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12/17/2012 6:01:00 AM
Dolan Springs residents fret over price of dispensary pot
Medical marijuana patients would rather grow their own

Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa
Miner Staff Reporter

A small group of Dolan Springs residents are more concerned about medical marijuana dispensaries charging exorbitant prices then they are about patients growing the drug in their back yards.

The group of about 12 people met with Law Enforcement Against Prohibition spokesman Jay Fleming Thursday evening at the Castle Rock Ranch and Arena in Dolan Springs to discuss Arizona's medical marijuana law and the possibility of a dispensary moving into town.

LEAP is a national organization of current and former law enforcement officers who advocate for the legalization of marijuana.

"This law was written to funnel money to the dispensaries," said Fleming, a former undercover narcotics officer from Montana and a medical marijuana patient.

Arizona's medical marijuana act prohibits patients and caregivers from growing their own medicine if they are within 25 miles of a dispensary.

The problem is marijuana dispensaries are charging people for more than the cost of growing the plant, he said.

According to Arizona Revised Statute 36-2806, marijuana dispensaries are supposed to be non-profit organizations. Non-profit organizations are supposed to charge just enough for their products to cover the cost of operating.

"You can grow this for next to nothing in your backyard," Fleming said. "Even indoors under lights it costs maybe $225 a pound to grow. If they're charging $300 to $400 a pound they're drug dealers. It's just ridiculous."

He also pointed out that it was unlikely that patients and caregivers who grow their own are willing to just "donate" $400 worth of product to a dispensary and then buy their own stock back when their approval to grow runs out. There's going to be some money exchanging hands under the table, he said.

You also don't know the quality of the product you're getting when you buy from dispensary that accepts donations, Fleming said. It could have pests or pesticide residue on it. The dispensaries don't inspect donors' facilities.

The law is too broad and too vague, Fleming said.

He suggested that patients and caregivers contact their local state legislators and get them to change the rules for people who want to grow their own.

According to state law, the Legislature cannot repeal the medical marijuana act because the citizens put it on the ballot. However, the Legislature can amend it. In order to amend the law three-fourths of the members of both houses of the Legislature have to approve the amendment. The amendment also has to further the cause of the original law. The Legislature can also refer a change in the law to a vote of the people.

One resident asked if there was a grassroots movement they could join to put pressure on the Legislature.

Fleming said there really wasn't a lobby group for patients. The dispensaries supported most of the medical marijuana groups lobbying the Legislature. LEAP wasn't designed as a lobbying group, he said. It's more of an education group.

Another resident asked how long it would take to set up a dispensary in Dolan Springs.

Fleming said it depended on what the dispensary would have to do to the building they planned use. The law requires a lot of security measures to be in place before a dispensary can open.

One woman asked what security changes she would have to make to her greenhouse to grow the drug in her backyard.

All she would have to do is to make sure someone couldn't see inside the greenhouse and put a lock on the door that would prevent anyone other than the patient from getting in, Fleming said. It could be as easy as frosting the glass and installing a sturdy door lock.

If a patient or caregiver didn't have a greenhouse they would have to build an enclosed, locked facility that would prevent anyone from gaining access to the drug, he said.

Someone else asked about law enforcement searching your car.

"Be polite, don't flunk the attitude test, but tell them no," Fleming said. "And keep telling them no, unless they have a warrant. If they threaten to call a dog, let them."

He also recommended telling your doctor that he can't get in trouble with the federal government for writing a recommendation for marijuana as long as he follows Arizona's laws. And remind them to check your name against the state's list of prescription drug abusers. Failing to do so could cost them their license.

ICT - Hummingbead of Kingman
Related Stories:
• Kink in marijuana law may delay opening of Kingman dispensary
• Act allows medical marijuana use, but it's easy to run afoul of the rules

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Article comment by: Someone Else

Who needs-

Regarding asthmatic use, that is mostly true. Research has been performed and uses as a bronchodilator, rather than vasodilator, have proven useful in acute situations. Dilating the bronchioles in an acute event allows the alvioli to inflate by increasing airflow through the bronchioles. That is not to say that marijuana, used in chronic fashion, is good for your lungs, and especially the alvioli themselves. You can skew any research to try to prove yourself more intelligent, but you can't change facts. Smoke and tar are bad for your lungs, the benefits may outweigh the detriments at times, but it does not change the overall fact. Don't worry about me, I'm not embarrassed at all. I actually understand terminology such as vaso- vs. broncho- and chronic vs. acute.

Posted: Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Article comment by: confusiuc says

government is moving to a more local state of power, just as we see around the U.S. states are starting to take there future into their own hands imposing better recycling laws taking the farm industry back from big government moving away from being told what to believe. marijuana wasnt out lawed till 1916 ish not sure on the date, but what gives them the right to impose their judgement on people a centery later the laws do need to be revised. if you still trust your government has your best intentions in mind then go back into the herd with the rest of the sheep. But for those of you that choose to be free stand up and make a movement, we arnt hurting anyone, it grows right out of the ground. far as i see it the only reason they want us to use despensarys is to keep government in power, which in reality the people should be in power. Take what you care about back. The revolution is coming dont be the one left in the past haha.

Posted: Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Article comment by: who needs facts

@ some one else,

Obviously you have read none of the research or clinical testing of Marijuana used for Asthma

Its a vasodilator. Opens up air passages and your favorite avioli allowing the patient to breathe unlabored. Same as a breathing treatment such as albuterol....which has a long list of side effects several of which are very detrimental.

I dont care if your love Marijuana or hate it. If your going to post "opinion" do youirself a favor and try not to embarrass yourself by knowing nothing about the subject you comment on.

@ Jay.

I completely agree with the dispensary rip off. I have growning indoors for alot less then the amount you mentioned. That fact Dispensaries can charge street dealer prices up to over 500 an ounce is criminal.

I dont want dispensaries at all. I dont expect my Marijuana to be free as some think. I just want to grow in my home inexpensively, keep my mouth shut, and not worry about what my neighbor is doing or how far a "state" pot store is from me.

It all comes down to money for the state. It doesnt matter if the card holders cant afford to be robbed. The only way many card holders will ever be able to use Marijuana is if they grow their own. Frankly, the state has said they are not enforcing home growers. In my case a dispensary can open a block away and Im going to grow at home. Its all I can afford to do.

Posted: Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Article comment by: gun owner 000

Well, ALL prescription drugs are way too expensive. The greedy drug manufacturing companies have to make a profit somehow, How else could they afford to buy off most of the state and federal government, and still have money left over for $17 million bonuses for their CEO's? There is a way out, though. Many people who can't afford high drug prices are going to Mexico, and getting their drugs at a fraction of the prices charged in the USA.
Of course, you might end up spending the rest of your life in a Mexican prison if you get caught bringing it back across the border.....

Posted: Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Article comment by: Jay Fleming

Suzanne - A little correction, it costs $225 per pound to grow indoors, and sells for $300-$400 per OUNCE, not per pound...That's $4800 to $6400 per pound....

Someone always says it cost much more to grow, please, send me the figures.

Posted: Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Article comment by: Someone Else

Uhhhhh, is this the part where I'm supposed to feel bad? Well, sorry I'm not sorry. I love the side effect play as well. One of the most easily compromised systems of the body is the pulmonary system. COPD is not a side effect of any pill. Many pulmonic issues lead to cardiac issues as well. Smoking is unhealthy on many levels, not simply because of tar and nicotine. Smoke affects the alveoli, affecting oxygenation of the blood. Deoxygenation effects everything else down the line. So, fewer side effects argument is really null.

Marijuana is natural, from the earth........ So is cyanide, poison ivy, oleander, and many other poisonous or dangerous plants and substances. Who do you trust?

Posted: Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Article comment by: The Fox Hound

Does anyone else feel it might be a little unfair for sick people to pay for something that might ease their pain at drug dealer prices? Regardless how many people get the card for getting high many patients really use it for pain. To place unreasonable road blocks in their way is immoral in my view. It seems to me that the state felt that this could be a windfall for them if they could make everybody buy from who they wanted them too. I agree that we would want to keep this safe from children but locked greenhouses should do the job. Why else would the state write the law this way. No other medical hemp states have this in them. MAN MADE BEER GOD MADE HEMP . WHO DO YOU TRUST

Posted: Monday, December 17, 2012
Article comment by: tj denton

hahaha john hancock, everybody knows its HERBIE HANCOCK!

Posted: Monday, December 17, 2012
Article comment by: m b

Why is this such a big deal. You can go to your doctor and get the prescription in pill form and not have to worry about it. Oh yeah, it wont get you high

Posted: Monday, December 17, 2012
Article comment by: gun owner 000

WHAT? Did you think somebody was going to GIVE you the marijuana....for free? If you think they're charging too much, go try to buy some from one of our local drug dealers. I'm pretty sure their prices are in line with the "legal stuff" you can buy at the dispensary. Probably not as good, but equally priced. Or you could grow your own. I'm sure the security alone would more than justify the cost.

Posted: Monday, December 17, 2012
Article comment by: Joe Blow

Dolan Springs must be a real rockin' out place on a Saturday night. I know going up Pierce Ferry Road through DS you can see a lot of green houses in the backyards. They must grow a lot of organic tomatoes there ...

Posted: Monday, December 17, 2012
Article comment by: Herbie Hancock

if you have ever met a "stoner" compared to someone who takes prescription pills. you would see which is more of a drug and has more side effects until then dont act like you know everything. you probably never even tried it.

Posted: Monday, December 17, 2012
Article comment by: carol J

I beleive its a bunch of rubbish! Just an excuse to get high leagally,on tax payers money! especially the younger ones that claim,im in too much pain,"I need marijuana".thats a load of crap! clean up, get a job and get a life!!

Posted: Monday, December 17, 2012
Article comment by: Hello- McFly

Now you know where the term pothead comes from. If it cost $225 to produce a product and it sells for $300-$400 .. DUH .. that's business. What did these druggies think, that someone would grow pot for them for free??

Posted: Monday, December 17, 2012
Article comment by: justanobody sr

Come on, everyone knows there are prescription medicines, that are much less expensive, and work properly,
it's all about getting " High"
you say what you want, but most of the public knows your fooling NO ONE!
I have NO sympathy for anyone who can get legal a prescription for medicine, but instead choose an ILLEGAL drug! (illegal by federal standards!)

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