Medical marijuana in California was instituted with the best of intentions by the passage of Proposition 215 in 1996. It mandated that marijuana could be grown and cultivated legally for personal use by those with a recommendation from a doctor and their caregivers. Marijuana unquestionably can relieve nausea from those undergoing chemotherapy and help with a host of other symptoms as well. But what began as a genuine effort to help the suffering has metastasized into something quite different with potentially nasty and dangerous consequences.
Why it’s just like Prohibition was in the 1920’s, isn’t it? Friendly little Mom and Pop marijuana clinics invite you in now just like speakeasies did in the days of illegal booze. What could be wrong with that?
Behind those speakeasies in Prohibition were nasty people with guns. Bootleggers routinely killed each other. Cops were bribed. The entire system was corrupted. If something is illegal or quasi-legal and there is serious money to be made, criminals and organized crime will move in.
The entire system of medical marijuana borders on genteel corruption. Doctors write bogus recommendations. Stores make huge profits, often in cash. Regulation, at least in California, seems minimal at best. Also, given the large cash business that clinics do, it certainly is possible that some of them are laundering money. All of this is an invitation for crime, and I don’t mean shaggy haired ex-hippie growers from Humboldt County either but something far more malignant.
Legalize marijuana. Then all these problems will vanish.