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By all means, put it to a vote -- perhaps Moffat County is a little less retrograde than it was a year ago. People will still use cannabis, grow it, and sell it. If it is important to you to keep burdening the criminal justice system with cases brought because people want to use cannabis in Moffat County and to keep making felons of them, then keep the ban on regulated sales -- pure stupidity!
als362: Caregivers don't want to risk their freedom by selling cannabis to non-patients, and only six minors statewide are registered as patients. It is not likely ever to be a problem anywhere, but since kids generally don't belong in dispensaries, it will be easy to spot if someone were foolish enough to do it. The situation is totally different for the ubiquitous stores selling beer and cigarettes; minors are allowed in, and policing these stores requires more work. Considering that many kids acquire the addiction which will eventually kill them by obtaining cigarettes from such stores, I'd say your fear of children obtaining cannabis from a dispensary are unfounded, and your priorities completely misplaced.
P.S. .=period, ! = exclamation mark
Tobacco is implicated in the deaths of 435,000 Americans every year -- a staggering number (from the CDC, by the way), while marijuana has never been shown to kill anyone. The reason is likely that despite the presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (which have been shown to be carcinogenic) in both tobacco and marijuana smoke, their carcinogenicity is dwarfed by that of polonium 210, a potent alpha particle emitter found in significant amounts in tobacco but not in marijuana.
"To obtain marijuana legally today, all you have to do is get a doctor to prescribe it." -- in fact, marijuana cannot be prescribed, because the Federal government has falsely declared it to be without useful medical application. Under Colorado's Constitution doctors may recommend cannabis. "It is sad that the truly sick people who can benefit from medical marijuana now are being lumped into a pile with a bunch of potheads using the system" -- I agree entirely; please stop doing so, and please stop using pejorative terms such as "pothead" to describe people who enjoy cannabis. The use of such loaded language serves to marginalize those who choose to use cannabis, but it is neither objective nor rational to do so. "But we can do something about the sale of it in Craig" -- (I was taught not to begin sentences with coordinating conjunctions, but people have been getting away with it for years), Craig can defy the Constitution, but it is not an appropriate course of action. "Always keep in mind the patients who truly need medical marijuana always will be able to still get it" -- this is nonsensical on the face of it; if Willems, Ritter, Suthers and their ilk get their way it may very well not be the case.
Dispensaries' effects on a community are similar to those of pharmacies; they are unobjectionable businesses which employ people, and pay property and sales taxes into state and local coffers. Certainly Craig can stay mired in the past, resist the opening of dispensaries, and attempt to impose pointless, onerous regulations on them, but no useful purpose is served by doing so. The only thing you have to fear are fear-mongers such as Mr. Willem. Mr. Willem, your opinion is based on misconceptions and is irrational.
It is Mr. Willems' comments which are "twisted and distorted", not the "entire medical marijuana situation", which except for the grandstanding, alarmism, and the rebellion against our Constitution being waged by much of our political and law enforcement establishment, is perfectly straightforward. That some or even many patients do not require medicinal cannabis misses the points that cannabis is virtually innocuous, and that the purpose of the Medicinal Cannabis Amendment is being served -- people are obtaining relief from severe pain or other debilitating conditions; for many, access to medicinal cannabis means the difference between life and death. "Also, the records in Colorado show most dispensary operators are registered medical marijuana users themselves, some admitting to using marijuana for 40-plus years." -- Willems' case, if one can call it such, proceeds by means of a series of insinuations and misstatements; it is not entirely clear what he is trying to insinuate here, presumably that dispensary operators are debased scofflaws, but why not just say what you mean instead , Mr. Willems? "When asked, Larry could not remember the name of the town he lives in" -- Mr. Willems apparently means to insinuate that cannabis has destroyed Larry's mind. It is entirely possible that Mr. Hill suffers from some organic condition which causes him to have severe lapses in memory, but there is no basis for supposing that cannabis is the cause of his forgetfulness. More likely is that Mr. Willems is fabricating his account. It is only anecdotal evidence, but my case might serve as a counterexample. In 1993, after thirteen years of regular smoking of cannabis, I achieved scores on the GRE which qualified me for membership in the Triple Nine Society; my IQ is within the top 99.9th percentile of the general public. As an aside, to address general misconceptions about the effects on health of smoking cannabis, consider "Researchers surprised to find no link between marijuana, lung cancer" (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/05/26/MNGAKJ2S481.DTL) and "Cannabis May Cut Alzheimer's Risk" (http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2006/10/19/marijuana_hea.html?category=human&guid=20061019101530). The extent to which the prohibitionists have lied to us over the past seventy years about the ill effects of marijuana is breathtaking. The body's endocannabinoid system is responsible for dampening the inflammatory process. Cannabis may have useful medical application not just in palliation, but in the treatment of the many diseases linked to inflammation, including cancers, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, etc. Many readers will have been propagandized to the effect that since cannabis has more tar than cigarettes, it is more dangerous than tobacco -- the opposite appears to be the case.
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