There is a legitimate concern that Medical Marijuana dispensaries (also referred to as "co-ops") are opening up at Clear Channel digital billboard pace and the city has kind of lost control of the situation, and the issue of how many dispensaries are actually needed in the city and that side of the issue will be discussed in future blog posts. But, first, before we move on and have a serious and practical conversation about this snowballing-by-the-day issue, ZUMA DOGG IS GOING TO HAVE TO DE-BUNK A LOT OF THE "REEFER MADNESS" PROPAGANDA PR BEING PUT OUT THERE BY THOSE WHO SIMPLY DO NOT BELIEVE THERE SHOULD EVEN BE ANY DISPENSARIES.
At this time I would like to note, over the past three years, Zuma Dogg has been an activist covering a wide spectrum of citywide issue, including the city hall sink and hasn't discussed the medical marijuana issue much, because there hasn't been much action over the past three years.
But at this point, I DO FEEL THE MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARY ISSUE HAS BECOME A FRONT-BURNER ISSUE THAT YOU WILL BECOMING VERY FAMILIAR WITH. From the guy who brought you early coverage of "subprime/foreclosures" - "recession" - "budget crisis" - pension problems...NOW is adding MEDICAL MARIJUANA as an issue that the city will have to try to get it's arms around in a way that is much bigger and more of an issue than the C.C. billboard issue.
ZD has done the math, and combined it with his street level, cultural projections and this is one of about three tsunamis the city will be dealing with.
And again. the biggest issue that first needs to be addressed is the "I'm going to vote 'NO' on all hardship exemption cases, because I do not believe in medical marijuana and these are just a bunch of kids wanting to get high then commit crimes in the area."
BULLSHIT!!! Don't paint yourself into a corner, because you said things like, "We don't have a lot of subprime deals in L.A." I was told, "The pension investments are fine and solid." I was told, YOU ARE NOT RIGHT ABOUT A LOT OF THINGS. So now, I am going to have to debunk the "Reefer Madness" propaganda bullshit element of this issue.
Get over the fact that people who you do not think have real medical issues are getting prescriptions. I would like to see the police reports...
If people are "flipping" medication (buying it at a co-op and going outside and selling it on the streets) right outside the co-ops, then cops know exactly ow where to hang out to write tickets and arrest criminals. (The city needs to raise money and is always looking for new tickets to write!)
You don't close down 7-11 because someone buys a beer and drinks it on the street corner, you arrest the guy with the open container.
You gotta look out for the drugs that are killing people. kids take Zanex now.
People make comments like, The dispensaries are right in front of schools."
First of all, these dispensaries operate in commercial zones. And they are not RIGHT IN FRONT OF A SCHOOL. Who are you kidding. And let's just say a dispensary IS right IN FRONT OF (I assume you mean "close to") a school, for example a strip mall with a pizza place and dry cleaners and whatever.
They are not selling to the school kids.
If someone is going to a dispensary and selling the medication near a school (which is bullshit), then bust the person doing an illegal drug deal, like you would in any situation.
You do not close down a liquor store or deny new 7-11's because someone might buy 40 ounce beer and drink it down the street.
If someone is seen doing that, cops will write them a ticket or arrest if necessary.
And a bigger problem than weed for kids is the hardcore prescription drugs that have become the real epidemic.
You do not say, "No more Rite-Aid pharmacies because the prescription drugs are hitting the streets."
ENFORCE THE BEHAVIOR!
Again, doctors prescribe Vicoden, pharmacies fill the prescriptions, and sometimes the medication make it into the hands and mouths of others than the prescribed.
I really do not think that they medical marijuana dispensaries are operating in the ways that the critics are claiming.
And if there are examples of renegade co-ops (I've never seen them), then GOOD...the cops have their jobs made easy for them: Just like they set up drunk driving traps for people leaving bars, they can monitor the area around these problematic co-ops and bust all the crime happening around it.
HOWEVER, the cops will be standing around lonelier than the Maytag repair man, or an Antonio for Governor Campaign Manager, because the reality is, these operations are the most discrete, most secure, safest operations in town.
One of the co-ops today was denied it's hardship exemption because of complaints contained in police reports. I would like to see those reports. What kind of crime is happening at that location on Ventura Blvd in Woodland Hills?
It's on the complete edge of the city and is like a ghost town in that area (no offense, it's just on the edge of the city, right where Venutra Blvd is getting started, and it's about as gansta as a Barney TV shoot.
Point is, the City has to been seen like they are taking control of the situation, which they already lost control of.
Don't worry, as usual I have immersed myself into this issue, because I now feel it is a FRONT BURNER issue now, and will be sharing the information that will be leading this regulation and reform, which in large part needs a public perception PR campaign. Because there is a lot of myth/perception versus reality.
STANDING OFFER: If any investigative group or involved decision makers would like to do a random spot check of 10, 20, 50 dispensaries...I will make those inspections with you and you can show me all of these alleged problems. I SAY IT'S BULLSHIT, FOR THE MOST PART.