Pubdate: Sun, 04 Aug 2013
Source: Reporter, The (Vacaville, CA)
Copyright: 2013 The Reporter
Author: Paul Armentano


Prohibiting medical marijuana dispensaries will not eliminate or even 
dissipate the existing cannabis market in Solano County ("Solano 
County leaders ban marijuana dispensaries for one year," July 31).

But it will eliminate any opportunity for county officials to either 
regulate or provide oversight to this market.

Prohibition is the absence of regulation. Prohibition drives markets 
underground and abdicates control of these markets to those who 
typically operate outside the boundaries of the law.

By contrast, regulations allow for the government to establish legal 
parameters for where, when and how markets operate.

Regulations also provide oversight regarding who may legally operate 
in said markets and provides guidelines so that those who do can 
engage in best practices. Solano County should insist on the latter 
scenario, not promote the former.

California law has allowed for the use, possession and procurement of 
therapeutic cannabis since November 1996.

It is a testament to failed political leadership that, nearly 17 
years later, lawmakers are still enacting bans and moratoriums rather 
than exhibiting the courage to fulfill voters' mandate and regulate 
this substance appropriately.

Paul Armentano


The author is deputy director of NORML, the National Organization for 
the Reform of Marijuana Laws, and the co-author of the book 
"Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?" (Chelsea 
Green, 2009). -- Editor
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom