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Medical Marijuana Dispensaries May Visit East Coast

Herb Fellow

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Marijuana has become one of the most widely used recreational drugs, the debate over whether or not to legalize, decriminalize or provide medical marijuana has grown significantly over the years.

According to cnn.com, in 1996, California was the first state to approve the use of medical marijuana. MedicalMarijuanaProCon.org said12 states have also created laws legalizing marijuana for patients who qualify, the latest one being New Mexico in 2007.

Not only is California making marijuana legal, it is also making the drug easy to obtain. USA Today reported Marijuana vending machines are offering a quick fix for those with authorized medical and prepaid cards. In order to ensure people aside from patients are not taking advantage of the machines, fingerprints will also be tested.

One of the machines, which will operate and dispense marijuana around the clock, is located at the Herbal Nutrition Center located in Los Angeles. According to The Guardian, the center is one of two that offers legal marijuana dispensary through a green colored machine.

The vending machines, dubbed Prescription Vending Machines (PVM), will not dispense more than an ounce each week. Each purchase will offer a registered customer either one eighth or two eighths of an ounce. By eliminating the vendor, the drugs are sold roughly $20 cheaper than if they were obtained at a pharmacy. Once the card and fingerprints are verified, a bright green envelope containing marijuana is dropped down a slot.

The website for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) includes a state guide outlining marijuana laws and informing readers of differences of each state's drug laws. The laws in California are considered more lenient than New York, in regards to either possessing or selling marijuana.

If any Californian is in possession of 28.5 grams or less, it is considered a misdemeanor, with a $100 fine and no incarceration. In the state of New York, possession of 25 grams or less, at first offense, is a $100 fine with no incarceration. This, however, is considered a civil citation. The second offense does not lead to incarceration, but does include a civil citation and a $200 fine. The third time, one will either be sent to jail for five days or pay a $250 fine for committing a misdemeanor. More than 28.5 grams in California will result in a misdemeanor, six months of jail time and a $500 fine.

The state of New York has five different laws when it comes to possessing more than 25 grams of marijuana. One can go to jail from three months to 15 years and be fined up to $5,000, with felony charges.

Even though the state of New York has harsher rules in comparison to California, Albany, New York passed one of its first legislative hurdles in 2004 that would legalize medical marijuana, according to StopTheDrugWar.org. In 2007, Governor Eliot Spitzer of Albany said he was open to the idea of medical marijuana.

New York has had some history involving medical marijuana. According to thevillagevoice.com, "Between 1982 and 1989, the New York State Department of Health handed out almost 6,000 joints, to more than 200 people. Eventually the availability of Marinol capsules-which contain THC, the active ingredient in marijuana-decreased the demand for the cigarettes." However, the program was shut down.

Source: The Pace Press
Copyright: 2008, The Pace Press
Contact: Carla Aponte
Website: Medical marijuana dispensaries may visit East Coast - Features


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*Hey! This is kinda long but please read it all 'cuz you never know where you'll find that golden nugget! Being an East-Coaster myself (Philly, the City of Brotherly-& Sisterly-Love!), I am glad to actually see that the "prone-to-be-conservative-about-marijuana-&-hemp" East Coast has decided to "loosen up." Just a little bit. We need many more belt holes to be loosened most definitely for progress to really get going! (Also, we must NOT forget about that potentially environmentally saving crop, HEMP!! Hey, the U.S. Constitution was written on paper made with hemp, how bad could it really be? George Washington grew hemp! "Get with it" I say to all you conservative peoples that we supposedly elected for you to govern us!! That's yet another point of contention with me--the electoral process. I think that it's basically a set-up. Anyways, I'll get off my soapbox about hemp & electoral processes & return to my original thought. Sorry, I just get all fired up sometimes! HEMP RULES & could solve soooo very many problems if only the marijuana stigma would just go away!!) The West has always been lucky to be just a bit more free thinking than the East! I hope that the initiatives started in New York will NOT be squelched but enlighten otherwise ignorant people to the positive effects that marijuana can have medically and, possibly, the spreading of education on hemp could follow! Also the spreading of more lenient marijuana laws (medical & otherwise) may ensue--hopefully! The last thing we need is more prison's being built to hold people(s) that had over 25 grs. on their person (at least in New York, unfortunately, for those of us who do not live in that state, or the state of CA we deal with even tougher laws). Funny how that number--25 gr.-- is just below the 28 grs. it takes to make an oz., isn't it? I personally think that the 28.5 gr. law in Califonia is more reasonable. It makes more sense. However, we all know that it all comes down to money--the "almighty" $dollar$. It's much more in the DEA's (& the government's) interests to keep marijuana illegal. They get to keep their jobs and they are getting $$$ from every aspect of the marijuana "trade." (In my opinion at least.) Also, the East Coast has always been considered the center for commerce (a.k.a. $money$) in the country. Unfortunately, I believe that this battle will be a very steep uphill one. So I'll say it again--"Get You voice out there!!" Also try to buy hemp friendly products and shop at hemp friendly stores. Money Talks!!
P.S. I was very unhappy to hear of the Ohio Hempery's closing quite a few years back. I moved away from that area a bit before that time and if anyone knows anything about a re-opening there or a start-up of of ANY other hemperies in the Northeast (including Ohio), I'd really like to hear from you & get that info!!
So East Coasters, Let's get it together and write(or e-mail)to the congress people in New York & Albany (even if you don't live there) & also get your voice heard by your own congress people! Our voices need to be heard! I know that I'm sick of being stuck in the dark ages about marijuana & hemp use so y'all gotta be sick of it too! Get out there & raise your voice. Sometimes it's as easy as an e-mail to get in touch with these people who boss us around & don't have the faintest clue about what the majority of their constituents(us)really think or how we really live! *Peacemy friends--Molly
*As my folks would say, "Keep On Keepin' On!"
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