WBUR

Mass. Medical Marijuana Caregiver Openly Violates Single Patient Rule

The closet in which Bill Downing displays marijuana products patients can purchase. (Lynn Jolicoeur/WBUR)

The closet in which Bill Downing displays marijuana products patients can purchase. (Lynn Jolicoeur/WBUR)

BOSTON — Until medical marijuana dispensaries open in Massachusetts — which could happen as early as this summer — patients who can legally use pot for medical reasons are supposed to either grow their own or designate someone to grow it for them. Under the law, that person is known as a caregiver.

But there are limits as to what a caregiver can legally do. And right now the system does not appear to be running as intended.

“Though I’m acting as a caregiver at the moment, I’m actually an insurance broker,” caregiver Bill Downing says at his home in suburban Boston. “It’s much more exciting to be a caregiver than an insurance broker.”

Downing works out of his small, cramped basement, just off the garage of his Cape-style home. He calls it his “caregiving operation” and describes it as a “little shop,” with all kinds of salves, tinctures, lip balms, edibles, and other cannabis products.

Bill Downing weighs some marijuana before selling it to a patient. Under state regulations, caregivers are supposed to serve only one patient and can’t make a profit. (Lynn Jolicoeur/WBUR)

Bill Downing weighs some marijuana before selling it to a patient. Under state regulations, caregivers are supposed to serve just one patient and can’t make a profit. (Lynn Jolicoeur/WBUR)

The room is dimly lit and full of stuff — a large desk, assorted chairs and overflowing metal shelves. Marijuana leaves hang from the rafters and sit in pitchers of water. There are two small rooms with pot plants growing. A back closet-like area holds shelves with acrylic bins and bags of marijuana. This is where Downing shows patients his products. The four strains of marijuana he has on hand right now include one called Elvis.

“Elvis is a hybrid, so it has many of the great properties of both indica and sativa,” Downing explains. “So this would be good for somebody who’s looking to calm down, keep random thoughts from taking them over. Anxiety, for instance, would be very good for this. And to some degree, pain.”

Asked how many patients he has right now, Downing responds, “over 350.” Asked about regulations that say he’s supposed to serve only one patient, he says, “The regulation violates the statute. The statute allows for caregiving. The regulation does not.”

The state Department of Public Health issued regulations governing medical marijuana four months after the law passed by voters went into effect last year.

While Downing admits he’s violating the DPH rule saying each caregiver can provide marijuana to only one patient, he says the department is fully aware of what’s going on.

“I’ve been in contact with them ever since the very first day I started this. I’ve been sending in forms for every patient, and they’ve never contacted me once, ever, for anything,” he explains. “The state Department of Health made this limitation because they wanted to eliminate the caregiver function. And there’s probably many, many reasons why they wanted to do that. But I think that probably one of them is that in essence caregivers are competing with their sugar daddies. And their sugar daddies are the guys who are throwing them the tens of thousands of dollars for all those applications, for all those fees that they’re going to be charging for dispensaries.”

Karen van Unen is the recently hired director of the medical marijuana program for the state Department of Public Health. She won’t directly address Downing’s allegation that the state simply didn’t want caregivers to work out in the first place. She says caregivers were meant to fill in a gap until dispensaries start providing marijuana, and the entire program is based on a “dispensary model.”

“In our model in Massachusetts, the caregiver role is about supporting patients who need help with self-administering [marijuana] or accessing it,” van Unen explains. “The caregiver role is not set up to function like a dispensary.”

Two strains of marijuana Bill Downing purchased on the black market in order to sell to medical marijuana patients. Downing says he gets all of the marijuana tested at a lab in order to find out the levels of different cannabinoids including THC and CBD, but the testing doesn’t yet look for pesticides or contaminants. (Lynn Jolicoeur/WBUR)

Two strains Downing purchased on the black market in order to sell to medical marijuana patients. Downing says he gets all of the marijuana tested at a lab in order to find out the levels of different cannabinoids, but the testing doesn’t yet look for pesticides or contaminants. (Lynn Jolicoeur/WBUR)

Van Unen won’t say whether a caregiver having 350 patients shows the system isn’t working.

“Our role is about regulating the dispensaries, and not about individuals who are practicing the way this gentleman is,” she says.

An organization set up to connect medical marijuana patients with caregivers, called Compassionate Caregivers of Massachusetts, tells us most caregivers went underground after the regulations went into effect last May. It simply isn’t sustainable, they say, for a caregiver to grow marijuana for just one person.

Now, a spokesman says, the organization gets 15 to 20 emails a day from patients looking for caregivers, but the group can’t help because there aren’t enough.

DPH’s van Unen says she is hesitant to talk about there being a shortage. “Until our model is fully launched and up and running, we don’t really know what the need is and what the demand is going to look like,” she says.

At caregiver Bill Downing’s house, it’s clear demand is high. During our visit, a new patient arrived about every 10 minutes.

Tom Sabin, a 58-year-old from Rockland, is buying marijuana to treat pain from chronic pancreatitis and neuropathy. At this visit, he spends $650 on marijuana and another $90 on chocolate hashish. He explains that his primary care doctor wrote a letter saying he agrees that Sabin might benefit from medical marijuana — but it wasn’t an official recommendation. So Sabin took that letter to a specialized clinic where a doctor gave him the necessary certification, which Downing required him to show.

Sabin says he smokes six to 12 joints a day.

Some of the few marijuana plants that caregiver Bill Downing keeps on hand in order to do a small harvest once a year. (Lynn Jolicoeur/WBUR)

Some of the few marijuana plants Downing keeps on hand in order to do a small harvest once a year. (Lynn Jolicoeur/WBUR)

“It beats taking Oxycodone,” he says. “If I was taking the pills that the doctors give me, I couldn’t stand here and talk to you right now because I’m a drooling idiot on that stuff.”

As for the handful of marijuana plants growing in Downing’s basement, he says he keeps them on hand in order to grow just one small harvest for patients each fall.

“I’m actually unable to grow nearly enough marijuana to service the patients, as you might imagine,” he says. “So the rest of it comes from the black market. People I’ve known for decades.”

Asked how he knows the marijuana is of good quality if he’s getting it from street dealers, Downing admits he’s been “trading” in marijuana since he was 15-years-old.

“And I know an awful lot about it,” he says.

Public health officials point out anyone in the medical marijuana program who gets the drug from the black market is breaking the law. They say DPH will continue to “tweak” the regulations after dispensaries open and won’t rule out the possibility that caregivers will be allowed to continue to operate.

Downing expects that dispensaries will mark the end of his operation. But he thinks none of this will matter in a few years. He’s hoping medical marijuana will be the first step toward completely legalizing pot in Massachusetts.

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  • http://www.massmedmarijuana.com/ CCMA

    Compassionate Caregivers of Massachusetts is committed to legally serving medical marijuana patients in our state. We strongly believe there is room for a legitimate caregiver – patient model in Massachusetts. Patients are the ones suffering at this point. Put very simply, most of them cannot access the medicine to which they are legally entitled by law. It saddens us that we cannot help many of the patients who contact us every day when we KNOW there are highly qualified caregivers who are committed to the needs of their patients. Unfortunately, they are not able to operate under the current regulations.

    • Joe

      Compassionate Caregivers? What a scam….

      • Duncan20903

        I’ve got an idea! Let’s play “Ask the Prohibitionist!”

        Q) Mr. Prohibitionist, Mr. Prohibitionist, you people make baseless accusations about the “dangers” of choosing the “dangers” of medicinal cannabis expressed through bald faced lies, half truths and hysterical rhetoric. Where’s your evidence?
        A) Ev-ee-dense? We don’t need no steeenkin’ ev-ee-dense!

      • http://www.massmedmarijuana.com/ CCMA

        Joe – Please see my response above. Happy to communicate with you anytime to educate you on what it is we do. admin@massmedmarijuana.com

      • A Freedom Fighter

        I really feel sorry for folks that have to constantly criticize and judge others. This type behavior usually stems from low self esteem. loosen up, go forth and enjoy life and try to contribute something positive. I hope you’re feeling better soon!

  • Laurence O. McKinney

    Go Bill – here I am with Keith Stroup (founder of NORML) on the Boston Common this fall – Bill’s been one of the most level headed leaders in this field for many years, may his garage band grow like a weed!

  • http://www.mikecann.net/ Mike Cann

    WBUR, I dont think Downing is breaking the regs. There’s clearly no DPH system set up to implement, track, and enforce caregivers and patients. And most of us don’t expect it. And even the reg is loop holed. What does “Serve one patient at a time” mean. Downing told me he was serving one at a time, when I called, right after each other, all day. But one at a time……Why did they get rid of caregivers when Maine & RI’s program did not? Maine & RI have had less scandal too. Why? Because of this caregiver rule. It increased the stakes, $ for dispensary permits and now we still need it and can’t get it. Bring back the caregivers for the patients…Cheers to Bill Downing he’s a certifiable hero on this action.

  • http://shaleentitle.com shaleen

    Regarding the second-to-last paragraph, which law would patients be breaking? The Act for the Humanitarian Medical Use of Marijuana specifically protects qualifying patients who possess marijuana from state penalties, does it not?

    • http://www.mikecann.net/ Mike Cann

      And Bill Downing be ok too. “One patient at a time” there’s no registration happening now, no implementation, no medicine, no basic infrastructure or enforcement from DPH on caregivers and patients. Yes. Is he breaking these regs? I think they already have been broken by DPH actions and the website directives from DPH….

  • http://www.mikecann.net/ Mike Cann

    THE REGULATION VIOLATES THE STATUE!

  • Philip Daniels

    Kindest person I know !

  • Joe

    “Mass. Medical Marijuana Caregiver Openly Violates Single Patient Rule”
    equal
    “Drug Dealer Breaks Law In Search Of Profit From Abuse”
    What else is new?

    • Duncan20903

      There is certainly nothing new in the regurgitation of nonsense from the sycophants of prohibition.

      • Joe

        Says the sycophant of the pot industry.

        • A Freedom Fighter

          I am a 57 year old, husband, father, electronics engineer, musician, successful business owner, community volunteer, homeowner and long term (40 years) recreational marijuana user. Arrest me, I’m a real dangerous fellow! There millions more out there just like me. Critical mass has been reached! According to the CDC web site no one has ever died from cannabis intoxication in all medical history. How long do we have to suffer the lies and harmful costly laws from a government whose own studies have shown cannabis all but harmless by comparison to prescription drugs, tobacco and booze. LEGALIZE IT ALREADY!!! Vacation in Uruguay, Colorado or Washington this summer!!!

          • Joe

            Okay, now you are copy and pasting replies. Now I know you are shill for the industry.

          • Weedbay Guy

            But you’re a shill for the prohibitionists. If you can name one death from marijuana please do so now.

  • Joe

    Compassionate Caregivers of Massachusetts?
    What a joke.
    Face it. It is not about medicine, it is not about compassion, it is not about care… it is about profiting from abuse.
    We are witnessing the greatest rebranding since Bush sold the country “Compassionate Conservatism”
    And like that, Medical Pot is the same, just a big scam.

    • http://www.massmedmarijuana.com/ CCMA

      Hi Joe. Clearly you are greatly misinformed. CCMA is an organization of volunteers. I am the administrator of the site and have not received any compensation for what I do. We are not big business as many of the dispensary organizations are. We understand the benefits of medical marijuana and we aim to serve patients who could benefit from its responsible use. I would urge you to do some research on the value of medical marijuana and I would appreciate it if you would not call our organization “a joke” when you obviously have no knowledge of how we operate. Please feel free to send us an email at admin@massmedmarijuana.com and we would be happy explain more thoroughly the services we provide. Thank you.

      • Joe

        I would appreciate you stop presenting pot has having no downsides.
        Until then, yes you organization is a joke, and a scam and a pawn of the pot industry.
        I urge you to do some research beyond the pot fan boy sites and pot industry talking points.

        • A Freedom Fighter

          Some Posters exhibits possible symptoms of low self esteem. This is manifest in the constant need to criticize and judge others. Making up false arguments etc. Patient ignores comments regarding mean spirited behavior thus demonstrating denial. Denial may indicate some shame for the bad behavior. Please try and get some help. Is there anyone there you can talk to? How about a clergy member or friend? Hope you are feeling better soon!

    • Duncan20903

      I’ve got an idea! Let’s play “Ask the Prohibitionist!”

      Q) Mr. Prohibitionist, Mr. Prohibitionist, how many prohibitionists does it take to screw in a light bulb?
      
A) None. If the light bulb refuses to comply with the law and light up when required, we’ll send in a jack booted thug with a nightstick to adjust its attitude. That’ll fix it.

      • Joe

        I’ve got an idea! Let’s play “Ask the Pot Industry Lobbyist”
        Q) Mr. Pot Lobbyist, how many Pot Lobbyists does it take to screw in a light bulb?
        A) A lot. All paid very well. To spread propaganda, write the laws, and shove that pot store into your town and screw the neighbors. Oh wait we are talking about light bulbs, sorry I only talk about pot.

        • A Freedom Fighter

          Some Posters exhibits possible symptoms of low self esteem. This is manifest in the constant need to criticize and judge others. Making up false arguments etc. Patient ignores comments regarding mean spirited behavior thus demonstrating denial. Denial may indicate some shame for the bad behavior. Please try and get some help. Is there anyone there you can talk to? How about a clergy member or friend? Hope you are feeling better soon!

  • Joe

    Why WBUR becoming WPOT?

  • Joe

    I’m not here to support the spreading of an industry’s propaganda. Especially the Pot Industry.

    I’m not going to help the pot industry profit from abuse, prey upon the poor and put an anchor on our education system in their quest to get new customers.

    As WBUR seems to be running one sided pot propaganda stories every day, with not even a mention of any of the downsides for communities, and even going as far as to perpetuate pot abuse as just “medicine” by “patients”, following the pot industry marketing talking points word for word.

    It is no wonder the Pot Industry lobbyists are able to write the laws to de-regulate this stuff and shove it into our towns. News organizations like “WBUR” are cluelessly leading the charge with fluff pieces like this one.

    I’m just not going to support an NPR station helping to put pot stores in our towns and pot billboards in our streets
    As a very long time supporter, I’m now cancelling my sustaining membership.

    • http://www.mikecann.net/ Mike Cann

      OK, Heidi Heilman.

      • Joe

        Looks like you are one of those typical guys who wants to re-write our laws so you can profit more.
        No different than any other lobbyist wanting to deregulate their industry under the guise of being “best for society”
        And yeah, you hate when people call you out for it. Ruins the “caregiver” image you guys are trying to market.
        Such a scam…

    • Duncan20903

      Don’t let the door bump your rump on your way out.

    • Jay

      Joe you are ill informed and creating quite a bit of propaganda yourself. My wife and grandmother are both ill and can benefit from cannabis, however the current laws only allows me to legally provide cannabis for one of them. So I had to decide which one of my loved ones gets cannabis while the other is left with little option except to take opiates.

      After a drug free lifetime my grandmother may very well die addicted to pharmaceutical opiates. Joe, I hope you never have to decide which loved one to sacrifice in order to protect another.

      And for what it’s worth I am a legal caregiver and have not profited from providing for my wife with relief. If the regulations were relaxed I would also be able to help my grandmother, also without compensation except the pride I feel from helping loved ones.

      • Joe

        Oh stop, not with the sick grandma stories. You guys always have a sick grandma who only can be saved by pot. Pathetic.

        • Jay

          I hope you aren’t this terrible a human being when a computer screen isn’t between you and those you attack.

          • Joe

            Terrible human being? For seeing through you pot fan boy’s narratives for what they are? A bunch of bs?
            Sorry, you guys are the “terrible humans” saying anything to get your beloved pot mass marketed in our towns.
            I’m just a person who don’t want the pot industry rolling into my town, setting up shop and trying to profit from abuse.

          • A Freedom Fighter

            I really feel sorry for folks that have to constantly criticize and judge others. This type behavior usually stems from low self esteem. loosen up, go forth and enjoy life and try to contribute something positive. I hope you’re feeling better soon!

          • http://www.massmedmarijuana.com/ CCMA

            Joe – You are clearly in the minority, and while I respect your passion, you are terribly ill informed and in no position to argue against the benefits of medical marijuana. I wish you all the best as everyone around you breaks down the stigma that has kept cannabis in the dark for way too long. I would encourage you to do some research on the incredible things cannabis is doing for people, children among them, suffering from multiple seizures every day. That would be a good place to start.

          • Jay

            Yes, terrible human being. You presume to know me, implying my situation is a sob story and suggest I’m just another profiteer looking to destroy your town.

            Well you don’t know me, but I’ve got a pretty good handle on you.

            You are a narrow minded control freak, who must get the last word and needs to be right, even when you know nothing of what you speak about. You enjoy instigating arguments over the internet while making wild and irresponsible accusations, especially concerning the motives of others.

            If the traits you’ve shown us all carry over into your real world personality then you must lead an incredibly lonely and difficult life. I pity you.

            I understand you don’t need medical marijuana, neither do I. I am fortunate to be fit as a fiddle and clean as a whistle. I do believe you are in need of pot though, might make you less of a jerk.

          • kevin_hunt

            ‘Drug Warriors” are content with people dying as long as they get to advance their anti-freedom agenda of unconstitutional government search, seizure, harassment, intimidation, and murder.

            Mother of three negligently shot in the head during botched drug raid

            CHILLICOTHE, OH — The American Drug War claimed another casualty when a woman was shot in the head while sitting on a couch by an incompetent police officer, who fired his weapon through an exterior wall prior to raiding the home.

            On December 11th, 2013, a group of cops calling themselves the U.S. 23 Task Force swarmed the residence and prepared to break in and capture people for possessing drugs. One of the officers, Sgt. Brett McKnight, an 11-year-veteran of the Ross County Sheriff’s Office, negligently handled his weapon and fired a round through the exterior wall of the mobile home.

            The bullet traveled into the residence and struck a woman sitting on a couch. Krystal Marie Barrows, 35, of Chillicothe, was “in critical condition” and flown by helicopter to Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center, where she died the following day.

    • kevin_hunt

      “I’m now cancelling my sustaining membership.”

      Good…you won’t be missed. Do the rest of us a favor and boycott the WBUR website.

  • Melissa Jones Corey

    Way to go Mr. Downing! Sure wish more people had the balls to stand up for what’s right despite possible consequences. Especially others! Sitting here suffering in pain, have had a percocet with little relief but some and wishing I lived somewhere where it was legal. I know it helps but can’t participate because it is illegal here period and my doctor tests me. ; ( It is time to end the madness and stupidity over a God given medicine that could benefit so many things and would harm no one. Legalizing would end many having to ise so many harmful prescription drugs and lesson the amount most had to take. I think there wohld be fewer overdoses by those suffering who can’t get relief. There would be less overdosing by those who don’t need it and buy pills illegally just for the fun of it in my opinion because they would have a safe alternative that was legal and cheaper. NOT that I condone that at all iy is just an opinion from observing the way things are now. I think fewer teens would be experimenting with more harmful things as well. Effectively reducing the black market for harmful substances altogether over time. It is only logical. Not to mention just from this artical you can see the positive effect it could have on the economy as opposed to a lot of it going to those in the black market who have harmful intentions to use it in funding illegal harmful drugs that need to stay off the streets. Honestly I see legalization as a big step in the war on drugs that is failing. A war that needs to be one when it comes to other substances. They need to use the money spent on harmless marijuana charges and focus it on the real evils. But we all know people are narrowminded, uneducated, quick to judge, and that all powerful $ that big pharma and the government loves so much is one obstacle that is gonna take the masses to beat! Maybe one day. Small steps.

    • Steve Cooper

      I am sorry for your suffering. Please help me start change. TY! http://wh.gov/lEdVd

      • Joe

        in other words: “Please help me profit from your suffering”

        • A Freedom Fighter

          If You want to keep kids safe, FIRST keep them away from booze, tobacco and prescription drugs. Data direct from CDC dot gov show that no one has ever died from a marijuana overdose in all recorded medical history, while tobacco, alcohol and prescription drugs directy cause over 650,000 deaths per year in the US.
          US CDC Figures directly from the CDC dot gov web site on numbers of deaths per year in the USA :
          * Prescription Drugs: 237,485
          * Tobacco: 381,323
          * Alcohol: 39,199
          * Marijuana 0, none, not a single death in all medical history
          Cited direct from CDC dot gov. Stop the lies and Legalize!

          • Joe

            Too funny. Keep kids safe. Give them POT!
            Are you really this dumb? oh wait, yeah, you probably did pot as a teen and it hurt your brain.

          • Sandydog

            You can’t keep kids safe. All you can do is educate them honestly, talk to them openly, then you send them out in the world. We’ve been hiding cannabis all these years, this method doesn’t work.

        • Weedbay Guy

          How is this any different than big pharma

    • Joe

      >I think fewer teens would be experimenting

      Oh yeah, if the pot industry is deregulated and the mass marketing begins, I’m sure there will be a lot less teens using. Too funny.
      Sorry, all the investment has to find new customers and when it comes to profiting from abuse, new customers = teens.

      • Weedbay Guy

        You should read the 100′s of pages of regulations and the lack of marketing allowed before speaking another word.

      • kevin_hunt

        Marijuana Usage Down Among Colorado Teens, Up Nationally: Study Shows

        Availability of drugs on school grounds in Colorado went down 5 percent from 2009 (22.7 percent) to 2011 (17.2 percent).

        Marijuana Usage Down Among Colorado Teens, Up Nationally: Study Shows

        In Colorado, it appears that teen marijuana use is in decline while national use has gone up during the same period, according to data from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBS) report compiled by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

        The CDC report shows:

        Youth marijuana use in Colorado went down 2.8 percent from 2009 (24.8 percent) to 2011 (22 percent).

        Youth marijuana use nationally went up 2.3 percent from 2009 (20.8 percent) to 2011 (23.1 percent).

        In 2011, youth marijuana usage in Colorado fell below the national average — 22 percent in Colorado, 23.1 percent in the U.S.

        But the CDC report didn’t just measure youth usage, it also measured drug availability on Colorado school grounds. The report shows:

        Availability of drugs on school grounds in Colorado went down 5 percentfrom 2009 (22.7 percent) to 2011 (17.2 percent).

        Nationally, illegal drugs offered, sold or given on school property was up 3.1 percent from 2009 (22.7 percent) to 2011 (25.6 percent).

        Availability of illegal drugs on school grounds in Colorado is below the national average by 8.4 percent — 17.2 percent in Colorado, 25.6 percent in the U.S.

  • Melissa Jones Corey

    Please excuse all the typos, pinched nerves in my right shoulder and pain in my arm, neck, jaw are causing problems with my hand. I should have proof read but didn’t. Have been up most of the night in pain and sitting here with ice packs on my neck and shoulder now.

    • Melissa Jones Corey

      Edited now I hope.

  • http://www.mikecann.net/ Mike Cann

    Responding to Joe’s lame attack of me personally. Looks like youre never right. I’m the guy that has turned down all paid positions with orgs and dispensaries. I work a day job and do my cannabis advocacy at a loss. It’s as a citizen on a volunteer basis. I don’t do it for money, I do it for patients like myself and many who have it way worse than me. For my best friend who also did it for same reasons and for his mom that passed. His name was Michael Malta, he passed in October. And many others who I’ve known in MA and nationally who have passed away waiting for affordable quality medicine…Google me.

    • http://www.massmedmarijuana.com/ CCMA

      Keep up the good work Mike!

      • Joe

        yeah, keep up being a good pawn of the pot industry!

        • http://www.mikecann.net/ Mike Cann

          Keep pawning for the pot drug testing industry payola crowd.

          • Joe

            Sorry, people who don’t want pot stores in their towns have nothing to gain money wise. Just want to live in a town without legalized drug pushers.
            Unlike those pushing pot who of course have lots to gain money wise.

          • Sandydog

            Gosh, Joe what about pharmacys?

          • kevin_hunt

            Walgreens has been handed the largest fine in the history of the U.S. Controlled Substances Act

            Walgreens, the nation’s largest drugstore chain, will pay $80 million in fines to end a DEA probe into allegations it allowed millions of controlled substances, including the highly addictive painkiller oxycodone, to reach the black market.

          • kevin_hunt

            Keep pawning for the DEA, StuporBen.

    • Joe

      BS. And my attack is not on you personally, but on guys like you. Who post all these sob stories and say it is about caregiving, when the goal is not about medicine, but just to make this crap legal and unregulated as possible, so you can profit from abuse.

      If it is about medicine, truly medicine, then define it very narrowly for tha tuse, no pot stores in towns needed, make it dr. prescribed like any other medicine, FDA approved, and behind the counter in a pharmacy. Works for every other “medicine”.

      But no, you guys are too lazy for that route. You just want to tell your snake oil lies, say it is harmless, and get the pot stores in town, the pot billboards mass marketing it and let the bucks flow in.

      And as for Michael Malta, “The King Pot”, something tells me there was no point in his life where he was ever waiting for quality “medicine”
      And for you, please, stop calling yourself a “patient” just because you are a pot head. It is disrespectful to people who are actually patients and need actual medicine.

      • http://www.mikecann.net/ Mike Cann

        Have you watched “The King of Pot’s” movie about his mom? She died because it was illegal. Please stop calling yourself “Joe”.http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xwzk5r_rise-of-the-king-of-pot_news

        • Joe

          Man’s mom dies from lack of pot!
          Now that is funny…
          Also that king of pot guy is not the best spokesman for your legal pot cause. Seems exactly like the type of guy who don’t want opening a store on main street.

          • http://www.mikecann.net/ Mike Cann

            KING OF POT topped all your side, 63% of the vote, who represents your side well? Who has local support, love like Michael Malta does, who on your side. You fail badly. And for good reason, no compassion. She died because even though it helped her the one time she illegally tried it, she would not break the law and was afraid her doctors would find out with drug testing they did for her meds and she would lose coverage. For following your unhumane laws she died. And now you rag on her for it. No Honor.

          • Joe

            Oh, you guys are very good at what you do. No denying that. Like FoxNews. You paint a good story and can rally up the votes.
            But when people see the pot stores rolling into the town and see the scam for what it is, that is when your propaganda fails.
            There is no doubt that people believe the bs you sell, vote yes, see what it is and then say no no no.

          • A Freedom Fighter

            we are good at what we do job because we don’t suffer from low self esteem and waste a lot of energy trying to criticize people for something we know little or nothing about bike you. Here’s a big hug for you Joey. Try and get some help with that low self esteem problem. Your friend freedom fighter

          • Sandydog

            We have ‘right’ on our side, pure and simple. As you know, there was no good reason to ban cannabis in the first place.

          • A Freedom Fighter

            No one should ever go to work while intoxicated on anything ever. It seems to be news to some posting here that just like responsible alcohol users, responsible cannabis consumers do so in their leisure time. When you think of us, think of engineers, doctors, presidents, computer scientists, lawyers, professors, musicians, professional athletes, carpenters, olympic gold metalists, physicists, biologists, civil engineers, CEOs, storekeepers, astronomers, actors and actresses, lumberjacks, your neighbors across the street…

          • Sandydog

            Look into Peter McWilliams, the author, he’s just one, there are more like him. Your ways are heartless and cruel. I dare you to investigate cannabis patients.

      • A Freedom Fighter

        people who criticized things without really fully understanding what they’re talking about are usually suffering from Low self esteem. Joe try and get some help. And maybe while you’re at it trying to get the education you seem to lack

        • Joe

          And those who promote things without really full understanding what they’re talking about are usually suffering from “being a paid lobbyist” or just a pawn.
          I would get some education beyond the talking points of the pot fan boy sites.

          • A Freedom Fighter

            Famous cannabis users who made history: Carl Sagan, Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Bill Clinton, Richard Burton, Margaret Mead, Tim Lincecum, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Louis Armstrong, John Denver, Willie Nelson, Don Ho, Smokey Robinson, Pink, Tom Petty, Benny Goodman, Michael Phelps, Rick Steves, Michael Bloomberg, Ted Turner, Montel Williams, Stephen King, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Murray, Art Garfunkel, Chris Rock, Wesley Snipes, Thelonious Monk, Steve Martin, Sir Paul McCartney, Rudyard Kipling, Ray Charles, Peter Sellers, Newt Gingrich, Neil Young, Larry Hagman, Julia Roberts, Johnny Cash, Jesse Ventura, Jennifer Aniston, Jack Nicholson, Francis Ford Coppola, Duke Ellington, Drew Barrymore, Dionne Warwick, Bing Crosby and about 50% of the NFL…..

      • kevin_hunt

        The FDA will not approve marijuana as medicine because the Monsanto execs that run the FDA haven’t figured out how to profit from it yet.

  • A Freedom Fighter

    Come on JOE and all you naysayers, prove me wrong if you can!
    Show me one incident of fatal cannabis overdose, just one documented case. I have looked and looked and guess what, not one cannabis overdose death in all medical history. This medicinal herb has been used for some 20,000 years or more, all over the planet and yet no one has ever died from an overdose! We know alcohol kills, we know tobacco kills, and we know prescription drugs kill. You have to ask why our corporate controlled government has deliberately been steering the public directly toward commercialized serial killers like cigarettes, booze and pharmaceuticals.

    US CDC Figures directly from the CDC dot gov web site on numbers of deaths per year in the USA :
    * Prescription Drugs: 237,485
    * Tobacco: 381,323
    * Alcohol: 39,199
    * Marijuana 0, none, not a single death in all medical history
    Cited direct from CDC dot gov. Stop the lies and Legalize!

    • Joe

      Yawn. The usual no death from pot argument. As if the damage it causes teen brains is no big deal. As if the daily pot use habit that puts an anchor around adults is just the cost of doing business. Amazing how you guys dismiss those issues.

      I’ll put it you this way, you think it is go good for you, feed it to your kids.

      What? no?

      Thought so.

      But here, let me ask you a question.

      You have to ask why pot industry lobbyists have deliberately been steering the public directly toward deregulated pot stores in all towns.
      Is it for society? health benefits? education? helping the poor? helping to feed people? helping to make this world a better place?
      Nah, it is for money.
      Plain and simple.
      Wake up.

      • A Freedom Fighter

        Wow, are you ok? You sound kind of frustrated. Poor Joey!
        I am 57 and have been using cannabis for 40 years. I’m a husband, father, electronics engineer, community volunteer and successful business owner. I vaporize cannabis (no smoke, no smell, no problems). I am in excellent health and I run 15-20 miles per week. According to the CDC web site no one has ever died from cannabis intoxication in all medical history. How long do we have to suffer the lies and ridiculous nonsense from a government whose own studies have shown cannabis all but harmless by comparison to prescription drugs, tobacco and booze. Stop the lies and Legalize!

        • Joe

          >I am 57 and have been using cannabis for 40 years
          aka. loser.
          Sorry, most people give up childish fake highs like sniffing glue at least after college.
          I would suggest you finally give it up, if you can. Probably too addicted at this point.

          Sad.
          But you probably are just a fake person for pot industry marketing anyway. Like in an early ad campaign for cigarettes.. how they are part of a “healthy lifestyle!” Too funny.
          Sorry, putting THC into your brain daily is not healthy at all for mind, body or spirit.
          Get help.

          • A Freedom Fighter

            I truly feel sorry for you Joey. Is this all you have to do is run around criticizing people? I think you can do better. Try and get some help Joey. Is there someone there you can talk to you? How about your pastor or local clergy member? Those who suffer from low self esteem need help Joey. Here’s a big hug for you now go out and try and get some help. Your friend freedom fighter

          • Weedbay Guy

            The edocannabinod system in you body puts those compounds in your brain daily anyway.

          • Jay

            Yeah Freedom Fighter is probably fake with his 3751 comments over stories of many different topics spanning more time than I care to scroll through… as opposed to your 38 comments only on stories about medical marijuana since yesterday. Who do you work for Joe?

          • Sandydog

            “Like in an early ad campaign for cigarettes.” Cannabis is not new, believe it or not it’s older then you.

          • kevin_hunt

            Cannabis is not the same as glue, you chronic bullishtter.

      • Weedbay Guy

        To bad the study you quote had no socioeconomic controls at all. While the study is reported to be documented, it’s largely been debunked. Also since IQ is grouped in the range of 15 points, the 7.8 points quoted in the study means in most cases the IQ never changed it’s base group.

        How much money do we need to spend on protecting you from a plant?

      • kevin_hunt

        A teen who consumes alcohol is likely to have reduced brain tissue health, but a teen who uses marijuana is not, according to a 2013 study.

        “Researchers scanned the brains of 92 adolescents, ages 16 to 20, before and after an 18-month period. During that year and a half, half of the teens — who already had extensive alcohol and marijuana-use histories — continued to use marijuana and alcohol in varying amounts. The other half abstained or kept consumption minimal, as they had throughout adolescence.

        However, the level of marijuana use — up to nine times a week during the 18 months — was not linked to a change in brain tissue health.

        The study was conducted by researchers at UC San Diego and was published in the April issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.”

  • A Freedom Fighter

    The statistical data is in. Cannabis overdose has never killed anyone in all medical history. Alcohol, tobacco, pharmaceuticals kill over 650,000 US citizens annually. It is perfectly clear that cannabis is a safer substance than the legal corporate promoted alternatives.

    According to figures from the FBI in the US, around 45 million people are considered active marijuana users, and almost 48 percent of the US population have used cannabis at some point. Some 1.5 million people were arrested in 2011 for drug charges, and out of those arrests simple marijuana possession accounted for about 750,000 arrest victims. Cost to the taxpayer, $10,000,000,000 (billion)

    The total US marijuana business is worth over $113,000,000,000 (billion). And ‘business’ refers to the growth and usage for – amongst other things – medical use. More than $1.43 billion worth of “legal” medical marijuana was sold in 2013, an amount which is estimated to increase by 64 percent this year to around $2.34 billion.

    However, most marijuana use remains underground, meaning the US tax authorities are missing out on about $31,000,000,000 (billion) in revenue. It is also important to note that more than $10 billion is spent on enforcing marijuana laws, which takes the total loss to the US taxpayer at $41,000,000,000 (billion). End the lies and legalize!!!!

    “liberty begins with the right to go to hell in the handbasket of one’s choosing.” author, patriot Robert A. Heinlein

    • Joe

      It is always funny when you guys just start copy and pasting text from the talking points. So lazy.
      And sorry, if my society needs tax dollars from selling pot, then my society is in bad shape indeed.

      • A Freedom Fighter

        I am a computer engineer. Thank you for noticing my excellent skills. I choose to cut and paste because those with low self esteem come to post on articles like this. It’s much easier to make your point Joey you might want to try it once you get some help with the low self esteem problems. Computer training is available for those who would like some you too could learn to cut and paste. Hope you’re feeling better soon your friend freedom fighter

        • Joe

          Ooh. You know how to copy and paste and that makes you an “computer engineer” Ain’t you amazing.
          Sorry, you can’t do any real computer work with THC dumbing your brain down.
          But as you have shown, you can still copy and paste.
          Good job!

          • kevin_hunt

            Bill Gates and Steve Jobs wrote Windows and Apple O.S. while stoned. Which OS are you using right now?

          • A Freedom Fighter

            So now let me get this….if I cut and paste the truth it is not valid because to Joe it violates some inane sensibility he harbors about those who are computer literate! OK JOey! I got it. If you don’t like something then its not OK!

          • A Freedom Fighter

            LMAO at your bigotry and stupidity little Joe! If you want more info about me look up one of my mentors Henry Katzenstein who invented the A to D converters you are using in you computer right now!

          • A Freedom Fighter

            Because you cannot forward a real argument you criticize the method by which I present mine! Can’t you seen how childish that is Joe? Try and form some real thoughts of your own, white them down and like magic you can cut and paste too! Cut. Is Ctrl x, paste is Ctrl v! I hope you are feeling better soon Joe!

      • Weedbay Guy

        Your society has for profit prisons that need filling, right Joe?

        • Joe

          Legal pot does nothing for solving the private prison problems. Pot arrests are but a speck.

          • kevin_hunt

            650,000 pot arrests per year and $40 billion per year wasted on marijuana prohibition…that doesn’t discourage marijuana use.

      • That Man

        What do you want? Scientific evidence or anecdotal? I have both. Let’s start with science. Here are 34 medical studies from scientific journals proving cannabis cures cancer: http://truththeory.com/2013/07/29/34-medical-studies-proving-cannabis-cures-cancer/

        • That Man

          Here is some anecdotal evidence. I suffered a chronic antibiotic-resistant clostridium difficile infection in my gut for 4 years. I was on the most powerful antibiotics known to man to no positive effect. I started eating the essential oil from the cannabis plant and my infection was cured.

          • That Man

            Shona Banda cured her terminal Crohn’s Disease with cannabis oil…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cQrT0sDxyc

          • That Man

            Brave MyKayla Comstock is curing her acute lymphoblastic leukemia with cannabis oil…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwIU3dtESpY

          • That Man

            Jayden David has reduced his extreme, catastrophic seizures due to Dravet Syndromeby 99% with cannabis oil…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wut2BCiF2Ek

          • That Man

            Joanne Crowther has cured her B-cell Lymphoma with cannabis oil…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3JGtt88Wg0&feature=youtu.be

          • That Man

            Dennis Hill cured his adenocarcinoma prostate cancer with cannabis oil…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLoRFTbIakk

          • That Man

            These are not industry pushers. These are people encouraging you to grow your own, make your own, and cure your own. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qv8yxuv6e1w

          • Jay

            All these people are clearly lying like me… Thanks for posting these. There is no reaching this guy though.

          • Joe

            More snake oil marketing.

          • That Man

            Maybe if one of these people were actually selling something. They’re not.

          • That Man

            Oh, wait, I forgot that they’re paid spokespeople feigning life-threatening illnesses to further infect our children with corporate marijuana.

          • Joe

            Liar.

          • kevin_hunt

            Looks like YOU are outed as the liar.

          • Clarice2012

            You are one sick wierdo.

          • kevin_hunt

            Spot on! Joe is a whack-o.

        • Joe

          Daily THC smoking is not good for the mind, body or spirit.
          Any real Doctor will tell you that.

      • Clarice2012

        Uhm Yes Joe. In case you haven’t noticed- ‘society’ is in pretty bad shape.

        • Joe

          More drugs won’t help.

          • kevin_hunt

            More body cavity searches won’t help.

            New Mexico Man Subjected To Repeated An al Probes After Routine Traffic Stop

            David Eckert was shopping at Wal-Mart. As pulled out of the store’s parking lot, City of Deming police noticed that he did a rolling stop at a stop sign.

            They asked Eckert to get out of his vehicle and noticed that he appeared to be clenching his but tocks. The police arrested him and took him to Gila Medical Center.

            The first thing they did was X-ray Eckert’s abdomen. They found no drugs. Next, a doctor stuck fingers into Eckert’s an us. Again, no drugs. So they probed his an us with their fingers again. Still nothing.

            So they forced an enema on him then made him defecate in front of doctors and police officers while they watched. Still nothing. Then they did it again. And again. Three enemas, three times Eckert was made to evacuate his bowels in front of officers and doctors.

            No drugs turned up. So they x-rayed him again. Nothing.

            The doctors sedated him and performed a colonoscopy, searching Eckert’s rec tum, colon and large intestines with a camera. They found no drugs.

            The Gila Medical Center charged Eckert for all of these procedures — none of which were done with his consent — and is threatening to sic a collection agency on him if he doesn’t pay.

          • A Freedom Fighter

            If drugs don’t help you Joe, don’t take them! With your poor self image I think it would be best if you stayed completely sober until you have worked this problem out!

      • http://barkgrowlbite.blogspot.com/ Howie Katzz

        You should prepare yourself when the stoners claim that we’re spending tax dollars on law enforcement already. They ignore the costs of legalizing pot. And no, my dear stoners, pot isn’t “here”. Making it legal creates greater access which in turn causes more users/abusers. But keep spouting that nonsense that it’ll be a substitution good or use will decrease. The pot bizarro world is not reality.

        • kevin_hunt

          “There is no evidence to date that the (expiation/decriminalization) system … has increased levels of regular cannabis use or rates of experimentation among young adults” (Australian Government Publishing Service, 1999). “The Dutch experience … provides a moderate empirical case that removal of criminal prohibitions on cannabis possession will not increase the prevalence of marijuana or any other drug.” (British Journal of Psychiatry, 2001). “Cannabis use among young people has fallen significantly since its controversial reclassification in 2004, according to the latest British Crime Survey figures published today. The Home Office figures showed the proportion of 16 to 24-year-olds who had used cannabis in the past year fell from 25% when the change in the law was introduced to 21% in 2006/07″ (The Guardian, 2007).

        • Jay

          Howie, Thank you for all you’ve done for this country, I genuinely appreciate your military service.

          That said, I checked your blog/regurgitation of other people’s work and I don’t find you to be a credible source of what is and isn’t “here”. I refuse to allow you to tell me what reality is.

          I did however find the blog comparing ObamaCare to golf a great read though…They’re kinda the same thing.

          You came to this country I assuming to escape persecution, evidently you you’ve lost the message somewhere. I’m not trying to compare prohibitionists to Nazis, but they’re kinda the same thing.

      • A Freedom Fighter

        Because you cannot forward a real argument you criticize the method by which I present mine! Can’t you seen how childish that is Joe? Try and form some real thoughts of your own, white them down and like magic you can cut and paste too! Cut. Is Ctrl x, paste is Ctrl v! I hope you are feeling better soon Joe!

  • A Freedom Fighter

    Joe, Is life really so bad for you that you have to go find places to criticize others. this type behavior is generally a sign of low self esteem. Cannabis is the safest mind altering substance on the planet. Not a single overdose death and all medical history. If people are going to use a substance don’t you think it would be better if they use a safe one? Alcohol, tobacco, prescription drugs KILL over 400,000 people per year in the United States alone. Cannabis kills 0, not one person. Stop the lies and legalize! now here’s a big hug for you Joey. Now go out and try and get some help with your low self esteem. Your friend freedom fighter

    • Joe

      Is life really so bad for you that you need THC in your brain for a fake high? Daily?
      Go out try to live naturally, without the need for chemicals in your brain.
      And surely without the need to get others hooked on your habit, so that you may validate your pathetic need for fake highs instead of real ones.
      My advice, hang out with your kids, take a walk, enjoy the rays of the sun… no need for fake highs when you can get real ones.

      • claygooding

        I tried it and didn’t like it Joe,,is it OK if I don’t like your high as much as you dislike mine or is that too copy/paste for your limited IQ to handle? The concept of having a choice means we can choose and you can choose,,,neither of us can force the other to like the other’s methods.

      • A Freedom Fighter

        Who said daily oh wise profit of the internet! What, you can read minds too! You are amazing Joe!

  • Joe

    As usual, the usual pot fan boys are here being good pawns for the industry and spreading their propaganda so that they can change our laws, de-regulate their product, start the mass marketing and profit from the abuse.
    I’m amazed that they really do have the gall to still say it is about “caregiving” and “medicine”.
    I guess that line of BS is working so they keep it up.
    Don’t be fooled.
    It has nothing to do with medicine. It has to do with getting pot stores in our towns so they can profit from the abuse.
    And they will say anything, I mean anything, to get this business going.
    Everyone knows what pot is. It is not about medicine. And a daily pot habit is not good for body, mind or spirit.
    We should focus our energies on getting better wages to teachers, getting our school class size smaller, getting our education system to be best in the world for every kid. We should focus on helping people rise up from where they started, not be anchored with a long term pot habit that keeps them down.
    Legal pot works directly against society. It lets the pot dealers invest and mass market, And that investment needs return. And that return requires new customers. And guess who the new customers for pot are?
    Wake up. Stop this nonsense about medicine.
    Don’t let these guys put pot stores in our towns and pot billboards on our streets, just so they can profit from the abuse.
    It is exactly what our towns don’t need.

    • A Freedom Fighter

      Name calling and nonsense, Nothing substantive to say, just more angry commentary to make you feel big. I’m sorry you’re feeling so small. Try and get some positive things in your life. Perhaps attend your local house of worship or read a good book. I hope you’re feeling better soon, your friend freedom fighter.

      • Joe

        Ha, you need pot to make you feel big.
        Try living naturally. Attend a local house of worship. Or reading a good book.
        No need for pot to feel good.
        And you’ll feel better once you stop trying to get others hooked on that crap.

        • kevin_hunt

          ” Attend a local house of worship.”?

          Religion is the opiate of the masses.

          • A Freedom Fighter

            Yeah I know, and you know, but we are talking to Joe! and even a little Karl Marx opium might be good for him!

        • A Freedom Fighter

          Im sorry Joe! Come over here and get a hug big guy! If you really want to feel better try and get some help for the low self esteem! I really feel sorry for lonely folk who have to critize others to make themselves in feel big. Is there anyone there you can talk to? I hope you’re feeling better soon!

    • Weedbay Guy

      You sound like a crackpot.

      • Joe

        Well you should hear what these guys sound like when you are not on the “pot cures all” bandwagon.
        Talk about crackpots.

        • kevin_hunt

          No…you are definitely a crackpot. When everyone tells you that you are wrong…YOU ARE.

        • Weedbay Guy

          Everyone has figured out the war on drugs is a failure. It’s arresting people every 45 seconds for marijuana possession in this country (Source FBI). Use of marijuana grew exponentially since Nixon coined the phrase ‘war on drugs’, as did our prison population. Our federal courts are over burdened with non-violent drug cases and our children find marijuana easier to get than alcohol and tobacco. All this why spending a trillion dollars to prevent it. The majority have figured this out, the minority clinging to the lies that marijuana use will destroy society are now the crackpots.

    • Sandydog

      Read all your comments, my conclusion, you are a heartless uneducated Troll. God Bless you and yours Joe.

      • Joe

        Get educated. Read about pot beyond the fan boy propaganda.

        • A Freedom Fighter

          Poor sad little joey, to ban for you that your feelings get hurt by legalization! Try and get some help little joe!

    • kevin_hunt

      The most important reason to end the war on drugs is to stop the roadside body cavity searches.

      Traffic Stop leads to Body Cavity Search for Marijuana

      The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has settled a lawsuit with two women from Irving who filed a lawsuit claiming they were humiliated and the victims of an illegal “cavity search”, during a traffic stop last July.

      Attorney Scott Palmer said his client Angel Dobbs and her niece, Ashley Dobbs, received a settlement of $185,000 in the federal civil rights case. “I think DPS came to the table, they did the right thing,” Palmer said. “They recognized this was a bad case that needed to go away.”

      The Dobbs women were pulled over while taking a ‘road trip’ to Oklahoma. Trooper David Farrell said he stopped the pair because they had thrown cigarette butts out of their car window and were acting weird.

      Trooper Farrell claimed he smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle and performed a search, but turned up nothing. He then called female Trooper Kelly Helleson, who proceeded to do a very personal cavity search to see if the women were hiding illegal items.

  • A Freedom Fighter

    It’s estimated that 50 million cases of beer are sold to Americans for consumption on a typical Super Bowl Sunday. Every year some of those people will end up driving impaired. There will be accidents. There will be deaths. There will be fights & domestic violence. There will be people puking, people passed out, and some folks who end up doing things they will regret the next morning. Someone might even die from an alcohol overdose. Cannabis, not so much.

    One person is killed every half-hour in the US due to drunk driving. Each year over 16,000 are killed in alcohol related crashes. Alcohol is a factor in about half of all traffic fatalities. Every 2-3 minutes a person is seriously injured in an alcohol related crash. Cannabis traffic statistics are almost nonexistent by comparison. Which is safer? The answer is obvious. Cannabis with never an overdose death in all medical history, and no statistical record of traffic accidents is clearly safer! Which begs the question: why has the government been lying? End the lies and legalize.

    • Joe

      More copy and paste of talking points.
      Do you ever say anything that isn’t a copy and paste?

      • kevin_hunt

        Do you ever say anything that isn’t ‘off the charts stupid’?

      • A Freedom Fighter

        I feel sorry for you Joe. Here’s a big hug for you so you can feel better.. this type behavior is generally a sign of low self esteem Joe. Cannabis is the safest mind altering substance on the planet. Not a single overdose death and all medical history. If people are going to use a substance don’t you think it would be better if they use a safe one? Alcohol, tobacco, prescription drugs KILL over 650,000 people per year in the United States alone. Cannabis kills 0, not one person. Stop the lies and legalize!

      • A Freedom Fighter

        Because you cannot forward a real argument you criticize the method by which I present mine! Can’t you seen how childish that is Joe? Try and form some real thoughts of your own, white them down and like magic you can cut and paste too! Cut. Is Ctrl x, paste is Ctrl v! I hope you are feeling better soon Joe!

  • Jay

    WBUR, this story is the kind of fodder that feeds internet trolls. Although I appreciate all the imperfections in the system you have exposed, I hope in the coming weeks, as all the dispensary backlash unfolds, you find an opportunity to do some caregiver pieces that aren’t so outside the norm and sensational. I’m sure given an opportunity CCMA could find you some willing participants, and better explain the philosophy behind real care-giving.

    • Joe

      WBUR, this story is the kind of fodder that feeds the “pot is medicine” propagandists.

      • Jay

        Gobble it all up troll… You’ve resorted to copying and pasting the comments of your opposition and flipping the message, and then you call us lazy.

        I got to give it to you, you’ve got some stones. Then again you are still just sitting behind a keyboard.

        I’m done entertaining you until you answer me… Who do you work for? The troll doth protest too much. You know who benefits from your prohibition? Drug Dealers. Patients benefit from what we are trying to do.

        I’m having trouble accepting how much time I’ve spent dealing with you. I hope the best for you in this changing world as you clearly lack the social skills necessary to survive.

        • kevin_hunt

          The prohibitionist troll doth protest too much…because he is outnumbered 17 to one!

      • kevin_hunt

        Drug war propagandists want marijuana to remain illegal so they can make more profits for Big Pharma.

  • http://www.massmedmarijuana.com/ CCMA

    We are truly elated to read all these comments! This is an issue that is being DESTIGMATIZED as I type. People have taken notice of the value of cannabis and are speaking out. Now we just need to get medicine (yes Joe, I said MEDICINE), to patients in need. DPH – the caregiver model can work in our state – let us show you how!

    • Joe

      Oh yeah, people have taken notice how a powerful industry is re-writing laws, spewing propaganda, and forcing towns to accept their pot stores and pot billboards.
      All because people like you reframe the business of simple drug dealing and drug abuse as “medicine” for “patients” via “caregivers”
      Say anything to get your product deregulated so you can profit more.
      What a sick way of life.
      Just like the banks, big oil and all other industries that want the government out of their way so they can make more money.
      Who cares about the damage to society! We want to make our MONEY!!!
      Sorry more drugs in towns is not a progressive at all. It is backward.

      • The Prophet Mohammed

        What damages to society are you referring to? The war on drugs has done more damage than a stupid plant ever could.

      • kevin_hunt

        Joe = screen name ‘SuperBenFranklin’ from Huffington Post?

        Translation: “Just like the ‘rehab clinics’, private prisons, and crooked drug cops and all other prohibition-related industries that lobby to keep marijuana illegal so they can make more money.”

        • A Freedom Fighter

          Wow, if poor Joe posts at Huffing he must be really desperate for attention! I can’t imagine he gets much of a reception over there!

          • kevin_hunt

            I don’t have proof yet that Joe = “SuperBenFranklin”…but they both refer to marijuana use as a ‘childish glue sniffing high’…talk about ‘pot billboards in my town’…hate Fox News..and constantly bash ‘Republican deregulation’.

            It’s got to be the same guy.

      • A Freedom Fighter

        Is life really so bad for you that you have to go find places to criticize others. this type behavior is generally a sign of low self esteem. Cannabis is the safest mind altering substance on the planet. Not a single overdose death and all medical history. If people are going to use a substance don’t you think it would be better if they use a safe one? Alcohol, tobacco, prescription drugs KILL over 650,000 people per year in the United States alone. Cannabis kills 0, not one person. Stop the lies and legalize!

  • kevin_hunt

    Cannabis Can Relieve PTSD in War Veterans

    This review shows that recent studies provided supporting evidence that PTSD patients may be able to cope with their symptoms by using cannabis products.

    Cannabis may dampen the strength or emotional impact of traumatic memories through synergistic mechanisms that might make it easier for people with PTSD to rest or sleep and to feel less anxious and less involved with flashback memories.

    Source: Drug Testing and Analysis

    Volume 4, July-August 2012

    • Joe

      Typical Republican. Send people off to pointless wars, and then sell them pot to keep them medicated when they get back.

      • kevin_hunt

        Jose Guerana, an Iraq war veteran was gunned down by an AZ SWAT team who was trying to reach their quota of marijuana raids. No drugs were found. The officers denied paramedics access to their victim and allowed Guerena to bleed to death in front of his 4 year old son.

        Under the terms of a settlement, the family of Jose Guerena will receive $3.4 million from the various police agencies involved in his death.

      • A Freedom Fighter

        You got the war part right but republicans use opium from Afghanistan for the dumbing down!

  • Melissa Montana

    Those who are truly compassionate need not tell lies: http://youtu.be/DXqKp5B0ZLE?t=1s

    • kevin_hunt

      I watched your video and couldn’t figure out what it had to do with this news story.

  • A Freedom Fighter

    I think critical mass has clearly been reached! Uruguay has completely legalized cannabis and amazing as it seems, the country’s still up and running! Colorado and Washington are both doing fine and both get a huge economic boost by leading the country in the cannabis culture shift and business. Most states are cash starved and when you add up the numbers over $41,000,000,000 (billion) will be recovered anually once reefer madness is over. The ice is completely broken and cash talks while reefer madness BS walks. Celebrate! We will finally stop the madness. Keep up the good fight until we are free from government oppression of all kinds. End the lies and legalize.
    —-According to data direct from the CDC dot gov:—-
    *Alcohol KILLS over 40,000 US Citizens per year
    *Tobacco KILLS over 400,000 US Citizens per year
    *Prescription drugs KILLS over 265,000 US Citizens per year
    *Cannabis KILLS, zero, nada not a single overdose death in all medical history.
    End the lies and legalize.

    • Joe

      Johnny copy and paste. Does the Pot Industry pay by the word, or by the paste?

      • kevin_hunt

        George Soros pays me $50 per hour to argue with reefer madness idiots. Are you wasting your time arguing here and NOT getting paid?

      • A Freedom Fighter

        Because you cannot forward a real argument you criticize the method by which I present mine! Can’t you seen how childish that is Joe? Try and form some real thoughts of your own, white them down and like magic you can cut and paste too! Cut. Is Ctrl x, paste is Ctrl v! I hope you are feeling better soon Joe!

    • kevin_hunt

      Prohibitionist Joe is close to a complete meltdown because he knows that he is outnumbered 17 to one on this thread. It must be frustrating for the enemies of freedom to know that their cause is lost.

  • malcolmkyle

    Prohibition’s ills are a product of a psychotic delusion.

    In a dangerous and futile attempt to stamp out alcohol, tobacco, heroin, marijuana, pornography, prostitution, marital infidelity, and even masturbation, this former land of the prosperous and free has been shamelessly pillaged by groups such as the Women’s Christian Temperance Society, The Anti-Saloon League, The Anti-Cigarette Movement, The Social Purity Movement, The Social Hygiene Movement, and now our latter day Drug Warriors.

    Prohibition was flawlessly designed to increase drug use, atomize society, impoverish citizens, spread illness, increase unemployment, destroy lives, imprison productive people, subvert democracy, shred the Constitution, empower the ignorant & brutal, facilitate mass surveillance, destroy the educational system, hold people in ignorance, manipulate and censor the media, and enrich a tiny puritanical minority of mega-millionaires and corporate bosses. Sadly, it has succeeded in all these objectives.

    If you support prohibition, then you’re a black market profiteer, a terrorist, a corrupt politician, a sadomoralist, a nanny-state socialist, or a fake-conservative.

    • Joe

      If you support letting companies roll into town, write your laws and profit from abuse, you are just a typical Republican.

      • kevin_hunt

        You have GOT to be ‘SuperBenFranklin”.

  • Philip Daniels

    This person Joe, whatever their name is that they post here, doesn’t have the stones to post their real name, let’s see them do that. Till the dispensaries are open, people like Bill are a Godsend. I’ve been prescribed more than 12 medications from big pharma for my conditions, some of them are a pill to ward off the side of effects of other pills. Not one of them can totally reach and control the chronic pain from peripheral nerve damage from one condition I suffer, owed to an industrial accident and the surgeries that followed, but cannabis does. Some of the “modern” medications stop neurogenesis, they stop production of new brain cells. Cannabis promotes neurogenesis, that’s right ! It promotes the production of new brain cells, among other wondrous feats. That kills the stoner stereotype, yep ! It’s dead. All part of the mind control inflicted on us since the ’30s. They used it as a tool against immigration and competition for Dupont’s and Hearst’s products, nylon and paper. All part of the plan of entrenched technologies. Joe can’t help it and they don’t even know it, they’re a victim of mind control. It’s the usual, if you can’t stop an idea, then you ridicule it, the old tricks are the best, aren’t they ? Cannabis can treat many forms of cancer and that’s nothing short of miraculous. When people are sent home to die from cancer, this is how they’re surviving, ask Tommy Chong. He had prostate cancer, I say had, no sign of it now. How about some of the success stories about kids having over 300 seizures a week from a form of epilepsy called Dravet syndrome ? The seizures stop with the first dose. It’s called a “syndrome” because they don’t entirely know what causes it. Why do you think people are heading to Colorado in droves ? With lines stretching around the block, they made over 5 million dollars in the first week. They’re are going there, because they want their family members to get well and survive, not to get high. But the compound that has the psychoactive effect, has medical uses as well, it’s anxiolytic for one thing. That means you can put the countless antidepressant meds away. God help you, if you have a family member, that’s in dire need because of cancer, if not we’ll be here.
    Anytime you think you know what you’re talking about, you’re invited to use one of the most comprehensive medical libraries on cannabis in the world, over at NORML.org and it’s free ! Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn …

    • Joe

      >Cannabis promotes neurogenesis, that’s right ! It promotes the production of new brain cells
      Too funny. Pot makes you smarter. That is a good one.
      Well you are the best liar pot lobbyist I’ve seen so far. You truly will say anything to get your stores in town so you can profit.
      Sick.
      Oh, and knowing that smoking chemicals into your brain for fake highs is unhealthy for mind, body and spirit, isn’t just common sense, it is “mind control” by the government.
      What a loon.

      • kevin_hunt

        Cannabinoids promote embryonic and adult hippocampus neurogenesis and produce anxiolytic- and antidepressant-like effects

        “The present study suggests that cannabinoids are the only illicit drug that can promote adult hippocampal neurogenesis following chronic administration.”

        Source: J Clin Invest. 2005

      • Philip Daniels

        Don’t bother … ignorance is bliss

    • kevin_hunt

      Families of children with severe epilepsy are moving to Colorado from all over the country to get the cannabis oil that appears to have worked medical miracles. Parents are splitting up families and leaving behind careers to try a new treatment that strict federal drug laws have prevented from being rigorously studied or tested. They hope success here will push their states and the federal government to change marijuana laws.

      In the meantime, they are leaving big cities and quiet farmland, blue states and the Bible Belt, and heading to the Rockies. They are rich and poor, Muslims like the Halabis and conservative Christians like their new next-door neighbors, who just moved with their epileptic daughter from Virginia. The one common thread is hope that marijuana can save their children.

      They call themselves marijuana refugees.

    • James Pherris

      Yes. Bill is a Godsend and that’s coming from an Atheist.

  • Joe

    Well looks like the Pot Industry lobby crew is out in full force on this one.

    The saddest thing for me is to see so many good progressives get suckers by pot industry talking points.
    Deregulating drugs only works against issues like income equality and education. It is not right for our towns.
    If it is medicine, let it be medicine like all others. Get FDA approval and stick it a pharmacy. No need to open up “pot stores” and have a free for all at our town’s expense.
    I’ll put it to you this way, the people who are saying how unregulated pot is going to be good for society either have dollar signs in their eyes, or are looking to validate their own pathetic childish habit by getting more people hooked up and on the couch with them.
    In the end, the pot industry is like all others, they want to get rid of laws so they can profit more. Don’t be fooled by these jokers. They are not progressive. They don’t care about society. They don’t care about you. They are no better than any banker wanting to deregulate things so they can make more money. Simple as that.
    Don’t be fooled. Keep these guys from setting up profit from abuse shops in our towns.

    • kevin_hunt

      Are you screen name ‘SuperBenFranklin” from Huffington Post?

    • A Freedom Fighter

      Sad little Joe once again posting name calling and nonsense to try and improve his self image! Try and help him into the light! Cannabis bigotry is curable. Reduced or remove Fox news to begin the healing process!

    • AnnOnaMice

      Joe, what “profit” are you exactly talking about? Dispensaries are specifically NON-PROFIT, and could only help our towns with jobs and marijuana that will help people be productive, social, and contributing family members, unlike the many narcotic drugs (not herbs) that are commonly prescribed today… besides no bad side effects except feeling “good”.

      Oh yeah, the tax revenue, too.

  • kevin_hunt

    New Hampshire prison official calls to ‘legalize, control, regulate, tax’ marijuana

    The head of one jail in New Hampshire said on Monday that his experience in the prison system had made him sure that it was time to legalize marijuana.

    “If we legalize, control, regulate, tax in the same way that we do for alcohol, we put the illegal drug dealer out of business.”

    The 20-year veteran of law enforcement pointed out that it costs about $32,000 to keep each non-violent drug offender incarcerated every year.

    “The fact is policies like mandatory minimum sentencing, drug war issues have meant that the United States has had to build over 900 jail beds every two weeks for the last 20 years”

    Van Winkler observed that both Washington and Colorado had legalized marijuana and “guess what? The sky is not falling.”

  • kevin_hunt

    Pathetic prohibitionist Howie Katzz and his idiot buddy Super(Joe)BenFranklin continually promote their perverted agenda…but they are OUTNUMBERED here seventeen to two. It must really be frustrating to be on the losing side of this issue! LMAO!

    Cop Assaults Woman While Searching For Marijuana.

    Clemmons forced Thompson to do roadside sobriety tests, handcuffed the woman and put her in the back of his police car.

    According to The News Tribune, Clemmons asked Thompson what she would be willing to do to avoid going to jail. Thompson felt he was asking for a sexual act and changed the subject.

    Thompson claims that Clemmons did an invasive search, where he was supposedly looking for marijuana.

    “He put [his hand] directly down my shirt and moved it around below the wire in my bra, then he put his hands knuckle-deep into my pants,” Thompson told Q 13 Fox. “He moved it right to left and then down to the front.”

    Thompson said Clemmons used his flashlight to look inside her pants and asked to go in her home.

    After her handcuffs were removed, Thompson said “no” and Clemmons reportedly grabbed her buttocks and again asked to go in her home, but she refused.

    On Monday, Clemmons pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault and was sentenced to 80 hours of community service and a deferred sentence of 24 months. He will also lose his certification to be a police officer in Washington State.

  • Tom

    Bill was a great caregiver until recently. Although I knew it couldn’t last forever, he has stopped selling out of his basement in Reading. He has opened a business, Yankee Caregivers, and operates solely on deliveries. This is why I do not go to Bill anymore.

    Prices ranged but used to be up to $260 for one ounce of marijuana. If you wanted it delivered previously there was a flat $30 delivery fee (reasonable).

    However, his prices went up to $320 per ounce with free delivery. So if I buy my normal 2 ounces I am paying $120 more, rather than a $30 delivery fee. Furthermore, he has young people delivering the stuff to residences- I don’t want these people coming to my house! I bought from Bill, even the $260 ($20 more than a normal drug dealer) because of his availability and selection. There is another caregiver who is even more money $350 an ounce but way better quality – tested or not. Bill’s stuff is ALWAYS dry but tested and good quality.

    I am no longer a customer/patient/client (whatever you prefer to call it) of Bill Downing and believe a lot of other people are not either any more. He is not a caregiver anymore but yet another drug dealer.

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