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Lemon Grove's Clergy to Host Forum on Medical Marijuana Measures

Pastor Mark Stapleton: "We are concerned that those who do not wish to have a dispensary in Lemon Grove may not know that they must vote 'No' on both T and Q."

Local pastors have organized a community forum addressing Propositions T and Q, the dual medical marijuana measures going before Lemon Grove voters on the Nov. 6 ballot.

The Lemon Grove Clergy Association will host the panel discussion starting at 7 p.m. Thursday in the auditorium at the Lemon Grove Academy for the Sciences and Humanities. Guest speakers will include research experts and community representatives.

Patch asked Mark Stapleton, pastor of the Cornerstone Community Church and a member of the clergy association, why church leaders are concerned about the ballot initiatives and where he stands on the issue.

Lemon Grove Patch: Why have the pastors organized this community forum?

Pastor Mark Stapleton: Our main concern is voter education. We are not hosting the forum to tell people how to vote, but to help them know what their vote means.

With two measures on the ballot it makes the issue confusing. Both T and Q allow for Medical Marijuana Dispensaries (MMD) to be established in Lemon Grove. We are concerned that those who do not wish to have a dispensary in Lemon Grove may not know that they must vote “No” on both T and Q. 

In our forum, we will not be discussing the validity of marijuana as a medical product or useful for pain relief, but discussing whether or not we want MMDs in Lemon Grove and what the possible impact on the community would be.

Lemon Grove Patch: What is your biggest concern with allowing medical marijuana dispensaries to operate in Lemon Grove?

Stapleton: I think our biggest concern is the basic safety and well-being of our community, especially our youth, if MMD’s are allowed in Lemon Grove, my guess is it would not just stay at one. A concern with that much marijuana exposure would lead to the diversion of the product. 

A University of Colorado School of Medicine study (July 2012 American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry) showed that nearly three-quarters of teens in two metro area substance abuse treatment programs said they have used medical marijuana bought or grown for someone else. Only one of 122 teens in the study who admitted to using medical marijuana was an approved patient. 

Overexposure of marijuana, especially when advertised as “medical,” will desensitize and distract youth from its harmful effects. The revolution in brain science has increased concerns about harm in the teen brain. And, as you heard at the City Council meeting, incidents of loitering, crime and vandalism tend to increase in areas where MMD’s operate. This is not good for our city.

Lemon Grove Patch: What is your stand on the two measures—are you opposed to both; do you support one over the other?

As I said, we are not getting into the issue of whether marijuana can be considered a medicine or not, or whether or not it is beneficial for pain relief, etc.  But one fact is that the Federal government still views marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug. It is illegal at the Federal level. The issue of medical marijuana should be fought in Congress and the courts, not on the city streets and local ordinances. Even if a MMD gets voted in, the city would have to deal with the Federal government—as it historically comes in and cracks down on MMD’s. 

I am concerned about the exposure to our community, especially the youth, to a drug (no matter how helpful it is to some people). I am concerned about the criminal component that will make its way into the city, especially if we are the only (or one of the few) cities with MMDs. I do not want the city to have the headache of dealing with the strong possibility of the Federal government having to come in and close the shop.

These reasons, along with the others mentioned above, compel me to personally vote “No” on Propositions T and Q.

LG Joe October 17, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Let's just have liquor stores, paycheck advance stores with 600% annual interest on every block, and dollar stores. While three sit down restaurants have closed in the past 180 days; Antique Row, Por Favor and Carnitas Uruapan. Harmful effects? How many DUI's fatalities do we have every year? Compare that with how many crimes and fatalities are from marijuana? One or two a year while alcohol kill thousands. This is a bunch of ignorant ranting form people who are still in the dark ages of "reefer madness."
Marianne West October 17, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Wow, i thought churches and schools were supposed to stay out of politics. I would also be interested to know how many of the youth questioned in the study had obtained marijuana from illegal sources. I myself don't drink, smoke or do drugs and am in total agreement with LG Joe. If we are really concerned about the health of our Youth, let's get rid of the smoke shops, liquor stores, fast food places and create an environment of healthy living in our town.
Jeff Lucas October 17, 2012 at 06:51 PM
Listen to thirty seconds of this sermon, and see what you think http://www.accradio.com/index.php/dr-barnhouse-and-the-bible/dr-donald-b... "we have showed that in the department of medicine, for healing, and sometimes also for moderate recreation, the delight derived from flowers, and the benefit derived from unguents and perfumes, are not to be overlooked. And if some say, What pleasure, then, is there in flowers to those that do not use them? let them know, then, that unguents are prepared from them, and are most useful." Clement of Alexandria, Paedagogus, Book 2, chap. 8
Frank Mockery October 17, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Why don't the divinely delusional & self-righteous simpletons keep their damn noses out of politics & their specious & unknowledgeable opinions to themselves. This is why an increasing amount of decent Americans are beginning to hate the bible based bigots with a passion usually reserved for ex-wives & child molesters. Who the hell do these idol worshippers think they are trying to impose their views & values on the millions upon millions who vehemently disagree ? Why do we give tax exempt status to these gullible devotees of mythology in the first place & how soon can we put a stop to it ? Where did Pastor Stapleton get his medical degree ? What is is area of expertise on this issue ? The fact of the matter is that he doesn't know what he's talking about & just repeats previously repudiated rhetoric & anecdotal horror stories he's heard ! The fact is that the Appellate Court has already ruled that cities are "pre-empted" from banning dispensaries under state law now because they're circumventing the will of the voters & Legislature. The stupidity of these religious crackpots is only exceeded by their condescending piosity ! They're not praying for everybody,they're preying on everybody & anybody with a modicum of common sense won't be deceived by their faith based babbling anymore ! Medical marijuana dispensaries are legal under California law & there will be several serving the needs of Lemon Grove patients much sooner than you think,regardless of how these measures fare !
ILuvIB October 17, 2012 at 08:07 PM
Pastor Mark Stapleton is correct with his concerns about the proliferation of pot shops in Lemon Grove should the pot shop propositions pass. There are too many “serious ill” 18 year-olds running around with the pot recommendations buying unlimited amounts of pot to divert to friends. This is a fact and growing concern shared by school officials, parents, juvenile treatment centers, and law enforcement. I was shocked to see how young and healthy looking the customers of the pot shops were, most of them males, I didn’t ever see elderly and disabled, just guys looking like those I see in high school. We most not let the pro-pot lobby fool us any longer, they lies are outrageous, we must stand up for neighborhoods. The fact that the supporters of the proposition are current and prospective pot shops owners further reviles the effort is about market share of pot distribution. The supporters aren’t from Lemon Grove, and don’t have a vested interest in the city, only to make a profit. It’s easy, vote against Prop. T and Q.
Frank Mockery October 17, 2012 at 08:18 PM
The City Councilmembers took an oath to uphold the laws of the state of California,that's all the laws not just the ones they like or agree with. Anyone conspiring to obstruct state law should be charged with malfeasance,removed from office & barred from ever seeking public office again. Further local governments & state courts don't enforce federal law,nor are they in any way obligated to cooperate in the enforcement of those laws. In fact they're obligated to enforce & defend the state law in any conflict with the federal law concerning marijuana. Any elected official who refuses to recognize the the authority of the State of California to enforce their laws & their sworn duty to abide by those laws;who then appeals to the Federal Government to intercede on their behalf contrary to the will of California voters & the Legislature should be charged with "treason against the state" (a capital offense) & imprisoned for life. Tens of thousands of Californians are imprisoned for marijuana related offenses,but lock up one politician for defying the medical marijuana law & this vote would become a moot point immediately ! The majority of Lemon Grove voters favored complete legalization in 2010,only adults with a doctor's recommendation can join & patronize dispensaries (no minors allowed) & there are already laws against selling marijuana (medical or not) to non-patients & minors. We've put up with these clueless,narrow-minded anti-marijuana zealots long enough - VOTE YES ON T & Q
Kevin Berg October 17, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Vote No on proposition Q and T. Federal law prohibits pot shops, which is why most have been shut down. There is a reason our cities in San Diego county prohibit pot shops, they violate both state and federal law, the pot lobby's propositions are illegal and can't be implemented. Let's save ourselves some time and money and vote the propositions down this November. And for any true user of pot for real medical reasons, work with your primary caregiver to get it, that's the law. Selling pot in a storefront is not the law!
Frank Mockery October 17, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Storefront medical marijuana dispensaries "are" legal under present state law & will be coming to Lemon Grove shortly ! Congress allowed Washington D.C. voters to approve medical marijuana & the first dispensaries there are in the approval process. How can marijuana be medicine there & not here ? Thats what the US 4th District court in LA is considering presently in a voter's rights suit brought by patients. Under the equal protection clause of the Constitution a right granted to some must be extended to all,so if the feds recognize the DC voters right to approve medical marijuana they can't deny that right to California voters. Look for US District Court Judge Andrew Guilford to rule on this matter before years end,this will make the federal laws against medical marijuana unenforceable & introduce the medical defense into any subsequent federal trials ! In the meantime we're making "Jury Nullification" one of the most Googled terms on the Internet,because everyone needs to remember that jurors can refuse to convict regardless of the evidence & can't be punished for their verdicts ! Over 50% of those charged with alcohol related offenses during Prohibition were acquited,making enforcement untenable & hastening it's repeal. If juries refuse to convict those charged with medical marijuana offenses the government will have no choice,but to acquiesce to the will of the people. Jury Nullification,tell your friends & neighbors to acquit. Mind your P's & Q's & VOTE YES on T & Q !!!
Summer Hemphill October 18, 2012 at 04:10 AM
God bless the marijuana patients because as the bible says the meek shall inherit the earth & the sooner the better !!!
Summer Hemphill October 18, 2012 at 09:20 PM
Join hundreds of your friends & neighbors tonight to show your support for Measure T,let's make some noise,educate some voters & we'll be home in time to watch ourselves on the 11:00 News ! Be sure to bring your glove because the pious will be casting plenty of stones in our direction & the majority of us will already be stoned when we get there ! Next thing you know they'll want to tell you who you can marry for Christ's sake !!!
Bong Sativa October 22, 2012 at 01:05 AM
Show some compassion & show some backbone - Vote YES on T !!!
LG Joe October 22, 2012 at 03:15 AM
So-called "conservatives" say they want "smaller and less government" yet they keep pandering to religious zealots that have ideals about social issues that can only create large government. The government will need to see and control who is pregnant, and assure they got pregnant becuase they could not use birth control, also control what they use for medicine. Yes, conservatives are a weird lot, they yearn for less government but their nosey need to inspect and control the lives of their neighbors is only going to make government very big, like U.S.S.R. big.
lovelife October 29, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Voting NO on Prop Q and T!! Keep pot shops out of Lemon Grove! Selling illegal drugs to our young people is a sure way to further drug use. Pot shops are bad for business in Lemon Grove. Don't the people of Lemon Grove deserve better?

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