Friday, March 19, 2010

Our View: Medical pot should come from well-regulated farms

A law meant to improve patient access to marijuana could put drugs in
the wrong hands.

A clear majority of voters last November clearly stated that they wanted
medical marijuana patients to have access to the drug through local

Legislators heard them, and should do nothing to stand in the way of
those wishes being carried out.

But that's not to say that all the details of the law as conceived by
its supporters were completely thought out and publicly debated. While
the question of whether patients should get the marijuana that they say
makes them feel better was debated, the question of who would grow the
marijuana was not.

There is a clear public interest in making sure that the marijuana
distributed under the new law goes only to people who are supposed to
have it, and that the quality of the drug is similar in all the

Both of those questions call for centralized growing facilities licensed
and overseen by the state.

That does not fit into the vision of some of the referendum's original
backers, who would like to see every dispensary grow its own.

But this is not a law meant to promote local agriculture; it was born of
a medical referendum that involves distribution of an illegal drug.

The Legislature should not take chances here, but pass Rep. Anne
Haskell's bill that would create a central growing system.

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