Search Results: chico/ (3)

Nick Bhardwaj/The Fiscal Times

​​In a development that should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone with even a passing familiarity with drug policy and its effects, black-market marijuana growers and dealers are profiting greatly from the federal crackdown on legal medicinal cannabis dispensaries.

It’s Economics 101, after all: When the market demand exceeds the legal supply, people turn to illegal sources of a desired product. And there aren’t many products more desired than cannabis, both by patients who need the stuff for quality of life issues, to the recreational tokers who want their albums to sound as good as possible.
According to a recent report from California Watch, a division of the Center for Investigative Reporting, prices for black-market, high-grade, outdoor-grown Cali weed — after plummeting in 2010 — have risen by 20 to 40 percent since the state’s four U.S. Attorneys announced a crackdown on medical marijuana growers and dispensaries, reports the Chico News Review.

Photo: Meredith J. Graham
Deputy District Attorney Jeff Greeson holds up a jar of marijuana obtained from defendant Joel Castle’s hotel room ore than a year ago. Castle, left, was ultimately found guilty of possession and sale of marijuana. He chose nine months in prison rather than three years’ probation.

​A California medical marijuana patient said he prefers being behind bars to being told he can’t use cannabis. Joel Castle is going to prison for nine months rather than spending the next three years on probation, because a condition of the probation a judge offered him was that he quit smoking pot.

Castle, the former Chico Cannabis Club operator who was found guilty last month of two felonies associated with a guitar-for-pot trade in January 2010, was sentenced earlier this month, reports Meredith J. Graham at the Chico News Review.
Judge Robert Glusman at first offered Castle three years’ probation. But the medical marijuana patient refused, and was sentenced instead to two years, eight months in state prison.
“It was the first time I really spoke my mind to that judge,” Castle said. Castle ended up being ejected from the courtroom during his sentencing, never a good sign.

Artwork: Jim Wheeler
Safe access to marijuana remains a distant dream to many patients — even in states which have legalized medical use

​One by one, the lights are winking out. In city after city, town after town, in states where medical marijuana is now legal, patients who had dared hope they would at last have safe access to the medicine recommended by their doctors are having those hopes dashed.
The problem? Political cowardice and the panicked reaction of the status quo.
Every week brings more news of freaked out city councils and county boards of supervisors who desperately want to appear to be “doing something” — anything — about the proliferation of marijuana dispensaries.
This phenomenon is so far mostly confined to California and to a lesser extent Colorado, but it’s unfortunately also starting to happen in Michigan, Montana and even Maine — where voters specifically approved dispensaries in November.
Rather than showing true leadership by showing genuine concern for patients and communities, too many local government officials are going for the easy, knee-jerk reaction. The level of disregard for the intentions of the voters — who clearly expressed their will by legalizing medical marijuana — is breathtaking.