News


Palo Alto's emergency law targets medical marijuana

City Council to consider new pot regulations in response to changes in state law

In a liberal city that gave rise to Jerry Garcia and that embraces all things green, medical marijuana remains a glaring exception to the rule.

Even as cities such Portland, Seattle and Denver have legalized marijuana for medical uses -- and in some cases, recreational uses -- Palo Alto continues to just say no to pot. On Monday night, the City Council is set to underscore its opposition to marijuana when it considers approving an emergency ordinance banning the cultivation and delivery of medical marijuana within city borders.

In approving the ordinance, the council won't be creating a new policy so much as renewing its previous opposition to marijuana and responding to the latest changes in state law. Specifically, they are the city's response to the Medical Marijuana Safety and Regulation Act, a set of laws that were passed by the state Assembly and Senate and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in October.

The three laws create a state system for regulating and licensing the growth, testing and distribution of medical marijuana. The state Department of Food and Agriculture would be charged with regulating the state's marijuana industry. There would also be a new Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation within the state's Department of Consumer Affairs. The bureau would be charged with developing regulations and issuing licenses for cultivation and distribution of marijuana, according to a report from the office of Palo Alto City Attorney Molly Stump.

The new state laws would automatically apply to all local cities that don't already have their own ordinances governing medical marijuana. That's where Palo Alto's new ordinance comes in.

The city already has zoning laws prohibiting the establishment of marijuana dispensaries. The new ordinance would be broad in scope, expressly prohibiting medical marijuana cultivation and delivery.

The goal, according to Stump's report, is to allow the city "to maintain local authority over medical marijuana." Cities that don't have local ordinances by March 1 would lose the ability to regulate or ban cultivation, Stump noted, making the Department of Food and Agriculture the sole licensing authority.

To meet the March deadline, the City Council is set to approve the new prohibition as an "emergency ordinance," which means it would take effect instantly (normally, laws require two separate "readings" and an appeals period). The emergency status also means that it would require support from eight members of the nine-member council to pass.

This won't be Palo Alto's first recent brush with the subject. In 2012, a ballot initiative by marijuana advocates to allow dispensaries in Palo Alto fizzled on election day when more than 60 percent of the voters shot down the proposal. Prior to that vote, the City Council had stated its unanimous opposition to the ballot measure.

Comments

74 people like this
Posted by I approve
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jan 29, 2016 at 9:48 pm

As a parent of teens I definitely do NOT want so-called medicinal cannabis in Palo Alto. It is a farce how easy it is to obtain MC (without any true medical necessity), and research has shown that pot is not innocuous for the developing adolescent brain, particularly in teens with genetic susceptibility to psychosis.


42 people like this
Posted by Panama Red
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 29, 2016 at 10:04 pm

It's legal, what's the problem?

Personally I am more unhappy about the prevalence of alcohol in Palo Alto
in places where it was historically not allowed. Our downtown used to be a
lot more civilized and calm without lots of bars and rowdy drunk people
pushing through the crowds.

Believe me, pot use is probably pretty steady, it won't go up, it will just
be a lot safer. I don't know where they can put one, but I think it would
fine to try out a dispensary in Palo Alto.

One way or another it is coming. Pretty soon CA is going to have yet
another referendum on legalized marijuana and it is going to pass. It is
absurd that pot is illegal at this point anyway.


49 people like this
Posted by Kay
a resident of University South
on Jan 30, 2016 at 1:47 am


Yep. Just walk into the local pharmacy (yes, a pharmacy!) on University Avenue, not even a bar or a restaurant, they've tarted up the place with all the hard liquor one could possibly want. Rows of it. But heaven forbid a little medical marijuana, legally sold, to ease someones pain due to a serious illness. Oh no, we can't have that.


40 people like this
Posted by ha
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 30, 2016 at 4:18 am

@Kay, we would have to deal with people with the munchies? The horror!


43 people like this
Posted by Mike
a resident of University South
on Jan 30, 2016 at 6:24 am

My neighbors smoke pot. It smells terrible. Second hand pot smoke makes my asthma flare up. I'd be for legal pot is smoking was banned in or around multi-family buildings - apartments and condos.


23 people like this
Posted by Margaret
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 30, 2016 at 8:38 am

Yes… Palo Alto once again proves we have the highest Education to Enlightenment ratio anywhere in the world

Curious how we manage to excel at this…


43 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 30, 2016 at 9:58 am

Delivery is wonderful if someone is truly in need of medical marijuana. Legal dispensaries are not in the near area now and difficult to access for the truly handicapped. It's really a shame the way the whole thing has played out for those who actually need it, such as cancer patients and those in acute pain. Someone with acute pain shouldn't have to drive to a dispensary in a shady warehouse district in San Jose just because they live in Palo Alto, when they could have it delivered if they lived in a neighboring city, which is especially important if they cannot drive. I think this is a little overreach for the city because it prohibits the very people who need it from getting it.


50 people like this
Posted by Hulkamania
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 30, 2016 at 10:37 am

Hulkamania is a registered user.

Based on anecdotal evidence from Colorado I'm surprised Palo Alto doesn't want a few dispensaries. The tax revenues are off the charts and the Girl Scouts make a killing during their annual cookie sales fund raising drive.


46 people like this
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 30, 2016 at 11:27 am

Med Pot is such a joke. Anyone can get a card and circumvent the system. Just walk down the boardwalk in Venice Beach - there's a "Green Doctor " storefront every 1/2 mile. Walk in and get a card. Joke.


33 people like this
Posted by same in SF
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jan 30, 2016 at 2:31 pm

I agree medicinal cannabis is a joke. I have friends in SF who went to a physician who advertised as "Dr. Pot" in the back of the former SF Guardian and would prescribe MC for pretty much any medical condition (sciatica, headaches, etc). I would have no problem if MC were FDA-approved, prescribed by ethical physicians and distributed by pharmacies. I do have a problem with street drugs being sold in poorly regulated dispenseries in Palo Alto and then resold to HS kids.


31 people like this
Posted by Ken
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jan 30, 2016 at 2:51 pm

Medical Matinuana is a real solution to real patients. The governor is about to sign a new bill removing the March 1 deadline AB 21 (Wood) allowing more time for cities to discuss this issue and determine best course for their communities. I think delivery services should be permitted to deliver to patients. Stanford Hospital also has a large Cancer Treatment Center. As much as community concerns are valid it's important to recognize the research that has been done. By providing legal access for legitimate use (at least by allowing delivery services) to deliver in Palo Alto would be a good middle ground by allowing legitimize patients to obtain their cannabis discreetly. Palo Alto is densely populated so bans on cultivation make sense. And permitting dispensaries to operate is a big decision. But if you were going through Chemo and needed some pot - doesn't it make sense for a delivery service in San Jose to be able to deliver to you. There is a lot of fear and stigma around marijuana, don't let it stop the ability to have compassion. At least talk to the VA - they have been successful with PTSD and oncologists at Stanford before making decisions


35 people like this
Posted by So just mix me a martini
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 30, 2016 at 3:24 pm

Legalization will happen. Palo Alto should encourage its start-up culture to embrace the future and get in on the ground floor of a new wave of businesses, economic reward, and potential future tax revenue, instead of firmly planting its collective head in the sand over this.

The hypocrisy and ignorant hysteria in our society around cannabis is astounding. My dear old dad used to lecture me, while stirring his second pre-dinner cocktail, about how my pot smoking as a teen would lead to my demise. Lo and behold, I ended up with two advanced degrees and a six-figure income.

The cost to our society of the damage done to people's lives, health, and productivity due to alcohol is staggering, ranking in the hundreds of billions of dollars and tens of thousands of deaths. Yet we embrace it and hold it up as a perfectly acceptable social drug, while sternly warning our children against using it until they are old enough to "be responsible and make wise choices." What a joke.

Meanwhile the total number of deaths due to marijuana overdose remains a shocking......zero.

I am sure the members of the city council can re-consider. Maybe they should meet off the clock for a couple of cocktails and have a real honest discussion about it.


25 people like this
Posted by Joseph E. Davis
a resident of Woodside
on Jan 30, 2016 at 4:34 pm

The idea that the Palo Alto City Council should have the right to decide if residents can grow a particular plant or not is absurd.


24 people like this
Posted by Ken
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jan 30, 2016 at 5:17 pm

I believe new regulations are for commercial use only. All rules pertaining to private use still prevail. statewide legalization is set to be on Nov 2016 ballot. And legalization is here for medically approved patients. Yes there have been abuses. But can you say honestly there are not abuses with RX pain killers - but nobody says to stop doctors from prescribing them. The better the regulations the better it will be to manage abuses in the system. In the mean time Congress is working on a bi-partisan bill to move cannabis out of schedule 1 status. My kid has epilepsy - and canabis oil has helped. It's time to get rid of the black market. It's time to stop stigmatizing and get better controls in place


23 people like this
Posted by MS patients
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 30, 2016 at 8:19 pm

Just so you know, there are sufferers of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) who ease their suffering with medical cannabis. It has nothing to do with "getting high."


48 people like this
Posted by Fear_the_Tree
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2016 at 1:00 am

Pardon the pun but Tree is a slang street term for Marijauna. I don't know why we are glamorizing it around here. If you spend any time in communities where pot is pervasive like east PA/Menlo and Oakland or have had a family member suffer from drug addiction you might view things differently.

Once it gets in the culture, people use it everywhere including schools, cars, parking lots, home, porches, street corners... In my experience, it has a terrible effect on people's lives and we should not intentionally promote and expand its use.


16 people like this
Posted by Hulkamania
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 31, 2016 at 7:43 am

Hulkamania is a registered user.

More news from Colorado.

"Even if Jesus didn't smoke weed, he'd still be a stoner."

Web Link


31 people like this
Posted by Paul
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 31, 2016 at 8:15 am

For those of you who are arguing about the nefarious dangers of the evil weed, marijuana, you might want to join us in the 21st century.


11 people like this
Posted by HUTCH 7.62
a resident of Portola Valley
on Jan 31, 2016 at 9:25 am

May I suggest reading the Book "War in the Woods" the book starts off in Palo Alto's Foothills Park busting "Medical" Marijuana grow run by Mexican Cartel armed with AK 47's.


43 people like this
Posted by Fear_the_Tree
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2016 at 9:39 am

Oh I get it now. Using marijauna is cool, hip and modern. Never heard that argument before from a child. Intentionally damaging the lungs, heart and brain is a much more intelligent behavior.

Even if you don't believe it is a gateway drug or has more serious consequences, just getting to the level of regular use of pot, tobacco and alcohol seriously diminishes a young person's life and potential.

Unfortunately, people that underestimate the risks or apply peer pressure are fooling themselves and hurting others. How is using marijauna consistent with the enlightened healthy lifestyle I hear advocated all the time in this community?

Eat less meat, hydrate, work out 5 times a week and pass the ganja. Just because we call it organic, free range, non-GMA, locally grown and 21st century does not mean it is good for you.




18 people like this
Posted by Tim
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 1, 2016 at 10:32 am

Medical Marijuana is such a joke. You walk into a pot doc, are handed a list of ailments, pick one, and pay your 100 bucks for a card.

The last thing we need is in on demand pot delivery vans crisscrossing our city, wafting weed smells out of the back. No thank you. Good job city council.


24 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 1, 2016 at 10:57 am

How dare Palo Alto ban the growth and delivery of medical marijuana! We don't need more mothers; we all have one. Are they going to start policing our mail and every delivery vehicle??

I just got through watching a good friend who'd been fighting various cancers for years die slowly and the ONLY thing that relieved his pain and helped him regain his strength by bolstering his appetite WAS medical marijuana. After they put him on palliative care, he lasted for another 3 months thanks TO his medical marijuana.

For those of you so offended by smoke, here are other ways to take marijuana than smoking. You can eat it. You can buy highly concentrated strips to place under the tongue. You can buy creams and lotions which don't even get you high but relieve aches, pains and even help cure psoriasis. The topical creams work better than prescription creams and are WAY cheaper.

Read up on the science.

When did Palo ALto get so puritanical and anti-science. I'm tired of constantly hearing "think of the children" when there are consenting adults like my friend who are suffering and how can be helped.

I was on a plane with a guy from some small dry ALabama town where liquor was banned but medical marijuana was legal because the mayor's daughter had some illness that only medical marijuana could help.

Aren't you proud to be more backward than Alabama! They thought of the children.


21 people like this
Posted by AllYouCanEat
a resident of Mountain View
on Feb 1, 2016 at 11:00 am

My girlfriend's healthy 19 year old daughter is now hooked on pot. She can't sleep without it she can't work without it. She was doing fine until her boyfriend got her hooked and told her how to get a medical marijuana card. Now she calls it her medicine. What a waste.


17 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 1, 2016 at 11:10 am

AllYouCanEat,

The boyfriend could just as easily find your girlfriend's daughter marijuana to buy illegally.

What he couldn't do is find the sub-lingual strips that reduce pain like my friend had as he died. He couldn't find the pain-relieving topical creams and lotions that work better than expensive prescription one. He couldn't find most of the edibles that relieve pain and stimulate the appetites of those getting chemo and radiation.


32 people like this
Posted by Nayeli P.
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 1, 2016 at 11:11 am

Nayeli P. is a registered user.

This is one industry that I hope is regulated to the point that only REAL patients with REAL needs have access to the "medicinal" aspect of this drug. I've met a variety of pot users. I've never met someone who used marijuana regularly who was as "englightened" as he/she thought he/she was. Nor have I met someone who was a heavy pot user who didn't have some sort of thinking impediment that they were oblivious to.

Should pot be legal? If there are any studies that point out negative long-term issues from smoking pot, then it should NOT be legal. For those "medicinal" purposes: It should be regulated like every other drug. Any doctor who too readily prescribes it should be at risk of being defrocked.


21 people like this
Posted by Ken
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 1, 2016 at 11:52 am

The debate of whether "pot" should be legal is inaccurate. It is legal and has been for a long time for medical use. The issue is it has not had solid regulations, which finally have arrived. And for those of you on your high horses - alcohol destroys lives and is responsible for a large number of deadly traffic accidents. But it's legal. By your thinking Palo Alto should ban alcohol. The issue is how does the community want to support legitimate medical use. the unregulated black market is the source of problems and already falls under criminal laws. contact your local police department if it's being sold illegally to minors, they can help. The debate is does Palo Alto want to support or ban legitimate businesses that help real patients? It is unfortunate that patients are unable to access this product through a regular pharmacy. But until that day comes - legal access is still required through the existing system.



17 people like this
Posted by HRM
a resident of Ventura
on Feb 1, 2016 at 12:10 pm

I am not against the use of Medicinal Marijuana. In fact if people want to use it go ahead. However, while I am legally responsible for my kids I do not want them smoking it. It is difficult for them when there is such a prevalence of weed and kids smoking weed. There have been studies done that it is not good for brain development in adolescents. And some, kids due to genetic and/or personality makeup might become more prone to addiction.

My kids have the impression that Palo Alto exists under a weed cloud as many evenings we have weed smoke wafting through our house. They also get the impression that the Palo Alto police don't care and won't do anything anyway.

There needs to be some middle ground here.


16 people like this
Posted by Kames Jeen
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 1, 2016 at 12:29 pm

I'm going to grow and burn and deliver it regardless. Might as well regulate it and get some sweet tax monies. Talk to your kids or else I will. Peace and Love


21 people like this
Posted by Nayeli P.
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 1, 2016 at 1:20 pm

Nayeli P. is a registered user.

@ Ken - I would argue against using alcohol as a comparison with marijuana. Alcohol can be -- and often is -- used in public with moderation without it affecting anyone. It is served at many restaurants without inebriating the user or affecting those around those users. Marijuana is very different. It cannot be used in moderation without its rapid mind-altering affect.

Like I said, I think that it should be regulated to the point that only those who are real patients with real medical needs can have access to it. I would argue that this should only be the case if other options aren't possible or have even worse negative consequences than marijuana.

Any comparison of alcohol with marijuana is like comparing apples and oranges.


18 people like this
Posted by Ken
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 1, 2016 at 1:56 pm

@ Nayeli - your assumptions are inaccurate. I used to believe that as well. I use a form of cannabis that has almost no THC for my kid to treat his epilepsy, an oil that is given as drops a few times a week. THC is what gets people high. i used to be very anti pot, but I have come around. There are a lot of studies going on using cannabis to treat debilitating conditions, including Parkinson's and tumors. Things are not always what they seem.


18 people like this
Posted by Berry
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 1, 2016 at 2:11 pm

@ Nayeli P. - Don't ever speak of marijuana again as you are spreading false information and I can obviously tell you know nothing about what you are saying. Thank you. "Marijuana is very different. It cannot be used in moderation without its rapid mind-altering affect." Incorrect, it is absolutely available to take in moderation. "Alcohol can be -- and often is -- used in public with moderation without it affecting anyone." It's just like tobacco... 20ft away from the building if you want a smoke break. Anyone else have any poor knowledge they'd like to share?


22 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 1, 2016 at 2:37 pm

Ken & Berry,

Thank you both for correcting Nayeli's obvious misinformation.

Anything can be used in moderation, marijuana and alcohol included. But at least marijuana has health benefits for MS, Parkinson's, slowing the spread of cancer, curing the heartbreak of psoriasis and even helping with Queen Victoria's menstrual cramps!

In fact, not all marijuana uses get you high, something you sure can't say about alcohol. You CAN'T GET HIGH from the transdermal pain patches or the topic creams or the sub-lingual pain strips.

You've never heard of anyone dying of marijuana poisoning like you hear of people dying of alcohol poisonings, liver failure and kidney failure from long-term abuse. You've never heard of belligerent marijuana users starting fights like belligerent drunks do.

[Portion removed.]


20 people like this
Posted by Nayeli P.
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 1, 2016 at 5:15 pm

Nayeli P. is a registered user.

@ Ken - I'm not sure what you're getting at. Are you arguing that marijuana can be taken without ANY mind-altering effect? Are you saying that someone could use/smoke pot in moderation and not become inebriated or induced by any effect of it?

If that is the case, then that is in agreement with what I actually wrote. It doesn't have to be prohibited for medical use or if there are any studies that say that it has negative repercussions with moderate use. I still think that it needs to be regulated to the point that it is only available to real patients with real medical needs of which there are no other effective alternative treatments.

However, this is also the case if you're incorrect. If marijuana is inebriating and mind-altering, then any comparison with alcohol is pointless. Alcohol can be used in moderation without any negative consequence or immediate inebriation. A glass of wine with dinner or even a glass before bedtime doesn't produce the equivalent inebriation that regular marijuana use creates in its normal form. This may not apply to the two or three drops of a diluted form might have, but that isn't what most people are buying at pot clinics anyway.

Moreover, there are very real studies that show prolonged health issues associated with regular marijuana use. While some might call into question those studies or point to a handful of other studies that show less concern over long-term issues with marijuana usage, the point is that there are many credible studies that indicate that marijuana not only affects those around them but also the mind on a more long-term basis. One doctor used to say that marijuana was the tobacco addiction of the mind -- rotting the mind instead of the lungs.

Still, I think that it is clear that most people aren't opposed to REAL medicinal use of the drug. We're not talking about people who use it for truly medicinal purposes and when it isn't affecting anyone else. We're speaking of those who use it FOR the very purpose of inebriation or mind-altering -- those who think that they are somehow "enlightened" by the mental impairment that it produces. This is what people do not want in Palo Alto.


20 people like this
Posted by Nayeli P.
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 1, 2016 at 5:19 pm

Nayeli P. is a registered user.

@ Berry - Excuse me? You're suggesting things from what I said that weren't implied. I didn't argue that you couldn't take marijuana in moderation. I simply said that marijuana in its normal use is immediately mind-altering. That is the point of taking for many people.

Alcohol can be taken without illicit mind-altering effects. I don't understand any comparison with cigarettes or tobacco in that sense because many people think that tobacco and smoking should be banned from all public places in Palo Alto too. Some people would even like cigarette sales heavily regulated (more than they already are) or even banned -- especially if you receive any sort of government health subsidy.


13 people like this
Posted by Ken
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 1, 2016 at 5:43 pm

@Nayeli - what is up for discussion are new regulations for Medicinal Use Only. California Law only covers medicinal use, but real patients are stigmatized due to lack of public understanding. Anyone who abuses state and local law is in a different category. But for medicinal use its important to have safe and legal access. And YES CBD is non-psychoactive but still falls under the cannabis plant and is regulated as if it's THC. Consider the fact that when tradition medical approaches fail many patients seek alternatives. Web Link


17 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 1, 2016 at 6:18 pm

Marijuana is NOT "immediately mind-altering," if at all since there are so many variants: strength, how much consumed, etc.

Remember the old joke about marijuana smokers continually asking each other "Do you feel anything? I don't feel anything." That doesn't sound like "immediately mind-altering" or "immediately" anything.

Have you ever heard anyone say "He's falling down stoned" like you hear people say "He's falling down drunk"? That sure sounds like "illicit mind-altering effects" from alcohol when alcohol is consumed to excess.

Ken's point about CBD is well-taken and worth repeating: It doesn't get you high; it simply eases the pain.

Another point in favor of legalizing marijuana for medical purposes and for recreational purposes: it reduces the need for criminal cartels, reduces the need for all those prisons for peaceful pot smokers, reduces the number of ruined lives for smoking some plant AND creates businesses for bakers and gardeners.

Read up on all the marijuana start-ups being funded. Where are they being based? San Francisco, Emeryville, the East Bay, not Palo Alto.


19 people like this
Posted by Ken
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 1, 2016 at 6:44 pm

I am saying that for legitimate medical use - those patients require safe and legal access - otherwise they are looking at finding a local street hustler - which is a horrible. Concerns around illegal activities are fair - and can be easily communicated to local authorities. Do you really want to tell the Stanford Cancer Center to send their patients to the local street hustlers? Don't allow your misconceptions and inacurrate judgements prevent legal and safe access for those of us who require support. What is needed is COMPASSION since most patients only turn to this alternative when all other avenues have failed, and treatment options are extremely limited. WHO made you judge and jury!


13 people like this
Posted by Nayeli P.
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 1, 2016 at 7:59 pm

Nayeli P. is a registered user.

@ Online Name: Again, no one is worried about medicinal marijuana being used by REAL patients for REAL problems diagnosed by REAL doctors. No one is worried about it being distributed in small amounts for appropriate dosage when no equivalent drug treatment is available. That isn't what anyone is arguing.

What people are arguing against is the availability of the drug in the form that has become all too common throughout California from pot dispensaries. People are concerned with the "easy diagnosis" that leads to an "easy prescription" for what amounts mostly of "recreational use."

As for the amounts that indicate how "mind altering" it is, you should read "Potency trends of Δ9-THC and other cannabinoids in confiscated cannabis preparations from 1993 to 2008" from the Journal of Forensic Science as well as "Persistent cannabis users show neuropsychological decline from childhood to midlife" from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. Both are available through PubMed. They indicate that marijuana in the common forms (the ones that people here in Palo Alto are concerned about) are "mind-altering" -- in the sense that they impair judgment and decision making -- very rapidly with use.


13 people like this
Posted by HUTCH 7.62
a resident of Portola Valley
on Feb 1, 2016 at 8:01 pm

I agree with other posters. Medical Marijuana is a Joke, you can get a card for claiming you have A.D.D


15 people like this
Posted by Nayeli P.
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 1, 2016 at 8:09 pm

Nayeli P. is a registered user.

@ Ken - I understand your argument about medicinal marijuana. While I think that there is much room for discussion about this, I suspect that the qualm with most people has little or nothing to do with legitimate medical usage. It is the "easy-to-get" and "easy-to-abuse" system that California permits that concerns many residents.

As for "who made you judge and jury?" I never said that I was the ultimate judge or jury. However, I can make a judgment myself and I am a member of this greater Palo Alto jury. Like all "jury" members, I'll consider all of the evidence and try not to be influenced by opinions, distractions or less meaningful evidence.

Does that make more sense?


24 people like this
Posted by Ken
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 1, 2016 at 8:57 pm

@Nayeli - again you are sorely misinformed. Dispensary operatives work hard to abide by all laws, so allowing anyone inside who does not demonstrate proof of a current medical card is not permitted inside. They have much to lose by permitting illegal sales, as most are small business owners. This is a big misconception. The state has cracked down on quack doctors abusing the system. The goal is providing better controls, and a new state agency is being created as of Jan 2016 to establish sorely needed oversight. By denying dispensary operations or delivery services, you impact legit patients like me because of unfounded concerns. Question - have you ever tried going to a dispensary? Or tried getting a medical card? Go ahead, and find out for yourself instead of simply assuming it's spreading illegal activity. These are prejudicial assumptions!


19 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 1, 2016 at 9:04 pm

Nayeli, you said: I simply said that marijuana in its normal use is immediately mind-altering. That is the point of taking for many people.

My post above says that is blatantly wrong both in terms of "immediacy" -- "Do you feel anything yet?" and in terms of being mind-altering which makes it sound much more seriously mind-altering than having several alcoholic beverages.

Again, no one's ever died from marijuana poisoning but too many people have died and are dying from alcohol poisoning which severelt impacts brain functioning by cutting off blood flow to the brain as well as the kidneys and the liver. That's truly mind-altering.


19 people like this
Posted by Fear_the_Tree
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 1, 2016 at 9:31 pm

I suspect the argument that marijauna has medicinal value is over rated. Most legitimate studies I have seen take the position that there are other better treatments with higher efficacy and less side effects.

There are lots of doctors in our community. Please chyme in.


15 people like this
Posted by Nayeli P.
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 1, 2016 at 9:34 pm

Nayeli P. is a registered user.

@ Online Name - Why are you defending marijuana by pointing an accusatory finger at alcohol? That is a poor defense of marijuana.

Now, you are arguing that there is no immediate (in this sense, very rapid) mind-altering effect with marijuana. I have NO DOUBT that it is more rapid in its mind-altering effect than alcohol. Most people can drink a modest glass of wine without it affecting judgment or decision making. How many joints can you smoke without it affecting your judgment or decision making?

As for the rest of your post: There isn't anyone here arguing about the negative effects of prolonged alcohol use, so I don't need to answer that question. It is off-topic.


11 people like this
Posted by Nayeli P.
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 1, 2016 at 9:35 pm

Nayeli P. is a registered user.

@ Ken - Can you please lay aside the silly "sorely misinformed" rhetoric? It is unnecessary and untrue. I have no problem with you presenting a rebuttal, but you don't need to use such lofty rhetoric. I am not "sore" and you haven't presented anything that points that I am "misinformed."


30 people like this
Posted by cannabis strains differ
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 1, 2016 at 10:30 pm

There are different varieties of marijuana plants. Children with epilepsy have been effectively treated with oil made from a strain of marijuana that is heavy in cannabidiol, or CBD, a non-pyschoactive component of marijuana, and low in tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the chemical that produces the high. I would be OK with high CBD/low THC strains distributed to legitimate patients. OTOH, my sense is those who purchase the high THC strains are primarily recreational users who obtain a MC users card from one of the many less-than-ethical physicians described by others on this thread. I hope that any upcoming legislation distinguishes between the high CBD and high THC varieties of cannabis.


18 people like this
Posted by Illuminato
a resident of another community
on Feb 1, 2016 at 11:19 pm

It's like abortion. The choice is really between legal and illegal marijuana. Regulated or unregulated. Prohibition just opens the door for organized crime and turns a lot of otherwise law-abiding citizens into criminals.


6 people like this
Posted by Dan
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 2, 2016 at 1:10 am

If "medical marijuana" is used exclusively as a medicine, why is it not distributed through a regular pharmacy, requiring a prescription from a family doctor (not someone specializing in medical marijuana cards) the same way as other addictive drugs such as Oxycontin which are ripe for abuse? I wouldn't have a problem with that although it can be abused too even for existing prescription painkiller drugs. By and large the medical profession is not convinced of the unique medicinal benefits of marijuana and there wouldn't be enough "real" patients to keep a lot of local dispensaries profitable . "medical marijuana dispensaries" in their current form are a joke and can stay out of Palo Alto. I agree its possible to get the drug illegally, but that isn't a good argument that something as negative as recreational marijuana use should be legalized. Hopefully the fact that it is illegal will be a deterrent for at least most youth who have some regard for the law. Weed supporters attack...


20 people like this
Posted by Coooper
a resident of another community
on Feb 2, 2016 at 2:30 am

Bag laws, bike laws, vape laws, pot laws... all varying from one city to the next. Local jurisdictions are balkanizing California. The state has attempted to legislate some sensible, uniform regulation of medical marijuana, and I think that's better than a jumble of laws.


16 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2016 at 10:31 am

Recreational marijuana is going to become legal the next time it appears on a state ballot. Palo Alto would do well to regulate it rather than an outright ban now.


15 people like this
Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Mountain View
on Feb 2, 2016 at 11:06 am

I'm in an interesting situation:

I was Mr. Straight Arrow while living in the SFBA in my youth.

The REALITY: MOST of your best creators of computers WERE STONED ON THE WEEKENDS! And not ONLY on MJ! Yes, that meant the RICH, PALO ALTO homeowners as well.

[Portion removed.] People, DENIAL is not a river in Egypt. Denial seems to be a proven part of Palo Alto culture. Many facts have been deliberately censored by the PAO. This problem goes too far this time.
MMJ worked too well. Causal MJ use was endemic in Palo Alto before the FAILED WAR ON DRUGS started and the SFBA was ground zero for the DEA propaganda. We laughed at the " Reefer Madness " scare tactics because of what we observed over the weekends.
It appears that many people are still gullible, even with higher education degrees.
How about facing REALITY for a change. People might actually OBSERVE FACTS that conflict with their world view.

The only reason I might return to Palo Alto is that I may need treatment at Stanford.


20 people like this
Posted by Midtown Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 2, 2016 at 11:59 am

I think a lot of these comments are getting off point. What is at issue right now is banning deliveries of medically prescribed marijuana in Palo Alto. Marijuana v. alcohol is not the issue here.
My son has some medical issues where he was prescribed quite a number of medications that had serious side effects, and he was unable to tolerate the medications.He has found some relief due to medically prescribed marijuana. Due to the same medical issues, he is unable to drive. Until he found the delivery service, he was forced to take buses down to San Jose, involving several hours per day with the bus changes and waiting.Now it is delivered by a discrete driver in a nondescript car, much to his relief. It would be wonderful if this could be dispensed in a pharmacy, but that is not the reality of the situation currently. Let's not penalize people suffering with genuine medical conditions with an outright ban on deliveries.


16 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 2, 2016 at 5:45 pm

For what it's worth, it was reported today that the California Medical Association, the state's largest organization of practicing physicians, is backing a 2016 ballot initiative to legalize recreational use of marijuana for adults 21 or over. (They're part of a coalition of entrepreneurs, state politicians and technology investors. Look it up for details.)

They have also supported legalizing medical marijuana.

Taxed at 15%, they say it could net $1 Billion ($1,000,000,000) in new tax revenues for state and local governments.

They believe that controlling, tracking and studying marijuana will better protect public health than "ineffective prohibition."


6 people like this
Posted by Mike
a resident of University South
on Feb 3, 2016 at 7:08 am

Anonymous claims, "Recreational marijuana is going to become legal the next time it appears on a state ballot."

Yet it repeatedly gets voted down by California voters. It is allowed to appear on ballot after ballot after ballot. Why? Any ballot measure should have to wait, say, 10 years before it is allowed on the ballot again - IMHO of course.


4 people like this
Posted by Marry
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 3, 2016 at 9:03 pm

Just FYI we're NOT ready for full on legalization. Do you have any idea how destroyed the northern forests of Humboldt county would become due to "deforestation" for this cash crop? Google. Annnnd, the growers suck all the water out of the natural ground springs. It's going to take ~10+ years before we can figure out how to regulate that and develop an environmental task force to administer it.


5 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 4, 2016 at 10:55 am

If alchohol and cigarettes are legal, there is not one reason in the world not to legalize pot. One of the reasons downtown became so unpleasant is because there are many more bars than in the past. Drunks get rowdy indoors and outdoors and it's much less safe than it used to be. Pot mellows down its users, it does not increase anger and violent tendencies.


12 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 4, 2016 at 11:01 am

The Humboldt forests were destroyed because the illegal growers had to hide their activities rather than farm in a sensible way.

Also, I thought legalization would pass by a landslide up there but as friends who live there explained, the illegal growers and dealers worked very hard to defeat legalization so they could continue to reap their absurd profits.

Do we really want CA to continue to spend more on prisons to lock up pot non-violent smokers when we could be spending that money for education, reduced college tuition, etc?


3 people like this
Posted by Hates. Downtown
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 4, 2016 at 11:06 am

LOL, maurucio. Love how you try, on completely unrelated threads, to work in your propaganda that there is something wrong with downtown palo alto!!!!


3 people like this
Posted by @ online name
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 4, 2016 at 6:35 pm

Your comment about growers making absurd profits is just not true.The tech business is making absurd profits.
Unlike most of the tech biz at least marijuana is a tangible product. Palo Alto should tax it,and buy a new police station with the windfall.

P.S. if there was still a lumber industry up north, people would not have to grow. We can thank , in part, some of the limousine liberals for closing that renewable industry down.







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