs any more screen time!  

Patient
Patient

An article for a stupid petition that can't even get enough signatures to show up on the whitehouse petition search. Wtf westword? The westword pot stirring is getting old. Thumbs down WW.

YMMV
YMMV

The Beers might want to contact the AMA and let them know the details of the death from marijuana.  They will be heroes because it would be the FIRST death caused by marijuana.  Your friends in the Fort will be so proud....

Jay
Jay

It is also a pyramid scheme. Marijuana, including medicinal, is expensive and not covered by insurance (that is coming).

What the hell are you saying here, that insurance companies will eventually pay for marijuana claims? What kind of a bullshit claim is this? You are obviously aware that A20 specifically states that insurance companies don't have to pay MMJ related claims.

Where exactly does this claim come from?

DontWorryBeHopi
DontWorryBeHopi

It doesn't matter AT ALL if that happened because DEA pharmacies will never have good marijuana.

Good Marijuana, of Medicinal Quality, is something the FDA will NEVER, EVER, CONTROL.

osufan77
osufan77

A D.E.A. run dispensary would be as equivalently insane as a Nazi-run daycare center.

Jay
Jay

I wonder whether the Beers have ever investigated a death where marijuana was the sole factor in causing death.

No? Because it's obvious this entirely for their personal gain, nothing else. Fucking crooks.

Pete
Pete

Funny stuff.  Only thing funnier is listening to Dan Caplis discuss this subject.  Like a bunch of virgins lecturing on the risks of sex.  

x1134x
x1134x

Dean and Karen Beers need to google "narcotic" because they obviously have the word misdifined as "drugs we don't like" or "illegal drugs"  a NARCOTIC has a definition:a drug (as opium or morphine) that in moderate doses dulls the senses, relieves pain, and induces profound sleep but in excessive doses causes stupor, coma, or convulsions.

In extreme doses marijuana causes the same thing as in smaller doses in all users except those that have a high tolerance, and in those an extreme dose only causes a mild high, and low doses causes no reaction.  Thus marijuana is NOT a narcotic.

malcolmkyle
malcolmkyle

The illegal drug trade is now estimated to be somewhere in the region of $400 billion a year ( equal to the defense budget ). This "former land of the free" arrests 1.5 million of it's citizens a year for drug law violations, half for marijuana alone, The majority of the 2.2 million inmates in the USA are incarcerated because of this insane drug war (Prohibition 2) at a staggering cost to all taxpayers and trauma to their families.

Prisons have been filled to capacity. Violent criminals, murderers, rapists and child molesters are released early to create space for these so called drug offenders. Half of court trial time and also a huge chunk of police officers time is pointlessly wasted. Enormous untaxed profits from illegal drugs fund multi-national criminal empires which bribe law enforcement authorities and spread corruption faster than a raging bush fire. These laws take violent criminals and turn them into multi-billionaires whilst corrupting even entire countries such as Columbia, Panama, Mexico and Afghanistan. The extreme violence on and south of the border is drug gangs fighting for turf in this lucrative business. The drug laws are also funding the Taliban whose illegal opium profits allow it to buy weapons and pay it's fighters more than $300 a month, compared with the $14 paid to an Afghan policemen. 

When governments prohibit drugs they effectively and knowingly hand a monopoly on their sale to dangerous criminals and terrorists. Without a legal framework in which to operate, these black-market entities can always be expected to settle their disputes violently, while terrorizing many peaceful and innocent citizens in the process. Were the users of alcohol to blame for the St Valentines massacre in the US in 1929? Of course not! It is just as naive to assume that one can compel all the users of Marijuana or Cocaine to simply quit, as it is to assume that all the users of Alcohol should have stopped drinking after the introduction of alcohol prohibition in 1919.

The definition of insanity is great folly, madness, extreme senselessness, lunacy. Prohibition can be described as being all of the above and may therefor, along with all it's supporters, be deemed insane.

Each day you remain silent, you help to destroy the Constitution, fill the prisons with our children, and empower terrorists and criminals worldwide while wasting hundreds of billions of your own tax dollars. Prohibition bears many strong and startling similarities to Torquemada­’s inquisition­, it’s supporters are servants of tyranny and hate who’s sole purpose is to make the rest of us suffer their putrid legacy of incalculable waste and destruction.

Protect our Children; Legalize, Regulate & Tax!

Matthew
Matthew

Personally witnessed a marijuana induced suicide?  Really, was it death by chocolate? Stop parenting adults.  These two must have been extras in "Reefer Madness"

LarryQ5
LarryQ5

"There is no bonafide recreational use."

Bonafide proof these folks are on some "mind altering drug."

Nottingham03
Nottingham03

I'm sorry, but you people are obviously not very familiar with the medicinal value of Marijuana.  Also, you seem to say dosage is necessary.  WELL, the real truth is that dosage is necessary with many narcotics because THEY ARE ABSOLUTELY LETHAL AT CERTAIN DOSES.  No one has ever, never, ever, overdosed on marijuana, which can help so many ailments these narcotics claim they're only able to.

shackhouser
shackhouser

Uh, was this article to inform people about these guys or to make them look really stupid? They sound like complete morons who have their facts wrong....Just my 2 cents...

Guest
Guest

I have a better idea -- eliminate the DEA.

Instntkrma
Instntkrma

so much hate comes out of the fort. it's tradition you know! 

Steve Elliott ~alapoet~
Steve Elliott ~alapoet~

Do they really expect us to keep taking them seriously after describing cannabis as a "mind-altering narcotic"?

As for their objection that "Medicines, even over-the-counter, have recommended dosages":

1) Individuals vary WIDELY in the amounts of cannabis needed to achieve desired effects; and

2) There IS NO LETHAL DOSE of marijuana; at worst, you'll fall asleep and wake up feeling rested.

When you read statements such as "There is no bonafide recreational use" from these folks, you start to understand why their petition has so pitifully few signatures.

Additionally, they darkly hint at all the enormous negative effects of medical marijuana in Colorado (and elsewhere); aside from standard-issue law-enforcement-generated hysteria, there is no substance at all in these claims.

Cris Ericson
Cris Ericson

DEADLINE Oct. 22 PLEASE HURRY & HELP!PETITION TO END MARIJUANA PROHIBITIONhttp://wh.gov/gP1at White House now! "Demand an Amendmentto the U.S. Constitution to End Marijuana,Marihuana, Cannabis and Hemp Prohibition"President Obama allows Adults and children age 13 and up to sign "We the People"petitions. This is the 13th MARIJUANA petition at the White House and it is an UMBRELLA for allthe other marijuana, cannabis and hemp petitions.The link is case sensitive, upper case capitol P.http://wh.gov/gP1

Cris Ericson
Cris Ericson

DEADLINE Oct. 22 PLEASE HURRY & HELP!PETITION TO END MARIJUANA PROHIBITIONhttp://wh.gov/gP1at White House now! "Demand an Amendmentto the U.S. Constitution to End Marijuana,Marihuana, Cannabis and Hemp Prohibition"President Obama allows Adults and children age 13 and up to sign "We the People"petitions. This is the 13th MARIJUANA petition at the White House and it is an UMBRELLA for allthe other marijuana, cannabis and hemp petitions.The link is case sensitive, upper case capitol P.http://wh.gov/gP1

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

There is no point in responding to this idiotic blather other than to note that the word "schedule" does not occur within the text -- anyone proposing that medicinal cannabis be sold only in pharmacies who does not first champion removing cannabis from Schedule 1 is unworthy of respect, and their arguments, unworthy of consideration.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

The hypocrisy of such an absurd requirement -- that an applicant can not have previously committed a crime ... in order to obtain a "license" to engage in a daily, ongoing criminal activity.

The Feds could shut down the entire Colorado MMJ dispensary industry without sending a single person to prison -- just arrest and prosecute all the current players for their willful, daily violations of Federal felony drug laws. 

Even if they all get probation, they would all be disqualified under State MMED licensing laws for having felony marijuana convictions... for having engaged in the Federal Felony of cultivation, distribution, sales and possession of marijuana.

Self-destruction implemented.

Matt in Boulder
Matt in Boulder

Correction - DEA pharmacies will never have marijuana.  Period. 

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

-- a Nazi-run daycare center for Jewish children.

ZZardozz
ZZardozz

Dosage:  As needed, up to 1 gram per day     

Just put that label on the medicine

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Steve, thanks for sharing your thoughts, and for the post from Toke of the Town linked above. Keep up the good work.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

If the naive stoners get their wish, and it is moved to a Schedule 2 controlled substance, then it can ONLY be dispensed from DEA Licensed Pharmacies, under a valid PRESCRIPTION from DEA Licensed Physicians ... something no competent licensed pharmacy or physician will ever do. 

Simplistic stoners don't realize that changing the Schedule for criminal penalty motives will also change the way it MUST be handled for Pharmaceutical distribution purposes.

The Hippie dream of earning easy $$ growing pot ONLY exists because it IS illegal.

Be careful what you wish for.

Steve Elliott ~alapoet~
Steve Elliott ~alapoet~

That would be inaccurate, though, applied to myself and many other patients. I use about 4 grams a day.

ZZardozz
ZZardozz

Dosage:  Intravenous, up to 1 lb per day

ZZardozz
ZZardozz

For you:  Dosage: as needed, up to 4 grams per day.

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