The issue of marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles is of particular concern to our family since Big John has been sick. (You can listen to Mandalit Del Barco's NPR story on the city's desire to close hundreds of storefronts here.) The Maharishi, in his inimitable style, has written a letter to our local councilman, Paul Koretz:
Dear Councilman Koretz:
My name is JM and I live your district in Laurel Canyon. I voted for you in our last election. I wanted to share with you my frustration with what I understand to be the current curbs on marijuana dispensaries in our city. I believe the city council is considering to make it illegal to locate a dispensary within 1,000 feet of any residence, which effectively relegates dispensaries to some very out of the way industrial areas.
My father, 73, is suffering from stage 4 esophageal cancer and uses marijuana every day to maintain some level of dignity, positive attitude, fight off the constant nausea, and maintain some desire to eat. My amazing stepmother already has her hands full trying to stay ahead of his ever changing needs - installing ramps for his new wheel chair, taking him to the blitz of doctors appointments for chemo, radiation, and various of treatments, as well as endless trips to the normal pharmacy plus the dispensaries. As you are doubtlessly aware, each of the medical marijuana dispensaries has a variety of both qualities and forms of the drug. As my father's tolerance has increased and, sadly, his appetite has abated she needs to keep trying different dispensaries to get the new form or type of marijuana that will be effective for him. He cannot smoke, so the various forms the dispensaries provide the drug in is critical. We looked into the federally approved drug that contains THC and it is, of course, not covered by insurance, ineffective and outrageously expensive. The local dispensaries, which the voters had the intelligence to allow, are really the very best option for him and my stepmother at this point.
When I heard about this recent ban the council is considering I was furious. I listen to Warren Olney's show on KCRW where this ban has been discussed and just fume in my car. So I am writing to let you know that I vigorously oppose such a restriction on locating the dispensaries within 1,000 feet of any residence. If you must, I could live with limiting the locations as it relates to schools.
I am committed to working to unseat the completely misguided and out of touch LA County Attorney, Steve Cooley, as I am sure many other voters will be. I hope you will consider opposing the residential zone limit currently under consideration. Oh, and for the record, neither my wife or I are marijuana users.
I look forward to hearing from you or your office and thank you.
If you live in Los Angeles and feel strongly about this issue, please do contact your local council member.