O.C. and L.A. Supervisors ban medical marijuana dispensaries

Supervisors in Los Angeles and Orange counties moved in sync Tuesday to ban medical marijuana dispensaries in unincorporated territories.  The bans, affecting an area with 1.5 million people in L.A. County and 120,000 in Orange County, were approved in 4-1 votes in both counties, according to the L.A. Times.

Do these politicians realize who it is that needs medical marijuana?

The medical uses for marijuana have been know for some time now. Some estimate that marijuana has been used for medicinal purposes for 12,000 years now. In February of 1997, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) released a report detailing the possible medical uses for marijuana and most productive avenues for research. The report highlighted five areas of medical care that they felt were most appropriate. (Source).

  1. Stimulate appetite and alleviate cachexia.
  2. Control nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy.
  3. Decrease intraocular pressure.
  4. Analgesia.
  5. Neurological and movement disorders.

My father died of stomach cancer.  He wasted away before our eyes.  In the end his brother, who is a nurse, administered an IV drip with painkillers, as he waited to die.  Medical pot would have been of no use to him, as his own stomach turned against him.

But other cancer patients are able to make use of medical pot, to be more comfortable and to feel better.

Only one O.C. Supervisor voted against the measure to ban medical marijuana dispensaries in unincorporated areas.  That was Supervisor Shawn Nelson, who is now the sole Libertarian-leaning Supervisor in Orange County.  He said it would exacerbate the black market for the drug.

One L.A. Supervisor also voted no.  That was Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky.  “This is not some sort of scheme or scam. This is not some sort of joke,” Yaroslavsky said, noting that he had seen marijuana help friends afflicted with cancer.

Proposition 215 (or the Compassionate Use Act of 1996) is a California law concerning the use of medical cannabis. It was enacted, on November 5, 1996, by means of the initiative process, and passed with 5,382,915 (55.6%) votes in favor and 4,301,960 (44.4%) against.

This means that the majority of the Supervisors in both L.A. and Orange County have voted AGAINST the expressed will of the people.

O.C. Supervisor Bill Campbell terms out in two years.  Supervisor Janet Nguyen is up for reelection in 2012.  We cannot be rid of them soon enough.

About Art Pedroza