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Commentary: Medical Marijuana a Mess

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, January 8, 2010
Proposition 215 legalized marijuana use for patients who suffered from AIDS, chronic pain, and - I'm quoting here - "…any other illness for which marijuana provides relief." That last provision opened the door for everything from the common cold to a hangnail, and profiteers marched through it.
Pot has become a boom industry. Hundreds of growers supply dispensaries across the state that sell the drug to marijuana patients. "Pot docs" charge as much as $250 per evaluation before handing out recommendations that allow patients to use pot legally. While some patients are sick, others just want to get stoned.
Marijuana grow houses have sprung up, and with them, home invasion robberies. Pot was the source of a deadly Nevada County shoot-out last week, and several in Sacramento in recent months. Alarmed, some cities have stopped issuing permits for pot dispensaries, others want to ban them entirely. Still others want to tax the enterprises.
Confusion abounds. Only the voters can clarify things. We must either legalize marijuana - regulate and tax it, tighten Proposition 215, or repeal the law outright. The status quo isn’t working.
Ginger Rutland writes for The Sacramento Bee opinion pages.
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