Thursday, August 24, 2006

At San Francisco's Wharf, a Fight for Medical Marijuana Ensues

Regulations Severely Limit Where Cannabis Clubs Can Operate


July 25, 2006 — - San Francisco has more cannibus clubs -- the dispensaries of marijuana for the medical treatment of the nasty side effects of chemotherapy, glaucoma or AIDS -- than any other city in the nation.

But then again, it's only one of the few "nasty" side effects SanFranWeirdo has.

Yet, that doesn't mean cannabis clubs make welcome neighbors, even in bluest of the blue San Francisco, a city that prides itself on being tolerant of almost every lifestyle. A ballot proposition in 2002 that called for the Board of Supervisors to explore the possibility of establishing a program whereby the city would grow its own medical marijuana and distribute it was supported by 62 percent of voters.

Maybe I'm being a little intolerant here, but in a city that prides itself on tourism, is it really a good thing to promote yet another "tolerant lifestyle"? I think the rest of the state rejected your pride by a vote of around 70% vs. 30% against your "tolerant"promotion of sodomy and just about any other perverted practice that seems en vogue to your denizens.

Betcha you didn't think I knew that word, huh?

But the reality of the program is apparently harsher than the notion. However accepting San Francisco may consider itself to be, the city may also be showing standard-issue NIMBYism.

The Green Cross is one of about 40 cannabis clubs in San Francisco. It is owned and operated by Kevin Reed, who explains that there are differences among the 55 different types of marijuana his store offers.

Color me impressed, a veritable ganja buffet. The entire state of Kaliforniastan is committing suicide by terminal NIMBYism, why should the City by the Gay be different.

"'Indica' would be used more for the body pain, somebody that had extreme body pain or insomnia. It would help people sleep. It is what most people identify when they think of marijuana is," explained to Nightline. "'Sativa' is the more euphoric high. It is what most people use for depression."

Uhuhuh and here I thought cannabis only helped to make you have an unusual craving for twinkies and moon-pies. So, you should hit the bong of Sativa to beat depression, substituting paranoia instead?

But the controversy in San Francisco isn't about what Reed is selling, but where he wants to do it.

Touristy Fisherman's Wharf is known for families of tourists, cable cars, and seafood. But many business owners and neighbors there do not want marijuana users added to that mix -- even if they have prescriptions to buy it.

San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom sees their point. "I'm not sure that's the message we want to send folks. 'Get your crab and maybe your clam chowder and sourdough bread, and maybe walk next door and see a medical marijuana club.'"

Newsom is concerned about business owners? That can't be the same Newsom that flipped off state law and permitted gay marriage. Something strange indeed is happening in SanFranWeirdo.
The old saw says follow the money. Newsom is concerned over the loss of revenue for his favorite socialist city programs. Seems his favorite constituents don't contribute very much to the tax base. There's a good progressive politician that recognizes which side of the fruit is buttered on.

But the mayor himself is in part responsible for the eruption of this controversy.

Last summer the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that stricter federal drug laws overrule more permissive ones passed by the states, like the medial marijuana provision passed by California.

Since then, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency has arrested some cannabis club owners. Those arrests led Newsom to draft news rules and regulations for his city's cannabis clubs, so as to fend off future DEA busts.

"In the past there was no process," Newsom explains. "You could just open up. All of a sudden you're a neighbor and you look next door and all of a sudden there's a medical marijuana club and you had no input, and no ability to have any feedback."

Welllll, imagine that... you decided to moon the U.S. Supreme court in your little duchy of touchey, the scumbag dope dealers move right into your open arms and now you're crying about it? Happens when you declare state/federal laws void in favor of progressive, opinioned-based, PC culture. Grab a clue moron, most laws in society are enacted to maintain an orderly social structure. You pick and chose the ones you decide to enforce and not to enforce, unintended consequences happen.

Newsom adds: "I believe very strongly in medical marijuana. So does the rest of the state of California. And I would argue the majority of Americans. But it's got to be done right."

Can you back that up with any, you know facts? I know it's all about feelings, but you're telling us if we don't happen to agree with your broad statement, we are just too stupid to know it. I don't see a rush in other states (outside of the Leftist Coast) to nullify existing State and Federal legislation so they can get it right.

Pardon me, but your stunning lack of veracity is showing......yer Honor

When the clubs first opened, neighbors were complaining that they attracted too much traffic, crime and customers who didn't seem to have any actual ailments. Some of those customers smoked marijuana right outside the store, or resold it.

What exactly did you really expect from the club customers?

Either you are completely divorced from reality or stark raving bonkers. Which is your favorite club? Obviously you've been doing some field research on your own.

So, now the Bay Area cannabis clubs have restricted locations. They are no longer allowed to be within 1,000 feet of a school or community center. They are barred from certain residential neighborhoods. And every club has to go through a registration process, with a $10,000 application fee.

"We felt we needed to put in some common sense restrictions. Because if it is being abused -- if we're flaunting ourselves in an arrogant way -- if we're jumping up and down and saying, 'We don't care about the federal government's feelings,' clearly we're inviting ourselves to put the whole program at risk," the mayor says.

Well you are jumping up and down like the baboon on crack, and your arrogance isn't about the federal government's feelings, it's about adherence to duly enacted LAW. You know, the sort of things covered by the constitution that you took an oath to uphold. But this is all about you, now isn't it?

By the way, we will NEVER expect anything resembling common sense to come out of your office.

The Green Cross is the first cannabis club to go through the city's new regulation process. And because of the restrictions, it had to move from its semi-residential location, and find a new place to do business. Joe Elford, the attorney for Green Cross's owner says the Fisherman's Wharf location was one of the few options his client had.

"You end up with only very small slivers of the city even being available for cannabis dispensaries to operate," Elford says. "And that's why Mr. Reed (the owner) in large part, chose this location."

Fisherman's Wharf ? I haven't visited your little bastion of MoonBats for quite awhile, but I do recall Fisherman's Wharf was a prime location for business. You aren't telling me there is "all of a sudden" open locations there? Perhaps I'm reading too much into this, but it does seem like your People's Village is experiencing a net loss in revenue generating business.

But many of Fisherman's Wharf's residents are not happy about that decision. Ryan Chamberlain is a neighborhood activist and he has made it his mission to keep the Green Cross cannabis club out of Fisherman's Wharf.

"It's not so much the marijuana. If a patient was discreetly walking in and out of a location, if that were like a dental office, not a big deal. What we're worried about is the things that seem to surround those clubs," Chamberlain says. "What we're worried about is an increase in people camping out in those parks smoking marijuana."

An excellent mission Mr. Chamberlain, perhaps you should expand it to include voting your city government out of office as a first step. Try to understand that in most rational communities, chronic druggies only become patient when waiting for mug shots and finger printing.

And the new regulations that Mayor Newsom instituted offer neighborhood planning boards the power of the veto.

Ten years ago, 56 percent of Californian voters supported Proposition 215, legalizing medical use of marijuana. But just try to find a Californian today who wants a marijuana store in his neighborhood.

Well no accounting for the 56% of the voters being sold a pig-in-a-poke and thought the medical use of marijuana meant under the control of real doctors, dispensed by pharmacies and such. I have a hard time believing they would have accepted smelly Dead-Heads hawking designer dope in their neighborhoods.

The result is that even though Green Cross met the city's rules and regulations, its fate was still left up to the neighborhood planning commission, which earlier this month held a hearing on the issue.

A parade of professionals, business owners, a park ranger and a policeman all came before the commission to say essentially the same thing: medical marijuana, yes, but not in my backyard.

"We feel that it is an inappropriate location for this site to be a cannabis house," one neighbor told the commission.

Yet some neighbors in support of the cannabis clubs countered those arguments.

Neighbor Maria Molloy said, "I thought we already voted on this? ... I'm not sure how these conservative neighbors got the impression that they could override the city's vote. But I urge you to please hear the voice of our progressive city."

That's a good neighbor Maria, keeping pushing your progressive city utopia plan, trust me it'll get better and better all the time....nasty conservatives actually overriding your agenda by eeevil voting, can't have THAT can we? Where's a friendly leftist robe when you need one?

One of Green Cross' medical marijuana customers, Michael Aldrich raised another issue for the commission: "Please remember that in every one of these neighborhoods there are patients like myself who need to have a dispensary reasonably nearby."

Try a cab or public transportation nitwit. I'm sure Hizzoner could promptly come up with a "plan" to reimburse you for medical transportation "expenses".

But when the planning commission voted, the result was 4 to 2, against Green Cross.

"That's classic,'" complains Mayor Newsom. "I mean, everybody wants to treat drug addicts, heroin addicts, they want to provide them methadone, but just don't open the methadone clinic near me. Everyone says, 'I want more supportive housing and affordable housing for the poor and working families, but just don't open it near me. Homeless shelters, but not near me. ... It's no different with medical marijuana clubs."

Gavin-Boy bangs his rattle, stomps his feet and holds his breath, because actual citizens disagree with your assinine social experiment.

The board vote was a crushing blow to Green Cross owner, Kevin Reed, who is also a medical marijuana user.

"I'm in daily pain," he says. "My back is always in a very constant pain."

Reed says he prefers medical marijuana as a treatment for his chronic pain because he worries about the side effects of more traditional pain killers. "I've seen the effects of people getting prescribed drugs, pills. I've seen so many people throughout my life get addicted to these pills. I just don't want to be that person."

Buuwaaahhhhaaahaaaa- He'd rather hit the bong instead of popping a few vicodin, of course we ALL know that MaryJane isn't addicting right?

Reed's attorney plans to appeal the commission's decision. "Hopefully they will do the right thing and give Mr. Reed the opportunity to open his club," Elford says.

If he fails, Elford worries that the law that allows cannabis clubs in San Francisco will be meaningless. "If you can't even open it up in one of these small slivers, then where can you open it up? ... That's the problem. It appears you can no longer open it up anywhere in the city of San Francisco."

The mayor is not backing down in his support of legal medicinal marijuana.

While he worries that these "not in my backyard" activists could eliminate all medical marijuana clubs, he says, "We're going to fight against that temptation. I believe so fundamentally, so strongly in medical marijuana. We believe that it also needs to be done appropriately. So it's a balance. And it's a work in progress, like anything else."

Indeed a work in progress, apparently to make your city increasingly irrelevant to the rest of the country. Do continue however, it's most entertaining.

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