Weed Wars

Dispatches from the California Marijuana Front

June 16, 2010
'Crusader' for medical marijuana patients opposes legalization

PK_MONEY 0193.JPGThe co-founder of one of Sacramento's original medical marijuana dispensaries isn't high on the notion of legalizing marijuana for recreational use in California.

With her husband, Bryan Davies, Lanette Davies founded the Canna Care dispensary, a medical cannabis outlet with a Christian theme.

Davies now heads an advocacy group for medical marijuana patients called Crusaders for Patients' Rights.

Under the group's name, she is writing voter pamphlets, urging "no" votes on the November initiative to legalize marijuana beyond medical use and allow local governments to tax and regulate pot sales.

Davies takes issue with proponents' arguments that marijuana should be taxed and regulated like alcohol.

"Doctors do not write recommendations because they know cannabis is safer than booze as suggested by the TaxCannabis 2010 office," she writes. "Doctors write recommendations for Cannabis because they care that people are suffering from illness and disease, they know cannabis is safer than conventional synthetic pharmaceuticals.

"Help us stop the bigotry and prejudice against patients. Medicine is not a vice."

She also argues that the initiative does nothing to reform practices of cities and counties that aggressively exclude medical marijuana establishments.

She questions: "Do honestly think that cities and counties that will not allow a patient to obtain cannabis are going to open the door to recreational use when this measure expressly states they DON'T have to?"

While Davies argues the legalization measure may appear to disrespect the work of physicians currently recommending marijuana, initiative proponents on June 9 released endorsements from 10 prominent physicians, psychiatrists and medical researchers in California, Washington, New York and Pennsylvania.

"It makes no sense for law enforcement to spend thousands of hours and millions of dollars a year arresting non-violent people who consume cannabis," Dr. Larry Bedard of Sausalito, a former president of the American College of Emergency Physicians, said in a statement released by the tax cannabis campaign.

Pictured: Lanette Davies, in 2009 photo, at Canna Care dispensary. Paul Kitagaki Jr./pkitagaki@sacbee.com

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