Friday, August 1, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

State must take over med pot

By
From page A4 | September 30, 2011 |

MinerRGB

The big shootout early last week in the Amador County town of Ione is a reminder of the dangers of growing medical marijuana. One grower is dead with an empty shotgun in his hands and five Sacramento gang suspects are in custody, though others appeared to have eluded capture.

Important Subscriber Update

We will be switching to a new online subscription service on Tuesday, August 5th. If you are already a subscriber with login access to MtDemocrat.com you will need to re-register under the new service. This will not affect your bill. Please take the time today to click "Subscriber Verification" to verify your subscription with us and continue your access to MtDemocrat.com before the new service takes over.

We apologize for the temporary inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your patience and continued support while we make this transition.

- Mountain Democrat

1-Month Access
Subscriber Verification
Help?

Home invasions for small-time medical marijuana growers and even those growing only for themselves have happened several times in El Dorado County. Often the thugs will dress up in policelike gear. The gangsters in Ione showed up wearing “a flak vest” that read SWAT and had flashing police lights.

It’s a story that repeats itself around the region and the state.

The grower had physician recommendations to grow 99 plants for each patient.

The other issue is when is a medical marijuana growing operation too big? Three people from El Dorado County have been sent to prison over that issue, with two of them recently hauled off to federal prison. Some of that federal prosecution has since cooled down under President Obama’s more lenient policy toward California’s medical marijuana scene. But that is an unofficial policy and can change with a different administration.

Proposition 215, the medical marijuana initiative, was passed by 55.6 percent of the vote in November 1996. Last year the California Supreme Court threw out limits on personal cultivation that the Legislature adopted, saying an initiative cannot be amended by statute.

We opposed Proposition 215, fearing it was a side route to full legalization. We have no doubt that many medical pot users are not AIDS, cancer or glaucoma patients. And we’re not sure that those with AIDS need it anymore since advances in traditional medications have largely reduced the impact of AIDS.

What we did not anticipate when we opposed the initiative was the large grow operations by grouping permits and the way the criminal class would prey on growers big and small, even the simple one-person medical marijuana grower. One has to credit the thugs for their intelligence gathering, ferreting out small grows from Garden Valley to San Juan Ridge in Nevada County. Though 779 plants in Ione wouldn’t be too difficult to spot. Ione is not much of a town, with two roads in and out. It takes all of three minutes to cruise through town and then you’re either headed for Mule Creek Prison or into the countryside.

Another problem has been medical marijuana stores. Banks are reluctant to serve them because selling marijuana still remains against federal law. The banks treat the federal government with kid gloves. Stores are supposedly  nonprofit. A store in Placerville closed down after it didn’t meet conditions of the Placerville Police Department’s permit and couldn’t keep its books straight. No doubt the hairdresser’s shop was relieved to no longer have the odor of huge quantities of fresh pot wafting into its shop.

But in Oakland and Berkeley the shops are big business. In Los Angeles the pot shops are popping up like gophers. In a Caddy Shack move the city has ordered 141 to close as illegal. The 141 didn’t even bother to participate in the city’s lottery for 238 permits. Stopping pot shops there is like playing whack-a-mole.

For rampant criminality, for dispensary licensing problems, for questionable medical recommendations, for grow size inconsistency, for all these reasons it is time for the state to step in. Medical marijuana should be grown and distributed in state stores like other states have government liquor stores.

The individual grower with a doctor’s recommendation can still do his or her own grow, but farming out doctor recommendations to professional growers has got to stop. Let the state be the big grower and the dispenser and charge sales taxes. State stores can keep track of how much is dispensed to an individual each year so that person doesn’t exceed the prescribed limit.

A state takeover of the business of medical marijuana will solve and ameliorate a lot of issues.

Comments

comments

Mountain Democrat

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    News

    Supes delay petition

    By Chris Daley | From Page: A1

     
    Fire generated small city, inspired volunteers

    By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Sand Fire 95% contained

    By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1

    Cameron Park house burns

    By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Two fires in town

    By Cole Mayer | From Page: A3

    .

    Opinion

    The weekly Daley: The wrong side of history

    By Chris Daley | From Page: A4

     
    Billingsley’s bullets: Advice from my psychiatrist

    By Bob Billingsley | From Page: A4

    Missing the point

    By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

     
    .

    Letters

    Olives need less water

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

     
    EID rate discrimination

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

    Second Amendment

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

     
    Pollock Pines’ Fourth of July Parade

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

    Water conservation

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

     
    Koby

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

    Debt reduction at EID with Coco?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

     
    Time for change in CP

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

    .

    Sports

    Camp draws good numbers

    By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A9Comments are off for this post | Gallery

     
    New law tackles gridiron concussion problem

    By Mike Bush | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    Outside with Charlie: Rafting denied

    By Charlie Ferris | From Page: A9

     
    Racing returns with big 5-division card

    By Bill Sullivan | From Page: A9

    Roundup: July 31, 2014

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Prospecting

    Sing while you paint

    By Placerville Arts Association | From Page: B1Comments are off for this post | Gallery

     
    Things to do: Aug. 1, 2014

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2

    The making of a champion

    By Special to the Democrat | From Page: B2

     
    Plenty of golden fun during SlugFest

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Art on the Divide is showing new exhibitor

    By Art On The Divide | From Page: B3

     
    ‘The Flu Season’ stirs emotions

    By Ovation Stage | From Page: B4

    Guitar group performs in Sutter Creek

    By Sutter Creek | From Page: B5

     
    Time to register for classes at Center Stage

    By Center Stage Dance Academy | From Page: B5

    Get a groove on in Sutter Creek

    By Sutter Creek | From Page: B8

     
    Chris Young in concert at Carson Valley Inn

    By Carson Valley Inn | From Page: B8

    The music continues at Bear Valley Music Festival

    By News Release | From Page: B8

     
    Sacramento Museums are celebrating

    By Sacramento Association Of Museums | From Page: B9

     
    .

    Essentials

    Weather stats

    By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

     
    Crime Log: July 17-19

    By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

    .

    Obituaries

    Lisa Oliver Rose

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

     
    Larry A. Randall

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

    Mark A. Smith

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

     
    Jeffie “Jeff” Lee Callahan

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

    Patsy Ruth Wing

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

     
    .

    Real Estate

    Decorating your home by the numbers

    By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS4

     
    Avoiding the deal killers

    By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

    Hilltop home views outrank water-front views

    Press Release | From Page: HS7

     
    Luxury home sales jump

    Press Release | From Page: HS11

     
    Pending home sales decrease in June

    Press Release | From Page: HS13

     
    Sheryl Lindroos joins American Heritage

    Press Release | From Page: HS17

    Sunny Rosabella exudes a warm ambiance

    Press Release | From Page: HS23

     
    .

    Comics

    .

    Home Source

    Decorating your home by the numbers

    By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS4

    Avoiding the deal killers

    By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

    Hilltop home views outrank water-front views

    Press Release | From Page: HS7

    Luxury home sales jump

    Press Release | From Page: HS11

    Pending home sales decrease in June

    Press Release | From Page: HS13

    Sheryl Lindroos joins American Heritage

    Press Release | From Page: HS17

    Sunny Rosabella exudes a warm ambiance

    Press Release | From Page: HS23