By February 16, a mural on the side of Wellstone, a Colorado Springs medical marijuana “pharmacy” had been taken down. A figure resembling the popular Cookie Monster of Sesame Street fame had been painted on the building two weeks earlier. Many children were attracted to the popular children’s TV character carrying a plate of cookies, as well as a huge ice cream cone painted along the building’s exterior. There had been a local uproar over the picture and its appropriateness for a medical marijuana dispensary.
Perhaps the producers of Sesame Street objected. Whatever happened, the owner decided to take it down. The Colorado Springs dispensary is 3-4 blocks from a school, more than the required 1000 feet. However, what was a child to think when the green pharmacy cross is marked on the building? The suggestion is that the medicine here tastes like cookies, candies and ice cream.
The issue raised a larger issue as to why potent marijuana edibles come without warnings; Colorado legislature must face that inssue again soon. Businesses have often located close to schools and day care centers, and pot has been diverted to other states. As of this writing, Colorado medical pot rules are still in limbo.
Abuses by the medical pot industry have happened in other states. Just this past week, NBC did a report in San Francisco showing that medical conditions aren’t at all necessary to get medical marijuana cards. The medical marijuana industry doesn’t assure that expansion into more states will not include marketing marijuana products to children.
The use of seductive names has promoted the allure of pot – making it a symbol of wellness, rather than coming with the typical warnings needed for tobacco, alcohol, other drugs and pharmaceuticals — has been part of this industry from the start. In fact, one LA Times article claimed that in order to sell medical marijuana, you must use a seductive name.
Furthermore, the marijuana industry and their public relations campaign have misled voters by suggesting that CBD, one treatment for children with epilepsy, is the same as the medical marijuana used for stimulating appetite in cancer or AIDs patients, or for generalized pain.
Medical marijuana has expanded exponentially since 2009. It’s available in nearly half the states, up from 13 states at the end of 2009. A current medical publication summarized the problems coming with rapid medical marijuana expansion.
Pharmaceutical products require rigorous testing and similar standards have not been in place for the marijuana drug industry. Most people only want medical marijuana available in pharmacies rather than through upstart ganja-preneurs, or the tobacco industry, according to surveys.
This past week, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida was again vilified by the marijuana industry. She had been strongly against a broad-based medical marijuana ballot presented to her state’s voters in September. Pressure from an industry group, Americans for Safe Access, has resulted in a deceptive campaign which suggests that innocent citizens go to jail and that opposition to medi-pot industry’s expansion represents a lack of compassion.