In the past, medical marijuana has been legal in the state of California. Those carrying a medical marijuana card have been able to purchase marijuana at dispensaries across the state. However, last month the dispensaries were out lawed by the state. In retaliation an army of signature-gatherers has hit Los Angeles streets in recent weeks in order to drive repeal against the recent ban on marijuana dispensaries. If activists can collect about 27,400 names required within the next three weeks, a referendum to overturn the ban will go before California voters in March.
Officials celebrated the ordinance when it was passed, saying it gave the city a long awaited legal instrument to shut down marijuana dispensaries. Many dispensaries reel in repeated complaints from local neighbors.” But some defiant dispensary owners have vowed to keep their doors open, even as the city has begun notifying them that they must shut down by September 6th 2012. In a letter mailed this week, the city of Los Angele warned dispensary operators that they risk jail time and fines of up to $2,500 a day if they fail to comply with the ban. The new law prohibits storefront sales of marijuana but allows groups of three or fewer to cultivate and share the drug.
Though medical marijuana can be a great tool for those experiencing excruciating pain (i.e. chemotherapy), many believe the use of it leads to more problems, such as addictions. In the book, The Science of Marijuana by Leslie Iverson, a professor of pharmacology at the University of Cambridge in England, both laboratory research and survey research show marijuana can be addicting. Based on scientific literature and studies, between 10 to 30% of regular users will develop an addiction. Only about 9% will have a serious addiction. Is it the states job to protect that 9% from the accessibility to marijuana? Is the life of 9% worth saving? What do you think? The verdict is still out.