Medical marijuana. a growth industry?


Jeralyn, a lawyer, at TalkLeft gets several calls a day from people wanting to open medical marijuana dispensaries. The Federal government recently announced they won’t pursue such cases if it’s legal in a state.

My iPhone map just returned several nearby locations for “medical marijuana.” Yeah, it’s a growth industry.

Does marijuana help some people with genuine medical needs? Absolutely. But the system clearly is being gamed by those with no actual medical need. (I knew you’d be shocked.) It used to be Dr. Feelgood would give you scripts for whatever pills you wanted. Now he can also prescribe marijuana. The medical marijuana clinics are filled with people who got scripts from corrupt doctors.

Also, who is growing it? I doubt it’s just your friendly hippie farmer in the country, but more likely major drug cartels, many of whom are extremely violent. Further, the prices are absurdly expensive. $35-75 for an eighth of an ounce in Los Angeles, for example. Someone is making a lot of money off this.

I haven’t smoked marijuana in a long time nor will I again. But given the corruption caused by drug cartels and sleazy doctors, isn’t it just simpler to legalize it?

In fact, I think that’s what’s happening. Medical marijuana is the back door way to legalization and everyone knows it.


  1. Can’t speak to California (or the sixteen other states), but speaking as a grandfather in Oregon cannabis culture, a licensed care provider and – long pause – life-long consumer, you’re right, and somewhat wrong. There is a high degree of resentment amongst we who grow our own weed in our own backyard (basement, barn, whatever) towards the commercial grow operations – the drug cartels and the so-called “hippie farmer” who grows more than just for his own consumption but to sell fifty or a hundred pounds of ‘excess’. Indeed, the latter are the strongest local opposition to my advocacy of the now legal in Oregon production of commercial hemp, which makes for a strange manner of ‘public’ debate, and commercial growers do damage to our precious forest and wildlands unacceptable even to most hard-nosed of old Old Loggers such as I, and is with regularity turned in to the authorities as quickly as your average crackhead. We don’t like them.

    Couple of things to grasp that I try to detail in my book Cultural Commons of the Pacific Northwest: first that around here (and we’re pretty redneck right here) nobody even blinks if you were to (discretely) light up a puff in public but you might get your ass kicked for lighting up some tobacco, and secondly that there is a sizable population here that in essence boycott the medical/industrial complex. Generally due to lack of accessibility, a sizable population of those such as I, for example, with a lower back trashed in a sawmill accident thirty years ago that ‘oft leaves me bent over like a real old man for days at a time, who have taken nothing stronger in said thirty years than a pint or two of high-quality hand-crafted Oregon micro-brewed ale and a puff out of my backyard. The latter, of course, includes Dr. Feelgood and his happy pills.

    I ‘oft joke about Libertarians as ‘Republicans smoking pot’, which is a bit self-depreciating as we Old Logger / Hippie / Backyard consumers are not necessarily advocates of legalization. Legalization leads to regulation, and some corporation profiting from my pain.

    • Legalization would certainly have to include the right to grow your own else it would be meaningless. If it was legal the price would drop enormously. I’ve read that most of the profits for the drug cartels in Mexico come from marijuana. So yes, there’s a lot of vested interests who don’t want it legal.

      In S.F. it’s de facto legal too. People walk down busy downtown streets smoking weed. I have no problem with legalizing it, and hope we do. The reason I don’t smoke weed is the same reason I don’t drink. When I start I don’t stop.

  2. Better Dr. Feelfgood gives you grass than valium. The latter comes with a serious (months-long) withdrawal.

    Seriously, I once had a doctor try to convince me (knowing I had been clean for eighteen years at the time) that “some people just need to be addicted to valium.” Even if he’s right, I’m not one of them. Nor will I smoke pot. But how much damage is conventional pharmacology doing with attitudes like that?

    I have long believed what Ten Bears says above: the greatest opposition to legalization comes from those making money in the current environment. That would include not only importers and dealers, but the DEA and certain other law enforcement officers. And of course certain politicians who can smile and identify all those potheads as the reason we’ve become the second-rate nation we are, deflecting attention from their own less-than-ethical behavior.

Comments are closed.