Home > Eureka California, marijuana > Eureka Marijuana dispensary hearing continued

Eureka Marijuana dispensary hearing continued

This image will not appear on any Eureka marijuana dispensary sign.

UPDATE: Here’s the agenda for Thursday’s special meeting.


The Eureka City Council will hold a special meeting Thursday to continue its discussion on medical marijuana dispensaries in the city limits.

The Council will vote on modifications to the city’s ordinance which will prevent dispensary frontage on Broadway, 4th or 5th Streets, prevent visible plants, graphic representation of plants, include sign size limitations, and define “care giver.”

Following the long discussion that lasted past 11:30pm, it appears the council will only invite two potential business to submit applications to the Planning Commission — Compassionate Care and Natural Green Health Center — rather than three.

About fourteen people spoke during the public comment period, all were in favor of dispensaries in Eureka.

  1. skippy
    March 16, 2011 at 2:19 am

    Reporting very accurate news surprisingly quickly, Heraldo hit on all the points with equal brevity. The City Council will again meet this Thursday, March 17, at 4pm to discuss the matter further.

    Yours truly was impressed with the entire City Council tonight: As other Council members leaned in to closely hear Mr. Madsen lead in his opening comments following the discussion by the Humboldt Wellness, Natural Green Center, Compassionate Care dispensaries and 14 other proponent citizens, he detailed his overall questions and concerns with an open minded, careful, and honest clarity tempered by his usual good common sense and consideration. Mr. Newman, the surprising and sometimes doubtful wild card, surprisingly followed smartly in the same suit with admirable… compassion.

    Ms. Brady and Ms. Ciarabellini, having previously done their educational homework along with the rest of the Council learning the issues of Medical Cannabis 101, conservatively asked cogent, articulate, and valid questions about product, site location, signage, and tax revenue that were forthright and reasonable. Ms. Atkins was her usual informed, aware, and very ethical self. Mayor Jager– well, God bless him, Frank was also his usual self, too. He smiled. Twice.

    The 14 members who previously spoke in favor of the medical marijuana issue did a fine job: members of the community, some with serious ailments, some not; some your next door neighbor, Uncle, Father, or perhaps your dearest Mum, all blending into the fabric of the good community by and large. What wasn’t represented were the derelicts, scoundrels, bumpkins, druggies, stoners, and the nebulous toke-smoking bong-drunk ne’er-do-wells who simply weren’t in attendance. No, these folks present were your good, common, hardworking folks who believe in compassionate care, use, and access for the very ill or hurt.

    Whatever the Council decides this Thursday, yours truly believes the issue is in good hands. This Council showed they’re working together, reading their material and talking with constituents, discussing the issue intelligently, asking all the right questions of import, and (perhaps) willing to move past set opinions and prejudices of times past with good critical decision making skills, a sense of justice, fairness, and compassion.

    This City Council is taking the prudent course of planning by setting rules, guidelines, and policies of medical marijuana by the taking the small, careful, and well-thought-out procedural steps and review we saw tonight.

    Don’t worry Council: this will turn out alright, nothing will be broken, nothing will go terribly awry or sideways. It’ll be OK. Especially for the very sick. Thank you for both your courage and kind compassion. Yours truly was impressed tonight.

    March 16, 2011 at 5:17 am

    Good report Skippy,

    and remember too, councilembers receive “feed-back” about the blog discussions…..so, it is likely that some of what is deliberated is actually the result of other peoples’ deliberations. Just sayin’ that originality is far from being practiced by elected officials. Afterall, politics is easier when the “elected one” in charge has a mainstream outlet of opinions to dibby-up. The real skill-set is to be able to hear nothing, see nothing, read nothing, etc… AND STILL be able to knock it outta the park. Political decision makings today are more rife with plagiarisms it seems, sadly, allowing for the wrong politicians to be commended for the good decisions not their own, while allowing those duck and coverer types a nice containment system for the various nuclear fall-out issues.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  3. Curley
    March 16, 2011 at 7:03 am

    Legalize it altogether. Now.

  4. March 16, 2011 at 7:24 am

    I agree, Curley, put an end to this ridiculous, time consuming, costly and agonizing sham.

    Legalize it now.

  5. Decline To State
    March 16, 2011 at 7:42 am

    While this all sounds like good news and things seem to be moving forward I still don’t like seeing medical marijuana and the dispensary’s being singled out for any different treatment than other medicines or the pharmacies distributing them. Do these location, sign size and graphic limitations apply to rest of the more “legitimate” medical communities?

  6. Big Al
    March 16, 2011 at 7:50 am

    I … Agree with … Rose..??
    guess so…

  7. March 16, 2011 at 8:04 am

    How ’bout we remove all the liquor stores along Broadway, 4th, and 5th? I’m extremely mortified every time I drive past these purveyors of liquid sin. Perhaps all the fast food restaurants should be removed as well; after all we are in the middle of an obesity epidemic in this country.

    We should definitely try to hide these awful medical marijuana businesses because, gee whiz, what will happen if outsiders find out that we (gasp) grow marijuana in Humboldt County? What will become of our shining reputation as a paragon of churchiness and sanctity?

  8. Anonymous
    March 16, 2011 at 8:06 am

    We were told the same thing about Three Mile Island, except then cancer rates rose for people living where the plumes traveled.

    Answer this: How much radiation has been released? You won’t find an answer. Why is that? When the people who control information tell you everything is fine, but won’t tell you the severity of the situation with actual data, don’t believe them just because the alternative is too fearsome to face.

  9. Goldie
    March 16, 2011 at 8:26 am

    It appears the members of the council did some homework on the issue and were more informed this week. The people who took the time to call, email and show up at the meeting made a difference.
    And! Softball is able to return! Again the citizens stepped forward willing to take on some responsibilities.
    I do hope this council continues to embraces citizen input and works with the people who are willing and more than able to create and maintain Eureka’s financial and cultural well being.
    Cooperation is worth its weight in gold.

  10. High Finance
    March 16, 2011 at 8:37 am

    It was sad to see Lance refer to the pot as “medical product”.

    He just should have called it what is is, Dope.

    And by the way, you want the dope to be treated like any other medicine ? Huh ? All other medicines, even aspirin, have to be made in super clean facilities and its manufacture is heavily regulated.

    Nobody even pretends that pot is made in the same way as any medicine is.

  11. Ed
    March 16, 2011 at 8:45 am

    I’ll pretend that opium isn’t the basis for most pain relievers Hi.

  12. Plain Jane
    March 16, 2011 at 8:49 am

    And they don’t use cocaine in medicine either, Ed.

  13. Ed
    March 16, 2011 at 8:55 am

    don’t pretend to admit that willow bark has no history as an analgesic Jane.

  14. Goldie
    March 16, 2011 at 8:59 am

    I forgot………….. THANKS LINDA!

  15. Plain Jane
    March 16, 2011 at 9:14 am

    Humans are and have always been dopers. HiFi prefers his in liquid form (for the taste only :D) and like many boozers, thinks his choice is fine but everyone else’s is dope. The fact that alcohol kills more people than any other drug (other than cigarettes) and more crime than heroin, meth, cocaine and pot combined is irrelevant as is the fact that over 100,000 people die every year due to prescribed drugs dispensed by a pharmacy. Pot is the devil’s weed!

  16. Anonymous
    March 16, 2011 at 9:42 am

    wonder if this will re-open the door to medical cocaine prescripts? wouldn’t that be sweet. better then cigarettes and booze, right?

  17. Mark Sailors
    March 16, 2011 at 10:15 am

    “And they don’t use cocaine in medicine either, Ed.”

    “wonder if this will re-open the door to medical cocaine prescripts? wouldn’t that be sweet. better then cigarettes and booze, right?”

    Here’s a news flash for you, you can already get cocaine and other “caine” drugs by prescription already. Have you ever been to a dentist?
    Cocaine is Schedule II,a category of drugs considered to have a strong potential for abuse or addiction but that have legitimate medical use. Among the substances so classified by the Drug Enforcement Agency are morphine, cocaine, pentobarbital, oxycodone, alphaprodine, and methadone.

    Schedule I,
    n a category of drugs not considered legitimate for medical use. Included are heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), and marijuana.
    Schedule II,
    n a category of drugs considered to have a strong potential for abuse or addiction but that also have legitimate medical use. Included are opium, morphine, and cocaine.
    Schedule III,
    n a category of drugs that have less potential for abuse or addiction than Schedule I or II drugs and have a useful medical purpose. Included are short-acting barbiturates and amphetamines.
    Schedule IV,
    n a medically useful category of drugs that have less potential for abuse or addiction than those of Schedules I, II, and III. Included are diazepam and chloral hydrate.
    Schedule V,
    n a medically useful catiegory of drugs that have less potential for abuse or addiction than those of Schedules I through IV. Included are antidiarrheals and antitussives with opioid derivatives.




    As we all know this is bullshit, to the highest degree, but what do you expect from the Federal Government.

  18. Reinventing The Wheel
    March 16, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    The council informed itself and begrudgingly did the right thing while a few Heraldo posters wallow in their ignorance and bigotry.

    It was disappointing to hear Ciarabellini claim,”I’ve done the math”, in order to undermine the value of having new, higher paying jobs in Eureka. She said, “a dispensary making $1 million in sales will ONLY earn Eureka $17,500, (not enough to cover their negative impacts)”. How ignorant and dishonest to ignore the overall sales tax increases anytime higher-wage employees are added to a community.

    I suspect the annual sales will be much higher than $1 million, this is probably less than what the Sea Grill takes in.

    Imagine if George Bush had announced the feds would no longer enforce assault weapons bans, and higher-paying arms manufacturers wanted to locate in Eureka!?

    “Pot doesn’t cause addiction or crime, people do”.

    The hypocrites may now resume their ignorant whining.

  19. skippy
    March 16, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Reading the comments, there’s not too much to worry about. But, by all means, worry if you like– although it would be much ado about nothing. The firsthand observation by yours truly stands. Did you see the meeting, understanding the thorough methods and steps being used– and the sick people who spoke?

    The Council is initiating the right rules and guidelines in all the right places. The two facilities chosen (out of a possible six culled from 26 initial applicants) having been properly vetted are professionally discrete in both their outlook and operation, being small, low key, nonprofit caregivers wishing to comply with all that is being asked of them by a very prudent, conservative, and careful City Council.

    A moderately conservative person, yours truly could respond to the naysayers but the Council has redundantly addressed these concerns through a thoughtful process.

    The Times-Standard’s stalwart Allison White carried more information on this matter, “Two Medical Marijuana Facilities to Apply for Permit in Eureka,” in
    her article today.

  20. longwind
    March 16, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    I appreciate and agree with your reporting as usual, skip. I’d add that we find ourselves at the beginning of a long education process for the new Council, which has shown itself to be open-minded and willing. They can’t be blamed for not knowing what they don’t know.

    The third dispensary was eliminated for a bad reason, in fact because of their distinctive strength: they planned to distribute only outdoor MMJ, rather than the warehouse weed offered by the other two. The Council seemed to think outdoor pot invited ‘diversion’ and other uncontrollable criminality. No one mentioned routine Chain of Custody practices already in place at many collectives.

    I suspect they haven’t considered that every pound of indoor pot produces a ton of greenhouse gases, and requires unnatural expedients to achieve what nature does without ill-effect, with solar power that doesn’t even need solar panels!

    There will be another round of public hearings after the proposed changes are introduced this Thursday. My guess is new voices will pipe up this time around.

    HiFi, Melinda later realized that additional revenue opportunities exist. You should too.

  21. Random Guy
    March 16, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    “The third dispensary was eliminated for a bad reason, in fact because of their distinctive strength: they planned to distribute only outdoor MMJ, rather than the warehouse weed offered by the other two.”

    That gets a big DUH. I agree, had to be because of the clout (read: respect) such a place would have had, and given a bit of leverage to the counter-council…rightfully so, IMO.

    “I suspect they haven’t considered that every pound of indoor pot produces a ton of greenhouse gases, and requires unnatural expedients to achieve what nature does without ill-effect, with solar power that doesn’t even need solar panels!”

    Bullshit hogwash. And how many “greenhouse gasses” per cheeseburger or deli sammich, had this been another quickie meal stop? Or in the creation of a gallon of paint, had a house paint wholesaler been trying to open shop? And would anybody have even brought it up? Etc. etc. etc…the indoor vs. outdoor argument is being created by people who care about the money more than the medicine. The supply still can’t scratch the demand. Talk first about changing the problem rather than the symptom…it’s important enough.

  22. Random Guy
    March 16, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    …alright, my last paragraph is a little harsh, but I really can’t stand outdoor marijuana growers putting down indoor marijuana growers. Of course growing plants outside is the way to go…but look at how viable that is right now, and how growing plants under indoor lights is an infinitely better, and much lighter use of resources than countless other everyday outlets of industry. COUNTLESS…you couldn’t even count them, unless you were some kind of rain man.

  23. longwind
    March 16, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Actually, the discussion’s driven by people dismayed to see an ancient herbal botanical becoming an impoverished captive pharmaceutical product. It was better than Oxy-Contin when your grandma smoked it. Would you like your burger-cows grown under lights too?

  24. Random Guy
    March 16, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    The arcata grill makes a mean tofu burger. I don’t know how they manufacture their tofu. There’s not enough conflict within the industry to throw any delimas in my face about it.

  25. longwind
    March 16, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    Random Guy, I appreciate your take-back. I feel just like you do, about indoor growers’ slags on outdoor pot, which they frequently call ‘dirty,’ as in ‘dirty hippies.’ As if it’s unnatural to grow plants in dirt and sunlight. I hope I don’t seem to suggest that’s sick.

    I meant to report what happened at the meeting, by describing the alternative choices that Eureka’s cannabis committee recommended to the new City Council, and how their range of choices was misunderstood and eliminated.

    For many reasons we’ve been over on this blog already, I think the choice between indoor and outdoor should exist everywhere, until market forces eliminate indoor, because their technologies of concealment won’t justify their waste and expense when pot becomes legal enough. But I don’t dislike you as a person.

  26. Random Guy
    March 16, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    “eliminate indoor”…whatever. I totally get what you’re sayin…I ain’t sayin, I’m just sayin…bigger picture.

  27. Random Guy
    March 16, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    …an outdoor-grown only dispensary would (and someday will) be a huge hit. Could have been sooner than later in Eureka. A shame the city council doesn’t at least get that part of the bigger picture, if not the parts that longwind pointed out about other obvious sensibilities.

  28. Random Guy
    March 16, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Is there an accessible database of what businesses are applying to establish and where in Humboldt?

  29. longwind
    March 16, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    As far as I know there’s, what, three? dispensaries in Arcata, two just invited to apply for a Conditional Use Permit in Eureka, one approved by the county and open just outside Eureka on Myrtle (which is suing the other one approved by the county 100 feet away, so it hasn’t re-opened yet), and one outside of Garberville just got the go-ahead from the county 2 weeks ago. I’m sure other applications are being written right now. Have I missed any?

    I don’t think there’s a database.

  30. medical patient
    March 16, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    The city passed an ordinance designed to stop the proliferation of indoor grow houses and then approved the two dispensaries that will be Eureka’s biggest indoor producers. Seems hypocritical. Eureka’s medical patients will only have access to indoor grown cannabis. Shame on the city counsel. They need to let Humboldt Bay Wellness open. They are now trying to change the ordinance to justify their punishment of HBW. They didn’t want them to open on fourth street even though it fit the ordinances zoning and is a perfect location. They are having a city counsel meeting tomorrow at 4. Please come out and express your concern that Eureka will have limited access to medical cannabis.

  31. Anonymous
    March 16, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    God forbid anyone criticize unrestricted drugs. Your obsessions with pot are pathetic. Bunch of stoned tax dodgers.

  32. Random Guy
    March 16, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    511, your obsession with taxes and regulation is really really pathetic. Bunch of sheltered flag wavers.

  33. skippy
    March 16, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    Pay attention to Longwind’s points as he’s been shown to be knowledgeable, informed, and thoroughly versed in all policies Humboldt for some time now. His complementary additions are accurately on the mark and rarely stray.

    If you’re interested in this thread or reading more about the local subject, yours truly suggests the latest North Coast Journal cover article by the capable Ryan Burns, “Truce: After Decades of Trench Warfare, Pot Growers and the Local Governments are Making Nice” (Sorry, the article link isn’t up as of this writing– but the print copy is available.)

    The article notes many individuals on the forefront of this issue. One colorful Humboldt mover and shaker mentioned, Charley Custer, summed up his thoughts as such:

    “We really believe in open communication, and we hope that more and more people will be talking with their friends and neighbors about how our economy will evolve here, Custer said. “If we can get marijuana out into the open– get it accepted as a fact of our lives– we’ll all be more comfortable figuring out how to work with it for the benefit of everyone.”

    Understandably, not everyone may be comfortable with this idea– yet Skippy believes Mr. Custer’s premise of open communication is the good and rational starting point.

    peace… skips

    (hmm…. wonder where Owltotem’s been lately. Anyone heard from him?)

  34. Reinventing The Wheel
    March 16, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    Everyone but council member Atkins made it clear that they were very uncomfortable and uninformed in trying to deal with this issue. Then, after heart-rendering public testimony, they took turns dumping every regulation they could imagine onto it…every imagined condition was then followed by enforcement concerns…followed by the costs of enforcement…

    we’ll see Thursday where that ends up.

    The council’s questions were so redundant and ridiculous that, after awhile, the applicants became programmed to respond to each one as a “negative”. At one point, the older applicant became thoroughly confused about whether or not his own application was for Eureka-grown product, or not.

    Much more confusion will result if layers of arbitrary regulations are slathered-on.

    It’s true that there are tourists who will call the police immediately if they see someone smoking pot, or exposing a breast…. but having a plant-leaf on a busy downtown advertisement will be an attraction for most tourists who already know damn-well where they are.

    Put that leaf and the Humboldt label on dispensary products, and all the other typical tourist stuff, and Eureka’s sales tax revenue will rise accordingly.

    Or don’t allow it, put up roadblocks, make business difficult in Eureka, and we can add the loss of Eureka’s dispensary sales to our lost light-industries…Arcata.

  35. Ha
    March 16, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Pointless. IRS will shut down it down. Hope they have deep pockets.

  36. medical patient
    March 16, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    Now they are trying to ban cash transactions and give the discretion of issuing CUP’s to the city council and not the planning commission. Drunk with power? You bet.
    Please come to the city council meeting at 4 pm tomorrow before they do more damage to the ordinance.

    March 16, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    After dispensaries, on to the various “Farmers Markets”.


  38. Goldie
    March 16, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    Have a look at the changes to the ordinance.

    The processing area in now included within the limits of the cultivation areas. No cash as Medical Patient reported only debit card, credit card or check.
    And everything that was before under the Planning Commission is now under the authority of the City Council.

  39. longwind
    March 17, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Thanks for the updates and info, Goldie and medical patient.

    As a semi-recovering ranter myself, it pains me to endorse Reinventing the Wheel’s informative rant at 8:26 last night. The Council’s rushed re-writes will be introduced at today’s special meeting at 4, when a new public hearing will be scheduled to discuss them.

    As we heard from Councilmembers themselves Tuesday night, the fact that half the dias consists of retired police officers weighs heavily on their thinking. The toughest cop so far is just-retired Captain Melinda Ciarabellini, who conceded “I’m just a law and order gal” who can’t get over what the feds have fed for 75 years and counting. We have to remember it’s sometimes possible to reason with law and order, but futile to argue with it, that being disorderly.

    Frank Jager was quoted by Lance Madsen (I think) as saying 215 recommendations are “80 percent fraudulent, 20 percent legitimate.” We can take that as an opening mind. I think it’s fair to say the Council’s aiming to knock back MMJ’s natural footprint in the city by, oh, 80 percent or so.

    But, being uninformed, they do that in unthinking ways. Two-square foot signage. No 101 locations. Requiring ‘legitimate’ (ie the most-suffering, often terminal) medical patients to use credit cards, when they are precisely the population least able to get them.

    I’m trying hard not to rant here. If we make our points as Eureka’s patients have with obvious great success over the past two weeks, I do believe minds will open more. The Council is trying, in their way, and now we have to try harder.

  40. Plain Jane
    March 17, 2011 at 10:35 am

    They just want to be sure that they don’t miss a dime of taxes on medical MJ sales, Longwind. They couldn’t care less about the actual patients’ hardships in complying with their no-cash rules.

  41. skippy
    March 17, 2011 at 11:52 am

    As a kind reminder:
    The Eureka City Council will meet today, Thursday, March 17, at 4pm to discuss this further– and vote.

    peace… skips

  42. longwind
    March 17, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    If they wanted taxes, Jane, wouldn’t they encourage business? I’m sure you’re right that they want an easy audit trail, but that’s just a symptom of what they really seem to want, which is to treat MMJ like regulated back-alley harlotry. Something shameful and secret from outsiders. That seems to be how they think of it, and that’s the rut of thinking we have to fill in with facts and compassion. At least there’s movement.

  43. Plain Jane
    March 17, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    Our big ugly jail is positioned where people going north or south can’t miss it, but MMJ outlets have to be out of sight of same tourists. Funny in a sick sort of way.

  44. skippy
    March 17, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    For interested readers the link of Ryan Burns’ article in the North Coast Journal is up:
    “Truce: After Decades of Trench Warfare, Pot Growers and the Local Government are Making Nice”

    It’s a good read.

  45. longwind
    March 17, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Just between us, our tarted-up jail overweening our Courthouse reminds me of the expression “Lipstick on a pig.”

    At least I’m not ranting.

  46. High Finance
    March 17, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    “Pot Growers and the local government are making nice”

    Like I said elsewhere, the new city council members won because of the enthusiasm of the conservative and moderates of Eureka.

    Those people don’t want legal pot houses in the city -period. The new council members could find themselves voted out next time if they dampen the enthusiasm of those people.

    And Frank Jager is wrong. A whole hell of a lot more 215 cards than 80% are fraudalent. There are quacks masquerading as doctors handing them out to anyone with $65. I’ll bet the frauds are 95%.

  47. Fact Checker
    March 17, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    High Finance “A whole hell of a lot more 215 cards than 80% are fraudalent.”

    Where did you obtain this “fact”?

  48. tra
    March 17, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    A photo of Eureka’s courthouse/jail building — with it’s giant, butt-ugly, pink, late-20th-century-condominium-style jail addition, awkwardly mating with the older courthouse building — should be featured prominently in any Intro to Achitecture 101 textbook as an example of the kind of aesthetic monstrosity that every aspiring architect should avoid at all costs.

  49. Reinventing The Wheel
    March 17, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Thanks Fact Checker.

    It’s always entertaining to see others banish our resident provocateur. Expect trademark intimidation to suffice for his “facts”.

    How amusing to watch right-wing “defenders of freedom” demand higher accountability for licensed, personal usage of a non-fatal, nearly-harmless product!

    Imagine if our city council “discovered” that 85% of personal firearms were unregistered and decided to apply additional regulations, or ban further local sales!

    The hypocrisy is due to a chronically uninformed citizenry.

    If national trends are applicable, half of Eureka’s eligible voters aren’t even registered, and half of the registered voters abstain.

    To steal legitimacy, this city council, their defenders, and the media, always refer to elected candidates as “representing Eureka” or the “community” when, in fact, they represent the voters.

    The disgrace and outrage of a majority of non-participants is effectively censored.

    The price is our loss of personal rights and public treasure.

  50. skippy
    March 18, 2011 at 12:29 am

    “I’m shocked. What was a fair amount of goodwill present at our first meeting has turned into a wholesale changing of this ordinance,” Council member Linda Atkins sharply said after Community Development Director Sidnie Olson’s opening summary for the Eureka City Council’s Special Session this afternoon. “We’ll be here all night discussing changes if that’s what you want; this is the 10th meeting on the cannabis ordinance and we can have 3 or 4 more if you wish. This is stalling, we’re nitpicking the details to death, we have other priorities, we’re wasting time,” Atkins continued. “Use the ordinance, move it forward, send it to the Planning Commission.”

    With this rebuke and rocky start in hand, the City Council lunged forward detailing locations, non-illuminating signage and size, packaging, cultivation, language revisions, and the controversial policy of ‘no-cash’ transactions of the proposed cannabis ordinance after hearing public comments from 8 constituents (Matt, Mr. Leonard, Mr. Allen, and Mr. Drayton; Brenda, Carla, Ms. Dodds and Ms. Ritter).

    “This Council doesn’t need micromanaging but some issues need to be addressed,” Lance Madsen said. Council Member Melinda Ciarabellini said she wishes “to insure a framework of guidelines. I have to be comfortable with my constituents. Monitoring and independent auditing must be considered,” she said.

    Council Member Newman, sparing and brisk in his comments, flexibly yielded on signage, non-cash transactions, and surprisingly invited Humboldt Bay Wellness Center back to the bargaining table after their dismissal two days ago– but insisted the Council have the ability to revoke or suspend licensing of the proposed cannabis facilities, adding, “I think we can come to agreement.” Council Member Marian Brady agreed to points expressed, having her tape measure available to deduce necessary signage area as needed. Mayor Jager noted, “We can move on, we’re talking 2 signs here, not hundreds.” The Council moved on. Quickly.

    After clarifying language and policy intentions with Ms. Olson, the Eureka City Council finally moved ahead in their umpteenth session reviewing and revising draft modifications to the Medical Cannabis Ordinance and directing the Community Development Department sending it forward to the Planning Commission for action. The ordinance will return back to Council later in April for their approval. Or not?

    With this recommendation in hand, the Eureka City Council, City Managers Tyson and Knight, Attorney Bragg, City Clerk Powell, Times-Standard reporter Allison White, and, in her last and final session before the Public and Council, the thoroughly competent and exceptionally astute Sidnie Olson, AICP and Community Development Department Director of our Fair City for 14 fine years, adjourned shortly before 6pm after nearly two hours of a special Thursday session and walking out the doors– to enjoy the remainder of Saint Patrick’s Day… and all good things Irish.

  51. High Finance
    March 18, 2011 at 9:20 am

    Reinventing the Lie should stop his hilarious posts ! They are cracking me up laughing !

    If 90-95% of the thousands of 215 cards aren’t fraudULENT, the Eureka has to be the sickest place in the world ! The UN would be sending the World Health Organization emergency teams to us today.

    “Fact”Checker, just because you’re a liberal doesn’t mean you have to be dense all the time.

  52. longwind
    March 18, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Thanks as ever to you, skips, and to everyone showing up. Two steps forward, one step back, squiggle sideways, take up slack. It seems like the Council’s fears and concerns are being addressed, and we’re not just falling backwards. Good, hard work all around.

    Allison White’s still on the beat too:


    I’m glad to see the outdoor dispensary will be fairly considered after all.

    I agree Ryan Burns did a fine job in the Journal cover story, what do others think? It’s no surprise he flubbed explaining the screwiest aspect of the county’s dismal proposed pot ordinance, which concerns something that sounds as dismal as it is: our so-called “shaded parcels.”

    These came up repeatedly during the Code Enforcement hearings. The Task Force eventually joined the long, eminent line of county groups that have called for reforming this morass of failed county policy for more than 20 years.

    Shaded parcels are suspected by the Planning Department of being illegal in some way. They can’t prove it–but they nonetheless require that property owners prove they aren’t, and proving a negative is a well-known impossibility in many cases. There are guessed to be 5 or ten thousand such parcels in the county. And, alone among county industries, indoor pot permits are explicitly tied to this ghost of past practices that current landowners know nothing about.

    Owners don’t know they have a shaded parcel until the county tells them so–and refuses the permit or routine service owners ask for until they spend thousands trying to refute the negative, which usually concerns something that may or may not have been done decades ago. As the proposed ordinance sloughs sideways through its consideration we’ll all hear more about this.

    Meantime, is this how to regulate an industry? Or kill it? Eureka’s just one more step forward . . .

  53. March 18, 2011 at 9:44 am

    What exactly is a “Shaded Parcel”?

  54. longwind
    March 18, 2011 at 10:21 am

    The phrase is said to come from an actual parcel-map volume in the Planning Department. When the department thinks a property may not have gone through procedures prescribed by the Map Act, say, 30 years ago, when that property was sold 20 or 40 years ago, they literally pencil-shade gray that property in their master volume, and wait to pounce on its owner. When the unfortunate owner shows up at the counter to apply for a building permit, s/he’s told s/he must first prove that the law s/he’s never heard of was followed by previous owners s/he’s never heard of either. For example.

    If owners can’t–they often can’t–they can’t get their building permit, or any service at all. There’s no path of remediation. Yet those property owners were able to get their title insured, their property mortgaged and bought and sold like any property. It may be any property. Shaded parcels mean nothing to the real estate industry. But they do mean that property owners avoid the Planning Department, or if they don’t, they learn to.

  55. longwind
    March 18, 2011 at 10:23 am

    Fooey, I was trying to restore the normal font, and now I suspect I’ve doubly booby-trapped it instead. Does anyone understand “these HTML tags and attributes?”

    March 18, 2011 at 10:27 am

    From Longwind,

    Shaded parcels are suspected by the Planning Department of being illegal in some way. They can’t prove it–but they nonetheless require that property owners prove they aren’t, and proving a negative is a well-known impossibility in many cases. There are guessed to be 5 or ten thousand such parcels in the county.

    Response: Is it not interesting that there exists “NO PROOF” prior to making a claim and that since said claim is valid (just as a rape accusation), then the property owner must prove as false the evidence that does not exist but that which was used as an argument to make a claim…..yep, it is about keeping people in the process even when those very same people don’t know that they are in some process.


  57. Fact Checker
    March 18, 2011 at 10:52 am

    High Finance says:
    March 18, 2011 at 9:20 am

    “Fact”Checker, just because you’re a liberal doesn’t mean you have to be dense all the time.”

    That’s it?, that’s all you got? I inquire as to where you obtained your facts and all you have are insults? Classic No Class Finance.

  58. High Finance
    March 18, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    Silly “Fact” Checker. There are no statistics of any kind from anyone reliable about all the fraudulent 215 cards in Eureka.

    But all you have to do is use fracking common sense. Which explains why you are unable to comprehend.

    (sigh) So “Fact” Checker, what percentage of Eureka 215 cards do YOU think are frauds ?

  59. Plain Jane
    March 18, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Since medical MJ can be prescribed for a wide variety of ailments, unlike Viagra, and since most adults have at least one of these ailments, pretty much anyone could get a prescription and none of them would be fake. Makes you wonder if HiFi owns pharmaceutical stocks and doesn’t want MMJ cutting in on his profits since he doesn’t seem to care how many dangerous narcotic prescriptions are based on phony complaints.

  60. Fact Checker
    March 18, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    “High Finance says:
    March 18, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    (sigh) So “Fact” Checker, what percentage of Eureka 215 cards do YOU think are frauds ?”

    I do not know, I am searching for reliable data instead of clucking on Humboldt Herald.

  61. Sam Spade
    March 18, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Notice that self-proclaimed conservatives such as No Class Finance are “law and order” folks until 2:15, then they sing a different song.
    Cluck cluck, everyone who has a 215 card is a fraud and hates America, cluck cluck cluck.

  62. skippy
    March 18, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    Thank you, Longwind.

    Hi-Fi’s position should be taken into consideration. There’s certainly a proportion of bogus medical 215’s– but how many is anyone’s best guess. 95% as stated… or merely 10%? Depending on the prescribing Doctor, the ailment, what one considers bogus, and even the dispensary, there are, nonetheless, folks who genuinely benefit medically from cannabis, yours truly has found out.

    Speaking before the Eureka Council on Tuesday in black jeans, boots, cowboy hat, and using his common everyday language, an older gentleman named Mr. Wilson gave testimony after the wheelchair-bound lady suffering from multiple sclerosis. As the chosen dispensary applicant for the Natural Green Health Center, Mr. Wilson could be anyone’s conservative grandfather. He’d been a successful construction worker and business owner in a previous life suffering serious occupational injury breaking his back, fusing disks, spurring bones, and undergoing multiple surgeries. Explaining his dislike for the Oxycontin, Vicodin, and a host of other painkillers and ‘medicine’ prescribed at the cost of nearly $400 a month, he turned to his doctor for advice. “I can’t recommend marijuana,” his doctor said, “but you ought to look into it.”

    Mr. Wilson did. He read about the subject for years before finally seeking out a doctor for a 215 recommendation and starting his weaning away from modern pharmaceutical science.

    “I didn’t want to smoke marijuana so I found some of these edibles, lemon bars, and tried it. I ate them slowly, little nibbles at first,” he cautiously said. “They didn’t get me high but it sure took the pain away without any side effects. I didn’t feel drugged or bad. There’s a right dose to use, you’ve got to get it just right. It costs me $37 a month using those lemon bars. They worked good– and I felt really good for the first time in years. I wanted to look into this marijuana thing more, find out what works, and help others like me,” he said. “I’m not the smartest guy or speak the best,” Mr. Wilson continued, “but I can find the people who can.”

    Mr. Wilson has an unusually interesting nonprofit business model for his Natural Green Health Center.

    “We want to set up in the medical district, in the hospital areas. And find the right strains. Not get people high, but find out what– and how– it works,” he said. Develop the research and development end most of all. We want to do that more so than just dispensing pot to patients. Do it professionally and responsibly.” Mr. Wilson continued: “The way it’s set up now, you have to have– and be– a dispensary just to do the marijuana research. Marijuana needs to be be looked into, it should be certified so folks know it’s safe, how it works, and what they’re getting. Clean, organic, mold and toxin free, with the right components and medicine. The right kind. Not necessarily the high-powered kind of stuff grown indoors under lights that gets you really high, just what works the best to relieve pain, helps, and is the most effective,” Mr. Wilson said. “We’re also looking at proprietary information to be found. Later, possible applications towards veterinary medicine, too, if it’s classified as a Schedule II drug, which we expect to happen shortly.”

    Mr. Wilson has enlisted the services of a Crescent City attorney, Mr. Hook, specializing in business, agriculture, and compliance law concerning marijuana and related certification issues. While remaining courteously mum on the specific proprietary matters involved, yours truly believes Mr. Wilson may conservatively be looking towards possible proprietary patents in this newly developing field and cultivating experts furthering the proven evidence-based research and development of the medical cannabis industry taking place after having seen the light himself.

    Another dispensary applicant spoke shortly after Mr. Wilson, expressing medical cannabis being available to hospice patients wishing it during their final, dying days rather than physically seeking it out, furtively and illegally, on the black market.

  63. High Finance
    March 18, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    Prop 215 was passed posing as a last resort for people in the last six months of a terminal illness or something likewise deadly serious.

    Now anybody with $65 can get the card for any reason.
    PJ, if you have an “ailment” there are plenty of alternatives without getting stoned. There is not a real doctor in the world who would give a recommendation for getting drunk on Jim Beam because of a sore toe. Don’t pretend an “ailment” excuse for getting pot is anything other than a fraud.

  64. Not A Native
    March 18, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Hi Fi, FYI my physician prescribes only Johnnie Walker Red, she says Jim Beam has no medicinal properties whatsoever, just makes you drunk. Johnnie Walker has the correct pharmaceudical terroir, only it can cure what ails you. When drinking it, I don’t get drunk at all.

    Now, my doctor is researching Chivas Regal in the evening at home, says it may have even greater therapeudic benefits.

  65. tra
    March 18, 2011 at 2:56 pm


    Excellent report. Thanks for that.

  66. tra
    March 18, 2011 at 3:10 pm


    Unlike the complicated language and many-pages-long legal text that many propositions have involved, Prop 215 was only a couple of paragraphs long, and was written in very understandable, plain language. I think that the overwhelming majority of people who voted for it knew full well that they were, in effect, voting for a very broad partial legalization of cannabis in California.

    And according to opinion polls, 215 is even more popular with the voters today than it was at the time of passage, which is why we’re not seeing any attempts to roll it back — despite the abuses, real and (mostly) imagined that a minority of people get so worked up about.

    As far as your “sore toe” comparison, it sure sounds like Mr. Wilson’s injury was quite a bit more serious than that, and that he had tried a whole lot of other “conventional” medications (probably including several opium-based ones that leave you a whole lot more “doped up” than any amount of cannabis) before turning to cannabis.

    But I’m guessing that those facts don’t really matter to you, because on this particular issue, you seem stuck in the “I’ll see it when I believe it” mindloop — in other words you seem unable to accept any evidence that doesn’t comport with your close-minded, and rather out-of-date opinion about the medical usefulness of cannabis.

  67. Oldphart
    March 18, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    If I’m a terminal cancer patient, give me heroin like they do in England. Like I’m gonna get hooked? That and some Jamesons. Take the pain right away.

  68. longwind
    March 18, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    If HiFi watches the testimony to the City Council, he’ll learn that much medicinal use doesn’t involve getting stoned. And if he only had a brain he’d remember that alcohol indeed has medicinal benefits, universally acknowledged by all but him and NAN. Like everything, it has its uses and abuses.

    But I’m writing this to see what happens with a different HTML tag. Yippie!

  69. longwind
    March 18, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    Wow. That’s weird, but it ain’t progress.

  70. longwind
    March 18, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    Okay, I’ll give up now.

  71. tra
    March 18, 2011 at 5:03 pm


    Assuming you are being serious, I’m with you 100% on that.

    A few years ago, I lost a family member who fought a long, slow, losing battle with terminal cancer.

    At the very end, even the many patches, pills, and IV drips delivering morphine, fentenol, codeine, oxycontin, and other opiates and other painkillers the names of which I’ve forgotten — all of this together was STILL not able to prevent him from experiencing many, many hours of jaw-grinding pain in his last weeks.

    Apparently, from what I’ve read about the use of heroin in late-stage terminal cancer, at this point there is NOTHING ELSE that can knock that awful pain down as effectively as heroin can, at least not without killing you.

    As you noted, addiction is obviously not an issue at that point. Not having to end your life gripped by terrible pain, at least not when that may be avoidable, that is the issue.

    For those who will no doubt mock and dismiss the use of heroin in cases like this, I can only hope that they never get the opportunity to find out for themselves what it means to needlessly die in more pain that they have to, or — almost as bad — to watch that happening to someone they care about.

  72. High Finance
    March 18, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    Oldphart, as far as I’m concerned, if you’re terminal you are welcomed to take crack if that is what you want.

    Longwind, hmmmm, you smoke dope without getting stoned ?

  73. Mr. Nice
    March 18, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    Terminal patients shouldn’t be the only folks allowed to smoke crack. Besides fraudster schemes to get enough money to buy illegal crack, crackheads’ only harm to society is busting tv and radio antennas.

    Would still vote for proposition 216 to legalize rock for anyone with some kinna medical need for that shit.

  74. Plain Jane
    March 18, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    Pot can be prescribed to help you kick your alcohol abuse too, HiFi. Then you won’t be sending the message to your kids that its okay for daddy to get soused every night because he “likes the taste.”

  75. tra
    March 18, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    Longwind, hmmmm, you smoke dope without getting stoned ?


    Read up on the difference between THC and CBDs. The THC (which in the past has erroneously been referred to as if it were the only “active ingredient” in cannabis) is responsible for the well-known “buzz” one gets from cannabis. It’s also responsible for some of the therapeutic effects, like appetite stimulation and reducing nausea, that can be helpful, for example, in patients who have a hard time keeping any food down due to chemotherapy for cancer or AIDS. So if that’s what the cannabis is being used for, the “buzz” may be an unavoidable side effect.

    On the other hand, another major group of “active incredients” are the CBDs and that’s a whole ‘nother story. Basically, the CBD’s, which are at much higher levels in some cannabis strains than others (and much higher levels in the raw leaves and buds than in the smoke), those CBDs don’t get you “high.” So depending on what condition is being treated, in some cases more THC (and, welcome or unwelcome, the “buzz” that comes with it) may be desirable, while in other cases, more CBDs (which come without the “buzz”) are more desirable.

    It may surprise you to learn that apparently the low-THC/high-CBD strains are actually in high demand at the big dispensaries in the Bay Area, which suggests that there are a fair number of medical cannabis users out there that don’t want to feel “stoned,” or at least not any more than necessary to get the therapeutic effect they’re aiming for. Of course the high prices for the low-THC/high-CBDs strains are partly due to the fact that the supply just hasn’t caught up to that demand yet, due to the fact that for recreational and some medical uses, it’s the THC that people are looking for.

    And of course, until fairly recently, “THC content” was basically used as a synonym for “potency.” But what we’re finding out is that it isn’t as simple as just THC content (which may explain why synthetic THC pills aren’t as effective as the raw herb for some conditions).

  76. skippy
    March 18, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    Tra is correct about CBDs. Mr. Wilson and his Natural Green Health Center noted these CBDs specifically for their pain relief and the science research, strains, and development the company wants to pursue.

  77. Plain Jane
    March 18, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    As someone who has both smoked pot and drank alcohol, it is my experience that small amounts of alcohol cause more mental and physical impairment than a few puffs of pot. Regarding the narcotics v pot for terminally ill patients, that should be left up to the patient to decide if they want to be essentially unconscious from narcotics or prefer pot to reduce the most severe pain and spend time with loved ones. There is also the issue of breathing and digestive problems with narcotics which are alleviated by pot. It’s a tough choice that isn’t helped by hypocrites sucking down their booze while pointing their finger at others.

  78. March 18, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    Skippy, to close tags, the forward slash goes first, followed by the letter (“b” for bold, “i” for italics) and there is no space in the tag.

  79. skippy
    March 18, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    Thanks, Heraldo. Found that out, understand and get it. Especially after seeing your recent ‘quick notes’ of running down errant tags for closure. Skippy’s mental note to self: ‘Check tags for closure after proofing. No spaces, forward slash on closing tag before letter. Either look twice before clicking or look stupid and please don’t be a pain in the ass, too.’

    Yeah, that should do it.

  80. March 18, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    Soon it will be like second nature.

  81. tra
    March 18, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    I’ve only really figured out how to do italics and boldface .

    Those are easy enough, probably because they work almost exactly the same as the bold and italics tags did in word processing programs like WordStar and Wordperfect, way back in the 1980s.

    Someday when I’m feeling particularly adventurous, maybe I’ll try one of those fancy blockquote dealies.

  82. March 18, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    Easy enough, except you forgot to close the tag.

    No one listens to me.

  83. tra
    March 18, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    “…you forgot to close the tag.”

    I did? Or were you talking about Skippy’s earlier adventures?

    If you were talking about my 10:31 comment, then I guess you corrected it within seconds, because I never saw the error and your comment appears at 10:32!

  84. March 18, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    Did you mean for the rest of the comment to be bold? Even if you did you should still add a closing tag at the end of the text.

  85. tra
    March 18, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    No I didn’t mean for the rest of the comment to be in bold, so I guess I did screw up. You sure did catch it quick.

    Anyway, I’ll try to be more careful…particularly if I’m posting about how easy it is to use italics and boldface !

  86. March 18, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    I enjoyed the irony.

  87. Random Guy
    March 19, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Who cares if doctors and patients are faking 215’s…how else they gonna get back what Uncle Sam took away by force? Think of today as history in 200 years, and 200 years ago as today. Prohibitionists are going to be recognized as power hungry fear mongers as always.

  88. Random Guy
    March 19, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    …and I agree with Mr. Nice…a step further…completely decriminalize all drugs. The real drug is ignorance, the pushers are you-know-who.

  89. High Finance
    March 20, 2011 at 8:47 am

    Obviously 215 was a fraud that was only meant to lead to eventual public acceptance to legalizing pot.

    Those of us who said legalizing pot would eventually lead to legalization of all drugs have been criticised by pot advocates. Random Guy is just being more honest than most pot legalization advocates.

  90. tra
    March 20, 2011 at 9:03 am

    “Those of us who said legalizing pot would eventually lead to legalization of all drugs have been criticised by pot advocates.”

    Well it’s been 15 years since the passage of Prop 215, and we haven’t “legalized all drugs,” nor have I seem any major movement in that direction, so I’d say that the criticism of your “slippery slope” scaremongering is well-founded.

    Now if you limited your argument a bit, and said that many of the backers of 215 hoped to not only legalize cannabis for medical use, but also to legitimize cannabis use in general in the eyes of the voters, with a goal of eventual full legalization of cannabis, well I certainly wouldn’t argue with that. As I recall, some of the advocates, such as Dennis Peron, had made that argument either explicitly or implicitly.

  91. High Finance
    March 20, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Didn’t say it would happen overnight Tra.

    The next big step is the legalization of pot and that just narrowly lost last year. Once it passes the other drugs legalization campaign will start.

    It might be 15 years before it too narrowly loses.

    Things that were unthinkable before rarely passes all at once. Boiling water doesn’t work, the pan must be gradually heated over time.

  92. Mitch
    March 20, 2011 at 11:06 am

    I’ve got an idea that could prevent pot legalization from leading to the legalization of all drugs, HiFi.

    Let’s just outlaw the three most dangerous drugs. That would send youth a message, and pot could still be legal.


  93. tra
    March 20, 2011 at 11:47 am

    I suppose it’s possible that things could unfold as you’re predicting, HiFi, but I disagree with your assertion that 215 was a “fraud.” It was plainly-worded, easy to understand, and passed by a healthy margin. And even today, polls show that it enjoys even higher public support than it did when it was passed 15 years ago. The majority of voters got what they wanted, and are still getting what they want today, which is why there has been no move to repeal 215, and I don’t think there will be. That’s not “fraud,” it’s just a democratic outcome that you don’t happen to support.

    As far as whether to take things a step further and legalize non-medical use: That, too, is a decision that will be up to the voters, and as last fall’s failed proposition demonstrates, that decision was not pre-ordained when prop 215 passed 15 years ago.

    In fact, lots of folks justified casting their ballots against Prop 19 on the grounds that cannabis was already “legal enough” since medicinal use is already allowed under 215. In other words, the fact that the medical exception to the laws already exists under 215 meant that people were able to vote against Prop 19 without worrying about those patients who can really benefit from cannabis.

    So in this case, 215 may have actually blunted the movement for full legalization, rather than propelling that movement forward. (Of course Prop 19 had plenty of other problems, and was opposed by an odd, ad-hoc alliance ranging from traditional anti-pot conservatives and law enforcement interests, to regulation-fearing pot growers and pot-lovers, so the “215 is good enough” factor was just one factor leading to its defeat — but it’s possible that it may have been a decisive factor).

    I do agree that many of the people who pushed for 215 back in ’96 did hope that it might increase public acceptance of not just medical use, but of cannabis use in general (and I think they were right about that), and in so doing would help to increase the chances for full legalization of cannabis (that’s not quite so clear…see above).

    I also have no doubt that some of those original advocates for 215 may also be folks who may favor the legalization of ALL drugs. But I think that’s probably a pretty small minority of 215-supporters. I’m sure that some of those folks hoped that legalization of cannabis would inevitably lead to the legalization of ALL drugs, but I’ve seen no evidence (so far) that their hopes are being fulfilled.

  94. High Finance
    March 20, 2011 at 11:54 am

    You might be right and I might be wrong Tra. I doubt it very much but only time will tell.

    You and I understood what 215 meant. But I was arguing with other people at the time (and these included teachers and other professionals) who dismissed what I said as just the views of an alarmist. They insisted it would never be used for anything other than the terminally ill or at least the extremly sick.

  95. Auntie Arkley
    March 20, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    Somehow, I don’t think the “Legalize Heroin” campaign will get very far. However, I believe ALL drugs should be legalized as is the case in Holland. Truthfully, I’ve seen as much (actually more) damage done by prescription drugs as by “street” drugs, yet doctors and the pharmaceutical companies are not held accountable. They are the biggest drug dealers anywhere! Not only that, but they are drug dealers sanctioned, aided and abetted by the government. No wonder they are bringing in vast amounts of cash, just like drug dealers anywhere, except the legal drug dealers bring in astronomically more cash and gives lots of it to politicians who will maintain the drug companies’ monopoly and control over the health care industry.

  96. tra
    March 20, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    They insisted it would never be used for anything other than the terminally ill or at least the extremly sick.

    Then they didn’t read the proposition, or didn’t think very deeply about what the plain language contained therein would mean when applied by judges.

    215 did include a list of serious ailments that automatically qualified people for medical cannabis use. But there is also the phrase “or any other disabling illness.” I suspect that’s the phrase upon which the majority of 215 recommendations rest.

    Among those who do support cannabis being available for the seriously ill, but who don’t favor widespread use for less serious illnesses or for recreational purposes, it all comes down to the risk that some seriously ill patients are denied a helpful medicine in order to ensure that nobody who is borderline “unqualified” makes it in under the medical exception. In other words, which is worse: That some seriously ill folks suffer needlessly, or that some not-seriously-ill folks get to enjoy cannabis legally.

    It’s kind of similar to the old question about the justice system: Given that no system is perfect, should the legal system be designed to maximize the chances that no guilty party ever escapes punishment, even if that design means that some innocent people end up being convicted and punished for crimes they didn’t commit? Or should it reflect the idea that “it is better that a hundred guilty people should go free, rather than one innocent person be convicted.”

  97. tra
    March 20, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Just to be clear on my own position — I do favor full legalization of cannabis. Cannabis is far less harmful than several substances that are already legal (alcohol and tobacco) and which are not likely to be made illegal anytime soon. Cannabis, used in moderation, seems to cause few, if any, health problems. Even when used to excess, the problems tend to be far less acute or long-lasting than damage done by alcohol and “hard” drugs.

    Just as we don’t have to choose between the extreme of banning all private gun ownership, or at the other extreme allowing private ownership of thermonuclear devices, we don’t have to take an “all or nothing” approach to legalizing drugs. We can continue to “draw the line somewhere” without continuing to draw that line in such an illogical and counterproductive way.

  98. Mitch
    March 20, 2011 at 12:30 pm


    Once again, you endanger blog standards with your fucking reasonableness. Please stop it.

  99. Plain Jane
    March 20, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Tra takes reasonableness to extremes and I am tired of him shaming the rest of us with it! Just ONCE I’d like to see him blow a little steam and let out with a GTH or my favorite expletive to prove he’s human too. Or AT LEAST make a mistake once in a while! :D

  100. Mitch
    March 20, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    I read once on the internet that reasonableness in the defense of civility is no virtue.

  101. tra
    March 20, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Of course one can take the argument that prohibition of cannabis creates more problems than the use of cannabis, and try to exend that arguement to other drugs. But in the case of something like heroin or methamphetamine, I find this to be a far less persuasive argument, due to the much greater harm that those drugs can and do cause.

    Of course the violence associated with the prohibition-induced black market in drugs like heroin and methamphetamine also causes serious harm, and the costs of enforcement and imprisonment do drain resources that could otherwise be used for other pressing needs, so the arguement is still worth considering. But given the significant harms associated with the drugs themselves, before I would favor legalization of those drugs, someone would have to convince me that legalization of those drugs wouldn’t lead to a significant increase in consumption of those drugs. I’m not sure where the evidence is on that question.

  102. High Finance
    March 21, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    So Tra, it sounds like you are afraid that legalization of heroin or meth might “lead to a significant increase in consumption of those drugs”.

    Do you think a “significant increase in the consumption” of pot is a positive step for society or those people ?

  103. Mr. Nice
    March 21, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    So Tra, it sounds like you are afraid that legalization of heroin or meth might “lead to a significant increase in consumption of those drugs”.

    Do you think a “significant increase in the consumption” of pot is a positive step for society or those people ?

    Heroin and meth are both decriminalized in Portugal. Use is falling. Been ten years so it ain’t no new experiment with these kids are growing up with no jail for crack the whole time but the forbidden fruit shit is gone.

    The only drug really going up in use in Portugal is GHB. Don’t know about y’all but a rise in GHB use shouldn’t scare anybody.

    Even mushroom use went down among highschoolers in Portgual. Mushrooms are great everybody should eat them but for kids there ain’t no mystique to mushrooms when it ain’t all jail-time illegal.

    An increase in cannabis use ain’t no big deal. People smoke weed all over the world. So what if a couple percent of the population of weed smokers fucks up and is late on their car loan or whatever because they can’t do math for shit and spent it all on some dime bags? Ain’t like anyone is robbing a bank to buy weed.

  104. High Finance
    March 21, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Right, legalize meth & heroin and its use will go down.

    Why don’t we legalize murder, rape and speeding ? Take the “forbidden fruit shit” from those also ?

  105. tra
    March 21, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    So Tra, it sounds like you are afraid that legalization of heroin or meth might “lead to a significant increase in consumption of those drugs”.

    Do you think a “significant increase in the consumption” of pot is a positive step for society or those people ?

    I think it would be a lot less harmful than all the various negative effects brought about by Prohibition.

    To turn the question around, do you think it was the right thing to do when they repealed alcohol Prohibition? Because even with the much more serious problems that alcohol causes, in my opinion legalized alcohol probably still causes a lot fewer problems than alcohol Prohibition and its blackmarket-related violence, the funding for organized crime, the unnecessary criminalization of millions of Americans, etc.

    If you can understand why it was the right thing to do to repeal alcohol Prohibition, despite the danger of more people drinking alcohol due to the easier availability and lower price that comes with legalization, then, even if you don’t like the idea of cannabis legalization, you should be able to recognize the validity of the arguments in favor of it.

  106. Plain Jane
    March 21, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    Your posts are a joy to read, Tra. Logical, educational and, of course, reasonable.

  107. High Finance
    March 22, 2011 at 8:05 am

    Actually Tra, that is a good question. At first blush you would think ending prohibition was a good idea. A lot of crime gangs got there start during prohibition.

    But did crime go down ? Short term yes, long term no. The gangs just moved their efforts in other various areas. They have become far worse than ever.

    Then look at the damage that alcohol abuse does to society. Hundreds of billions of dollars in medical costs, of time lost to businesses when employees are sick every year. Look at the tens of thousands of dead every year to various physical effects of alcoholism. Thousands of lives lost due to drunk drivers every year.

    Mr Nice hilarious assumptions about removing the “forbidden shit” aside, alcohol abuse has skyrocketed since it was made legal again. It became cheaper, easier to get and socially acceptable.

    Make drugs illegal and it would be only a matter of time before they are a bigger problem than alcohol is. Make pot legal the gangs will move to meth within days.

    And before the knee-jerk unthinking HiFi bashers hyperventilate, I am not advocating prohibition again. I am just saying ending prohibition did not solve any long term problems.

  108. Plain Jane
    March 22, 2011 at 8:21 am

    You mean the gangs aren’t selling meth, heroin, crack, X, etc. already? Seriously, HiFi, your arguments aren’t logical. Pot just gives them an easy way to make money since more people use that particular drug than any other, except alcohol and tobacco which are legal and pot doesn’t have to be transported long distances like cocaine and heroin, which increases the likelihood of getting caught. Legalizing pot isn’t going to make people switch to harder drugs. Legalizing pot will decrease the profits of the drug lords and hopefully make them raise their prices for the hard drugs to make up for the loss.

  109. High Finance
    March 22, 2011 at 8:51 am

    Seriously PJ, you just don’t take time to think. Their efforts in the fields of meth & harder drugs would be doubled.

    What do you think the gangs & drug dealers who do pot now would do ? Retire ? Become farmers and scrap a living by growing pot legally ?

    The drug lords have an alternative to raising prices, it is to sell more product.

  110. longwind
    March 22, 2011 at 9:00 am

    HiFi, you should read the Studs Lonigan trilogy by James T. Farrell. It was one of the most celebrated works of the Depression. It documents the destruction of a generation of lower-middle-class young men by glamorized (and profitable) social binge drinking and the anti-social behavior that came with it.

    We had always been a nation of drunks (applejack liquor was the currency of the frontier) but binge drinking without question declined after Prohibition ended. And methanol-related blindness plummeted. You can google the stats in two minutes.

    The worst thing about the pot prohibition to me is its creation/glamorization of a closed-in ‘culture’ that wouldn’t exist without the insane law, just like “Studs Lonigan” explained 80 years ago.

  111. Plain Jane
    March 22, 2011 at 9:03 am

    That would free up law enforcement (and prison space) for the hard drug dealers, HiFi. For the record, most real drug dealers sell a cornucopia of everything from illegal prescriptions to heroin. Removing pot from their business plan won’t make more people use hard drugs, in fact its just the opposite. Does alcohol being legal make you want to use heroin? People have drugs of choice. They don’t switch them just so to be criminals.

  112. Plain Jane
    March 22, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Excellent point, Longwind. In fact, people who drank an occasional beer before prohibition switched to hard alcohol because it was easier to find than beer due to it being more profitable for the gangsters. When the penalities are equal, most people will go for the bigger bang for the buck.

  113. longwind
    March 22, 2011 at 9:09 am

    To your recent post: when the price of pot comes down to earth there won’t be much profit in peddling it, especially the low-grade gang stuff, even by the ton. Gangs are like corporations, they are profit-centered, not philanthropic, organizations. They won’t keep marketing and delivering pot without profit.

    This is the argument for legalizing all drugs, incidentally. The subcultures of consumption are created and strengthened by the secrecy they share. The countries that follow that logic haven’t been proven wrong. We should at least try to learn from experience, shouldn’t we?

  114. Plain Jane
    March 22, 2011 at 9:09 am

    But we must keep in mind that heroin, crack, meth are not the sort of “highs” that most pot smokers are looking for. Just sayin….

  115. longwind
    March 22, 2011 at 9:12 am

    Thanks, Jane. That’s another strong reason why prohibition is so counter-productive.

    I’m sorry the rush of posts makes it unclear that I was responding to HiFi just above, not you yet.

  116. tra
    March 22, 2011 at 9:28 am

    I’m a little confused by your stance, HiFi… You seem to be trying to make the case that we would be much better off if alcohol was prohibited, but on the other hand you say you don’t advocate prohibiting alcohol?

  117. November 1, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    The dispenseries here in california are getting trimmed out , state officials are closing them down.

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