Shocked – OC Register Readers want to legalize Pot?

Nature’s Wellness Collective was caught between State and Federal drug law just a couple of months ago when Federal Agents raided the marijuana dispensary.  It has since reopened and is distributing marijuana to those with written permission from a doctor. 

Bob Adams, owner of the dispensary on 830 E. Lincoln Ave., said Drug Enforcement Agency agents toting AK-47 automatic rifles raided the facility March 4. Adams, 44, said his marijuana was confiscated and he was detained and taken to the DEA offices in Santa Ana, where he was questioned for three hours and then released. No charges were filed against him.

“I’m not a criminal. I’m not a bad guy and I’m not a drug dealer,” Adams said. “If I was going to deal drugs, I’d do it a lot differently than this.”

OC Register

I’m not shocked that this is still an issue, there are many complicated reasons for the Federal Government not to want to recognize marijuana as anything other than an illegal drug (including hemp, which could be used as a highly sustainable substitute for many of the things we use to make paper, clothing etc.) but I was shocked by the number of people who support the legalization of marijuana.

Now granted, this is not a scientific poll, those who are interested in medical marijuana as an issue will read such articles and probably weigh in more heavily than those who could care less but it still seemed like a high (no pun intended) number of votes for complete legalization.  Maybe I’m just painfully naive but I would have thought these numbers would have weight more heavily to keep it illegal or to just legalize it for medicinal purposes.  Hm, maybe I underestimated OC Register readers after all.

I tend to be torn on the issue of legalizing drugs.  I find it ridiculous that our jails are full of people who are serving time for non violent drug related offenses, ultimately it’s a waste of money, especially if their time served is not in a treatment program of some kind.  But I recognize the genuine concerns of parents and others in the community who worry that by legalizing drugs we are some how condoning their use.  Sadly the “war on drugs” has nothing to do with either issue. 

The State voted to legalize marijuana for those who are dire need of its use for not just pain control but to help with their appetite and ultimately their quality of life with an either chronic illness or a terminal one.  I would like to think that we can see the humane use of drugs (just as we use opiates for pain control) as a reasonable response to a well documented need.  Bob Adams has put quite a bit on the line to serve a community need and he’s only been punished for it.

Adams showed his business license application – which was approved by the city in January – that stated his business would sell herbal medicines and accessories.

“The lady at the counter asked me if I would have marijuana and I said ‘Yes,’ ” Adams said.

City Attorney David DeBerry said Adams is in violation of city municipal code ordinance 17.02.010, which states that businesses must be consistent with controlling federal, state and local laws.

“They made mistakes on their end in issuing me a license,” Adams said. “Everyone knew what I was doing.”

After he was released by federal agents in March, Adams said police officers told him they would be back if he re-opened.

“They told me, ‘You can open up again, but we’ll just come and take all your stuff,’ ” Adams said. “My house is in foreclosure. Every dime I had got put into this place.”

So, at what point do we say, enough is enough?  The State has legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes but it can’t be sold, is it time that Orange County do something similar to what San Francisco has done and pass a “marijuana tolerance law”?

Heather Pritchard

I'm new to political blogging but have been writing most of my life about different things. I campaigned for President Clinton when he was just Governor Clinton in Orange County. I graduated from Smith College with a BA in English and a minor in Film. I work full time, have a lovely four year old daughter named Charlotte, my husband teaches full time at Cerritos College in Norwalk in the Music Department. Gary has a Ph.D in Ethnomusicology from UCI. I hope to go back to school in some form or another, maybe sociology or economics. I've even thought of Law school. Our newest edition to the household is our Weimaraner Sophie. 

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  8 comments for “Shocked – OC Register Readers want to legalize Pot?

  1. Eric
    April 28, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    I cannot find one rational reason why pot is considered an illegal substance. People go to prison for using it. Frito-Lay and Mars Candy should be lobbying congress to make it part of the food pyramid not putting people in prison.

  2. Steven Greenhut
    April 28, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    Hey, the OC Reg Editorial Board has long advocated the legalization of ALL drugs. Maybe our readers are reading us!

  3. April 28, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    Greenhut – And that’s one of the reasons I can say I agree with libertarian points of view. The hypocrisy of our Government when it comes to picking and chosing what drugs they consider fit for consumption defies all logic.

    Eric – HAHAHAHA, would that be the “Munchie lobby”?

  4. just...asking?
    April 28, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    Don’t you have to be loaded to buy and read the Register? If not a requirement, it sure does help!

    just…asking?

  5. Eric
    April 28, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    just…asking?…

    I’d rather shop at Wal-Mart and buy gas at Exxon Mobil stations for a year than actually purchase that complete waste of toxic ink and non-recycled paper known as the OC Register.

  6. Eric
    April 28, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    And yes the munchie lobby :-)

  7. Eric
    April 28, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    On a more serious note, I missed the comment after the jump about SF. Colorado has all but legalized marijuana possession. A person is allowed to have up to 1/4 oz of pot on their person without intent to deal. It is a $25 non-moving violation type fine (parking tickets in Denver are close to $40), and you have 4 or 5 times caught before it is considered the lowest felony. In Denver/Boulder area most cops won’t even pursue it because it is not worth it to them. So yes, I agree, not only should OC pass a tolerance law but so should the state.

  8. April 28, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    Eric – That’s why I read online, it saves trees, but I wouldn’t actually shop at Wal Mart. The OC Register serves a purpose.

    As for Colorado, that seems like a fair law to me. It’s reasonable and fair.

    California has made medical marijuana legal so it doesn’t seem quite fair that those who sell it have to not only deal with the Federal Laws but the local laws that interfer with what voters chose when voting to legalize for medicinal purposes.

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