Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona

Medical marijuana: City of Mesa clears way for new ‘Mormon Trail’

Back in the early 1980s, I interviewed an old rancher who lived in Dragoon, Arizona for a feature story about rural Cochise County.

His 1800s stone ranch house was decorated with rustic furniture, a smattering of family heirlooms, and a large collection of old glass bottles. Being somewhat of an antique buff myself, I remarked at the variety of old bottles he had collected. As I photographed him, his house, and the bottle collection, I asked where he had gotten them all.

“This house is on the Mormon Trail,” he explained. “I found them all on my property.”

“The Mormon Trail?” I inquired– thinking it was a migration route like the Oregon Trail or Cornado’s Trail.

The grizzled old rancher chuckled, “The Mormon Trail is the route the Mormons took from St. David to the bars in Willcox. They didn’t want their family members or church elders in St. David to know they had been drinking in Willcox, so they dropped the evidence– the alcohol bottles– along the Mormon Trail as they rode their horses back home.”

I was reminded of the old rancher’s story this morning when I read Mesa seeks to seclude shops selling medical pot in today’s Arizona Daily Star.

In an attempt to legislate morality and control the temptation of the evil weed– even though it has been approved only for medical purposes– Mesa’s city council is considering highly restrictive zoning laws. Here is an excerpt from the Star (with emphasis added).

Mesa won’t let medical-marijuana shops open in most of its commercial districts, with city leaders saying they don’t want the substance sold near neighborhoods or in prominent locations.

Instead, the shops will be forced to industrial areas and just one kind of commercial use.
The city is taking a different approach from most other Arizona cities, which so far have been restricting the shops to commercial zones. The city staff had proposed that kind of regulation, but members of the City Council feared that would put the stores at the corner of major intersections.

The stores will be restricted from most areas in the city, as they must be at least a mile from each other, 2,400 feet from rehab facilities, 1,200 feet from churches and schools, and 500 feet from day-care facilities or preschools.

A map prepared by the city shows only slivers of land where the shops could open.

This is folly, and obviously another example of Arizona’s nanny state leanings. Once the Arizona Department of Health Services sets up the system for licensing dispensaries, caregivers, and medical providers, medical marijuana sales will begin in Arizona. It will be legal– even for Mesans– to purchase medical marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation.

The Mesa city fathers should learn a lesson from the Mormon Trail story. If people want or need drugs– legal or otherwise– they will find a way to obtain then, even if it means driving to an industrial district of their lily-white city or (heaven forbid) driving into Phoenix.

10 comments on “Medical marijuana: City of Mesa clears way for new ‘Mormon Trail’

  1. Dan K.
    December 11, 2010

    interesting approach. Sounds like Mesa Council Members are trying to look hard or just plain dont know what to do, so they made this up. 

    http://www.azmarijuana.com

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  3. Matt E
    December 11, 2010

    “If people want or need drugs– legal or otherwise– they will find a way to obtain then, even if it means driving to an industrial district of their lily-white city or (heaven forbid) driving into Phoenix.”
    If the Mesa policy actually made no difference to the people who want pot, there would be no reason to write this article.   The fact is that the harder goods are to find or purchase, the less they are consumed, and Mesa City clearly hopes that pot will be consumed less, and therefore wants to make getting pot more difficult.

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  6. Rick Large
    December 12, 2010

    I wish Mesa would make it twice as hard for sex offenders to reside here as they do for marijuana dispensaries! Seems like there should only be slivers of land yet they are everywhere!

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  10. John Verde
    February 2, 2011

    2,400 feet from rehab facilities, 1,200 feet from churches and schools. That’s funny, it’s ok to be closer to schools I guess
     
    http://www.medicinalmarijuanamesa.com

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This entry was posted on December 11, 2010 by in 2010 elections, Arizona, Drugs, medical marijuana and tagged , , , .

About

The Tucson Progressive: Pamela Powers Hannley

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals--not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election. My platform focuses on economic reforms to grow Arizona's economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, growlocal small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs. I also stand for equal rights, choice, and paycheck fairness for women. I am running as a progressive and running clean.

My day job is managing editor for the American Journal of Medicine, an academic medicine journal with a worldwide circulation. In addition, my husband and I co-direct Arizonans for a New Economy, Arizona's public banking initiative. I am a member of the national board of the Public Banking Institute, and I am co-chair of the Arizona Democratic Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus of the Arizona Democratic Party.

I am a published author, photographer, videographer, clay artist, mother, nana, and wife. I have a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ohio State University and a masters in public health from the University of Arizona. I grew up in Amherst, Ohio, but I have lived in Tucson, Arizona since 1981. I am a proud member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson and the Public Relations Society of America.

My Tucson Progressive blog and Facebook page feature large doses of liberal ideas, local, state, and national politics, and random bits of humor. I also blog at Blog for Arizona and the Huffington Post.

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Chicago blues + surf rock = fun dancing. #tucson #dancing #swing
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