Guy W. Farmer: Carson’s 1st ‘medical’ pot shot opens
Carson City’s first “medical” pot shop will soon open in Carson City, and another one will open shortly thereafter near the intersection of Highway 50 East and Lompa Lane.
Are we “Carson Proud?” Or what?
City Supervisor Karen Abowd cut the ribbon for the RISE “medical” pot shop on Clearview Avenue Thursday morning, as other city officials applauded.
I put quote marks around “medical” because I don’t believe marijuana smoke is medicine. If marijuana was medicine it would be prescribed by reputable doctors and dispensed at licensed pharmacies. Instead, pot smokers get a permission slip from a compliant doctor and buy their weed at a pot shop.
Our first pot shop and the one on Highway 50 East will draw “patients” from Carson, Douglas, Lyon and Storey counties since the latter three counties opted out of the state’s carefully regulated medical marijuana program. But the Carson City Board of Supervisors voted “yes,” so we’re stuck with these new businesses whether we like them or not.
A number of us, including Sheriff Ken Furlong, don’t like them. He says medical pot will bring additional law enforcement problems to Carson, as it has in other places where marijuana has been legalized. “Marijuana can be as harmful to society as any other drug,” the sheriff has told us. That’s why he wasn’t applauding along with other city officials when the new pot shop opened on Thursday morning. Furlong is one of many Nevada sheriffs and law enforcement officers who oppose Question 2, a measure appearing on our November ballot that would legalize recreational marijuana.
In an earlier column I wrote about the thorny issue of so-called marijuana “edibles” such as brownies, cookies and gummy bears, which RISE will offer. In fact, there’s a form of medical marijuana called “Girl Scout Cookies.” Kathy Bartosz, executive director of Partnership Carson City, says edibles attract children, who recognize candy when they see it. Genoa attorney Jim Hartman, president of Nevadans for a Responsible Drug Policy, says Colorado has experienced “an alarming growth in underage marijuana use” because of edibles.
Even Reno News & Review columnist Bruce Van Dyke, who vigorously promotes drug consumption and legalization, warned against edibles in a recent column. “Keep this (stuff) away from the kids,” he wrote. “The truth is that our edibles . . . are very potent,” adding that they can result in “massive brownouts,” causing the user to “crawl on the floor, delirious and nauseous.” Gosh, that sounds like fun, especially for the kids.
Hartman, a leader in the charge against Question 2, recently noted that the very liberal state of Massachusetts has turned against the legalization of recreational marijuana. “Republican Gov. Charlie Baker made common cause with three leading Democrats . . . to create the ‘Committee for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts,’” Hartman wrote. That could happen here in Nevada if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the state’s most powerful Democrat, would formally join with Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval, Atty. Gen. Adam Laxalt and law enforcement officers to oppose Question 2. Reid, who is “very, very dubious and concerned” about recreational pot, should take the next step and publicly oppose Question 2.
A nonpartisan Massachusetts State Senate study recently urged caution on marijuana legalization, warning that it “may increase the accessibility of marijuana for youth” and that “edibles are the fastest-growing segment of the market.”
And now, with two medical pot shops in Carson City, dangerous drugs will be readily available to local marijuana “patients.” But will they keep edibles out of the hands of kids who love candy? Don’t bet on it.
Guy W. Farmer, of Carson City, worked on anti-drug programs in 7 countries during his U.S. Foreign Service career.