just legalize it already

DEA stops medical marijuana raids

Wall Street Journal Sellers of marijuana as a medicine here don’t fret about raids any more. They’ve stopped stressing over where to hide their stash or how to move it unseen.

Now their concerns involve the state Board of Equalization, which collects sales tax and requires a retailer ID number. Or city planning offices, which insist that staircases comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act. Then there is marketing strategy, which can mean paying to be a “featured dispensary” on a Web site for pot smokers.

In California, pot sales, legal and illegal, are estimated to total $14 billion a year. Medical marijuana makes up maybe an eighth of that, says Dale Gieringer, director of the state’s chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. He estimates the state has three million pot smokers, including 350,000 with doctors’ recommendations.

For reasons of cost and consistency, they have been taking fuller control of the supply chain. A few months ago they gave money to members of their collective for grow lamps and other equipment, and now they get much of their supply from them. Some vendors are toying with another familiar business model: vertical integration. In pot, that means growing as well as dealing. This was a risky approach when a federal raid could cost an owner his pot, his computers and maybe even his liberty. Now, one Los Angeles-area med-pot vendor says he has acquired land in Northern California and begun to grow his own.

There are signs medical pot’s increasing business legitimacy is crowding the market. Across the country, a med-pot bill is working its way through New York’s state legislature. If it makes it, entrepreneurs are getting ready.  Wall Street Journal

Yes! No wonder the DEA has been in contact with pot dispensaries for the last three months. They were plannig to reduce raids on dispensaries if proper protocol was being followed. Could this improve the marijuana legalization efforts?