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Reader: Medical marijuana community doing a good job of wringing out the grunge

Intriguing comments beget more intriguing comments. That truism is proven again by the post below, originally affixed to a Comment of the Day item spurred by the federal raid on the Cherry Top Farms dispensary. Here, a reader talks about the leap of faith made by medical marijuana entrepreneurs to try to establish a legal MMJ system.

Ian Williams writes:

Dude, he isn't really calling for a crack down on cannabis users (omg, lol, "pot smoker" is SO 1990's, furealz). He's pointing out a truth of our industry: that, while most in the industry are attempting to legitimize and integrate Medical Cannabis into the community, some are using the loopholes to profit off of a black market substance while riding the bureaucratic flying carpet of regulation to protect their business.

There's hundreds of pages of laws we have added to "weed out" illegitimate, profit driven, or criminal supported businesses that had, in mass, come to Colorado during the Green Rush to exploit the system. The process is ONGOING and given our circumstances and the 70+ years of prohibition which have placed the drug into the secure control of violence, greed, and self-interested persons, we're doing a pretty good job of "wringing out the grunge" in the community.

Every single person involved in the Medical Cannabis community and industry, from lowly workers, to patients, to advocates, to legislators, to marketers, package manufacturers, landlords, contractors and print editors, has made a conscious choice to put aside the aggravation and pugnacious retorts to try and cooperate with local and state law makers and make this a reality, not some pipe dream where everyone's first name is either Cheech or Chong, but a stable integration of functional medicine into modern laws and regulations of a substance outlawed before the second world war...

It's a leap of faith for everyone. (Feds Not Included)

For more memorable takes, visit our Comment of the Day archive.


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Monkey
Monkey

The new regulatory scheme seems to be selling itself on safety and protection for patients. I thought it was to legitimize dispensaries and allow Colorado to cash in on fees. Uneducated   people buy mold and bugs on buds they purchase from these centers everyday thinking that the regulations are protecting them. The argument often leads to the misconception that these warehouses offer a better environment for plants then a basement in a home. This pay-to-play  regulatory scheme is not doing anything for safety. Between hired employees treating your medicine like a commercial crop instead of a garden and filming you buy a controlled substance I would have to say safety and protection is not what they have in mind. When I voted for this 11 years ago the confidential part was the most important part to me, this is an illegal drug, I don't want my purchases tracked while providing time stamped video evidence. While I understand some patients need the storefront for accessibility, I don't believe these new rules were designed for them. Where is it, how much is there and how much money did you make seems to be the most important thing to Colorado and the Feds. In the name of safety and protection, Colorado can now extort money from drug dealers while building a Federal case against them but the only thing that changed for patients were more limitations and a lack of confidentiality. I wish the plant could be treated like other medicinal plants, sold in herb stores or health food stores and regulated like herbal supplements with no personal limitations for providing for yourself or your friends. Once it became grouped together with pharmaceuticals and alcohol we lost sight of what it really is, a plant that people have used since they first found it growing wild thousands of years ago. America went from forcing citizens to grow hemp to outlawing it. Americans broke the law by growing tobacco instead of hemp and now they break the law by using and selling flowers from the plant. If history can tell us anything it's that cannabis can not be controlled and any laws for or against it will be broken. Just stop it and give the plant its freedom already.

Ian Williams
Ian Williams

100% Correct, Monkey. An excellent point. The regulatory scheme has severe flaws when it comes to the balance of benefactors. In our case, the system is indeed designed specifically to follow the flow of product and ultimately to track the currency linked to the product and, as it stands, the identity of the patients and all agents involved. This is the "transparency" aspect that has been our only garlic against federal threat.

There is little to protect the patient or patient's rights besides general guidelines already common in many industries, and there is nothing to protect the community that provides the education and effort that make it possible.

Realistically, we are still a long ways away from giving the plant it's freedom. Right now, we're working on loosening the straight-jacket.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

"the system is indeed designed specifically ... to track the currency linked to the product ..., the identity of the patients and all agents involved. This is the "transparency" aspect that has been our only garlic against federal threat" -- Your contention is equivalent to stating that the willingness of all the players involved to incur criminal liability for Federal offenses has prevented the Federal government from acting against them, which is just bizarre!  Those charged with enforcing the Law generally do not respond to the flouting of it with deliberate inaction.  What the State has done is to document Federal offenses and provide a categorical mens rea for all the participants.

Monkey
Monkey

I get what you're saying for sure but the DOJ recently clarifying things for Cali shouldn't be dismissed because of our tracking system. Haag said some of the first places to be attacked will be where licensing schemes are in place. I'm sure you realize Long Beach has run into some trouble licensing dispensaries. I just hope we can loosen the straight-jacket without getting fitted for the new, updated model.

Dudesgirls80
Dudesgirls80

this guy wants everyone to stay involved in mmj. I bet he was paid to write this post.ha ha I'm not stupid within a year most dispensary owners will be in courts fighting for their freedom..you stay and fight I'm gone."first cali then co next" it was never broke why did we all try to fix it? The opening of pandoras box!!here comes the pain!!

Ian Williams
Ian Williams

Cowardly, but I see where you're coming from. Self interest. That's a fair point. By "it was never broke" I assume you meant when cannabis was illegal and all access was controlled by the black market?

I make $12,000 a year and I have less than $200 in the bank. If you know someone who will pay me to write like this, I'd love their number. Living with 4 other people is fun, though.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

No, Dudesgirls80 did not mean that -- he/she is referring to the period during which many dispensaries opened and were staffed by caregivers, i.e. 2008-2010 (not so very long ago).  It is uncanny how apologists for the so-called "industry" and the unconstitutional laws and regulations under which it does business seem to draw a blank when this era is mentioned.

Ian Williams
Ian Williams

You're absolutely right, just look at California!

They kept the unregulated "backpackers" model, and it seems to have worked for them.

Exports to other states is at an all time high, patients in some areas aren't able to find medicine due to the rampant exchange of product on the black market instead of the medical market. The saturation of storefronts has caused a severe backlash in many communities, causing local government (yes, local, not state or federal) to completely ban all storefronts and in some cases, try to ban cultivation and distribution.

Even in situations where local law enforcement and government worked with the farmers and shops, the Federal backlash from the overt subjugation of others 'gaming the system' has created a hostile environment. This has hindered actual medical research of cannabis, including successful trials on treatment of cancer.

Fight for legalization, I stand behind you, but don't hijack hundreds of thousands of people's chance at accessing a medicine that may save their life, and will certainly improve their quality of life, just because you begrudgingly can't make a decent living watering a 100 square foot garden in your basement.

sojournerC
sojournerC

You seem to have an odd giddyness about the incarceration of people who are trying to make cannabis access safe and reliable. 

I don't know who you pertend to be quoting in 'first cali then co next', but pandora's box remains closed because comprehensive regulation works to protect patients and businesses. 

Those who must say they aren't stupid, probably are. 

Ganesh Botanical Association
Ganesh Botanical Association

Hmmmm....anybody ever hear of a clan called Kennedy ?

Didn't old man make a fortune WHILE IT WAS ILLEGAL, and parlay that into a 'legitimate' commercial operation after repeal of prohibition ?  Didn't he use that $$$ to launch his family into politics?

Bottom line is, criminals will find a 'nefarious' slant to anything.  Who can say fake or tainted baby formula?

I have been a 'smoker' for medicinal reasons for more than 30 years..I never felt like I was 'breaking the law;'  rather, the 'Law was Breaking me.'  

Now I am in the majority (50%+ for legalization)...so remember:

IT's Not "Just Recreational" Anymore !!

Ganeshb

Quadrophinc
Quadrophinc

Old Money will do whatever it takes to stop New Money from occurring. 

Publius Ceasar
Publius Ceasar

Just remember, those of us who began the "medical marijuana" approach to legalization were quite clear that the whole idea was to de-stigmatize the use of marijuana. It's fucking fantastic that cannabis truly is a wonder substance in so many ways, but make no mistake about it - from the early 1990's on when this approach was begun, the whole idea is the full legalization of cannabis for adults over 21. Medical IS a stepping stone along the path and is the one we found  through focus groups and such to be the best path for destigmatizing cannabis use.

Now all that said, in the end it comes down to an issue of freedom - do you or do you not have the right to do what you want with your own body? If not, when did you sign that right away?

Ganesh Botanical Association
Ganesh Botanical Association

Actually, it comes down to questions of States Rights, Federal Powers, and the Constitution.

The Feds get authority from the states.  They don't give it.  That's a big part of what occupy protests are all about.  

See the Feds gave themselves tons of authority.  Look around and see how they handled it.

Ganeshb 

Quadrophinc
Quadrophinc

We also didn't vote for 800 Billion Dollars in Taxpayer money to be hijacked for contracting operations by the Bush Administration so that "profiteers" could use loopholes in our Democracy to invade a sovereign country.

go pick your battles more wisely Ian Williams you cunt. 

Quadrophinc
Quadrophinc

Psychiatry and Pharmaceuticals have created an alternate reality where they control the diagnosis, and the drugs. 

They are pumping everyone full of Ambien, Xanax, etc... and turning them into zombies, and turning a WAY heavier profit than a dispensary ever could.

Ian Williams is a devil. 

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

That was a miserable post, inaccurate on its face, and made "Comment of the Day" only for its potential to goad the many advocates, caregivers, and patients who do not support the unconstitutional marijuana distribution scheme of the Colorado General Assembly.

sniffing paint
sniffing paint

Well, it certainly was more stimulating than the broken-record, everyone-is-stupid-but-me drivel that you post over and over again.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Get off the inhalants and read other people's posts before having another keyboard accident -- several people agree with what I just wrote (which did not call anyone "stupid") -- is that you, Ian?

As for repeating myself, if you all quit beating the drum for the State's contravention of our Constitution and for the MMED, I will no longer have to constantly refute you.

Ian Williams
Ian Williams

And you're 100% right on all of that. But that's a much larger scope of topic, and I'm no devil, I just dropped off blankets, tarps, gloves, coats and hand warmers to the Occupy Denver crew.

I'm just nipping it in the bud, make sure they (none of them, the ballin' dealers, the lyings politicians, the stealing and killing pharmy companies, they're all after it) get their hands on what is rightfully the people's medicine.

sojournerC
sojournerC

Right on Ian. Thank you for your well formed opinion. 

Quadrophinc
Quadrophinc

i'm talking about how someone might wake up some day and decide that the biggest issue on their plate is "profiteers using loopholes in the MMJ system to make money off what may or may not be non-medicinal pot."

Its just seems STRANGE that everyone would jump on that bandwagon when for decades now their have been institutions in America, specifically designed for profiteers to use Loopholes in EVERYTHING to make a ton of money LEGALLY while at the same doing great harm to society.

All of those things are still happening, but now for some reason MMJ is the most important thing to regulate? what about the MIlitary? Tobacco? Pharma? Etc? 

thats all im saying bro. 

Ian Williams
Ian Williams

Nah dude, I'm quite open about associating my opinions to my name. Plus, that was like a 30-word count response. Take a look at my comments; I'm wordy, to say the least.

No pseudonyms. I guess I'm kinda like the Honey Bager, too: I just don't give a shit.I certainly didn't mean to goad anyone, especially a pugnacious troll looking to accuse me of stooging my retort. I'll be honest dude, I don't really know who you are but after that caustic repugnance and fallacious ad hominem,  I'm less likely to take you seriously.

 --

The wild west's green rush built on a fly's eyelash of legislation was not enough to satiate the modern demand for regulatory accountability and transparency. While it is the only "constitutional" law regarding medical cannabis, it's a fool's errand to chase away any modification to the law by local municipalities which have, as a result, stymied what could otherwise be an aggressive and unreasonable "crackdown" on Colorado's program in the same manner we are presently seeing in California by the Federal Government, a notoriously unforgiving entity when it comes to this subject. 

This would make the dissemination of medicine to patients unsafe and impractical, if not impossible, especially elderly or disabled patients, or patients that need/want a brick & mortar, accountable, regulated, sanitary and informative center to help facilitate their prescriptions rather than some guy that helped pay their registration fee that you've never met who never supplies them with medicine from their 6 plants because he is wholesaling them from his backpack to anybody with a storefront in a purely profit motivated environment.The caregiver model may have been crafted with good intent but it became a sham and unlike California, Colorado was proactive and instigated a regulatory scheme to tame the, at times, unsafe and disingenuous marketplace.

I have heard some horror stories about the first bout of "caregivers" that came to the state, only to capitalize on unknowing patients and in some circumstances, commit the same atrocities that occur in the unregulated market such as theft or assault. There is absolutely no excuse that can allow this thug mentality to gain purchase in what is a legitimate and growing understanding of this potentially life-saving medicine. The Medical Cannabis movement has made an active and public attempt to separate and purge the ignoble criminal elements that followed it into the public spotlight. I personally feel there should have been more of a compromise between the "Caregiver Model" and the "MMC Model" and I certainly recognized a drop in quality and a renewal of commercialized industrialization of the industry since the dismantling of the Caregiver system. I don't appreciate the mass-producers that are flooding the market with poor quality herb so they may compete in the price wars that are bottoming out the industry. But that doesn't mean I'd prefer to have a slew of novices misinforming patients and gouging the price either.There has to be a compromise, between everyone, for this to work. Nobody is going to get everything they want, and hopefully nobody gets left by the way side either. 

--And Quad...dude, what are you talking about? what do you think I'm saying? I think there was a fundamental misunderstanding of my statement as I certainly have no love for GW Pharma, Phizer, Coors,  or any of the other conglomerate poison pushers. And...uh, the Iraq war? wtf? You must be talking about government action without democratic elections...yea different discussion dude...way off base.

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