Marijuana law can work under existing regulations

By Ryan D. Richmond

I am very concerned about how strong-armed-forces are moving forward to collect and control data on what is, at the moment, our protected personal rights.

The ability to spy on those that look differently than others has been said to be in the name of “efficiencies.” The people that look differently are “those medical marijuana people” that two-thirds of the voters favored providing an additional means of medication relief.

I was the owner of a dispensary in Ferndale that was raided this past August. But this opinion piece is a commentary on the open abuse of our personal rights that the strong-armed-forces are sworn to protect: The voters’ right to self-determination.

If you follow the medical marijuana news like me, it seems community leaders have forgotten how a democracy works.

Also disturbing to me is the complicit nature of the media, for its role in a democracy is paramount. The media story has been about the “haziness” of the law, particularly the distribution system. Hazy? Tell me one medical product that does not have an effective distribution system for its consumer. There are none. The sole purpose of the strong-armed-forces in attacking dispensaries is to drive the producers and consumers of medical marijuana underground while continuing to demonize them. Markets determine efficient distribution systems, unless you live in a totalitarian state.

In my mind, a fair question to ask the media is did you forget your economic lessons? Or maybe a more pointed question is will you ever stop drinking the Kool-Aid offered by the strong-armed-forces. Psychologists have a name for this Kool-Aid, its called the “normalcy bias.” Simply put, normalcy bias results when one cannot cope with a disaster. For the strong-armed-forces, the voter approval of medical marijuana was their disaster. They cannot accept the results of the disaster and want their status quo world back by driving patients and caregivers underground. Unfortunately, the media has not been strong and questioning enough to avoid drinking the Kool-Aid.

Last month, I had the opportunity to meet with Tim Beck. For those that don’t know Tim, he is one of the major players in moving forward and developing the medical marijuana act. Beck is also a successful business owner in Detroit that employs many and provides financial advice to thousands.

We discussed several topics over our three-hour lunch. When I asked him questions about the distribution system in general and the dispensary model in particular, he was not hazy at all.

If medical marijuana is legal, then there must be an efficient means to distribute it.

The existing law works remarkably well.

Under the existing law, patients have medical marijuana as a choice in medications and have their privacy protected, doctors determine who can benefit from it and free-market forces determine the most cost-efficient means of purchase.

Consider this a major alert that when the strong-armed-forces manipulate the voters mandate and the news media does the bidding of the status quo, we lose.

As the famous saying goes, where they burn books they will soon burn people.

Ryan D. Richmond of Ferndale is a venture capitalist, commercial real estate professional and sits on the board of the Marijuana Patients Organization, an advocacy group that helps to protect and preserve patients’ rights.

via Oakland Press


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