City may allow pot dispensaries by year's end Other Issues, posted by Editor, Mountain View Voice Online, on Feb 24, 2010 at 7:35 pm
The City Council approved a one-year ban on medical marijuana dispensaries Tuesday, buying itself time to craft regulations allowing medical marijuana to be sold in Mountain View. Such regulations could be approved by the end of this year, the city attorney said.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, February 24, 2010, 4:41 PM
Posted by localmom, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Feb 24, 2010 at 7:35 pm
Marijuana is an illicit drug banned for use by most of the population by the federal government. Allowing "dispensaries" in a kid-friendly town is a huge mistake. This will make access to pot easier for teens and just about anyone else! I'm sure there are plenty of marijuana clinics that people who have legitimate medical ailments can go to in nearby cities with larger populations (i.e. San Jose, SF) where kids won't wander by them when walking to and from school, their soccer fields, the library, etc. MV is a small town, with a lot of teens on foot, bike, and bus. Just b/c you can't set up shop next to Graham middle school doesn't mean kids won't know where to find these places, or unscrupulous providers/patients who might want to make a quick buck selling part of their stash to some one who has no "medical necessity".
I am a physician, and I find it truly disturbing that suddenly this type of drug can be sold in a storefront in my own town. Can you go and get Vicodin or Percocet that easily?? The answer is NO. If this drug, which has serious consciousness altering qualities and is not good at all for kids, is medically necessary, it should be locked up and dispensed at pharmacies, and distributed by prescription, which we have plenty of already.
Posted by Big Al, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Feb 24, 2010 at 8:15 pm
This will be this city's undoing. Bring this crap into our city for the sake of a few. I could sell you ten other causes more worthy of the support of City Hall, but only this currently-vogue liberal one is within their sites. The result will be a confusing message being sent to our youth. In the end we'll just have a bunch of Lustig's running around ...
Posted by B.D., a resident of the North Whisman neighborhood, on Feb 24, 2010 at 8:32 pm
If you are a Physician you must understand the adverse side affects from some prescribed and over the counter medicines such as Kidney and/or Liver failure. The AMA just declared Medicinal Cannabis a useful medicine.
Teens will always be tempted to try drugs and alcohol. Education is key here. You don't hide it, you discuss it! The benefits and potential side affects from Medical Cannabis should be openly discussed with your teens as is Alcohol use, Sex(Homo and heterosexual), Gun Safety and any other topic that most parents would rather avoid then confront. If you can't tell your kid is smoking pot, you have other parenting issues that must be addressed before you go blaming a collective of qualified patients seeking relief in the form of alternative medicine. I invite you to join the Advisory Board that will be formed to help create compassionate ordinance allowing Medical Cannabis Dispensing Collectives here in Mountain View.
I invite all Opponents to give input to this process so their issues can be addressed and you can become further educated about safe and affordable access to medical cannabis for qualified patients.
Posted by B.D., a resident of the North Whisman neighborhood, on Feb 24, 2010 at 8:40 pm
Oh... There were no opposition speakers and many proponents at the council meeting last night. If you feel strongly against an issue that your city has taken up you better attend some council meetings and become informed or you could just whine and complain on the local forums. Around 2/3 of Mountain View Voters voted in favor of Prop 215.
Posted by Craig B., a resident of the Sylvan Park neighborhood, on Feb 24, 2010 at 8:48 pm
There are many who get overly excited about this relatively harmless plant. There is no real need to worry about kids being corrupted by dispensaries being allowed in the good town of Mountain View.
Have you ever heard about marijuana what you hear constantly about alcohol? Have you ever heard of someone having to attend a Marijuanaholics Anonymous group meeting? Now, and in all honesty, what does that tell you?
This plant just so happens to have properties unlike any other known plant in the world, as far as how many useful, truly useful things can be done with it, including the very important medically useful properties. Did you know that there are around 10,000 (not a typo) things that have been identified that this plant can help us with? Now, right now we are just talking about medical uses, but don't get overly concerned with this substance, it just isn't that bad, believe me.
I believe you when you say that you're terribly worried about the influence that dispensaries distributing medical marijuana will have on young people. Think about this for a second, marijuana is easily obtained by children in the Netherlands at recess or lunch during school hours, plus, of course, afterwards too. Yet because it is so easily obtained with no harrassment from the police, a much smaller percentage of kids there smoke it compared to kids in this country. It is its very prohibition that makes kids want to smoke it. Please think about this very important substance in a new light if at all possible, okay? The absolute and honest facts are that marijuana is not the horrible substance that many imagine. Try not to worry so much. Everything will turn out fine. And that is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, I swear to you on my mother and father's graves.
Thank you very much,
Craig B., Mtn. View
P.S. I would not have written that last sentence without believing every single thing I have said.
Posted by matt lucero, a resident of another community, on Feb 25, 2010 at 7:43 am
This is about getting legitimate medicine safely into the hands of our seriously-ill residents. It's time to stop these fear-based arguments, and look at the facts. I hope to God that opponents of marijuana never have to face a family member's battle with cancer or some other horrendous medical condition. But if they do, I'd like to be able to provide them with safe, quality medical marijuana to help improve their life quality.
Posted by localmom, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Feb 25, 2010 at 8:03 am
Back to the point that I am an MD! Smoking ANYTHING unnecessarily (i.e. teens trying drugs to get high) causes lung damage. Enough said. This is a drug, it needs to be tightly controlled. I know of no better methodology than the FDA Schedule 3 program which keeps methadone, Percocet, and so on in the hands of licensed pharmacists, in locked cabinets, in places like Rite Aid. Patients show IDs and scrips and get their meds.
I would have no objection whatsoever to including medical marijuana in a Rite Aid pharmacy! However the law does not allow this currently. It would be sold by non-medical, untrained personell to people with dubious written "authorizations" in quantities which may exceed their needed amount. The economic incentive to turn it around for a profit (very sorry to Brian and those in favor) is extremely high. There are many interested parties in search of a drug high who will now have easy local access.
I say, keep it hard to get for kids. Easy to get for patients of course! Perhaps start a van-driven collective to go to the SJ dispensaries and get the drug en-masse on a weekly basis.
Posted by Shawn L., a resident of the Rex Manor neighborhood, on Feb 25, 2010 at 8:18 am
"I am a physician, and I find it truly disturbing that suddenly this type of drug can be sold in a storefront in my own town."
A physician wrote that?
Medical marijuana patients require a medically validated "recommendation letter" to enter a collective. The security is strict--a collective's existence depends on it.
The idea that a medical dispensary would somehow make marijuana available for children is ridiculous. They don't and wouldn't anymore than a pharmacy would make Vicodin available to someone without a prescription.
This issue concerns the state of California's law and the responsibility of City governments to honor this law by providing safe access for its citizens.
The process is in motion and the valuable questions concern regulations--to ensure high standards for these cooperatives and collectives to function--and zoning--to ensure that the collectives are accessible to those who need them, while not impacting the surrounding neighborhoods.
My hope is that my community will understand how principled this argument is in favor of honoring both the law and the spirit of the law--compassionate care--and will not be influenced by the canard of "risk to our children."
Posted by Hardin, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Feb 25, 2010 at 8:48 am
"Medical marijuana patients require a medically validated "recommendation letter" to enter a collective. The security is strict--a collective's existence depends on it. "
Those "validated" recommendation letters are bought and sold on the internet (Kids, close your eyes, you didn't read that). I liken them to notes you got from your Mom justifying Junior's absence from school.
Posted by Hardin, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Feb 25, 2010 at 9:15 am
"This issue concerns the state of California's law and the responsibility of City governments to honor this law by providing safe access for its citizens. "
Let's be clear on the City's responsibility to California law on this issue: California allows for marijuana to be used legally for medicinal purposes by protecting users and doctors from state prosecution. That law leaves local governments jurisdiction to determine how marijuana is regulated within city boundaries. City's are not obligated to provide a dispensary, only to clearly outline how medicinal marijuana will be transacted within its borders, if at all. Numerous localities have decided to ban dispensaries, and its within California Law to do so.
Marijuana use is still illegal in Federal law. The Obama administration has stated it will not actively pursue cases, but technically speaking, its still illegal. It would only take a change in administration to have this condition reversed.
In summary, the ground is far from stable on this issue, and you know what they say about building your house on sand...
Posted by Hardin, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Feb 25, 2010 at 9:31 am
"My hope is that my community will understand how principled this argument is in favor of honoring both the law and the spirit of the law--compassionate care--and will not be influenced by the canard of "risk to our children."
Morality is not the issue here. I support providing folks with the appropriate medicines for their illness. To do that, you need medicines that have gone the rigors of testing and efficacy that all other similar drugs do, and once proven, then distributed in the established distribution systems that we already have in place (ie pharmacies).
Allowing the use of marijuana as medicine without studying it thoroughly is bad science.
Distributing it through a shadow distribution system whose safeguards lie somewhere between a pharmacy and a liquor store is bad public policy.
Marijuana may truly be misunderstood as medicine, but the method of execution that has been taken to reintroduce it into the mainstream is so full of holes, it lessens credibility.
Posted by localmom, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Feb 25, 2010 at 10:07 am
I really appreciate the discussion on this matter, I hope the City Council members are reading it! They are NOT obligated to provide these outlets. It has NOT been thoroughly studied whether allowing dispensaries in a town gives easier access to pot to teens and others for non-medical uses. Why don't Brian and others try for these in Palo Alto, Los Altos, and Menlo Park? City Council members, do YOU want to be the guinea pigs?? I don't see these things popping up on Main Street in Los Altos, or in downtown Menlo Park next to Draegers. This is not a desirable business. And Brain and his cohorts WILL profit from this enterprise, it ain't a charity.
Posted by JustSayNo, a resident of the North Whisman neighborhood, on Feb 25, 2010 at 10:41 am
Please no no NO to pot clubs, medical marijuana dispensaries, etc., in Mt. View. If people have a genuine reason/need for doping up on marijuana, let their doctor give them the marijuana...not a neighborhood dispensary pot-hole. And ADHD is a crazy-*** reason for getting dope. I've seen the checklist of ADHD symptoms and it's just a list of most teenage boys' behaviors. Maybe the next need for pot will be sex addiction. Perhaps all Tiger needed was a quick tote. I've read somewhere that smoking pot reduces your libido.
By the way, I watched the city council meeting last Tuesday on tv and all of the medical marijuana advocates had a hard time delivering a cohesive, clear argument. Maybe due to their lifestyle?
Posted by Shawn L., a resident of the Rex Manor neighborhood, on Feb 25, 2010 at 11:35 am
"Numerous localities have decided to ban dispensaries, and its within California Law to do so." ____________________________________
From the SJ Merc: "Dozens of cities, including Gilroy, Los Gatos and Santa Clara, have enacted bans and moratoriums on pot dispensaries. A state appellate court is expected to rule later this year on a challenge to Anaheim's effort to outlaw dispensaries."
It will be interesting to see how the court rules on this. State Sen. Mark Leno has filed a legal brief in the case "arguing that the 2003 law's intention [California Senate Bill 420] was not to allow cities to prohibit medical pot establishments."
I agree that morality is not THE issue--it is an issue however. The rigorous testing of medical marijuana is not being allowed by the feds. Okay, so the rigorous clinical trials recently completed in California show that there are legitimate medical applications for marijuana use.
From the SFGate: "These findings provide a strong science-based context in which policymakers and the public can begin discussing the place of cannabis in medical care."
It is important to remember that California voters approved this law in 1996. Medical marijuana possession and use in California is legal. It is also true that setting up the proper regulations for allowing patients access to medical marijuana is complex. My hope is that the discussion within Mountain View City Hall will determine how best to implement the law in relation to the community's needs, both regarding safe access and the safety of our neighborhoods.
The moral issue is about respecting the law and allowing people to use marijuana as medicine. I for one honor the expertise of doctors who prescribe medicine, and the self-determination of patients who choose to use it.
Posted by Preston D., a resident of another community, on Feb 25, 2010 at 12:07 pm
From a person who has closely watched the Medical Marijuana Movement, I can predict where the law will go based on the quality of the opposition for a given issue in a given district. The 'opposition' I see on this thread is predicated on paranoia and morality, which is to say that it is antiquated and desperate. And, obviously, the days of valid paranoia and moral 'guidance' (for this issue) is dying rapidly in 2009/2010.
At first glance, it appears ironic that a self-professed 'physician' would be so opposed to marijuana. But, really it makes perfect sense. The patients who use marijuana for relief would otherwise be prescribed Paxil, Zoloft, Xanax, Valium or anything from an army of sleeping aids. I'm not trying to say there isn't a place for the above pharmaceuticals, but the point is that if a person can take less man-made powders and supplement them with the relief qualities of a natural plant, I believe that person will be healthier and happier overall.
That is the crux of why the hardcore medical marijuana advocates are fighting and it's why the advocates can fight longer and harder that the fear-mongers.
I don't currently live in MV, but I have before and I love the town/city. If I was a serious, strong opponent of dispensaries, I would start discussions with the city council and/or potential dispensary operators to discuss a way to leverage the dispensaries to create some tax or fund that could be earmarked for a park or to create a music program for kids or something along those lines. That's an intelligent, forward-thinking discussion that can benefit all and it's WAY more productive than shrieking, "OMG! What about the children?!?!".
Posted by Hardin, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Feb 25, 2010 at 12:28 pm
"Oh... There were no opposition speakers and many proponents at the council meeting last night. If you feel strongly against an issue that your city has taken up you better attend some council meetings and become informed or you could just whine and complain on the local forums. Around 2/3 of Mountain View Voters voted in favor of Prop 215."
If "being informed" is defined as agreeing with two third's of public opinion, then I submit that the Lemming is the most informed creature in the animal world.
This is one major aspect that worries me about the pro-argument for medical marijuana: it rests on the strength that many people support it, not on rigorous proven science, and not on well conceived policy on how to manage it.
To put it another way, 99% of the folks who drank Kool-Aid with Jim Jones thought they were "well informed", but that didn't change the results for them.
Posted by Reader, a resident of another community, on Feb 25, 2010 at 12:38 pm
Actually, Hardin, the scientific studies are beginning to fill in the blanks - telling (nearly) everyone what we already knew, i.e. fairly strongly supporting the notion that marijuana works well for pain management.
Here's the first part of a recent SF Chronicle story about, and a link to that story, followed by a link to a recent SCIENTIFIC study carried out at UC San Diego.
I realize this is just a beginning, but isn't that what you keep calling for?
"Marijuana comes with controversy, trouble and opinion - but little science. That's why a UC-backed study, partial as it is, is welcome.
"The study, actually five small ones with two more under way, found that smoking modest amounts of the drug can alleviate pain and muscle spasms linked to multiple sclerosis and several other conditions. It confirmed popular wisdom that pot eases physical discomfort - the prime argument of the medical marijuana movement. "
Posted by Hardin, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Feb 25, 2010 at 12:59 pm
This isn't about what I'm calling for, this is about what material should be used to make an informed decision on this issue.
The studies you refer to are a good start, but as the SF Chronicle article states, and as the reports themselves indicate, the published data set is preliminary and far from conclusive. There appear to be many relevant studies underway, like
"Impact of Repeated Cannabis Treatments on Driving Abilities”
"A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Crossover Trial of theAntinociceptive Effects of Smoked Marijuana on Subjects with
but these are not concluded yet, and are needed before making an informed decision on a dispensary in Mountain View.
I've said this before, making a decision on a dispensary is not right or wrong, its premature.
You don't send out a software program to the marketplace in alpha and then see what happens to your customers, before you make changes. Something as innoculous as a computer program, that has no direct impact to human health goes through qualification BEFORE it is released. Medicinal marijuana needs to go through this and finish with a dataset in hand, at a minimum.
Posted by Reader, a resident of another community, on Feb 25, 2010 at 1:40 pm
I see what you're saying, but it seems to me you're either absurdly over-cautious or obstructing on this issue.
The disconnect here is that we *have* decades of use of this drug by literally millions of people, many of whom will happily tell you exactly what marijuana does to them. Not to mention hundreds of years of use prior to that (Web Link). On top of that, lately we're getting a growing body of scientific data supporting exactly what all those people have been saying for all those years.
You will say the testimony of those many thousands of people is anecdotal and needs to be done by men in white coats in a controlled environment -- but your average drug approved by the FDA gets nothing close to this kind of scientific scrutiny. Indeed, today big pharmaceutical companies DO deliver their products "to the marketplace in alpha" and then find out later what happened to their customers. Here's one recent example:
"Natalizumab (Tysabri) first received FDA approval in November 2004, only to be pulled from the market three months later after several patients in clinical trials developed progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a rare but deadly brain infection." (Web Link)
Three months!!! Not such a thorough job, it would seem. Yet you insist on a ridiculously high standard for cannabis, a drug with much more prior (albeit unscientific) experimentation. Indeed, pot is arguably one of the best-tested drugs in the world. If these people who have smoked it are all lemmings, show me the cliff off of which they've jumped.
How many scientific studies would make you happy? Do you have an actual threshold in mind?
Posted by preston D., a resident of another community, on Feb 25, 2010 at 1:53 pm
Your argument is representative of most opponents to Medical Cannabis and a clear sign that the activists will defeat the moralists.
You contend that making a decision on a dispensary is 'not right or wrong, it's premature'. Marijuana has been on Earth since before beer and to say its regulation is 'premature' is tantamount to saying that 'we're awaiting proof that marijuana is dangerous/deadly and we need more time to discover how this will destroy our community. No dispensaries until we have proof that pot is bad'!
The fact of the matter is that decriminalizitation should have been enacted in the 70's. If that happened, there would be no hype today and marijuana prices would be so low that resale would not be profitable. Oh, yeah, and thousands of tax-paying Americans would not be in prison for simple possession.
Also, comparing medical marijuana advocates to cult-members who drank poisoned Kool-Aid from Jim Jones is reckless and inciting. If you made all of your points except that one, you would simply be ignorant and opinionated. That Kool-Aid comment kinda makes you an [Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]
Regarding your 'rigorous, proven science', the fact is that alcohol and tobacco manufacturers have been rigorously trying to prove how deadly and addictive pot is for over 50 years. The results they have desperately been seeking never materialized b/c no one ever died from pot, which is why the opposition (Anhieser-Busch, the US Governtment, bible-beaters, pharmaceutical players, etc) keeps claiming that the results are "inconclusive". The results on marijuana are NOT 'inconclusive'. Currently, there are libraries of testimonials from serious medical patients( again, tax-paying Americans) who testify that cannabis provides them with comfort and makes their life better.
Posted by tbone, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Feb 25, 2010 at 3:02 pm
According to information I found online (from Jan of 2009) , there are over 202,000 people in the state of California who have medical marijuana prescriptions. Could just be me, but that number seems high….(no pun intended). That’s four football stadiums full of people that need pot for their illness…..again, seems high….
I’d be interested to learn the average age of a customer at a marijuana dispensary. Logic would say that the average should be 50+ as it should be “mostly” (not all) older folks who suffer from the illnesses that benefit from smoking marijuana. My concern and the anecdotal evidence I have says that the typical customer is in “his” mid- 20s.
I have no problem with legitimate use by sick people but I believe (again, my evidence is only anecdotal) that the current system is rife with abuse.
I’d be absolutely in favor of El Camino Hospital dispensing marijuana to sick patients….the fact that “marijuana only” dispensaries need to be opened just does not correlate with a how the proponents are presenting this.
Call me a NIMBY but I don’t want this for Mountain View.
Posted by Bruno, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, 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 Reality, a resident of the Blossom Valley neighborhood, on Feb 25, 2010 at 3:12 pm
Where are all these nightmare scenarios playing out in communities that have had responsible MMJ dispensaries going on for years?
No really, Santa 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. Oh,I correct myself, the nightmare of increased tax revenue has been seen by Santa Cruz on top
Posted by Shawn L., a resident of the Rex Manor neighborhood, on Feb 25, 2010 at 3:30 pm
I am a 45-year-old homeowner and law abiding citizen of Mountain View.
My own anecdotal evidence collected from collectives I've visited in Santa Cruz and San Jose is that medical marijuana patients span all walks of life and all (legal) age groups. While what I've seen is no doubt limited, it is at least informed by real experience-something lacking in the above comments.
Get yourself a legal prescription for marijuana and visit the collectives. You will be surprised by the degree of professionalism and by the degree to which good people are attempting to provide high-quality patient care. At least then you won't be ignorant or so glib in your remarks.
Posted by Hardin, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Feb 25, 2010 at 3:32 pm
"You will say the testimony of those many thousands of people is anecdotal and needs to be done by men in white coats in a controlled environment -- but your average drug approved by the FDA gets nothing close to this kind of scientific scrutiny. Indeed, today big pharmaceutical companies DO deliver their products "to the marketplace in alpha" and then find out later what happened to their customers. "
Really? I've worked in the biotech industry, supporting drug approvals and drug manufacuturing overseen by the FDA. Life cycle for developing a drug is measured in years, not months, and companies must factor in substantial budgets to support the mountain of animal testing, phase 1 and phase 2 clinical trials, and documentation that is required by the FDA before approval of a drug for sale and distribution. Those records, and samples of development of these drugs must be kept for years after initial approval, in case they are needed for reference by the FDA. In addition, white papers like the ones you provided for marijuana are routinely done to ascertain the effects of drug under a myriad of conditions. Not sure where you are getting your information that supports “alpha”testing of any drug in the marketplace.
The drug you refer to as an example of cavalier testing refers to the “months” it took to discover that the drug had an adverse effect under CLINICAL conditions, it was not released as “alpha” to the general public. And your example here actually highlights the reason why testing is so important. Even a drug that has gone through all the testing the FDA requires still can be dangerous under specific conditions not tested for adequately.
Rather than trying to prove a negative, I challenge you to prove a positive: Show me another Schedule 1 drug (marijuana is currently considered Schedule 1 by the FDA) that is currently in use legally as medicine, with little documented scientific testing, and being distributed outside a pharmacy. If that’s too hard, try identifying a Schedule 2 drug that meets those criteria.
These are the same criteria you are advocating that marijuana should be allowed to enjoy.
Touting marijuana as medicine, for people who are sick, and who are especially vulnerable to negative side effects if/when they occur, requires a higher burden of proof than, “Well, its been around for thousands of years so it must be ok.”
Posted by Bruno, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Feb 25, 2010 at 3:45 pm
Maybe it's been placed as a Schedule 1 drug for all the wrong reasons. Look at the other Schedule 1 drugs and tell me how they compare.
"Touting marijuana as medicine, for people who are sick, and who are especially vulnerable to negative side effects if/when they occur, requires a higher burden of proof than, “Well, its been around for thousands of years so it must be ok.”"
Did you completely skip my last post? If it's about negative side effects maybe you should agrue against chemo too. You say people are "sick and vulnerable" and in the same breath you argue against their RIGHT to medicine. It is their right after all, by law.
Posted by tbone, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Feb 25, 2010 at 3:49 pm
Shawn L - The only reason anyone would have a "legal prescription" would be if they were seriously ill.... Your comment that I should just "go get one" suggests that there are people are "gaming" the system....
Posted by Reader, a resident of another community, on Feb 25, 2010 at 4:19 pm
Since I am neither a cop nor a biotech expert, I'll leave it to you to explain all the vagaries as to which drugs are Schedule 1, Schedule 2, etc. and why.
But don't spend too much time on it, since there already is a marijuana derivative on the market which has pleased all the relevant authorities -- politicians, big-pharma CEOs, law enforcement authorities and biotech, doctors and scientists. The DEA describes it (somewhat hilariously, given the current debate) this way: "Medical marijuana already exists. It's called Marinol." (Web Link)
How much more attractive Marinol must seem to the above-mentioned authorities than pot. After all, such a big long expensive process went into inventing, vetting and marketing this pill -- and now a dumb plant which grows for free stands between them and their profits.
Though you would be loath to think of it this way, by now the medical marijuana debate really boils down to aesthetics. Some people just love authority -- the process, the testing and categorizing, the poking and prodding. Others are willing to go with what their own eyes tell them. As a friend of mine once put it, some people wouldn't believe the time of day unless a cop told them.
As for the counter-example I cited earlier, the article I quoted states, "Natalizumab first received FDA approval in November 2004, only to be pulled from the market three months later..." I take "the market" to mean the market, as in available for purchase. I don't doubt there were many thousands of Hardins working diligently under strictly regulated scientific conditions to determine its safety. Yet it made people sick. As you no doubt know, there are many such examples.
Now I challenge you to prove a positive and tell us about the many people -- the "lemmings" as it were -- who have suffered terribly (or really at all) from marijuana use.
Posted by Hardin, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Feb 25, 2010 at 4:21 pm
"Did you completely skip my last post? If it's about negative side effects maybe you should agrue against chemo too. You say people are "sick and vulnerable" and in the same breath you argue against their RIGHT to medicine. It is their right after all, by law."
You've missed the point. Its not about having medicine that has no side effects. Every drug has side effects. Whether its Chemo or Marijuana, the point is to have done the appropriate amount of testing so that its known what the benefits AND negative side effects are, for a representative portion of the population. The real question with any medicine is: "DOES THE BENEFITS TO THE PATIENT OUTWEIGH THE NEGATIVE SIDE EFFECTS?"
If you don't know what the benefit vs. negative side effects are, because there is insufficient documented research based on controlled studies, you can't answer this fundamental question.
Posted by Hardin, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Feb 25, 2010 at 4:33 pm
"As for the counter-example I cited earlier, the article I quoted states, "Natalizumab first received FDA approval in November 2004, only to be pulled from the market three months later..." I take "the market" to mean the market, as in available for purchase. I don't doubt there were many thousands of Hardins working diligently under strictly regulated scientific conditions to determine its safety. Yet it made people sick. As you no doubt know, there are many such examples."
Did you read your article? The patients that were found to have the adverse side effects were discovered in the CLINICAL trial group. It was because of this discovery, the drug was pulled off the market, and no reported effects were reported for the general public.
That is exactly why all the testing and studies are needed. Thinking something is safe, is different from proving something is safe.
And yes, it was because of all those hardworking, "don't gloss over the details" type people in white lab coats that the effects were discovered in the CLINICAL trial, which PREVENTED injury to the general public.
You also failed to mention that the drug was permitted to be released back into the market in 2006, with new restrictions and greater oversite to address its side effects.
Posted by Bruno, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Feb 25, 2010 at 4:54 pm
""DOES THE BENEFITS TO THE PATIENT OUTWEIGH THE NEGATIVE SIDE EFFECTS?""
Why don't you read the side effects I listed and judge for yourself, you don't seem to have a problem judging so it should come natural. I'd say the answer is a resounding YES. If a side effect for a cancer drug is that it makes you hungry or laugh, that's not a bad thing in my eyes. You claim more research needs to be done, but it's already been researched 1,000 times over. You'd think if there were serious (more serious than chemo?) side effects that we'd know about them by now.
And while you ponder the legitimacy, people remain sick and in need. You value your time more than theirs, and they may not have much time left.
Posted by Hardin, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Feb 25, 2010 at 4:58 pm
But don't spend too much time on it, since there already is a marijuana derivative on the market which has pleased all the relevant authorities -- politicians, big-pharma CEOs, law enforcement authorities and biotech, doctors and scientists. The DEA describes it (somewhat hilariously, given the current debate) this way: "Medical marijuana already exists. It's called Marinol."
Good example. Marinol is classified as a Schedule 3 drug, which means it requires a doctor's prescription and is only available through a pharmacy. The white papers related to it do indeed list beneficial AND negative side effects for Marinol, and its prescribed for off label use.
So, explain again why Marinol, which is essentially a derivative of Marijuana, is required to go thru the usual hoops most drugs go thru, but you propose Marijuana should be exempt from?
Posted by PeaceLove, a resident of the Shoreline West neighborhood, on Feb 25, 2010 at 5:19 pm
Are we all forgetting that cannabis is not a drug? It is a plant! Who decided that *anyone* should have the right to ban a plant in the first place?
Marijuana has literally *millenia* of use, during which time the death toll stands at ZERO. Our own government, which keeps morbidity and fatality statistics on just about everything, admits as much. Marijuana can't legitimately be compared to any pharmaceutical drug because unlike all manufactured drugs - aspirin, Ritalin, chemo drugs - it is overwhelmingly safe. "Safer than many foods we commonly consume," in the words of DEA Administrative Law Judge Francis Young.
The argument that cannabis dispensaries will somehow make it easier for kids to get pot is specious and obviously silly. Dispensary operators, like liquor store owners, have a huge incentive to make sure their wares stay out of the hands of kids. Kids who want pot can easily find it in their schools, a situation that should actually improve once marijuana is legalized and regulated like alcohol.
As far as the contention that 202,000 Californians with Medical Cannabis cards seems like a lot: Just about everyone I know who uses marijuana would say that their use is in part medicinal. Who's to say what is and is not a legitimate use? I know people who use it to control their depression and ADHD. I know a successful businessman, husband and father who uses a small amount every night to help him relax and process the day's events. Marijuana helps millions of people in myriad ways; I'm sure the actual number of users who would consider all or part of their usage medicinal is at least an order of magnitude higher than the number of card-carrying patients.
Posted by NativeMV, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Feb 25, 2010 at 5:41 pm
As a native of Mountain View who has lived here my entire life (Springer School, Blach Jr. High, MVHS), I have a deep passion in keeping Mountain View safe from anything that will become a detriment to our Community. Recreational use of cannabis for non-medical purposes lies within these values. And so the question lies: Will medical cannabis collective/s within the City of Mountain View allow for a greater probability of general access to cannabis to those who have not been authorized to do so by a certified physician? This, to me, seems like the big question Council needs to weigh. Asking the MV City Council to pass judgment on the 1996 voter approved legislation is not their responsibility; managing this legislation in conjunction with other City priorities, is. Luckily, there are numerous opportunities for Council to explore different collectives in nearby Cities. I would suggest looking at ARC Healing Center (www.archealingcenter.org) in San Jose or Harborside Health Center in Oakland. Requiring verification of a physicianâ€™s recommendation, valid identification, agreement to the rules of that collective, etcâ€¦ all act as buffers so that only those who are lawfully allowed to gain access to the medicine do so (as per CA State Law). Requiring annual inspection fees and/or additional fees will allow the City to recoup any costs in keeping these collectives accountable. By designing an ordinance that balances the needs of the Community with the needs of the patient, Mountain View can show itself as a template for how a local municipality can manage the wishes of the general public (via a voter approved initiative). And with plenty of resources (both for, and against) available for Council and/or Staff to make a reasonable decision, I am hopeful that Council will see that safe access to cannabis will not be a detriment to our Community, but show Mountain View as the compassionate, real-minded City it has shown in the past. BUT, these resources need to be accessed in order for such a decision to be made (and not merely attaching the White Paper to a proposed ordinance as the basis for action).
Posted by Thom, a resident of the Shoreline West neighborhood, on Feb 25, 2010 at 6:05 pm
More people with wrong information coming here and telling people why the city should not allow this business. To the poster that claims to be an MD. I was frightened at your use of the english language first and foremost, then your uneducated views on medical marijuana. And to answer a question she asked. Yes, I can get prescription drugs if I chose to do so. There are plenty of docors out there that "ain't" afraid to issue a 'script'.
Next, there are existing patients living in Mountain View with legitimate reasons for using medical marijuana. They go to Redwood City, Fremont, San Jose, Santa Cruz to obtain what they need. Cities already making money from the taxation. I agreed with Jon Lustig most of the way through these discussions however I disagree with his statement regarding taxing it. I am also aware of the profit potential to those owners of these clubs, or dispensaries. As a former medical user, I can also say it got me through some really tough times. I no longer use it which means not everyone out here will abuse it.
I also agree that at this point in time it is too easy to get the medical marijuana recommendation. This is why I said all along there needs to be stricter guidelines, and the doctors must be held accountable. One day I happened to be in Fremont to get some from one of the local places. I wlaked in and saw a group of 30 people signing papers, getting their pictures and handing over $150 cash to the doctors assistant. I was shocked at this and to be honest upset that this guy would take advantage of the situation.
But 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.
Posted by Hardin, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Feb 25, 2010 at 6:30 pm
“You contend that making a decision on a dispensary is 'not right or wrong, it's premature'. Marijuana has been on Earth since before beer and to say its regulation is 'premature' is tantamount to saying that 'we're awaiting proof that marijuana is dangerous/deadly and we need more time to discover how this will destroy our community. No dispensaries until we have proof that pot is bad'!”
Um, so are you inferring that marijuana is like beer and should be regulated like beer? Beer does have regulations in place, but then again it isn’t called medicinal and no one is claiming they drink for their health.
So pick your poison, either
1. You are talking about marijuana as medicine. In this case, virtually anything you use as a medicine, especially if its classified as a drug, goes through testing and FDA approval and gets distributed thru a pharmacy.
2. You are talking about marijuana as recreational, like beer, and that it should be treated , handled, and considered like beer. If that’s the case, neither the Federal government nor the state of California currently allows the use of marijuana for this use. Its illegal.
In either case, you are barking up the wrong tree. The reason you are seeing resistance to your movement is because you’ve ignored all the established systems in place for ensuring proper use of a substance, and instead have opted to create your own system, that as presented, leaves a lot of open questions.
Posted by Hardin, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Feb 25, 2010 at 6:56 pm
"And while you ponder the legitimacy, people remain sick and in need. You value your time more than theirs, and they may not have much time left."
That's a nice straw man you've got there, but let's clarify the whole point of this discussion.
The State of California sanctions the medicinal use of marijuana. It also gives localities, like Mountain View, the authority and jurisdiction to decide how medicinal marijuana is transacted within city boundaries. So the discussion about whether or not marijuana is medicine, is strictly for the purpose of deciding whether or not a dispensary should be allowed in Mountain View.
So contrary to your assertion, NOBODY IS TAKING AWAY ANYONE'S MEDICINE, OR ULTIMATE ACCESS TO IT. There are other dispensary's located outside of Mountain View that can serve the need. In the end, the only question that will be answered in this discussion is whether or not Mountain View should permit a dispensary.
Posted by Shawn L., a resident of the Rex Manor neighborhood, on Feb 25, 2010 at 7:39 pm
"1. You are talking about marijuana as medicine. In this case, virtually anything you use as a medicine, especially if its classified as a drug, goes through testing and FDA approval and gets distributed thru a pharmacy."
I'm trying to follow your argument here, but I don't quite understand how your rigid standard applies to a weed.
At what point does marijuana qualify in your book to be classified as having medicinal applications?
I referred you to the SFGate article that cited a scientific study stating that marijuana is effective at reducing pain. More studies will be done, so we'll continue to learn more. But simply having the FDA approve the drug and then having a pharmaceutical company issue a form of the drug for exclusive sale in a pharmacy does not take anything away from the medicinal application of what I may grow in my back yard. (I understand that until this FDA approval occurs, you're not going to accept the idea that marijuana has a medicinal use. Fine.) What I am getting at here is that you are arguing for is a one-size-fits-all approach to "medicine." Have you never mixed a bit of brandy with honey to make your own cough syrup? Is there not a medical use for alcohol?
I happen to think that if a by-the-book "conclusive study" finds a medical use for marijuana we as a civilization should not have to forfeit our traditional methods of delivery, i.e., smoking, eating or other, in order to purchase a manufactured capsule. But I don't see that your definition could allow for that.
Posted by Shawn L., a resident of the Rex Manor neighborhood, on Feb 25, 2010 at 7:52 pm
"So the discussion about whether or not marijuana is medicine, is strictly for the purpose of deciding whether or not a dispensary should be allowed in Mountain View."
No, the law states that medical marijuana use and possession is legal. The ability of cities to ban dispensaries is under review in the Anaheim case cited earlier.
The question for Mountain View is whether or not it will allow for dispensaries to exist--and that may not be up to the city, ultimately. And if dispensaries can exist in Mountain View, how should the city zone and regulate them?
I am not interested in satisfying your standard for marijuana as medicine. I am interested in providing patients access to marijuana that by law they have a right to possess and use.
I also want to say, Hardin, that while I strongly disagree with you on the points that we have discussed here, I do appreciate you taking the time to articulate your concerns and position on this important issue. I hope we'll get a chance to meet at City Hall. Bring the best argument you can fit into three minutes and let's have some fun!
Posted by Hardin, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Feb 25, 2010 at 8:47 pm
But simply having the FDA approve the drug and then having a pharmaceutical company issue a form of the drug for exclusive sale in a pharmacy does not take anything away from the medicinal application of what I may grow in my back yard. (I understand that until this FDA approval occurs, you're not going to accept the idea that marijuana has a medicinal use. Fine.) What I am getting at here is that you are arguing for is a one-size-fits-all approach to "medicine." Have you never mixed a bit of brandy with honey to make your own cough syrup? Is there not a medical use for alcohol?
To be sure, the colloquial term for medicine can mean many things. But that's not what this discussion is about. What you do in your backyard is your personal business. What remedies you take, in whatever mixtures and conncoctions is strictly up to you.
But when a municipality is asked to weigh in on a question that bridges as many issues as marijuana, involves setting up a dispensary for a drug that has the history marijuana has, and lacks the information that most medical drugs do, then the validity of marijuana becomes everyone's business in that community.
Well, thanks all for the involved discussion. I do understand better where you all are coming from.
Time for me to take some of your advice Shawn, and pour myself a nice glass of brandy with just a touch of honey...
Posted by Reader, a resident of another community, on Feb 25, 2010 at 9:02 pm
The bulk of this "discussion" has been you quoting other people, then ignoring the quotes and talking to yourself. Note the way you continued to carry on with "schedule 1" this and "schedule 2" that, thinking you were scoring zingers, long after I'd addressed and dismissed it and moved on.
That's why I signed off at 5 and you continued to issue your rebuttals at 6.
The bottom line is this thing is going to happen -- is happening, will continue to happen -- no matter what you or I write here. And no one will be hurt, despite your deep and abiding concern.
Posted by Hardin, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Feb 26, 2010 at 12:29 pm
"Let us leave aside this one small example, as you're using it to evade the many larger and more important points:
* The existence of actual verifiable truth outside of a laboratory
* The existence of drugs which passed FDA approval and clinical trials, and still turned out to be harmful in ways not previously understand (do you acknowledge that this has ever happened?)
* "Medical marijuana already exists. It's called Marinol."
To dispel any notion that I may be ignoring you, here are my responses to your direct questions:
1. * The existence of actual verifiable truth outside of a laboratory
To be honest, I'm not sure what you are asking for. "Verifiable truth" to me means data that's been collected in controlled conditions and then verified by independent parties to confirm the data. That's how its verifiable. Under my definition, I haven't seen "verifiable truth" for medicinal marijuana use. That's not to say it doesn't exist, and if you are aware of some, I'd love to review it.
If by "verifiable truth" you mean anecdotal testimonials by hundreds of people over thousands of years, then you'll need to demonstrate how that's verifiable. My grandmother's recipe for chicken soup is stupendously good and great "medicine", and I could give you a laundry list of family members that have benefited from it, but that doesn't qualify it as medicinal if I want to now have the City allow me to open a dispensary to serve it to the general public as medicine.
2. * The existence of drugs which passed FDA approval and clinical trials, and still turned out to be harmful in ways not previously understand (do you acknowledge that this has ever happened?)
This happens all the time. No drug is absolutely safe. That is exactly the reason for all the testing requirements. There is no drug out there that we fully know the effects of on the human body, especially if you consider age, sex, body types, race, medical condition, etc... You will have unexpected results when using a drug. The question is whether you find out about them SOONER, or LATER. Testing allows you to find out more sooner.
Do you know the effects of marijuana use on driving? How about the medicinal effects of marijuana use as compared to the placebo effect? There are studies being undertaken right now to answer these questions. The jury is still out.
3. * "Medical marijuana already exists. It's called Marinol."
Posted by Jonathan Lustig, a resident of the Castro City neighborhood, on Feb 26, 2010 at 1:35 pm
â€ślocalmomâ€ť 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 1,000â€™s of feet away from any social gathering venues (Schools, Youth Centers, Churches, Parks).
Big Al â€“ I get the sense youâ€™re insinuating â€śother Lustigs running aroundâ€ť would be a bad thing.
I am sure you know me well.
May God bless you.
Hardin â€“ â€śThose "validated" recommendation letters are bought and sold on the internet (Kids, close your eyes, you didn't read that).â€ť
I have just spent 15 minutes searching Google and I can only find â€śprequalification for medical marijuana cardsâ€ť which then â€śrequire face to face consultationsâ€ť.
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€śADHD is a crazy-*** reason for getting dope.â€ť
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 youâ€™re not really dedicating yourself towards listening or researching the issue.
â€śBy the wayâ€ť, youâ€™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€śSanta 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.â€ť
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€śShow me another Schedule 1 drug (marijuana is currently considered Schedule 1 by the FDA) that is currently in use legally as medicineâ€ť
Do you realize the only way that the Justice Department and the FDA can categorize Cannabis as a â€śschedule 1 drugâ€ť?
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€śSchedule 1â€ť drugs MUST fit within the criteria â€śno proven medical valueâ€ť.
â€śno proven medical valueâ€ť??!!
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€śschedule 1â€ť â€śno proven medical valueâ€ť drug makes it illegal to be prescribed by doctors no matter how effective they believe it to be for their patients conditions.
â€śLicensed physiciansâ€ť â€śrecommendâ€ť it under California law.
Cocaine and Amphetamines are â€śschedule 2â€ť drugs, which can and are prescribed every day by doctors to patients, suspicious donâ€™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 theyâ€™re not consumed on the premises or dispensed hot, I canâ€™t understand what the rationalization would be for taxing Cannabis.
Some consider taxing Cannabis makes it more â€śsocially acceptableâ€ť 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 isnâ€™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€śBut 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.â€ť
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 patientâ€™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€śSome 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 malnutritionâ€ť.
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 doctorâ€™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 livesâ€¦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 donâ€™t believe such a person exists on our city council.
â€śThe 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.â€ť - MLK
Posted by PeaceLove, a resident of the Shoreline West neighborhood, on Feb 26, 2010 at 1:38 pm
Hardin: You are really stuck on the idea that this plant in question should be treated like a drug. We do not treat other botanicals that way; why should cannabis be any different? It certainly can't be that cannabis is particularly dangerous. Despite a century of "reefer-madness" hysteria, the actual death toll from cannabis stands at zero.
Many billion-dollar industries are threatened by legal medical cannabis, including the pharmaceutical industry (see the link in my previous comment) and our vast prison industrial complex. Moreover, the only reason cannabis is treated like a drug in the first place is because the government arbitrarily decided to effectively outlaw it in 1937--a ban that was strongly opposed by the AMA, by the way. So the discussion is circular:
1. Cannabis is illegal, therefore we have to treat it like a drug.
2. Because it is illegal we refuse to let anyone even study its possible efficacy as medicine.
All bogus. Cannabis is "safer than many foods we commonly consume," and a majority of Californians (56%) favor outright legalization. Support for medical marijuana is in the 80% range. Compassionate Californians voted 14 years ago to allow the use of cannabis as medicine with a doctor's recommendation. How people use it and for what ailments is a private matter between them and their doctor.
We don't ban vitamin C, echinacea or St. John's Wort while studies are ongoing. We don't ban alcohol, which is quite toxic and more addictive than cannabis by far but is widely used in our society. There's absolutely no reason why cannabis, a safe plant with millenia of usage, should be banned, either.
Just as there's no reason to believe a medical cannabis dispensary would bring anything but revenue and a useful service to Mountain View residents.
Only thing I'll add is that this particular site had a lot of traffic, I kept losing my place in the forums because of new entries.
This is not to stay that marijuana does not have true medical applications and benefits. Even the scarce research that is starting to come out suggests it does. But how we go about controlling this substance in its application and distribution, can mean the difference between effective medicine and irresponsible use.
Posted by Jonathan Lustig, a resident of the Castro City neighborhood, on Feb 27, 2010 at 11:03 am
Hardin - those links don't support your statement that children can get a prescription for Cannabis online. Those individuals are speaking about going into an office to see a doctor (Am I missing something??). One talks about beind a smoker from "way back". One person is from California, the rest are from out of state. Where are these children and doctors you speak of that are abusing our medical Cannabis system?? Implying kids can obtain recommendations from doctors online was not validated. Scare tactics like those create prolonged suffering for the sick! Let's keep this discussion factual please.
Posted by Big Al, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Feb 27, 2010 at 11:23 am
You tend to speak with such authority about this topic that impassions you so much and of which you are a key advocate to bring it to this city. May I ask what your qualifications are, such as education, years of time in your particular profession, number of scholarly and peer-reviewed publications on your topic, etc? It seems to me all you do is surf the web for you straw man and ad hominem arguments and smoke pot for hyperactivity and headaches (which I can sympathized with). I think this city deserves a little more authority and perspective on this. If anything, you are probably hurting your cause.
Posted by Old Ben, a resident of the Shoreline West neighborhood, on Feb 27, 2010 at 4:38 pm
Hardin, are you familiar with acetominaphen? Maybe you recognize it as Tylenol. It went through all of your hoops quite nicely. Any child can buy it at any convenience store. It is completely legal. It is the #1 cause of catastrophic liver failure in the USA.
Marijuana is harmless, and in many cases beneficial. No one has ever died from an overdose of marijuana. Opening clinics isn't going to turn Mountain View into East Palo Alto.
Posted by PeaceLove, a resident of the Shoreline West neighborhood, on Feb 28, 2010 at 1:15 pm
Hardin: I also checked out the links you provided. All of them follow discussions by people who use cannabis medicinally.
As far as the desire for "scientific" documentation, there have been hundreds of studies from all over the world showing the safety and efficacy of cannabis. Unfortunately, precious few have been done in the U.S. because the federal government has consistently blocked such research. A majority of California voters approved the use of cannabis for medical purposes 14 years ago but the government has systematically and deliberately done everything it can to prevent any progress on the issue in this country
The only solution has been to do an end run around the "scientific" process (a politically loaded process, apparently) and bring the medicine directly to people who need it. Of course, since cannabis is a botanical *plant* it should not be subject to the same rules as synthetic medicines in the first place.
Posted by Safe City Mtn View, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Feb 28, 2010 at 2:58 pm
Alcohol and tobacco cause more deaths and social problems than cannabis.
Cannabis will save this nation. Legalize it, tax and regulate it like alcohol and we will see a major drop in crime. Have you ever seen a violent stoner? Doesn't happen, cannabis has been known to calm people down. How about violent drunks? Yep, every bar in America has had their problems with out of control DRUNK patrons.
My point? Cannabis clubs are safer than bars. Don't believe me? Just take a look at the statistics from local police blotters.
I would be honored to have a cannabis club in Mtn View, CA. It is about time, change and the rights of voters of this great state.
Prop 215 was voted into law in 1996...it is now 2010 and we have had limited progress and mostly opposition to the will of the voters by members of law enforcement who are reluctant to listen to the laws.
America is paying billions of dollars a year on prohibition-era tactics that do not work. We pay to incarcerate low-level non-violent cannabis offenders when our money and effort should be used to fight the real crimes like child molesters, methamphetamine/crack/ heroin dealers, and burglars. We are currently saying that victimless marijuana use is a higher priority than all the other major crimes. This is bogus, insulting to us taxayers and needs to cease.
Posted by Hardin, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Mar 1, 2010 at 12:57 pm
"Hardin, are you familiar with acetominaphen? Maybe you recognize it as Tylenol. It went through all of your hoops quite nicely. Any child can buy it at any convenience store. It is completely legal. It is the #1 cause of catastrophic liver failure in the USA."
What is your point? Drugs can be misused and abused, Marijuana is no exception to the rule.
"Marijuana is harmless, and in many cases beneficial. No one has ever died from an overdose of marijuana. Opening clinics isn't going to turn Mountain View into East Palo Alto."
Lot's of big statements there, but without qualifying your statements with how you arrived at these conclusions, they're merely your opinion, nothing more.
"Untwist your knickers and join the 21st century."
The last time someone told me that it went like this: "Chill out, everybody is doing it". It came from a college buddy who was half stoned and offering me a joint...I didn't think that was a good way to rationalize a decision then either.
Posted by PeaceLove, a resident of the Shoreline West neighborhood, on Mar 1, 2010 at 5:12 pm
I believe this comment thread has run its course. Those who oppose medical cannabis will not be swayed by either facts or the anecdotal stories of thousands of suffering people who find relief in this natural remedy. However, to those who maintain that cannabis holds some special danger to women and children and puppy dogs and kitty cats, I present to you this handy chart.
Annual causes of death in the United States: Web Link (Spoiler alert: deaths from marijuana = 0)
Posted by Hardin, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Mar 1, 2010 at 8:24 pm
"Annual causes of death in the United States: Web Link (Spoiler alert: deaths from marijuana = 0)"
Wow, impressive number. Let's look at it a little more closely:
1. The link provided takes you to the webpage of the CSDP (Common Sense for Drug Policy), an advocacy group promoting medicinal marijuana.
2. The "statistical" comparision is actually an advertisement that was run in several papers. (Read the disclaimer at the top of the page.)
3. Looking at the sources for each substance death rate number reveals that each number cites a different source for their origin, and even represents datasets from differing years. Most noteably, the source cited for the Marijuana "statistic" is the only one using DAWN (Drug Abuse Warning Network).
4. Here's a link to the DAWN database, compiled for 2008.
Query for "All Missuse and Abuse", and the webpage will provide you the option to download an 11 MB Excel spreadsheet with the results.
In the resulting excel sheet, you can select "died" for the dataset related to reported deaths.
In this report, Marijuana indeed shows up as "..." in all the data taken from 2004 - 2008, but "..." doesn't mean zero deaths. From the table notes it indicates that "..." means the error in the data is too great to render a reliable number, and therefore no number is reported. IT DOESN'T MEAN ZERO. To highlight this point, alcohol alone deaths are also reported as "...". In fact, about 90% of the substances on the list show as "...".
So what does the advertisement really tell us? Only that the pro marijuana movement is more interested in providing numbers that support an agenda, rather than shed light on a contentious issue.
Since we're slinging weblinks now, here's some I found one from 2 government agencies,
US Department of Health and Human Services - Web Link
Posted by Hardin, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Mar 1, 2010 at 8:37 pm
"The only solution has been to do an end run around the "scientific" process (a politically loaded process, apparently) and bring the medicine directly to people who need it."
I'm glad you cleared that up for us. Agreed, I think this is exactly how this issue has been handled,to the detriment of marijuana's credibility.
And calling the scientific process "politically loaded" is bit like the pot calling the kettle black, considering how Medicinal Marijuana has been promoted in this forum. And if we abandon the scientific process as unreliable, what more reliable, objective source is there to get information about Marijuana? You?
To put things back into perspective, the purpose of this discussion is not to take medicine away from people, its not even to decide if marijuana is medicine or not. Ultimately, its whether Mountain View should have a dispensary. At this time, as many Cities have said "no" to dispensaries, as have "Yes", and both are abiding by current State Law in doing so.
Posted by hometownmv, a resident of the Blossom Valley neighborhood, 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!
Posted by PeaceLove, a resident of the Shoreline West neighborhood, on Mar 2, 2010 at 4:18 pm
Hardin: You, sir, are a worthy opponent!
The U.S. government keeps extremely detailed records on mortality from all causes in the U.S. Those charts showing the number at zero come originally from federal records. But you don't have to take my word for it. The DEA spent 2 years researching marijuana back in 1988 and, along with stating that marijuana "has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States," the judge ruled:
4. "Nearly all medicines have toxic, potentially lethal effects. But marijuana is not such a substance. There is no record in the extensive medical literature describing a proven, documented cannabis-induced fatality."
5. "This is a remarkable statement. First, the record on marijuana encompasses 5,000 years of human experience. Second, marijuana is now used daily by enormous numbers of people throughout the world. Estimates suggest that from twenty million to fifty million Americans routinely, albeit illegally, smoke marijuana without the benefit of direct medical supervision. Yet, despite this long history of use and the extraordinarily high numbers of social smokers, there are simply no credible medical reports to suggest that consuming marijuana has caused a
6. "By contrast aspirin, a commonly used, over-the-counter medicine, causes hundreds of deaths each year."
- Judge Francis Young, DEA Administrative Law Judge, 1988 Web Link (VIII, 4-6)
You say the "end run around the scientific process" has worked to the detriment of marijuana's credibility. Actually, as the DEA ruling from 22 years ago shows, marijuana is widely recognized to have medical benefits. As far back as 1990, 44% of oncologists in one survey had recommended (illegal) marijuana to at least one patient. Web Link More recently, the American Medical Association and the American College of Physicians have both recommended further study of marijuana's use as a medicine. In California, the overwhelming majority (70-80%) support making marijuana available for medical purposes.
But again we're back to the dirty circle. The federal government has cruelly blocked virtually all serious research for decades. Web Link So the government can continue to say to patients: "Even though you believe cannabis helps you, it's possible that you are mistaken. So we won't let you use this natural botanical substance until we can make a regulated, controlled, tested, (patentable) drug out of it."
"But, of course, we control the only legal supply of the plant and we refuse to let any scientists use it to do legitimate research. It's only been 14 years since a majority of California voters enacted Prop 215. Maybe we can wait until hell freezes over before we move on this."
You accuse the pro-medical cannabis folks of playing politics as if that's somehow a bad thing. Bypassing bad, cruel federal laws using the political process is exactly what we are *supposed* to do; that's the essence of American democracy. The voters spoke clearly back in 1996. Now we are trying to get Mountain View to honor the will of the voters by allowing compassionate care dispensaries.
Politicizing politics isn't a bad thing. Politicizing science is. The pro- medical cannabis majority are not the ones politicizing science. That is entirely the federal government's fault.
Posted by Alan R, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Mar 2, 2010 at 8:42 pm
Mountain View should have a medical marijuana dispensary because the alternative is to have people get their marijuana from street dealers. While dispensaries pay taxes and blend in well with other businesses, street dealers sometimes cause all sorts of trouble. Its best to have people going to a store instead of a gangbanger.
Posted by Hardin, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Mar 3, 2010 at 8:54 am
"The U.S. government keeps extremely detailed records on mortality from all causes in the U.S. Those charts showing the number at zero come originally from federal records. But you don't have to take my word for it."
1. The DAWN weblink I provided is the source cited by the advertisement that purports zero fatalities due to marijuana. It is the federal record you are referring to, and there is no substance in that report, including Marijuana, that has zero deaths. Where the dataset was unreliable, a "..." was put, including for Marijuana. Again the "zero" count you speak of does not exist, it was incorrectly extrapolated by the creators of the advertisement.
And even if a "zero" count did exist for Marijuana,
2. The other substances in the DAWN report, like alcohol, have a much lower incidents of death than what is shown in the advertisement. In other words, the creator of the advertisement deliberately cherry-picked statistics from different sources to increase the perceived toxicity of all other substances, and to enhance the perceived safety of marijuana.
Its like picking out the "A's" in your kid's report card from kindergarten thru high school, ignoring the other grades, and then concluding that Junior is an "A" student...
You may justify this as acceptable "playing politics", but the bottom line is that it is misleading and not a factual representation of the data, and it was presented in such a way as to be difficult to detect...like any advertisement.
Posted by Hardin, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Mar 3, 2010 at 12:02 pm
"The DEA spent 2 years researching marijuana back in 1988 and, along with stating that marijuana "has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States," the judge ruled:....- Judge Francis Young, DEA Administrative Law Judge, 1988 Web Link (VIII, 4-6)"
We've been down this road before.
1. The judge you are referring to was an administrative judge who rendered an OPINION on this case. The ultimate ruling was made by the DEA's head administrator, who has the jurisdiction to render an actual ruling, and he/she rejected this judges opinion and maintained Marijuana to be a Schedule 1 drug. There's no basis in law for your assertions, just an opinion by one judge.
2. The opinion made by this judge was back in 1988. Aside from the fact that its not current anymore, no new rulings or opinions have been made since, that support this judge's opinion. No precedent has been set.
In essence, this judge's opinion, and all the quotes you've referenced from it, are rendered as significant as anyone else's on the matter of Marijuana.
Posted by Hardin, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Mar 3, 2010 at 12:18 pm
"In California, the overwhelming majority (70-80%) support making marijuana available for medical purposes."
"The voters spoke clearly back in 1996. Now we are trying to get Mountain View to honor the will of the voters by allowing compassionate care dispensaries."
California Prop 215 passed with 56% in favor and 44% against. Unless you consider Bush's victory against Gore a resounding mandate for the country, I'd question your characterization of a clear consensus on this issue.
So when you proclaim that you are honoring the will of the people, be assured that you are doing so for roughly "HALF" of the people.
Posted by kid, a resident of the Blossom Valley neighborhood, on Mar 3, 2010 at 8:50 pm
this last comment need to understand from a teens point of view that marijuana is the easiest drug to get in mountain view, they dont realize most drug dealers have people who grow legal weed for a marijuana club. Most kids are smoking the weed that will be suppiled to adults, it will just make it harder for kids to get it isnt that what we want, weed is easier to et than alc
Posted by Reader, a resident of another community, on Mar 5, 2010 at 10:54 am
"There has been a blare of criticism surrounding the role of the pharmaceutical industry in research and testing. The industry funds much of the testing done for the F.D.A. Drug companies donate money to hospitals, sponsor posh conferences in exotic locations, provide inducements to physicians to prescribe their drugs, lobby the F.D.A. and Congress—for example, successfully to prevent Medicare from using its bargaining leverage to reduce the price of medications—and generally use their profits to keep a seat at every table." ...
"Science, particularly medical science, is not a skyscraper made of Lucite. It is a field strewn with black boxes. There have been many medical treatments that worked even though, for a long time, we didn’t know why they worked—aspirin, for example. And drugs have often been used to carve out diseases. Malaria was 'discovered' when it was learned that it responded to quinine. Someone was listening to quinine. As Nicholas Christakis, a medical sociologist, has pointed out, many commonly used remedies, such as Viagra, work less than half the time, and there are conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, that respond to placebos for which we would never contemplate not using medication, even though it proves only marginally more effective in trials. Some patients with Parkinson’s respond to sham surgery." (Web Link)
Hardin's unshakable faith in the scientific method as applied to medicine is itself a sham. He seems to lack any concept of the larger picture- the politics, economic interests and scientific and moral confusion which accompany the process he so loves.
But at least he knows where his bread is buttered. (Plus, he's obviously enjoyed playing devil's advocate and showing off his superior intellect. This fits the mold of the know-it-all technical type, a common personality in Silicon Valley. These are men - they're always male- who think their minds have constant access to unassailable logic, even though they don't.)
As I stated earlier, nothing Hardin, me or anybody else says here will make a bit of difference. This is happening, like it or not.
Posted by localmom, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Mar 6, 2010 at 7:18 pm
I would like to independently verify Alan R's hypothesis that a pot dispensary can "easily blend in with other businesses". Can someone please reefer (oops! Pun intended) me toa RWC or other nearby shop where I can form an educated impression of what our city council might be approving at some future date. Thx!
Posted by PeaceLove, a resident of the Shoreline West neighborhood, on Mar 8, 2010 at 12:19 pm
Localmom: Web Link Just enter your zip code and you can find all the local dispensaries. Please go speak with the folks there to find out how courageous and compassionate this movement really is.
Hardin: Prop 215 was passed by a simple majority of Californians 14 years ago. This has now grown to an overwhelming majority of *all Americans* (80%) today. Web Link That counts as a clear consensus in my book.
The reason proponents like me cite the 1988 DEA Ruling is because it is such a clear example of science being trumped by politics. The choice of the DEA head administer to ignore science and leave cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug was a slap in the face to the scientific method. In the 20-plus years since, the government has consistently blocked science and lied about the safety and efficacy of cannabis.
You have to be pretty naive to think the government will ever allow the science to proceed unless We the People force the issue by doing an end run around the cruel and corrupt approval process.
Posted by Steve Fang, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Apr 12, 2010 at 12:51 am
Whoever is opposed to this is extremely retarded. the city is getting smarter each day, they are sick and tired of seeing their money going into other cities because their city don't have the balls to open up a dispensary due to stupid politics and dumb old minded people who is fully brain washed by government's propaganda on marijuana.
I am a prop 215 patient my self due to injuries during my military service, when you go travel to S.F. or S.J. each dispensary asks where you live and which zip code you are from, all those gets reported. You think mayors don't talk to each other about this stuff? They know how much a dispensary can help the city's economic crisis.
Posted by scotty, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Sep 21, 2010 at 12:21 pm
In ancient times cannabis was thought to be sacred and thought of as the herb of knowledge. Kings smoked it habitually and used it as a means to expand knowledge for wise and compassionate living among there kingdoms. The view of the opposing parties on this web page have been framed by hundreds of years of social conditioning about the use of cannabis. The existence of cannabis in the Americas has been completely oppressed by monetary acquisition through similar substances (tobacco, lumber, oil). The truth is cannabis and hemp could be used in place of all of these now oversized corporate industries whose power has become far scarier than the legalization of a plant. Think about why you don't like cannabis. It is medicine, structural material, clothing, and food Yet the way it makes you feel and think is its most powerful use. Open your mind and realize the truth about cannabis. It is amazing and can alter your perception from one of negativity and darkness to one of hope, compassion, and wisdom. Dont fear your child may use marijuana. Fear that they follow the path of so many Americans who entrap themselves in monetary and mental slavery everyday. Fear that they will get a job that consumes there entire life and persuades them to believe they need to purchase and own things. Fear that they may never seek there true goals but strive for monetary gain and social status. This comes from my heart and is no joke.