Local laws around the US thwart medical marijuana, even in states that have …

January 11th, 2012 by admin Leave a reply »

Dispensaries have also been banned in parts of Colorado and have run into opposition in some towns in Maine.

Local politicians have argued that pot is still illegal under federal law, that marijuana dispensaries bring crime, and that such businesses are just fronts for drug-dealing, supplying weed to people who aren’t really sick.

Cities and towns are prohibiting dispensaries outright or applying zoning ordinances so strict that they amount to the same thing. The ordinances typically set minimum distances between such businesses and schools, homes, parks and houses of worship.

The township manager of Maple Shade, N.J., where the zoning board last year turned down an application for a dispensary at the vacant site of a former furniture store, said his town was just following zoning law. But Gary LaVenia said it is easy to see why people would be nervous about legal pot-dealing in their communities.

“People read the accounts of what’s going on in the other states, like Colorado, like California,” he said. “Regardless of the fact that use here is the most regulated, people still read those accounts and assume that that’s what’s going to happen here.”

Medical marijuana advocates say the resistance is going to hurt people in desperate need of relief.

“It prevents patients with mobility issues from getting their medication,” said Kris Hermes, a spokesman for Americans for Safe Access, an Oakland, Calif., group. “It also pushes patients into the illicit market.”

States such as California and Colorado have seen an explosion in the number of pot dispensaries, along

Article source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/local-laws-around-the-us-thwart-medical-marijuana-even-in-states-that-have-blessed-it/2012/01/09/gIQATXYAmP_story.html