Photo by Trawin.
GM touched on this the other day, but he thinks it’s worth a more substantial post: the Current reported on Wednesday that an unnamed individual is contemplating applying to open a medical marijuana dispensary in Georgetown. So, what do you think, would you care if he did?
Under the proposed regulations, five dispensaries will be allowed to open up across the city. Patients with certain serious diseases such as HIV/AIDS or multiple sclerosis or other chronic conditions can qualify to receive up to two ounces of marijuana per month from approved dispensaries.
According to the Current article, the individual is considering a space on Wisconsin Ave. near the newly refurbished library. It’s not clear where that space could be. No dispensary can be opened within 300 feet of any school or “recreation center.” GM’s not sure whether libraries count as recreation centers. But surely Jellef is one. Plus Hardy and the British School are pretty close to there.
Either way, assuming someone could open a dispensary in Georgetown, should they? In the Current article, ANC commissioner Bill Starrels was quoted saying that the individual’s desire to be anonymous indicated just how controversial the idea of opening a dispensary in “historic Georgetown” is.
The District is endeavoring to establish a more rigid regulatory regime than exists in jurisdictions like California. Nonetheless, some people will likely express concern over the idea of a medical pot dealer moving in to Georgetown. The complaints generally revolve around crime that would be attracted to the dispensaries. But there are disagreements on whether an increase in crime can be attributed to the introduction of dispensaries.
GM thinks there would not be an increase in crime. Think about it, why would there be an increase? Theoretically, criminals could be drawn to raid the dispensary and steal the drugs contained there. But lots of stores in Georgetown have very valuable items in them. Yet store robberies are rare (shoplifting, on the other hand, is a daily scourge that GM can’t remember ever hearing residents complain much about). All you need to rob a bank is a note and a hand in your pocket. Yet how often do Georgetown banks get robbed?
Theoretically, also, the patrons themselves could be targeted on the way out of the store. An ounce of weed has a street value of over $400. But you know what else has a high street value? iPhones. And people walk around with those everywhere. Hell, we even have a whole store to sell them. Should we close the Apple Store due to crime concerns?
If crime isn’t an issue, what else would be an issue? The regulations put strict restrictions on what goes on in a dispensary. The dispensary cannot be a joint doctor’s office-dispensary, which enables one stop pot shopping. Alcohol cannot be served on the premise. And the pot can’t be smoked there either. Furthermore, just about every element of the dispensary’s physical layout and signage will be rigorously vetted.
Most Georgetowners wouldn’t even know it’s there. But that’s just GM’s opinion. What do you think?