The arguments over implementation of the Legislature’s proposal to regulate the sale of medical marijuana miss a critical point. There are many citizens out there with a legitimate need for a safe and effective drug to control their pain, nausea or other debilitating conditions.
Yes, legal drugs are available for these ailments. While they can be effective, most are not safe. In fact, some are downright lethal. Witness the recent death of Pierce County Sheriff’s Deputy Shandon Wright from an accidental overdose of oxycodone.
No one ever died from an overdose of marijuana, but many have been made sick by “bad grass.” Unregulated growers can sell moldy product that can be very harmful to patients with allergies.
The key to the proposed legislation is regulation and licensing of growers. As a recent commenter stated (TNT, 4-29), anybody who wants marijuana badly enough will find it, but what are they getting?
State-regulated dispensaries would make it much harder for those without a valid prescription to obtain it, and who would bother to buy from some guy in a parking lot if they could walk in to a well-lit, licensed, regulated facility? The police could then focus their attention on the unauthorized buyers, like the kid next door who just wants to get high.