Quick response to marijuana case judgment

December 5th, 2011 by admin Leave a reply »

Editor’s note; After the Birmingham Eccentric posted the accompanying story on medical marijuana, one of the first to respond was Dan Riffle, a legislative analyst with the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C. In particular, Riffle took exception to a quote in the article that states marijuana dispensaries have historically brought criminal activity to the areas where they are located.

He wrote:

“What we’ve found, and what every study on the issue has found, is that in jurisdictions that thoroughly regulate medical marijuana dispensaries — i.e. security and video surveillance requirements, advertising restrictions, hours of operation, permissible locations, maximum number of stores allowed, etc. — that hasn’t been the case.

“For example, everyone hears about crime and other problems with dispensaries in California, Montana and Michigan, which have no state-wide regulatory framework for them, but did you know that there are dispensaries operating right now in Maine and New Mexico? Those states have thorough regulations that dispensaries must abide by in order to operate, and as a result, there hasn’t been any crime or other negative externalities associated with them.”

His recommendation is to follow the Colorado model, where dispensaries exist under a sturdy layer of regulations. Doing so will take the bite out of crime when it comes to drug dealing, Riffle said.

“Patients whose doctors recommend marijuana will obtain it somewhere. If there are no dispensaries, they will get it from thousands of home-based caregiver operations, and even more illicit trade in marijuana. From a public safety perspective, this is the worst possible

Article source: http://www.hometownlife.com/article/20111204/NEWS02/112040372