“As long as you grow your own birch trees…”

Some nice quotes on the benefits of smartly-regulated medical marijuana dispensaries from today’s San Mateo County Times:

Since Oakland introduced medical cannabis regulations in 2004, “the dispensaries have been so problem-free and crime-free that citizens who aren’t participating hardly even know they exist,” said Barbara Killey, an assistant to the Oakland city administrator. Killey, who oversees the permitting and regulation of the city’s dispensaries, would rather the federal government legalize medical cannabis so that pharmacies could sell the drug. “Since that’s not really a current option, then I think dispensaries are the next best alternative,” she said. The collectives pay business taxes to the city, draw people to the community to shop and even reduce crime in their neighborhood because of the security they hire to protect their operation, said Killey. … San Mateo’s mayor agrees that patients are better served by cooperative or collective dispensaries which can offer medical cannabis in exchange for money. Forcing patients to grow their own medicine is “a very primitive way” of providing medicine, he said. “What if we decided that you could have all the aspirin you wanted as long as you grew the birch trees?” he said.

Reason’s report on medical marijuana dispensary regulation in Los Angeles earned a mention in the LA Daily News a couple of weeks back.