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State Supreme Court Hearing On Pot Dispensaries Could Affect Novato

Many cities whose dispensary ban on medical marijuana facilities will be affected by the ruling.

Whether cities such as Novato can ban medical marijuana dispensaries will be the topic of a high-stakes court hearing.

On Tuesday, the California Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether communities can prohibit these marijuana facilities in light of the 1996 voter-approved law legalizing pot for medicinal uses in California.

As detailed in a San Jose Mercury News story, the hearing stems from a Southern California case where a wellness center sued to overturn Riverside's ban on marijuana dispensaries.

Novato is among the Bay Area cities that have some sort of prohibition in place. Since December 2010 it has had a moratorium on pot club operations, in line with federal laws that prohibit the sale of marijuana.

In June 2012, the Green Door Wellness Education Center on North Redwood Boulevard closed its doors under pressure from the city about two months after federal agents forced another cannabis club, Green Tiger, to close right next door to the Green Door facility. Within the span of 2009, another club opened and closed in Ignacio.

The state Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday in San Francisco. A decision is expected sometime this spring.

Do you have thoughts about this? Add a comment below.

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Gram February 06, 2013 at 03:01 PM
Any Community with self respect should not cave in to the "medical MJ" scam!
Christina February 06, 2013 at 03:53 PM
I am a non-marijuana smoker who thinks that people should let it happen. Let people with chronic illness have some relief. They could be in agony dying from a terminal illnesss and at least they feel some sense of comfort whether it just be psychological or actually relieving pain. Let them have comfort. Who are we to say if it is actually helping them or not. They are the ones experiencing the pain and comfort.
Christina February 06, 2013 at 03:55 PM
To add, we all know marijuana give peolpe the "munchies", so look for instance at a person with cancer on chimo who is so sick and cannot eat from the mediction. If they cannot eat their body will crumble even more. At least if they smoke they can eat to keep on weight and have a fighting chance at beating their disease.
Avanti Monty February 06, 2013 at 06:56 PM
Nobody is adverse to medical marijuana being used by the sick who sincerely benefit from its use. Its the fakers, cheats , chiselers and growers that's the problem . Its being purchased illegally using fake id's , friends of friends , and street vendors. The greedy growers who are fronting marijuana legally with the specified number of plants through the front door and selling it Illegally with hidden plants out the back door are getting rich and seldom get caught .Kids are seen hiding alcohol consumption from the police and the public but smoke joints and do bongs with fearless impunity in public? We should keep it out of Novato our police department has enough to do besides arresting pot smokers . Not allowing medical dispensaries in Novato wont stop its use but at least it will send a message we are against its use here. Either that or get on the band wagon to legalize it . You cant have both ways without nasty consequences.
MR February 06, 2013 at 10:20 PM
I will NEVER understand why marijuana isn't legal, while big pharm companies dipense billions of prescription drugs yearly which have severe adverse affects on the human body physically and neurologically...by a synthesized substance! Cannibinoids found in pot have been clinically found to "eat" cancer cells while reducing inflammation, body seizures, they slow brain aging, have antioxidant properties...I mean the list goes on and on! People are so ready to judge those that use marijuana as 'lazy stoners', while such a large percentage of the US population uses, anywhere from disabled, chronically ill, professionals, church-goers, you name it! Alcohol and prescription drugs have so many detrimental effects on the human body, and either harm or kill hundreds of thousands yearly, yet it is still legal, because the lucrative aspect of it....it doesn't matter about the proven harm they cause...alcohol, tobacco, and prescription drugs are legal! There is proof upon proof of the multitude of benefits of marijuana, and it is still labled as a street drug! It is a naturally growing, organic plant that has incredible properties, and have NEVER heard of anyone dying from a marijuana overdose. Wake up people and educate yourselves! I am not a ranting 'stoner', I am a woman that grew up in an alcoholic family and have lived the devastation brought on by alcohol abuse, while the 'hippie' family next door was probably the healthiest, happiest, loving, and normal family I knew.
Devin February 07, 2013 at 01:01 AM
Your comment literally just summed up everything I have always tried explaining to people. I will never, ever, understand why alcohol, tobacco, and these awful prescription drugs are OK and marijuana is looked at like a sin. Thank you.
Cory Chamberlain February 07, 2013 at 01:36 AM
Great post MR and Devin! I feel that most people's aversion to marijuana stems from a lack of knowledge fed by propaganda over the years rather than fact or reason.
craig anderson February 07, 2013 at 04:01 PM
Good points MR. Here's my concern - If you ingest a large amount of pot, the impact is much greater than smoking (so i've been told...) and brings the effect to a level where it is difficult to function normally and for sure unsafe to operate a vehicle. The level of impairment nears what occurs when drunk. But when drunk, there are simple and somewhat reliable tests for the level of intoxication so we can monitor and enforce maximum intoxication levels. When eating pot there is no way to tell how intoxicated one is, or even how recently it was eaten, and the longer you stay awake the more significant the high becomes. Booze is difficult to make, but you can accurately test the proof/alc content. Pot is a weed that's simple to grow, harvest and make tasty treats but challenging to monitor strength and quantity when ingested. Not saying the laws as is are right but am definitely concerned about how easy it is to grow and harvest and how difficult it can be to manage and measure the impacts of those that may over indulge.
David February 07, 2013 at 06:15 PM
i agree with some of the comments the terminally ill should have access it's the fakes and cheaters i know people that have card that never expire that claim back pain what a crock i have had back surgery,I still work 40 plus hrs a week, and don't need pot to help with the pain, i also think that since it's called medicinal how come anyone can dispense it, should only be dispensed by licensed Pharmacist, and taxed like alcohol or cigarettes and have a special license just like a liquor store. just my 2 cents worth. and i voted for this mess.then a city can say how many licenses are issued,
John Perkins February 08, 2013 at 01:56 AM
Ignorance is bliss isn't it Gram and the rest of you who think your opinion matches what's really going on? My name is John Perkins and I have lived in Fremont, CA since 1965. I have Psoriatic Arthritis and have used cannabis for 3 years (I've dealt with this condition for years before this and it took a long time to diagnose). No I'm not terminal, I hope, but is that the only reason YOU USE medication (question for Christina & David below)? I used to take Vicoden for my pain, now I use cannabis. I used to take up to 3 Ibuprofen per day to reduce swelling, now I use cannabis and use generally 1-2 Ibuprofen per week. I still have to take Methyltrexate for my condition (otherwise I will not be able to walk). Methyltrexate can make you very nauseous and cannabis helps ease that so I can work/eat/live as normal as possible. I'm not the only one with a condition that cannabis helps with but I am more vocal about it. Most can't because they may lose a job now, in the future, or become stigmatized by people who think cannabis = Stoner (you only see what you want). I take the risk of opening up, hoping to help educate and create a better understanding of what it means to live with a medical condition and how cannabis supports rather than hinders my life. I have more to say but I'm running out of space so I'll post again. But I'll say this last thing; You see my name, picture, and profile are real. So is my story. I used Blue Dream strain before writing this. Peace!
Beth Stein February 08, 2013 at 03:37 AM
As a former hippie who smoked pot from age 13 until 24 years old I am able to debunk all those above who claim we don't know what we are taking about. Pot is a drug of choice that shouldn't be for sale legally. Pot sucks your brain cells and you become stoned - duh what else is a stoner except a person who can't think cause pot and other drugs have put them in a fog. Legalized pot---It's crap. If you are fighting serious illness your dr can prescribe THC pills. We don't need pot clubs where teens get it by showing a marijuana card. Scams all over Marin Don't you people get it! Who wants a pot club next to their business? Nobody! You want all your customers getting high from the smokers fumes? You want riff raff hanging around your business?
John Perkins February 08, 2013 at 03:48 AM
So to continue: With 3 years under my belt, and no prior agenda, I think I have something to say on the topic. 1. Anyone that posts anything on the topic of cannabis or hemp without educating themselves first is irresponsible. I see opinions here that show gross neglect and a complete lack of understanding. If you have questions why don't you search them and start learning. http://norml.org or safeaccess is a good start. 2. Americans ignored the good of Mother Nature's plant in exchange for decades of gov lies and thousands of non-violent Americans imprisoned (modern day slaves). Shame on Americans! 3. If cannabis can replace pharmaceuticals (like replacing Vicoden which is hard on the body) why the wouldn't any other American want that choice like me? Shame on Americans if they remove the dispensaries that help people like me, because that's where I get my medication from. 4. Here's a thought: Americans can be forced to pay for health insurance but can't freely purchase (dispensary or otherwise) or grow their own cheap and natural medication under Federal law? Shame on Americans for letting the pharmaceutical companies win! Pharmaceuticals are clapping for you now.
John Perkins February 08, 2013 at 04:36 AM
5. Americans should have the choice to use MJ for their recreation or MMJ for their health. I urge you to read and study all the ways in which cannabis has supported peoples lives for thousands of years already. That's "Thousands" of years before any you read this. Think about it? Thousands. Don't you owe it to your health or to someone else you might know that needs a choice now or in the future? I didn't know I would be struck with Psoriatic Arthritis in my late 30's (no family history of it on my mothers or fathers side). It just is. -Did you know you can juice cannabis, get the benefits, and not get high at all? -Do you know who Cash Hyde is? -Do you know that the U.S. Gov owns a patent on cannabinoids that only come from cannabis and yet they still say cannabis has no medical purpose keeping it Schedule 1? There is so much for you to learn but here's my problem. I'm sick now. My illness is not going into remission. I, and others like myself, need your support so that we may get the medication that works for us. We go to dispensaries because they are safe and provide great choices. Cannabis helps me medically and its proven in that I'm living in less pain because of it. I even vaped Pineapple Wreck while writing this. Cannabis is not for everyone but don't you feel like you should have that choice? It is time for a change in America yesterday- Free Hemp and Cannabis. Choose Compassion. Peace! ~ John Perkins P.S. Yes, My meds have funny names. Who cares!
John Perkins February 08, 2013 at 05:22 AM
Was this supposed to be an educated comment? You realized you smoked illegally at that age and you knew it. Kids do the same thing today right? No different. Clubs didn't make that happen and they are not pushers to 13 y/os. So how did you get it then Beth? My daughters didn't use marijuana. You know why? Because I told them what it was and why they didn't need to use it. They listened. That's an education and what all parents should do. I know it doesn't always work but then that's what follow up parenting or counseling is for right? Did you have any parenting between 13-18? Lets just take that you smoked from age 13-18. I would not advocate for anyone under 18 without a medical purpose. If they did have a medical condition I would recommend specific types of strains that are rank high on pain relief but not as psychoactive (in fact, that's what I'm experiencing now while typing you, pain relief but very light psychoactive experience). Here's a link on THC, CBD, CBN : http://www.alamedamedicalmarijuana.com/the-real-difference-between-thc-cbd-and-cbn/ You can learn how these work. The other thing Beth is WHAT did you smoke? I know what I'm smoking/vaping/eating because its labeled, lab tested, and I've tested each to see what works for me. While I can't vouch for Marin (since I have not been there) I can vouch for San Jose, Castro Valley and a few other cities where all cannabis clubs have strict no hang out and no use rules. They cause no harm. Peace!
Christina February 08, 2013 at 07:08 AM
John If you slow and read more carefully I said people with chronic illness and used terminal illness's as an example. Obviously not all chronic illness's are terminal.
John Perkins February 08, 2013 at 08:49 AM
Yes Christina you did and I apologize for not reading correctly. However, I will say that you are still wrong. I know women that experience severe cramps (not considered a chronic illness) a few times a year and use cannabis to relieve the pain. They need a safe place to acquire the cannabis from. Hence, why dispensaries are important to a community, not for just chronic or terminally ill. What do you have in your medicine cabinet? Any pain pills? (Rhetorical) If a Dr. prescribes you Vicoden for pain associated with a newly broken foot, or you have a migraine one night suddenly (both not chronic illnesses), wouldn't you want the option of cannabis if you knew it worked for you? And if you don't feel you deserve that right, since the gov tells you what you should think, do you feel you have the right to prevent me from having that option when I'm a law abiding citizen? People have their pharmacies, why can't I have my dispensary? Thank you for what support you have offered as its appreciated. However, I'm still advocating for even more common sense and understanding so that people don't easily blow of dispensaries as some kind of drug hang out. Yes its different than CVS because it smells better, looks better, and the people are even nicer. Think big. Think freedom for all. Why let The Fed or the city council take that right away from your neighbor when your neighbor does you no harm? Fight for your neighbors right to have safe access. Peace!
Beth Stein February 09, 2013 at 01:12 AM
Gee John do you want to legislate to bring back the Opium wars too? That's a plant and grows naturally. Medications are NOT always good for humans. Healthy living and good organic foods along with exercise, water, etc are often ways to combat our poor choices. Why say things about parenting? Of course I have great parents. And I'm a terrific parent of adult children who knew fully about my hippie days. You don't need to get overly rude with people who disagree about pot clubs and drug over use either. Every see a baby born to a mom who was addicted to drugs or alcohol? It ain't pretty nor is it good for the baby.
Beth Stein February 09, 2013 at 01:28 AM
http://www.khov.com/Home/CA/131940000/_Properties_AUTH.htm Pot smokers have double risk of stroke than non pot smokers !!! "We don't have as good data as we have for alcohol, but the evidence is already clear," said Susan Weiss, policy chief for the National Institute on Drug Abuse. "Marijuana is not good for you." Frequent, prolonged marijuana use has been linked to depression, psychosis, anxiety, and other mental disorders, especially among teenagers. A decades-long study in New Zealand found that adolescents who used pot at least four times a week lost an average of 8 IQ points between the ages of 13 and 38. Studies suggest that about 9 percent of all users become dependent on marijuana, and that pot smokers have far higher rates of workplace injuries and school absences than non-users. One study of 46,000 Swedish soldiers found that even infrequent pot smokers were more than twice as likely to develop schizophrenia as non-smokers; regular users were six times as likely. Fred Gardner of the California Cannabis Medical Research Group says the National Institute on Drug Abuse "looks for the negative stuff on purpose and disregards anything positive about cannabis." And no study has proved a causal link between marijuana use and neurological disease.
Beth Stein February 09, 2013 at 01:31 AM
http://adai.uw.edu/marijuana/factsheets/contamination.htm How about all the chemicals added to indoor pot growing?
John Perkins February 09, 2013 at 08:44 AM
1. We are discussing cannabis which has clear medical benefits. Cannabis and hemp are two important products I believe should be in the hands of the public. People drink alcohol why can't others smoke cannabis? Choice. 2. Right, which is why I advocate for dispensaries where I get my natural medication (not synthesized in a pharmaceutical). The cannabis I use is lab tested for molds, pesticides, percentage of TCH/CBD/CBN, and other stuff. This insures I know what I'm getting. 3. My comments about your upbringing are valid because you said pot ruins you. Well yeah because you used illegally off the streets at from age 13. Your parents are responsible for 5 years of your life in which you used cannabis illegally. Good parenting would have stopped that from occurring. You made yourself a target when you said these ridiculous things trying to argue against pot use (simply because you did it illegally). That's an invalid argument to the topic of legal adult and/or medical use. 4. Again, this has nothing to do with an American having the choice to use cannabis, which is the least addictive "drug" (its actually a herb, not a "drug" as the gov labeled it). And in this comment are you saying that because some other person can't handle their medication or recreation that I or anyone else should have their choice taken away? Shame on you! Are you an American? Where is the freedom of choice?
John Perkins February 09, 2013 at 09:13 AM
Beth? Your link was to a property site. "We don't have as good data as we have for alcohol..."? B***S*** . They know cannabis is less addictive than alcohol. In fact its the least addictive of all "drugs". If that's the case then why is alcohol allowed (prolonged use of that is bad for your health right and then there's DUI's, Hangovers (which I never get on cannabis) and other work related issues (Pilots drinking before flying)? Seems we should put prohibition back right? Wrong. I am responsible citizen and I am allowed to drink alcohol after age 21. Well I also deserve that choice when it comes to cannabis which has proven year after year for thousands of years to be a healthy herb for humans when used in moderation. Last, there are vaporizers, Hash, Oils, Wax, & Edibles. All of these are non-smoke cannabis products. Personally I love to vape hash oil and wax. No smoke, just pure pain relieve and a sense of well being. Last night I was using smoke and wax. Tonight I'm using a vape-pen. Your data above is using adolescents. Can you please stop discussing your childhood problems. Dispensaries, the topic, aren't selling to 13 year olds. 13 year olds, as you have already proven, got it well before dispensaries were in town. Again, dispensaries provide me safe access, the products I want, and its lab tested and shows the percentages of THC, CBD, CBN and other stuff. Once again I've shown that your argument doesn't hold water. Choice as An American? I want my choice.
John Perkins February 09, 2013 at 09:49 AM
Read my posts above where I say that I use dispensaries because the MJ is lab tested. Your argument again holds no water. Lab tested professionally (and I have met these people personally). It is wonderful you pointed out an obvious issue us cannabis users already know and avoid. Maybe that's why your head is messed up as you said. Maybe you used MJ at age 13 (which was wrong) and that it had pesticides. Now it makes sense. Now do you see why dispensaries are important? They're regulated, MJ can be lab tested, the city and state know what comes in and out of the stores (they get a lot of taxes - huge benefit to the cities and the state). Its safe access rather than some street deal so I can use cannabis rather than Vicoden (that's my story, remember the others). Again, nobody can argue against me regarding dispensaries. I see comments from people who have never been to a dispensary yet claim things that are untrue. These dispensaries are regulated and police have not had any more issues with dispensary businesses than any other businesses in the local towns. As an American citizen there is no reason why I shouldn't have the right to take care of my health and life the way I please if I am not hurting anyone else; and that dispensaries that are abiding by the law can provide me with the products that help my health. Cannabis isn't hurting me, its helping me now even while I write this. Do you get that? Taking the dispensary takes our safe access. America where are you?
Mia March 06, 2013 at 01:21 AM
You should do your research on this, Beth...that study was debunked!
Mia March 06, 2013 at 01:29 AM
Quite an inaccurate statement, in order to debunk anything, you have to really be quallified...if you have no medical reason to have been smoking, and did not even know what, exactly, you were smoking, in addition to being underage, well then you are just blowing off steam, but not really making any point, or sense, at all. Had you more experience to compare the harm that long term use of pharmaceuticals cause to the body, you may have even written something a little more intelligent rather than exposing your hippie days of exploration and escape. If you acually suffered from pain you would have half of the knowledge that goes with feeling completely normal while using marijuana (just like other "pain killers") because it is actually going to the pain. When a person consumes anything that the body does not need, it has a much, much different effect than when the body actually needs it. The chemistry of the body is different. You advertise your ignorance and your own prejudice by implying marijuana users are "riff raff." Sorry you regret you wasted (pun intended) away your younger years, but that is no reason to take it out on people who are suffering in the world.
Mia March 06, 2013 at 01:35 AM
What about all of the chemicals added to our food, that you consume on a daily basis? Should we lobby to stop eating now, or just for removal of the chemicals? You are right...you did smoke too much, for too long, for all of the wrong reasons.

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