Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pot Dispensaries Near Schools?

In "news to me", from The Stranger Slog, apparently there are a number of medical marijuana dispensaries around school zones.  The DEA has warned 23 of them that they have to move or

..federal authorizes may raid the properties, seize their assets, and seek federal criminal charges,

Agent Barnes adds that the federal government makes no criminal exceptions for marijuana, even it it's "medical," a word that his letter writes in italics and quotation marks. 

This would apply to the business as well as the property owner.  I'll try to find out where these are but I'm sure it's probably something parents have noticed if one is near a school zone.

I applaud the DEA for this because public safety around schools is a city/county/state/fed responsibility and if we had more of it, more of our schools would feel safer.


Anonymous said...

There are 4 of them along about a 1 mile stretch of Lake City Way in NE Seattle (in the vicinity of Sacajawea, Hale, etc)...in the same area as the gun shop and strip clubs.

ArchStanton said...

Sheesh, no kidding. You can't throw a bong out of your car window without hitting a "green" dispensary these days.

Eric M said...

And parents, did you know that the new liquor stores (ie, supermarkets) are getting LOTS of liquor shoplifted?
Ask a clerk, or ask a teenager.
Those electronic bottlecaps can apparently be defeated rather easily, even if you haven't graduated from high school.

Anonymous said...

There's one in the 3400 block of 65th St, one block away from Assumption / St. Bridget's, and five blocks from Bryant Elementary.

mirmac1 said...

There are two across the street from each other five short blocks from Roxhill.

Anonymous said...

Just saw a sign today for a new one on 45th Street and Corliss in Wallingford, just a few blocks from APP @ Lincoln (or whatever they are calling it). I think there are several private schools and preschools even closer to it. Seemed to me to be an odd place for a pot dispensery.

Wallyhood resident

Anonymous said...

and what about all the liquor stores or beer stores !! and what about all the t.v. advertising selling You-Know-What instead of cars or football!

lions and tigers and bears, oh my!


mirmac1 said...


A neighbor faces 40+ yrs in prison for using his pot dispensaries to distribute vast qtys of non-med mj. You can imagine the clientele who hung around outside. MJ is just another way for folks to escape reality, not self-medicate.

Anonymous said...

Actually it is a medication too and a better one than the manipulated big pharma drugs. I know several people with conditions such as cancer that couldn't tolerate the fake stuff but the natural grown stuff helped them deal with chemo and other problems. Thankfully in WA state they were able to get a prescription. That being said, it isn't any different than alcohol and the same laws that apply to alcohol should also apply to marijauna and vice versa. I believe Nathan Hale has a convenience store nearby that sells fortified wine and crap. Why is this allowed?

Oh and yes, my teen tells me it is much easier to get pot than booze or at least was until the grocery stores started selling booze. So I vote we back to the old liquor stores and have them sell pot too. Regulate and tax it.


Tracy @ WSB said...

The U.S. Attorney's Office says it will not disclose who is getting these letters, at least until they have been received. I asked as soon as I received the news release (and will check again on Monday). It really depends on how the DEA is defining school zones - where does the 1,000-foot measurement start? One possible candidate in West Seattle is a dispensary on Alki that is a block away from the edge of Whale Tail Park, which is in turn on the north edge of a long playfield leading up to Alki Elementary. Re: the earlier Roxhill mention - the 2nd establishment, on the west side of 35th, is actually a prescription-writing (the MMJ authorization cards) enterprise ( http://www.cannahealth.org ) not an actual dispensary. Those have tended to pop up close to the places where the marijuana is available. Same with the aforementioned Alki establishment - a clinic offering authorizations is now open next door.

Anonymous said...

Drove down 45th again today, and the sign has disappeared. Yesterday's article may have made that particular dispensary look for a new locale.

I am not terribly keen on the dispensaries being so close to schools, nor am I keen on all the endcap piles of booze at the local groceries and drug stores, either. Word on the street is that there has been a huge uptick in shoplifting the hard liquor at the stores.

I am ok with keeping the hard booze, the prescription meds, and the pot in a less accessible location, be it behind the pharmacy counter where you need a scrip, or in a store where you need an 21-and-older id just to walk through the door. It is no skin off my back, as an adult, to whip out my id or my prescription, and it makes is that much harder for the kids to grab it and run. Just my 2 cents.

Wallyhood resident

Someone said...

While I fully recognize the medical benefits of marijuana to some (I had family members with cancer who were greatly eased by it) one does have to question just how many people with "legitimate" medical needs there might be in the Greater Seattle area - in other words just how many dispensary does a city need to handle that population? That's where the trouble is for me - the increasing number of them.

After reading this story in the Times last night, I did a little looking and the consensus is 1000 feet is about 2 blocks - so a dispensary would have to be pretty close to a school zone to get nabbed by this, I would think.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jan said...

Anonymous (whose post will be deleted for failing to provide a pseudonym OTHER than "anonymous" said:

I don't see any problem with medical marijuana. It is no more dangerous than what they dispense at pharmacies and certainly less harmful than the alcohol available in the grocery stores. Most marijuana dispensaries have secured entrances and check the identification of every single person before they're allowed access. To my knowledge, they are more secure than liquor stores, grocery stores, and even some pharmacies. So fearing these places is obsurdly ridiculous. My aunt has cancer and finds that marijuana helps her MORE than the anti-nausea pharmaceuticals...so if it's helpful, can't be overdosed on (all you do is fall asleep and/or get the munchies)- then STOP prosecuting these people and the industry of marijuana. Lets get involved in a positive way that supports everyone.

I must say, I agree. Once you have known someone terribly ill who has gotten far more pain/nausea relief from mj than from handfuls of big pharma drugs (many of which are far worse in terms of side effects, addictiveness, and possibility of death from overdose), it is hard to see medical pot as "the bad guy." I am no more alarmed by a well-regulated, secure pot dispensary near a school than a Walgreens drug store -- and much LESS alarmed than by stores (into which teens can walk freely) selling hard liquor and beer that can either be shoplifted or bought with fake ids (or no id).

Glad to hear that the baddies (like mirmac1's neighbor) are getting busted for abusing the law, but for all those folks out there fighting an otherwise losing game against pain and/or nausea, I hope reasonable, safe access to medical pot continues, and that the providers don't get harrassed out of business.

mirmac1 said...


As someone who's mother died an excuciating death from cancer and with a(n extremely close) family member who can now rationalize continued recreational use (hey, I got pain too!), I say we must remain vigilant on how convenient it is to get prescribed and dispensed MJ on the same block. Otherwise, what's to risk your neighbor deciding 0-40 yrs in prison is worth the gamble.

Besides, don't know how many of these things are in Magnolia or wherever. Seems SW Seattle has more than its fair share.

Jan said...

mirmac1: I am so sorry about your mother. I lost mine this year as well (though on pretty much the "exit terms" -- with respect to pain -- that she always hoped she would get). I acknowledge, I have more experience with uncontrolled pain/nausea than I do with drug use. I am probably not sensitive enough to drug abuse issues, because no one really close to me has them (that I know of). It always drives me crazy that it seems very few are willing to stand up for special ed issues unless they have SPED kids (I had to grit my teeth over the ST article lauding Louise McKinney -- whose work I actually admire -- for establishing scholarships for all those "bright" minority kids, lest they not get a "fair shot" (I guess it was ok to let the dumber ones, and the SPED ones, take it in the shorts -- or was she thinking they were uniquely qualified to fend for themselves?). At any rate, I don't want to make the same mistake with respect to people whose family members grapple with drug issues. I will sign up for vigilance (as long as I get to stop short of harrassment).

Anonymous said...

Oops, spoke too soon. The green plus sign is back on 45th, and the new pot dispensary is located just around the corner. It looks to be the ground floor of an apartment building, and is literally next door to several houses, and in a residential area (though one that is bordering the commercial district). I live in a separate part of the neighborhood, but I would not be happy to see a pot shop open up next door, either as a renter or as a homeowner.

What I am hoping for is the day that marijuana prescriptions for real pain are easy and legal to come by AND it is dispensed and regulated by pharmacies like any other drug. Or it is allowed for adult recreational use as well, and dispensed and regulated and heavily taxed like hard alcohol.

I am really disliking this nebulous area we are in, where anyone can obtain a scrip, the dispensaries are fairly unregulated, and popping up everywhere. Plus they are cash-run businesses (most banks refuse to do business with them, and they are becoming an attractant for robberies), and are still illegal under federal law. The current situation is rapidly becoming untenable.

Wallyhood resident

Jet City mom said...

From what I have seen & heard the dispensaries are being monitored. Several in the city have been closed for blatant violations which I applaud, although I have never seen anyone suspicious "hanging out " outside the dispensaries in Ballard & Fremont.

I tried marijuana in the 70s occasionally. I didn't like it, and I didn't like the people who did.

I didn't try it again until I became desperate after pain medications prescribed by my rheumatologist and orthopedic surgeon had side effects that made a theraputic dose impossible to achieve.

I have arthritis, both osteo and rheumatic, fibromyalgia and osteoporosis. I now walk with a cane and a brace, although at 54 my Dr tells me I am too young for a knee transplant.

I think marijuana should be regulated, legalized and taxed but I don't think I-502 is the answer as most people don't have the deep pockets to be able to afford the 25% tax the state is envisioning to bail itself out of its budget troubles.( amongst other reasons)

I know it does seem like there are a fair amount of dispensaries in the city, but the ones I frequent take their responsibility very seriously. They ask for ID and to see my prescription every single time- as they should. They only allow one person into the area where the meds are kept at a time. They have detailed information about the levels of CBD & THC of the various strains which helps to identify which kinds will work for me. I want to be able to function with manageable pain, not get "high".

I no longer have young children, but the availability of hard liquor at the local Safeway, where there have already been more than a few incidents, concerns me more than a regulated and monitored MMJ dispensary.

Anonymous said...

Booze is ok but weed is not. Your kid is thousands of times more likely to be killed by adrunkmdriver than a stoned one or to have their life ruined by alcohol. I agree MMJ shouldn't be sold near schools, but neither should beer or hard liquor or ciggies. Double standard.


Anonymous said...

PeRsonally I love the dispensaries. Got my letter last year and life is good. I have migraines, not really, but I might get them someday. Booze is a solvent and a cell poison. I cant stand the billboards for rum and Bud and the cig ads in the Stranger. Humans like drugs and weed is probably the safest so let's be real.

marijuana doctor said...

Medical marijuana is amongst the fastest growing sectors. This thing can be used for many medical purposes like alleviating pain in arthritis and glaucoma, it is helping many people's suffering. The healing properties of marijuana has made people to grow it legally in large quantities.

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