Patients grateful for local pot dispensary

March 28, 2006

Rob Carlmark, KSBY - NBC TV

Even though 55 percent of California voters agreed that doctors can recommend marijuana to some patients, trying to dispense it on the Central Coast has not been easy.

The only medical marijuana dispensary between Santa Barbara and the Bay Area has been run out of Atascadero, but will reopen this Saturday in Morro Bay.

In January the Central Coast Compassionate Caregivers opened its doors to distribute medical marijuana to patients that had a special doctor's recommendation and valid California state I.D.

"I had a compression fracture to my T-8 vertibrate. And it caused me tons and tons of pain," says one user, who wants to remain anonymous.

It provided local access to hundreds of patients who would normally have to drive several hours to get what they say is vital medicine.

"My grandma is on heart medication, if she didn't take it, she would die. I'm not saying I would die, but my medication helps me incredible amounts," he says.

The user also says that standard medicine had failed him.

"My doctor was giving me tons and tons of Vicodin and it was keeping me constipated and puking. I'm just not good with pills it doesn't do the right stuff to my stomach or my body," he says.

But neighboring businesses say the pot dispensary parking lot was turning into a hangout, and affecting their bottom line. That's when the City of Atascadero agreed and shut it down.

"Out of due respect we don't want any of the children to see it, we just want to take our medication home and be comfortable, we are not trying to show it off or boast about it, it is needed," says the user.

The Central Coast Compassionate Caregivers clinic will be opening at its new site in Morro Bay on the 700 block of Monterey Street. But the same problems could arise, because the new location is in the middle of the downtown district, and the neighbors there could become fresh opponents.

Most in Morro Bay seem to support those that need marijuana, but are weary that not all patients are truthful about their conditions.

The California medicinal marijuana law is somewhat of a gray area, but they are specific about one kind of marijuana, possession of Hashish is not allowed, and is still considered a felony.



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