Uploaded: Wed, Feb 24, 2010, 4:41 pm
City may allow pot dispensaries by year's end
Temporary ban approved, giving staffers time to craft regulations
The City Council approved a one-year ban on medical marijuana dispensaries Tuesday to allow time for the city to craft regulations allowing medical marijuana to be sold in Mountain View.
There now appears to be three potential Mountain View dispensary operators, including a man who introduced himself to the council Tuesday as corporate attorney Matt Rocero.
"It can be a very important source of tax revenue," he said. "I have been here since 5 p.m. and heard everything you have been talking about," referring to the city's potential budget cuts.
City attorney Jannie Quinn said the council would hold a study session on medical marijuana-related issues before summer break, and proposed regulations could be approved by the council sometime by the end of the year -- which is when a City Council election will also be occurring.
Approved by a 4-2 vote, the "non urgency" prohibition takes effect within 30 days and would sunset on April 18, 2011. It was proposed after an "urgency" interim ban brought before the council two weeks ago failed to gain the six votes it required due to opposition by council members John Inks and Tom Means. Both continued their opposition to any kind of temporary ban on Tuesday.
So far no council member is clearly opposed to having a dispensary in Mountain View. Council member Laura Macias appeared to come close two weeks ago when she noted that the federal government still has not legalized medical marijuana -- though the Obama administration has turned a blind eye to it -- possibly putting the city in a difficult position.
"There is an interest in making this available," Macias said Tuesday.
Medical marijuana lobbyist Max Del Real said he was surprised at the lack of opposition to medical marijuana in Mountain View after he was hired by potential operator Brian David. Rocero said 64 percent of Santa Clara County voters supported Proposition 215, designed to legalize medical marijuana in California, in 1996. Jonathan Lustig, another local advocate of medical marijuana, added that Mountain View had a higher percentage of support than any other city.
Advocates said it shouldn't take long for the city to create regulations, which would specify where in the city dispensaries are allowed, among other things. "There are over 120 cities and counties in this state with comprehensive ordinances," Rocero said.
The advocates noted that cities usually prohibit dispensaries within 1,000 feet of schools and other social gathering places. Some had previously said the best place to operate a dispensary is in the city's out-of-the-way industrial parks, but Mayor Ronit Bryant questioned whether that would be best.
"As a former very sick person I don't know if I would want to go as out of the way as possible to get my medicine," she said.
In an effort to address certain issues early on, Means made a motion to not tax medical marijuana dispensaries or place a limit on how many could open in Mountain View. He and Inks, a fellow Libertarian, were the only members who voted for the motion and it failed.
Council member Jac Siegel said he would consider a tax on medical marijuana, though Bryant joined others, including potential dispensary operator Lustig, in saying it is inappropriate to tax sick people.
"I don't think we should exploit our patients to take care of our parks and roadways," Lustig said.
At one point, city attorney Quinn came under fire for a perceived bias against medical marijuana. Inks said it would be easy for her office to "shelve" the ordinance, while advocates criticized her "draconian language" in the ban. Inks was also critical of the city attorney for including in her report a "white paper" from the California Police Chiefs Association which opposes medical marijuana dispensaries.
Posted by Bruno,
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 25, 2010 at 3:06 pm
I often wonder why we demonize cancer patients for wanting to have easy access to the medicine they certainly need? People tout all of the known side effects for marijuana, but never do I hear them riled up about the side effects of chemotherapy, a much more popular form of treatment.
Side effects of chemotherapy include: abdominal pain, anemia, anxiety, lost appetite, bone pain, bleeding problems, bronchitis, bruising, chest pains, chills, confusion, cramping, deep vein thrombosis, depression, dizziness, electrolyte imbalance, genital pain, glaucoma, hair loss, headaches, hearing loss, heart failure, hemorrhagic cystitis (blood in urine), hyperglycemia, impotence, infection, insomnia, itching, joint pain, kidney problems, loss of libido (JustSayNo I'm looking in your direction), liver problems, low blood counts, lung problems, memory loss, mouth sores, muscle pain, nausea, nervousness, numbness, photosensitivity, pneumonia, rapid heart beat, rectal bleeding, ringing ears, seizures, shortness of breath, swelling, thyroid hormone complications, urinary tract infection, vaginal bleeding, vomiting, weakness and weight changes.
That's quite the list, and I'm not even showing them all. Seems scary right? Yet we're fine with knowing that this is the norm for many cancer patients. We are not offended by their medicine or the consequences of that medicine. Sick people need it, so we accept it.
Now let's go over the side effects of smoking marijuana. They include: rapid heart rate, increased blood pressure, increased rate of breathing, red eyes, dry mouth, increased appetite "the munchies", giggling, slowed reaction time, paranoia, random thinking, short term memory loss and depression.
Why are these side effects so much more offensive to some non-patients? Why should non-patients even have a say in the matter when the two are compared? Is it because localmom is worried that Johnny High School is going to get his hands on some pot? The truth is it's much easier for a teen to get that pot at school. That's the reality of the situation.
You condemn medicine for very sick people because you are worried about the "what if". Your answer is to have these very sick people drive to S.F. or S.J. so it doesn't offend your sense of decency, but where is your decency towards others? I'm guessing these cancer patients aren't really up for the long car ride you suggest.
Posted by Jonathan Lustig,
a resident of Castro City
on Feb 26, 2010 at 1:35 pm
â€œlocalmom" â€" According to our own California State Attorney General Youth Survey and contrary to what the opposition stated prior to the vote, youth usage of Cannabis has dropped at one of the highest rates in the nation since the enactment of compassionate medical use in 1997.
A properly run wellness center would be virtually undetectable by passer-bys.
There are commercial and industrial vacancies within our city that are 1,000's of feet away from any social gathering venues (Schools, Youth Centers, Churches, Parks).
Big Al â€" I get the sense you're insinuating â€œother Lustigs running around" would be a bad thing.
I am sure you know me well.
May God bless you.
Hardin â€" â€œThose "validated" recommendation letters are bought and sold on the internet (Kids, close your eyes, you didn't read that)."
I have just spent 15 minutes searching Google and I can only find â€œprequalification for medical marijuana cards" which then â€œrequire face to face consultations".
Please keep your credibility intact by specifying where this unacceptable phenomenon exists and contact the authorities.
Our youth are not capable of obtaining recommendations from online.
People are consistently experiencing anguish and distress because of falsities such as these, please stop the lying.
"comparing marijuana..to a placebo..the jury is still out"???
JustSayNo â€" â€œADHD is a crazy-*** reason for getting dope."
Your implied vulgarity is impressive.
If you cannot understand why people who have ADHD and Chronic Migraines like myself medicate with Cannabis as an alternative to hardcore prescription drugs then you're not really dedicating yourself towards listening or researching the issue.
â€œBy the way", you're quick to criticize the brave and passionate speakers at the city council meeting that night.
Cowering in the shadows is quite honorable.
Reality â€" â€œSanta Cruz has been on the forefront of this issue ever since it was legal. How has it directly changed anything except drive illegal dealers into communities like Mt View."
Santa Cruz is just one example of the many cities and counties throughout our state which have seen dramatic reductions in violent crime since 1996 (Although their numbers are still slightly higher than the current national average and ongoing diligence by citizens and local authorities is mandatory).
While the opposition to the medical use of Cannabis stated that crime would substantially increase with the allowance of collectives, quite the contrary has actually happened since the illegalities of the medication were lifted.
The violent crime rate in California is currently at a 40 year low.
The violent crime rate in Los Angeles (where an estimated 800-1,000 centers exist) is currently at a 50 year low.
Hardin â€" â€œShow me another Schedule 1 drug (marijuana is currently considered Schedule 1 by the FDA) that is currently in use legally as medicine"
Do you realize the only way that the Justice Department and the FDA can categorize Cannabis as a â€œschedule 1 drug"?
Thus making it possible for our society and our government to persecute and prosecute sick patients who utilize Cannabis in an attempt to combat their pain and suffering..
â€œSchedule 1" drugs MUST fit within the criteria â€œno proven medical value".
â€œno proven medical value"??!!
That blatant lie shamefully flies directly in the face of the sick, the educated, and thousands of years worth of civilizations around the world who have benefited from its use.
Keeping it as a â€œschedule 1" â€œno proven medical value" drug makes it illegal to be prescribed by doctors no matter how effective they believe it to be for their patients conditions.
â€œLicensed physicians" â€œrecommend" it under California law.
Cocaine and Amphetamines are â€œschedule 2" drugs, which can and are prescribed every day by doctors to patients, suspicious don't you think???
I consider this ignorant and unwarrantable stance on Cannabis by our government, which was motivated by big business, disingenuous, despicable and murderous.
Thom â€" Salutations my friend.
Good people disagree at times ;)
Prescription drugs and raw forms of botanical herbs and botanical teas are exempt from tax as long as they're not consumed on the premises or dispensed hot, I can't understand what the rationalization would be for taxing Cannabis.
Some consider taxing Cannabis makes it more â€œsocially acceptable" because it would generate revenue for the general fund.
Forcing ill patients to pay tax on top of the price of their much needed medication (which isn't yet covered by insurance) is awfully unethical.
I feel that sticking it to sick people before they get better or before they die so that we can maintain our sidewalks is atrocious.
â€œBut I will always support the legal use of medicinal marijuana with the right people running the programs and the right rules and regulations in place."
I agree, the wellness centers that exist here in Mountain View should be operated in fashions that are envied and then replicated and echoed throughout the medical Cannabis states.
Certain policies, procedures, safeguards, and security measures should be implemented to ensure not only the protection of the patients, but for the surrounding community as well.
In addition, wellness centers here should not only focus on patient's health in several different aspects (e.g. support groups, yoga, fitness, eating habits, acupuncture, massage therapy, energy healing, etcetera), but they should file for state Non-Profit status which would encourage and enforce donating all excess funds to charities, foundations, services, activities, and events for all ages throughout our community.
There is potential for creating something truly beautiful, admirable, and beneficial for all here in Mountain View.
I applaud our City Council for taking an intellectual and responsible approach in determining how such medical facilities can function appropriately within our community.
Expediting an end to this local archaic and barbaric medical prohibition is imperative.
While determining plausible regulations and ordinances, people will continue to live and die in pain.
The National Cancer Institute announced last year that â€œSome 20-40% of cancer victims die from causes related to malnutrition, not from the cancer itself, and 80% of cancer patients develop some form of clinical malnutrition".
Cannabis eradicates nausea and stimulates appetites which could potentially help save hundreds of thousands of our cancer stricken family members, friends, neighbors, and fellow Americans every year. (550,000 estimated annual deaths from cancer in the US alone)
Several years ago the OCBC in Oakland released a list of over 500 different ailments for which patients had obtained a Cannabis recommendation under their doctor's supervision.
The benefits of Cannabis reach far beyond the terrible and horrific grasp of cancer.
I did not begin this struggle with the intentions of negatively impacting any lives...I joined this momentous movement because it contributes towards the betterment of our society.
The abolishment of slavery, abolishment of women suffrage, ending of wars, fight for civil rights, rights for the disabled and elderly, gay rights, human rights, religious rights, animal rights, and even peace have all been opposed and combated against by groups of immoral and uneducated people.
I don't believe such a person exists on our city council.
â€œThe ultimate measure of a leader is not where they stand in moments of comfort and convenience, but where they stand at times of challenge and controversy." - MLK
Posted by hometownmv,
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Mar 2, 2010 at 3:14 pm
Medical marijuana dispensaries should be established in Mountain View. Mountain View is great city, minus the chief of police who seems to be rather close minded. Anyway, I use marijuana legally for a medical ailment (and no, my doctors recommendation is actually real, not one of these point-click-print ones that don't are legal. Frankly, I'm a little embarassed for the people who have posted comments that oppose the openning of dipensaries in MV. I won't mention usernames... but they don't seem to get it. More directly, it's not about you or your kids. Your kids are the ones who obtain it, smoke it, and SELL it to other kids, and get in trouble. I used to smoke marijuana recreationally in high school, and many of your MVPD officers did too, and even you the reader probably did. I don't know you, but while I was smoking pot I graduated high school with flying colors, currently I have a perfect driving record, and all is good. FYI your kids will ALWAYS have access to pot whether there is a dispensary in town or not. The dispensary in town is a SAFE, accessible place for me to get my medication. It's the people who are irresponsible with their medication, or recreation, who make it look bad for the rest of us law-abiding patients. As a patient, I really don't care if people use it recreationally. I REALLY DON'T! If given the choice, I would rather be driving behind someone who is stoned than someone who is drunk!
I'm a little annoyed that this topic of the dispensary has blown up the way it has. Aren't there places where you can buy liqour? Oh yeah, its called a bar, and better yet, the liqour store! But can't liqour actually kill you? Oh yeah, it can! Don't kids drink liqour too? Oh yeah they do! I graduated from high school less than 4 years ago, and let me tell you from personal experience, there will always be premarital sex, teen pregnancy, drug use, pot smoking, and liqour drinking, and other yucky stuff done by kids. You can try all you want, but hindering patients access to their medication will NOT prevent these things from happening. If you think it will, then you should be ashamed for being so ignorant. How would you like it if your pharmacy that you (and your kids) got your prescription vicodin, ibuprofen, acetominophen, morphine, prozac, etc was torn down? They won't be because they are REGULATED! Let's REGULATE our dispensaries just like the pharmacies.
AND fyi, the chiefs of police with their "white papers" are on high horses (no pun intended). As a citizen, I have trouble taking anything they have to say seriously. I have seen them do things to good people purely out of spite or to save themselves from looking stupid. They are as credible as a slice of bread. At least then I can make a sandwich.
Clearly, my stand is Pro-dispensary in MV. I feel it will be in the city's best interest overall to open it up. Those who oppose have yet to convince me with a "valid" compelling argument. Morally, if you have kids, and liqour in your house or take pills as medicine (as kids do all the time), you have no room to object to a dispensary and if you do then you ought to be ashamed. Another way to look at it: I can buy my marijuana from your kid as many many people do, or I can buy it from a dispensary. Marijuana is not hard for your kid to get PERIOD. If anything, it will be somewhat harder when the prices go up (club prices are not cheap, but you pay for safety and convenenience). This is pretty much what I have to say, since I don't have any fancy links are fancy biased numbers. I just hope the city will make the right choice and choose safety over ignorance. Pro Dispensary!