Fullerton takes action on medical marijuana dispensaries

In Local News, News
Photo courtesy of MCT

 

The legality of medical marijuana in cities across California is a foggy subject and local governments are struggling to decide how dispensaries should be managed.

While some cities have no ordinances banning the business of medical marijuana dispensaries, Fullerton and other cities have taken measures to keep these pot-distributing cooperatives away.

Ever since the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 and Medical Marijuana Program Act were passed, cooperative networks of medical marijuana distribution have grown immensely.

Currently, marijuana has been legalized in various states for medicinal purposes, but ironically, the drug is still classified as a Schedule I controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration. This implies that marijuana still has a high potential for abuse and is not currently accepted for use in medical treatment.

Technically, dispensaries should be able to operate legally as long as they’re nonprofit. However, many cities have avoided the additional costs of law enforcement, zoning regulations and overall community impact. In effect, many cities have enacted ordinances that prohibit the business of medical marijuana dispensaries. In February 2008, Fullerton’s City Council overturned the decision to allow dispensaries in town in a 4-1 vote.

Don Bankhead, a Cal State Fullerton alumnus and Fullerton’s current mayor pro-tem, served on the Fullerton City Council in 2008.  Based on his own marijuana research, his vote against the dispensaries was justified by his disagreement with the methods being used to distribute the drug and the ease of access to individuals.

“If there is an actual medical benefit, it should be disbursed the same way as other medicine. It should be prescribed by doctors that practice medicine and dispensed through a regular pharmaceutical,” he said.

In July, a Fullerton marijuana dispensary was shut down by local authorities for being too close to an elementary school and in August, a marijuana transaction went sour when a courier was robbed of $20,000 worth of pot by three men pretending to run a legitimate dispensary.

“Marijuana dispensaries, collectives and cooperatives are not allowed to operate within the city of Fullerton,” said Fullerton Police Sgt. Andrew Goodrich in a July ABC 7 news brief.

Staying out of the limelight is the Advanced Holistic Healthcare collective, a family-owned and operated, nonprofit organization out of Buena Park. Unlike its dispensary counterparts, the AHH collective is strictly a delivery service and has been in business since March.

The AHH collective delivers around a 10-mile radius, from Cerritos to Fullerton, and offers medical marijuana to be smoked, grown or eaten.

According to Michelle Perry, AHH’s chief financial officer, the majority of clients fall between the age of 18 to 86 years old, with the most frequent return clients being around the age of 50.

“We get a lot of doctor referrals, so once they come in we basically become their pharmacy,” said Perry.

Perry feels Orange County authorities are a bit skeptical about the types of patients that marijuana dispensaries serve. She used people that have tattoos as an analogy to make the point that those who seek medical marijuana are looked down on and misunderstood by an uninformed society.

Even with the 2008 ordinance in place, Fullerton is still prone to the covert distribution of medical marijuana.

Joshua Serrano, 23, a marketing major, lives in Placentia and knows of distribution networks other than dispensaries.

“I’ve got friends that smoke. A couple of them get it from clinics, but a majority of them just buy off pot dealers or other friends. It’s definitely not hard to come by if you really want it,” he said.

A couple of his friends even have medical marijuana cards and Serrano said they’re not hard to obtain.

“My friend just said that his back was hurting and my other buddy just said he couldn’t sleep and they were able to acquire cards,” he said.

Because various cities have enacted different policies concerning dispensaries, there is a lot of confusion on how to deal with medical marijuana. While proliferation of dispensaries may increase the abuse of marijuana, without them, individuals who truly rely on the drug for medical purposes may suffer.

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8 commentsOn Fullerton takes action on medical marijuana dispensaries

  • Due to the tyrannic and mindless actions of prohibitionists, tens of millions of people world-wide (both users and non-users) have been either killed, maimed, incarcerated or had their lives very seriously disrupted. Prohibitionists are solely responsible for an immense increase in violent organized crime, an AIDS Pandemic and a grave abuse of human rights on a scale barely witnessed in human social history.

    Corporate greed and individual bigotry have accelerated us towards a situation where all the usual peaceful and democratic methods needed to reverse the acute damage done by prohibition no longer function as envisaged by the Founding Fathers of our once great and free nation. Such a political impasse coupled with great economic tribulation is precisely that which throughout history has invariably ignited violent revolution.

    In order to avert what will surely be a far more violent situation than we are all presently experiencing, there appears to be just one last avenue left to us – Jury Nullification.

    Jury Nullification is a constitutional doctrine that allows juries to acquit defendants who are technically guilty, but who don’t deserve punishment. All non-violent drug offenders, be they users, dealers or importers, fall into this category. If you believe that prohibition is a dangerous and counter-productive policy, then you don’t have to help to apply it. Under the Constitution, when it comes to acquittals, you, the juror, have the last word!

    The idea that jurors should judge the law, as well as the facts, is a proud and vital component of American history.

    The most shining example of Jury Nullification occurred during the shameful period in US history when slavery was legal. People who helped slaves escape were committing a federal crime – violation of the Fugitive Slave Act. Jurors would often acquit, even when the defendants admitted their guilt. Legal historians credit these cases with advancing the abolition of slavery.

    No amount of money, police powers, weaponry, wishful thinking or pseudo-science will make our streets safer; only an end to prohibition can do that. How much longer are you willing to foolishly risk your own survival by continuing to ignore the obvious, historically confirmed solution? – When called for Jury Service concerning any non-violent prohibition-related offense, it is your moral and civic duty to VOTE TO ACQUIT!

    “To function as the founders intended, our republic requires that “the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”
    ~ THOMAS JEFFERSON, letter to William Stephens Smith, November 13, 1787.

    To avoid such carnage and turmoil on a scale not seen in this land since the 1860s, we may have just one last chance.

    VOTE TO ACQUIT!

  • Really?

    You are going to use Don Bankhead’s opinion as to why their shouldn’t be dispensaries in Fullerton?

    Don Bankhead conducted his own “marijuana” research?

    Steven Yuan,

    If you want to break out in journalism…you should sit here and display all the facts.

    Don Bankhead said that marijuana should be treated like other medicine and distributed by doctors?

    How many pill prescriptions kill people each year?

    And….compare that to the deaths of marijuana…

    Thanks.

  • It’s high time to move on with outright legalization of this herb. The nation is depressed and the end of prohibition would be huge benefit for the users and the Americans who have been fighting the war on drugs as the freedom fighters. It won’t be much longer and the shock of this paradigm shift is going is going to free minds and peeps behinds will soon follow. Life and Liberty YEAH!

  • Legalizing marajuana, for medical use only,gives people a chance to live life to the fullest, without having to poison our selves with pills & their side effects,that actually do our bodies moore harm than good. To try to take our freedom of choice, our rite to choose away from us, us inhumane & plane out wrong! I’m a person dying from liver failure.I can’t even explain to you how much medical marajuana helps me, physicly & mentaly .But just to let you know for once I excepted my fait.If you want to take that from me,Prepair for a fight to the end. I can still pack a punch & id rather die on my feet than live on my knees.Try me! HUERO LOCS.

  • Fullertonfamilyfarms.com FAN

    Thur Fullerton Family Farms . Com and Werdiverfree.org non profits are well respected in our town and they are the real deal unlike many fly by night services who deliver from outside our town thwar people help our community with the hungry from their good bank to free mmj for hospice AIDS and terminal cancer patients. I would say they set the bar and have been since 2009. I see why they are left untouched by Fullerton PD. I heard they have family in the local Fullerton gov. Good for them as long as they keep up the good work unlike the clubs for profit who should follow their business model or close or get arrested

  • Weedeliverfree.org fan

    Weedeliverfree.org helps the Fullerton community with their Fullerton family farms food bank when a legal patient donates good the give them extra mmj also the give free ride to the mmj dr and free meds for hiv aids terminal cancer and hospice patients more info on site about this quiet leader is on their site weedeliverfree.org

  • I sam the comment above & I would not have know where to go or what to do to get started if it was not for WeeDeliverfree.Org. I called and they offered me a ride to the local MMJ doctor.I can drive myself but it was and is a very nice jester for those who cannot. I was also educated on the strains that would be best for my health issue(s) and was told to call back if I have any questions and that there was not one silly questions when it comes to MMJ. I am so thankful Fullerton has this service. No other town has it as I checked for a friend of mine in Fresno (sorry Jimmy). This is a one of a kind service and we have it here in my town of 30 years Fullerton. I also donated food for their homless & hungry food bank they have had for a couple of years now. I am in shock that people like this are still living today. Keep up the good hard work Fullerton family arms & WeDeliverFree.Org.

  • I sam the comment above & I would not have know where to go or what to do to get started if it was not for WeeDeliverfree.Org. I called and they offered me a ride to the local MMJ doctor.I can drive myself but it was and is a very nice jester for those who cannot. I was also educated on the strains that would be best for my health issue(s) and was told to call back if I have any questions and that there was not one silly questions when it comes to MMJ. I am so thankful Fullerton has this service. No other town has it as I checked for a friend of mine in Fresno (sorry Jimmy). This is a one of a kind service and we have it here in my town of 30 years Fullerton. I also donated food for their homeless & hungry food bank they have had for a couple of years now. I am in shock that people like this are still living today. Keep up the good hard work Fullerton family arms & WeDeliverFree.Org.

Comments are closed.