the good, the bud, and the ugly

the case of u.s. vs. the guys who gave “budderfinger” candy bars to the bay area medical marijuana community has been gearing up for a while, and sfgate columnists matier & ross laid it all out today.

the reason the story of the feds’ prosecution of the bud brothers is so important is that it points up all the varying aspects (and liabilities) of california’s present 215 law, which decriminalized medical marijuana. while mm proponents like ed rosenthal insist that the law should work as is, the fact of the matter is that it was a poorly written proposition that doesn’t account for guys who may be interested in profiting more off of the legitimate movement than good ol’ ed.

there are two reasons why 215’s allowance of medical marijuana to be distributed using free market forces was a bad idea – first, it leaves these forces vulnerable to federal buggery, as with the case against rosenthal, and now with the bud brothers; second, and more destructive to the medical marijuana movement, is that there is little now to allow authorities (both locals who are sympathetic to the cause and federalis who could give a rat’s ass and are just looking to nail people) to distinguish between people who are looking to provide a service to the community (like my friend martin from the vapor room, one of the most reputable and respectable dispensaries in the city, and therefore on the planet), and those who are basically “legitimized” drug dealers.

i’m not saying the bud brothers, who simply by the fact they put themselves in harm’s way technically qualifies them as medical marijuana martyrs, were the latter, but it’s hard to reconcile my image of politically motived pot crusaders with two guys in Lafayette driving around brand-new Mercedes-Benzes.

and the real joke of it is that 215 never accounted for what even the most red-eyed optimistic medical marijuana activist should have seen as an inevitable result of the dynamics of distribution.

i’d love to believe that on a national scale we’ll see any legislation regarding medical marijuana anytime soon. but it’s pretty likely we won’t, and the only way this federal harrassment will stop is for the state or local governments to take over the process of distributing pot through dispensaries. i know people hate the big brother aspect of this, but it’s the only way to force the state vs. federal battle that would not only solve this issue, but put the whole thing on the national table.

and considering all the bullshit that’s on our table as a nation (mcgriddle, anyone?), would “budderfingers” be so bad?


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  1. […] more problems with california’s medical marijuana law i always wondered (fantasized in a sick way?) whether i’d be the poster boy for this issue. i mean, this guy should have every right to medicate himself under california law, but 215 simply never provided for this inevitable scenario, just as we saw earlier this week. […]

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