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After last week's panel discussion on Hillcrest pot shops, San Diego's medical marijuana task force took its recommendations to North Park. In his five-minute presentation, task force vice chair Steven Whitburn's song remained the same as the one he sang a week earlier -- 11 recommendations on how the city should regulate weed emporiums.

The mood from audience members varied from those at the meeting in Hillcrest. During public comment, North Park resident Ed Badrak was the first to take the floor. Pacing the center aisle, Badrak's emotions grew as he grumbled about the dispensaries operating on Adams Avenue, west of 30th Street.

"We have become a dumping ground," said Badrak. "We have more medical marijuana dispensaries now than we have bars and liquor stores. Something is wrong with this picture."

While most of the speakers were in support of medical marijuana, they disagreed with some of the task force recommendations, like the recommendation that dispensaries not be located within 500 feet of one another. Many speakers felt that distance should be more like 1000-1500 feet.

"If this continues, we are going to have to change the name of Antique Row to Doobie Row," quipped Badrak.

"I think 500 feet is completely ridiculous. We can conceivably see one on every block," said another resident of North Park, suggesting there be at least a third of a mile separation.

When it came time for committee comment, planning group members had many of the same concerns. Besides increasing the distance between dispensaries from 500 to 1000 feet, committee members suggested that all dispensaries comply with the regulations by obtaining Conditional Use Permits from the city. They also advocated that smoke-shop storefronts should "reflect the nature of the business" so that shoppers won't wander in to the store unaware of the type of joint it is.

In the end, the North Park planning group unanimously voted, with the exception of Whitburn who abstained from the vote, to accept the recommendations from the medical marijuana task force along with their suggestions, which will be forwarded to the Community Planning Committee meeting on February 23 and then on to the city council's Land Use and Housing Committee on March 24.

Until then, Whitburn and his medical marijuana task force will be presenting their recommendations to community-planning groups citywide.

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jerome Feb. 18, 2010 @ 11:32 a.m.

medical cannabis.......yes folks it is a real medical alternative see the UT article by UCSD that cannabis is "proven' to be effective as a treatment for nuerological muscle spasms the list grows..... badrack what is your fear,after all in your capitalistic system the more stores the better for the consumer, as competition wieghs in....you are obivously not a medical candidate or a doctor so shut up ........


Dorian Hargrove Feb. 19, 2010 @ 10:49 a.m.

Don Johnson at his finest, thanks Pistol!


PistolPete Feb. 19, 2010 @ 10:54 a.m.

No problem. I'm including a random link in one of my comments everyday to turn nan on to new music. The video itself had nothing to do with my anarchy comment. I love watching old episodes of MV on DVD.


Dorian Hargrove Feb. 19, 2010 @ 1:28 p.m.

New music? That doesn't sound so new! Regardless, keep the tunes coming and good luck with that Crockett and Tubbs kick you're on.


PistolPete Feb. 19, 2010 @ 2:08 p.m.

LOL! I just meant that it might be new to her. I've been a MV fan since the mid-90's.


Origami_Astronaught Feb. 20, 2010 @ 8:16 p.m.

Great coverage, Dorian. An interesting state of affairs when a resident prefers the bar crowd to the dispensary crowd. How many medical reef smokers do ya figure Badrak encounters stumbling out of the clubs, pissing on storefronts, and yelling into the night?


PistolPete Feb. 21, 2010 @ 12:44 a.m.

To nan and Dorian, here's another MV blast from the past.... http://blip.fm/profile/Skiznot/blip/33907972/Shriekback–Running+on+the+Rocks

Just hit play and crank your speakers to 11 ;-D


antigeekess Feb. 23, 2010 @ 8:55 p.m.

"We have more medical marijuana dispensaries now than we have bars and liquor stores. Something is wrong with this picture."

What, exactly?

And if the good people of North Park dislike them so much, why do they want them spread out all over the place?


PistolPete Feb. 23, 2010 @ 9:11 p.m.

Medical marijuana dispensaries wouldn't be as prevalent if they'd just legalize it...


antigeekess Feb. 23, 2010 @ 9:30 p.m.

(This message has not been brought to you by CBS, which DEFINITELY does not stand for "Cannabis.")



SDaniels Feb. 23, 2010 @ 9:37 p.m.

"Medical marijuana dispensaries wouldn't be as prevalent if they'd just legalize it..."

Actually, I'm hoping they will. And it makes sense that they would be as prevalent, unless cannabis is then regulated by big pharma and big pharmacies.

I've just discovered that while pot does nothing for intestinal inflammation (for me, anyway), it does wonders for inflamed joints (ha ha, pun over ;).

NOW I get it--why people do find it useful for pain due to a variety of chronic conditions. It bites to think that the medical card isn't good in every state, though. I would not want to get busted while traveling. However, it seems worth it enough to go ahead and get it legally, depending on how many Franklins it is going to set me back...


PistolPete Feb. 23, 2010 @ 9:49 p.m.

What I meant was, when it's legalized, we'll be able to grow it and there won't be any need for dispensaries. Beer isn't a good example unless you brew enough home beer to get you and your friends drunk every weekend. If not, there's always the bar...


SDaniels Feb. 23, 2010 @ 10:36 p.m.

But when it is legalized, how do we know it won't be regulated by pharma? I ask because I'm not overly familiar with the angles on this issue...


antigeekess Feb. 23, 2010 @ 10:37 p.m.

Whaddya mean, "NOW I get it," SD? You mean your misspent use didn't include a doobie or two?

Big Pharma's already on it:




The only line of demarcation between Big Pharma and illegal drug suppliers is the law. All "drugs" are just substances that alter the mind/body in one way or another, and the legal ones aren't necessarily "safe," either. You can get just as wasted on them, but their big virtue is that Big Pharma is the one that makes the $$$ off them.

It's always funny to hear boozing, medicated politicians and rednecks going off about the evils of "drugs," as they sit there all drugged up, themselves.


PistolPete Feb. 23, 2010 @ 11:14 p.m.

We need to keep our weed out of Big Pharma's greedy hands.


Founder March 19, 2010 @ 9:47 a.m.

Most of the folks I've talked to are not "Taking Pot Shots at the Pot Shops"!

What they are concerned about is the number of them in close proximity to each other. Too many in one small area, or several on the same block is just weird. This is not the "Mile of Cars" where folks used to go (lots of empty business there now also) to see and test drive different automobiles. I imagine all these shops will sell the same types of MM, so what will be their "draw", what will keep them in business?

Either North, North Park has a huge population of folks that need Medical Marijuana (a huge customer base?), rent is cheap and or everyone is just jumping on the "open one before they limit or stop additional MM shops" (Resale potential?) bandwagon...

When (Medical) Marijuana is really legalized (it's getting almost like that now) then most of these shops will probably all close and we'll be left again with lots empty storefronts until the next "hot" business model appears.

I just hope that all the greed heads (no pun intended) do not spoil it for the folks that really need it (my heart goes out to all of them) and I'm glad that Society is trying to provide them with a low cost (?) NATURAL alternative to what Big Drug would charge if they could somehow take back control of dispensing all forms of "Government Approved" MM.


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