Florida Medical Marijuana Backers Aim To Avoid ‘Wild West Of Weed’ Mistakes

FLORIDA: On the boardwalk in Venice Beach, Calif., medical marijuana hawkers wearing green uniforms and hoisting bright-green leaf signs call out to passing crowds.

They advertise doctors who, for a price — usually $40 — will provide the legally required physician recommendation to buy marijuana after a cursory exam. A convenient pot shop is usually just a few steps from the doctor’s storefront office.“Pot shop docs” even show up at rock concerts, selling recommendations on the spot. [Read more…]

Pot Shots Fired: Recreational Vs. Medicinal In Washington State

WASHINGTON:  As Washington begins to accept applications for the state’s first regulated recreational pot shops, cries of protest about the its plans for medical marijuana are coming from unexpected quarters: the left. A year after voters put their state on track to become one of the only places in the world where marijuana can be legally owned and sold for purely recreational use, the state legislature still has to decide what to do with its rickety, fifteen-year-old medical-marijuana system. With the Department of Justice’s hawkish eyes trained on the state—determined to ensure that the drug, which is still illegal under federal law—remains under strict control, some bureaucrats and lawmakers are afraid that Washington’s unregulated medical-marijuana system could doom the whole experiment.

In October, a working group commissioned by the legislature recommended that lawmakers should fold regulation of medical marijuana into the new recreational system, with a tax break for patients but few other concessions, like a personal growing exception for medical use or separate stores for therapeutic weed. [Read more…]