The cities of San Francisco and Oakland have allowed pro-drug extremists to hijack the medical marijuana industry. This came to light during the recent DEA raids of local cannabis clubs for alleged illegal activities. If our city officials were really concerned about critically ill patients, they would have established strict controls over the production and distribution of medical marijuana to ensure illegal activity was not being conducted in conjunction with legitimate distribution. Unfortunately, the real agenda is to further liberalize marijuana laws through cannabis clubs.
Too many advocates for medical marijuana are recreational users or abusers of marijuana and are unable to act as legitimate representatives. Their real agenda here is marijuana legalization, and it's shameful that people would hide behind AIDS and cancer patients to promote that agenda.
Ed Rosenthal is a prime example. Ed is one of the cannabis club owners arrested in a recent DEA raid. He has written a dozen books on how to grow marijuana, is a vocal supporter for general legalization of marijuana, and has been a long time columnist for the infamous High Times magazine. That hardly sounds like the resume of someone who is simply trying to help the sick and critically ill. California doesn't administer the death penalty by hiring serial killers to execute its prisoners. Why on earth would we allow people who illegally produce, use and distribute drugs to administer a medical marijuana program?
The cannabis clubs also have a curious policy of selling their marijuana at "street value" prices. They reason that selling below street value will only encourage people to resell the marijuana on the black market. Huh? I thought this was a legitimate operation that only distributed marijuana to those with a real illness. My grandmother could probably make a profit selling her pain medications at "street value" to the local addicts, but that doesn't cause the drug store to raise their prices to prevent this from happening.
Cannabis clubs obviously charge "street value" for their marijuana because not all of their "patients" have a medical need. But there's also another, more disturbing reason they overcharge sick and dying patients. The growers of medical marijuana likely sell their product for non-medical purposes too. Every dollar they discount their marijuana to the cannabis clubs takes away a dollar they could make selling their marijuana on the street. What a noble gesture from those who simply want to alleviate pain and suffering.
The local media also plays a role in this scheme. They have a blatant bias in favor of those who support medical marijuana and marijuana legalization. Most of the news stories about the recent DEA raids in the Bay Area focused on distraught patients with cancer and AIDS. Searching through the local media, I didn't find one quote taken from someone who actually supported the raids. Instead, coverage focused on marijuana rights activists, big government stomping on the rights of the sick and terminally ill, and the full support of local politicians like Terrence Hallinan and Tom Commie-ano. And rather than pointing out the hypocrisy and hidden agendas of medical marijuana advocates like Ed Rosenthal, the San Francisco Chronicle writes glowing profile pieces that make Rosenthal sound more like Mother Teresa.
The DEA raids were conducted in response to allegations of money laundering, illegal growing and trafficking of marijuana, and distribution to individuals who are not critically ill. The local media ignored this information to subtly voice their support for the pro-marijuana agenda.
The saddest truth behind this story is that the cannabis club owners and their supporters are actually hurting the medical marijuana cause, because they are the same drug abusers and traffickers who favor legalizing marijuana. If medical marijuana is such a panacea, then doctors should be leading the cause, not criminals.
San Francisco and Oakland continue to scream at the DEA while handing the medical marijuana program to drug abusers and drug traffickers. And yet they expect the federal government to take them seriously when they claim to have a legitimate program in place. Until our local politicians stop acting like they're regular customers of the cannabis clubs, I welcome the DEA back to clean up the mess any time.