“But I’m also very moved by your statistics on crime, and I don’t want to take on that added…Cost. Uh, so…Maybe some other county wants to take it on, and…Our folks can just drive over there.” ~Pasco County Board of County Commissioners Chairwoman Kathryn Starkey, speaking at the July 17th, 2016 workshop on medical marijuana
*laughter around the table*
You can watch for yourself, at the link, below. The comment is at about 40 minutes.
You may have guessed, already…But I opened with that because I have a problem with it. After about a half hour of statistical data from the Sheriff’s Office, the entire council was shellshocked, it appeared, by the hellhole conditions now occurring in Oregon, Washington, and Colorado, due to the anarchic effects of medical cannabis legalization. See for yourself:
Horrifying, isn’t it? We’re working on getting our hands on a copy of the report the Sheriff’s Office presented, because we are pretty confident that the data presented can be refuted effectively.
The attitude of the county commission was mostly aimed at preventing medical cannabis dispensaries from opening in Pasco County. EVER. I am anxious to ask the commissioners if this is accurate. It would be an extraordinary stand, one at odds with the will of the people of the state of Florida…And it will be a glaring missed opportunity to help sick people in OUR county get relief.
An example of what I mean:
In the powerpoint presentation by staffers, under “Other Considerations” is an entry that says:
“Prohibit cash transactions”
Why is that important? Because Federal banking laws prohibit banks from handling proceeds from illicit drug sales…And since marijuana is still illegal FEDERALLY (despite the fact that they grow it and provide it to patients), the money used for it’s purchase is ‘dirty’ money, just the same as money used to buy cocaine, or methamphetamine. Oxycodone? No problem, you can buy all of that you want on your debit card…But you’ll have to bring cash to the cannabis dispensary.
Oh, but wait…If the county makes cash transactions illegal…Then they don’t have to discusss helping sick people AT ALL. They just have to point out to applicants that they cannot collect any money for the medicine, they’ll have to barter for chickens, we suppose.
On Saturday, when I knew I was going to be discussing this issue with Corey, Denise, and another interested party, I wrote one phrase large across the top of my note page (I had already watched the workshop video)…HUMANIZE THE PATIENTS.
So, today…we’re going to start showing the county commission who these ‘folks’ are. SPOILER ALERT: They are not punks looking to score weed…Those punks can already DO that, with no trouble, 24/7/365. These are SICK PEOPLE. People who are undergoing the pain and misery of a host of illnesses: ALS, Cancer, PTSD, Epilepsy. All of which are PROVEN to be treatable, or at least mitigated by medical cannabis. They are grandmothers, and fathers, and young soldiers. They are CHILDREN.
We’ll start with the story of local medical marijuana patient advocate Denise Houston. I promise you, you’ll want to hear her story.