News

Patients plead to keep pot club open

The City Council came face to face with a half dozen medical marijuana users Tuesday who pleaded with the council to not shut down a convenient source of medical marijuana in Mountain View.

One of them was Mountain View resident Richard Ritter, 63, who said he had been paying $100 for cab rides to San Jose to buy his medical marijuana before Buddy's Cannabis Patient Collective opened a month ago without any permits from the city. It might be an illegal pot club, but Ritter and others local medical marijuana users say that it makes life easier to have a dispensary near by. Ritter walks with a cane and doesn't own a car.

"It's the only medicine that works," said the 63-year-old Ritter. He said he was a NASA Ames test pilot whose helicopter crashed into a Fremont power line in 1981 and nearly killed him. He said he broke dozens of bones and has a frozen hip, among other sources of pain.

Ritter may have to resume those $100 cab rides again soon. Upon direction of the City Council, the Bayshore Parkway collective faces an injunction request filed by the city in court last week that could shut down the dispensary at the end of the month. While the City Council agrees that medical marijuana dispensaries should be allowed in the city, Mayor Ronit Bryant and a majority of the council believe that Buddy's should be shut down while the city creates appropriate regulations for dispensaries. The city had passed a temporary ban on pot dispensaries in Mountain View just weeks before Buddy's opened.

Though the owner of Buddy's, former corporate attorney Matt Lucero, said he would take the city all the way to state Supreme Court, he said Tuesday in a phone interview that he wanted to cooperate with the city if possible.

"It is not our intention to litigate," Lucero said. "Our purpose here is to help people." Directing his remarks at the City Council, he said, "We're together on this, let's find common ground. Tell us the conditions, we'll work with them."

Stanford psychiatry professor Roy King and his wife Rebecca Forest, Mountain View residents, spoke on behalf of Buddy's on Tuesday. Forest has a seizure disorder which she said has caused the painful ruptured disc and slipped vertebrae in her spine after repeated falls. Using narcotics like Vicodin to kill the pain has too many side effects, such as liver damage, and are much more addictive, Forest said. She has been using medical marijuana for a year.

King and Forest said they felt safe visiting Buddy's, which is in an industrial neighborhood near Shoreline Park's western entrance. Other dispensaries in Oakland or San Jose seem less safe, they said.

Employees of the dispensary -- there are a dozen total -- pleaded for their jobs and for the patients they said they had been helping. "It's the best job I've ever had," said one of the employees.

A man who said he works at Microsoft's Mountain View campus also spoke in support of the dispensary, saying he treats his sleeping problems and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from his abusive childhood with medical marijuana.

"It allows me to hold down my job," the man said.

Comments

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Posted by PeaceLove
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 12, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Congrats to the MV Voice for printing the patients' side of the story. A lot of people mistakenly believe cannabis has high risk and low value. In fact, the opposite is true. As these patients demonstrate quite clearly, this miraculous plant improves the lives of millions without any of the poisonous side effects of pharmaceuticals.

Statistically, at least 70-80% of Mountain View residents support making cannabis available as a medicine. It behooves the city of Mountain View to act *as quickly as possible* to facilitate their constituents who are patients. To do otherwise is to actively work against patients.

In the meantime, people who take the risk and initiative to help Mountain View patients should be applauded and supported, not harassed.

Jonathan Steigman
Mountain View, CA


 +   Like this comment
Posted by PeaceLove
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 12, 2010 at 2:50 pm

2 Quibbles:

1. The subheading should have been the headline. This story is about patients bringing their voices to the city.

2. The correct medical term is "cannabis." These are "medical cannabis" clubs, not "pot" clubs. I understand the latter makes a sexier headline but fairness dictates you use the correct term and let people judge the issue on its merits.

Jonathan Steigman
Mountain View


 +   Like this comment
Posted by yes390
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 12, 2010 at 2:52 pm

If you support liberty and freedom, vote for the ballot initiative to legalize, tax, regulate, and control marijuana in California. To learn more, visit Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 12, 2010 at 6:23 pm

i see no problem with having this dispensary open in my city. It is clear that these guys mean no harm. they want to help patients and they are doing the best they can. The city needs to realize that having this medical cannabis club in our city will potentially save us from being even more bankrupt. Has anyone ever heard of a violent cannabis user?me neither. Buddys is a great addition to our city and hope to see it stay for good. Im sorry but i must also point out that the author of this article clearly does NOT know the difference between "pot" and "medical cannabis" I have NEVER heard of ANY medical cannabis club distributing pot to their patients. get with it


 +   Like this comment
Posted by B.D.
a resident of North Whisman
on May 12, 2010 at 6:31 pm

I choose to attend our local Americans for Safe Access, Silicon Valley Chapter meeting instead of the council meeting last night because our City will have a compassionate ordinance soon. Let the bureaucrats play their games, fueled by Mr. Lucero and his litigation. In an orderly manor the Shoreline Wellness Collective will begin to provide safe and AFFORDABLE access to medical cannabis to Mountain View's ailing patients as soon as LEGALLY possible. As I said before and I will say again. I agree with your movement but disagree with your methods.
Thanks to the patients that did take time to address this pertinent and important issue last night.
Best Regards,
Brian David
Executive Director
Shoreline Wellness Collective
PO Box 352
Mountain View, CA 94042


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ellen
a resident of North Whisman
on May 14, 2010 at 9:35 am

I'm not sure how I feel about having a dispensary in my city. I understand that it helps provide relief to many who are in pain, but I would be more open to the idea if those who own in didn't seem to have such contempt for the law. I know that their priority is to help patients, but I want to make sure that cannabis is only available to those who truly need it. If these business owners don't seem to respect the law now, what's going to happen if the law is relaxed? To me it's not so much an issue about pot, but an issue of whether or not these business owners can be trusted in our community.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by PeaceLove
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 14, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Ellen - It is the city that has had contempt for the law, blocking safe access even now *fourteen years* after the voters decided to allow it (with support in Santa Clara among the highest of any county in CA). Seems to me Buddy's has pushed the issue back to the forefront and forced the city to deal with it as expediently as possible. Publicly disregarding bad, cruel laws is one of the ways to change them.

Many Mountain View residents need safe access to this medicine. It behooves the city to act immediately to help their constituents.

Jonathan Steigman
Mountain View

P.S. The San Francisco police have now admitted that they have zero evidence that cannabis collectives cause an increase in crime. One more phony argument falls!
Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by PeaceLove
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 16, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Thanks to the MV Voice for changing the headline to more accurately reflect the story.

Now, how about replacing the inaccurate and biased term "pot club" with the correct term "cannabis dispensary?" Are you a newspaper or a propaganda wing of the MV City Council?

Or, start referring to Walgreens as a "speed and smack shop," since they peddle amphetamines like Ritalin and opiates like Vicodin and OxyContin. Considering how much more dangerous the latter substances are, rebranding pharmacies that way in your pages would actually make more sense.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by "Just Think About It"
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 14, 2010 at 8:57 pm

Who is Jonathan Steigman? What does he have to gain by making medical cannabis available to residents of Mountain View? What is the difference between "medical cannabis", "cannabis" or "pot"? The bottom line is they are all the same thing. Maybe one might have more bud in it than another but the bottom line is it's pot. It is readily available to our kids now. Why make it easier to for them to obtain it............"Just Think About It"................


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