Editor:

The City Council is on record for denying permits for medical marijuana dispensaries, even though Proposition 215 has been state law for over 16 years.

Our corrupt council recently denied Richard McDonald of Golden State Collective a permit to open a lab in Santa Monica, to test the purity and strength of different strains of marijuana for toxicity and potency.

According to Councilman Bob Holbrook, favorite of out-of-state developers, “pot is at least as harmful as tobacco, but more important, it is a precursor drug. I guarantee that anyone who does coke started with pot.” Shades of “Reefer Madness;” wake up Holbrook and smell the marijuana!

Holbrook deliberately obfuscates the truth by failing to mention how very few people who have tried pot become heavy users and/or become addicted to hard drugs. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that “there is no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are causally linked to the subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs.” Holbrook also neglects to mention the well know fact that cigarettes and alcohol are much more harmful to human health.

Marijuana has been proven to help with debilitating symptoms caused by a number of medical conditions. Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl not only supports legalizing medical marijuana, he has a medical marijuana prescription for neuropathy. I have not smoked marijuana since 1995 because I was drug tested for my profession. I suffer from peripheral neuropathy, a nerve disorder that causes my feet to experience severe pain.

Criminalizing marijuana has driven it underground, making growers and dealers rich and diverting police resources utilized to enforce a victimless law. Voters in Colorado and Washington have passed referendums legalizing marijuana for recreational use, despite outdated federal laws banning the responsible use of cannabis.

I have long campaigned for Santa Monica to close the airport in 2015 and use the hangers to industrial grow medical marijuana. That way the council could tax marijuana, remove the middleman from reaping the profits and monitor that no sales to minors, and other abuses took place! Properly managed medical marijuana dispensaries can operate safely and taxes on marijuana sales can generate significant revenue and provide much needed local jobs.

It is very important that there is openness, transparency and oversight so there is no skimming, conflict of interest, cronyism and other unregulated abuses stemming from favoritism in granting licenses, etc.

 

Jon Mann

Santa Monica

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