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How Residents of One Street, Citing False Information, Got 3 Flagler Commissioners To Ban Medical Pot Dispensaries

| November 24, 2017

The three county commissioners who voted to ban medical marijuana dispensaries anywhere in unincorporated Flagler: from left, Greg Hansen, Dave Sullivan and Charlie Ericksen. (© FlaglerLive)

The three county commissioners who voted to ban medical marijuana dispensaries anywhere in unincorporated Flagler: from left, Greg Hansen, Dave Sullivan and Charlie Ericksen. (© FlaglerLive)

Flagler County government’s seesawing between approving and banning the siting of medical marijuana dispensaries in unincorporated Flagler ended for good Monday with an outright ban as residents of a single street in Plantation Bay convinced a bare majority of three commissioners to reject an ordinance that would have allowed dispensaries in a few areas of the county.


As has been characteristic of discussions on medical marijuana, opponents used specious, baseless and outright false information to make their claims, especially when they claimed that medical marijuana dispensaries increase crime: no such evidence exist. But three commissioners—Greg Hansen, who made the motion to ban, Charlie Ericksen, who seconded, and Dave Sullivan, who’s opposed marijuana in any form anywhere—never challenged the claims.

Commission Chairman Nate McLaughlin has for the past two years been the commission’s surprising champion of liberalizing the county’s approach toward marijuana, advocating for medical marijuana as well as for a proposed county ordinance that would have potentially decriminalized the possession of small amounts of pot. But in contrast with previous discussions on the matter—and perhaps with the approach of an election season, with his seat up for grabs—McLaughlin muted his advocacy, replacing it instead with questions that made him seem more skeptical of dispensaries. Commissioner Don O’Brien, who’s revealed himself to be a forceful advocate of issues he embraces, also remained silent throughout.

The commission’s vote means that Flagler will be a divided county: Bunnell and unincorporated Flagler have banned medical marijuana dispensaries outright. Palm Coast and Flagler Beach have taken a somewhat more permissive approach, approving certain areas of their towns for dispensaries and pharmacies, and closing down others.

The County Commission on Nov. 6 looked as if it were heading for the more permissive side of the issue, in line with the 71 percent of Florida voters who approved legalizing medical marijuana through a constitutional amendment exactly a year before. The commission at that meeting voted to adopt the county administration’s proposed ordinance that would have opened up about 500 acres zoned for pharmacies and the like to medical marijuana dispensaries, on the unlikely chance that such a dispensary could be cited there.

The ordinance followed state law, which allows local governments either to ban dispensaries outright or to allow them with no more restrictions than would be imposed on regular pharmacies. Local governments have been critical of the law, saying it hampers local decision-making. In fact, the law is being challenged in court for being too restrictive, though it aims to treat dispensaries the same way as pharmacies are treated because the principle behind the amendment legalizing medical pot is that it is medical in nature, not recreational, and should not be either stigmatized or marginalized: the amendment specifies that access may not be restricted, making such bans as now exist in Bunnell and unincorporated Flagler vulnerable to challenge.

Still, much of the debate around medical marijuana dispensaries and ordinances has been premised on internet-stoked assumptions—not documented evidence—that dispensaries are magnets for trouble and should be treated like, say, strip joints. The amendment had sought to counter that discriminatory approach.  It worked in many communities. It failed in a few, and in Flagler, it did so even though the county administration was recommending approval of the zoning approach that enabled dispensaries.

Whether Monday’s vote will effectively made a difference is a different issue. There has never been a pharmacy in unincorporated Flagler anyway. There may never have been a medical marijuana dispensary. That sort of business seeks more urban settings. But the vote remains a signal of county government’s positioning against the liberalization of certain laws. It may be no coincidence that the three commissioners who voted for the ban, whose average age is 74, were impressionable pre-teens when “Reefer Madness,” the U.S. government’s anti-marijuana propaganda film, was making the rounds of American post-war society. The film has long been discredited, though its arguments continue to reverberate in debates over pot in any form.

The medical marijuana dispensaries’ version of pot to be dispensed is not in smoking form but in oils, and it is with no euphoric potency, making the pot to be dispensed essentially far less of a mind-altering substance than the innumerable prescription drugs dispensed in pharmacies—and blamed for thousands of deaths a year in Florida. (No deaths have ever been associated with marijuana overdoses, let alone medical marijuana.)

At the Nov. 6 hearing of the County Commission, Sullivan had asked that a 500-foot buffer from homes be required around any medical marijuana dispensaries. The county administration decided not to include that buffer because it would, in effect, result in a ban. And it would have to be equally applied to pharmacies. The buffer in the proposal by the administration would have been 50 feet. “Staff recommended that even though we perceived it to be legal, that we’d recommend that if you’re going to go that route we’d recommend that you’d just go the ban route,” County Administrator Craig Coffey said.

That was the opening the trio of commissioners favoring a ban and residents of that one street in Plantation Bay seized on.

“Please vote no, please vote to ban or mandate a buffer as requested by 135 residents of 1,000 feet,” Jane Gentile-Youd, the only Plantation Bay resident who not on Treetop, who addressed the commission, said, citing a petition those residents had handed commissioners. “You could always change your mind tomorrow. If you vote yes, you will be making history irrevocable for the future of Flagler County. Please vote to ban, this is insanity next to houses.”

She was preceded and followed by five Treetop Circle residents either favoring a 500-foot buffer or an outright ban. They were worried that parcels along Old Dixie Highway, abutting their properties, would qualify as commercial lands fit for dispensaries. They all saw that prospect as damaging to their quality of life or as a threat to their children and their families. They did not explain why or how, other than to allege that crime would spike if a dispensary were situated there.

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“We’re very fearful that what could possibly happen could be a danger both to our homes and to people in the neighborhood,” Cynthia Kelly said.

Alan Sanderford, who bought the house on Treetop three years ago, said he was not addressing the commission to speak against the medical marijuana amendment, but then proceeded to speak against it being implemented in his backyard. “Statistics show that medical marijuana dispensaries and growing facilities, are one of the most targeted and frequently robbed businesses in America,” he said. He did not cite or give a source to those statistics. They do not exist beyond anecdotal gleanings on the internet. But he went on: “One obvious reason for placing pharmacies in a safer urban area where police are close by is that pharmacies are often targeted and burglarized for their drugs.” In fact, pharmacies are located in more urban areas because marketing studies lead them where the higher concentration of customers are, and where the competition is.

 “Medical marijuana distribution and growing facilities actually have a much higher percentage of being robbed than pharmacies,” he claimed again—again, falsely.

While there is a dearth of substantial studies showing a link between marijuana shops and crime, what studies and police department surveys have been conducted since 2009, particularly in Colorado and California, have shown no increase in crime, and if anything, have show a decline in crime after the siting of a dispensary in a given neighborhood.

Treetop residents made much of the fact that most dispensaries operate as cash-only businesses, and that therefore they would attract more robberies. A 2009 Denver Police Department survey conducted at the behest of that city’s local government, however, showed that while all storefronts may be targets of robberies, dispensaries’ burglary and robbery rates were in line with those of pharmacies, and were lower than those of liquor stores, and substantially lower than those of banks.

A more recent study by the University of California at Irvine looked at the consequences when authorities, through very restrictive regulations, forced the closure of 459 medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles in 2010: crime rose 12 percent. “Contrary to popular wisdom, we found an immediate increase in crime around dispensaries ordered to close relative to those allowed to remain open,” said Mireille Jacobson, one of the authors of the study, told Science Daily. The researchers saw similar spikes when restaurants close. “The connection between restaurants and MMDs is that they both contribute to the ‘walkability score’ of a given area. Areas with higher scores have more ‘eyes upon the street’ a factor that is proven to deter some types of crime,” Jacobson is quoted as saying.

Bruce Tucker, the last Treetop Circle resident to address the commission, put it simply: it’s not about facts. It’s about what he called “perception.”

 “When it comes to public opinion, perception is reality,” he said. “Our laws specifically give us ways to define reality, and we honor those laws. However, in this situation, our families are seeking the perception that we are safe, the perception that we may hand on to the next generation even a few years down the road the truth that where we live is safe. There exists an opportunity for people with medical needs, currently in Flagler County, to find the help that they need and the medicine that they need. We ask that you will hear the hearts of families who perceive at this moment that our family safety is in question.”

The 3-2 vote banning medical marijuana dispensaries reflected those perceptions.

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80 Responses for “How Residents of One Street, Citing False Information, Got 3 Flagler Commissioners To Ban Medical Pot Dispensaries”

  1. James Roach says:

    Vote them out!! We need more progressive thinkers and not these outdated old farts!!!

  2. When can these misinformed people be voted out?!

  3. Mike Firth says:

    They look like they should be in a nursing home not making decisions for a county. Hopefully the voters remember this when it comes time for elections.

  4. Sandra Blair says:

    Time for the next generation to take over.

  5. Bc. says:

    Time to get rid of these old dinosaurs

  6. These are the commissioners that cannot see the forest through the trees. No vision for the future of health care. Time for them to retire or vote them out

  7. daddybear says:

    a bunch of idiots for sure!!!! it IS a proven fact medical marijuana has a place in our society.WHEN will people wake up!!

  8. I be Erudite says:

    I find it interesting when you look at “studies” showing no increased crime and no negative consequences for recreational and or medical marijuana. If you read them you will notice that most of the studies are bought and paid for by the marijuana industry. I see no upside for legalizing marijuana dispensaries in Flagler County. It does not raise much revenue for local or state government. That’s because the Florida legislature prohibits taxing medical marijuana dispensaries. At least in other states they are smart enough to make money on it. So in theory, a little property tax revenue is all we are looking at. The American Medical Association does not recognize any scientifically proven medical use for marijuana although anecdotal evidence abounds and studies showing medical benefits again are bought and paid for by the marijuana industry and those looking to make money on it. From a libertarian standpoint I could care less if someone uses marijuana, but if they are impaired while driving due to marijuana and hurt someone then I have a problem with that. At least with alcohol a person can be legally determined as impaired based upon blood alcohol level and a scientific rate at which the body metabolizes alcohol. Most states have “illegal per se” laws which basically stipulate if you have a certain blood alchol level then you are legally impaired. Police don’t have to prove anything else like whether a person can drive just as well with that level of alcohol in their system as opposed to none. With marijuana, the active ingredient THC can be detected days and even weeks under certain circumstances in a person’s blood. So how does law enforcement prove impairment? There is no test available that can determine whether someone used marijuana 6 hours ago or 6 days ago. States with legalized marijuana are struggling with this issue now. Florida law tries to treat medical marijuana dispensaries like pharmacies, but tell me any pharmacy that requires a person to be a Florida resident for 90 days before they will fill a prescription issued by a physician as is the case with Florida law. We all know that medical marijuana is merely a gateway policy to gain acceptance for recreational marijuana. Why not just go all out and legalize recreational marijuana now and tax the hell out of it? And, while we are at it, just remind all users they might get charged with DUI and even manslaughter by causing an accident several days after they got high, even though we all know there would be no impairment after that much time had elapsed.. Lastly, the article incorrectly asserts that medical marijuana in Florida is a product that doesn’t get the user high. While most people would get a prescription for this type of product, the law allows full strength marijuana that does get a user high based upon the medical diagnosis the patient has from a doctor. I applaud the three Commissioners for voting in favor of a ban. It can be changed later if facts prove these dispensaries are a non issue. Meanwhile, they complied with the law as written by the Florida legislature. Lastly, the State Constitutional Amendment and the subsequent Florida law should be declared unconstitutional if brought before the Supreme Court because they both violate the supremacy clause of the federal constitution. States may make no laws contrary to federal law. The Congress has expressly forbidden marijuana usage as set forth in the Controlled Substance Act. This act still classifies marijuana as a schedule 1 drug. If we really want to legalize marijuana then it should start at the federal level. What we have right now is states passing constitutional amendments that violate federal law, the legislature following their leads, and the federal government failing to enforce its own laws. This is a recipe for anarchy.

  9. Jimi Barrett says:

    Look at these 3 faces & names. These Clowns must be voted out next time they’re up for re-election.

  10. Deidre says:

    Only if it can be properly controlled. Very difficult in this society.

  11. Pogo says:

    @Worth thinking about

    “…Your initial reaction may be to believe that cars are somehow different — they are built into the fabric of our culture. But consider how people have proven more than happy to sell seemingly unyielding parts of their culture for far less money. Think about how long a beloved mom and pop store lasts after Walmart moves into town, or how hard we try to “Buy American” when a cheaper option from China emerges…”

    This Is How Big Oil Will Die
    By Seth Miller
    https://shift.newco.co/this-is-how-big-oil-will-die-38b843bd4fe0

    Without its lifeblood of oil money and the NRA’s blood money – the world run by Fox and Fools will disappear like a fart in an ocean breeze. The times ARE a changing. Doobies, edibles, etc – will replace beer bellies faster than you can say give me a pack of Zig-Zag too.

  12. Linze says:

    Thanks commissioners for voting to cut down on dope users

  13. Tim jones says:

    Enough if enough!! I hope and pray to god that one day a huge company sets up shop right here in Flagler. Not just a small company. One that has more money than the county itself. One who can afford to fight off these arrogant cowards. Medical is medical weather it’s a little blue pill whom probably most of these people probably use or medical cannabis. I can tell you first hand that it has helped me and improved my quality of life. Hmmm improving my quality of life should be non of these old coggers business!!

  14. Robert Lewis says:

    Nate McLaughin is surprisingly liberal on everything. He was for pot dispenceries before he voted against it.

  15. MannyHM says:

    On Statistics, there’s this saying – Figures don’t lie but liars can figure.
    Let’s be careful. 7

  16. tulip says:

    Geesh, what is with these 3 commissioners who seem to flounder around and then hitch onto a remark Coffey makes? They just believe what they want to believe and vote accordingly. One of them should have retired and the other two aren’t particularly productive either.

    They need to get their act together and think about what the people voted for and stop nitpicking and stalling around. Maybe there have been what seems to be more robberies in places that have dispensaries. That’s not a reason for forbidding them. I’m sure the dispensaries will find a way of not keeping too much cash on hand and potential robbers will learn that, or they could hire a security guard and have his presence right out front. That would deter robbers, Thousands of people each year get killed in auto accidents, so maybe we should ban automobiles, which would be just as ridiculous. Smarten up BOCC .

  17. stemwinder says:

    Vote Them Out !

  18. Kwilliams says:

    I pray that they or their family members never need the benefits of what medicinal marijuana can give.

  19. Lou says:

    Unqualified elected officials pressured by uninformed residents making decisions effecting all of us. SAD.

  20. Fredrick says:

    I agree with this editorial 100%. When something can be utilized to provide those suffering from the effects of chemo or other ailments, why the hell not…

  21. Make a mental note of their names & vote them out! This is medical marijuana, people need this, especially cancer patients!

  22. Bill Mcnutt says:

    Uninformed leaders should be voted out

  23. Sad part is there arrogance. Doesn’t matter what the subject matter is, they aren’t representing the people’s wishes. So the three of you support organized crime? Cus you can buy pot on any corner in Flagler County. Time to look into there campaign contributions. I’m new as of about five years ago to Flagler County and as many places as I have lived I have never seen a County so run by a tiny handful of self serving people in my life. It’s not about pot! It’s you three and others overstepping your bounds and usurping the democratic rights of the voting public. All I read is business deals by the politicians and there tiny little constituency that support them. My wife and I inquired about a piece of County property we wanted to look into to start a business, when we inquired years ago to town office….they lied to us about the disposition of the property and not more than a year later one of the good ole boys was leasing the property and running the same kind of business we wanted to at the location. They’ve made a mess of A1A revitalization….cus they are afraid of competition coming to town. I love Flagler County, hope the young people move forward to correct this nonsense.

  24. RickG says:

    Reefer madness is alive and well in Flagler County. I have relatives in both California and Colorado and in both states drug crime is down and money has been flowing into their respective coffers.

  25. Florida Voter says:

    @ I be Erudite
    I guess I’ll start with what you got RIGHT.

    Yes, marijuana, and the derived cannabinoids need to be reclassified at the Federal level. The AMA specifically states as much, as do several other equally recognized professional medical organizations. Most of these statements also advocate the decriminalization (reducing punishments) of marijuana.

    Yes, marijuana is currently a Schedule I drug. So are heroin, LSD, ecstasy, and a few others. The AMA recommends reclassification as Schedule II, putting it in the same class as cocaine, oxycodone, fentanyl, and others. As a Schedule I drug, research studies won’t be conducted, so the lack of medicinal evidence will remain insufficient. Schedule I drugs are for drugs that have no medicinal purpose, are highly addictive, and are dangerous. None of which fits marijuana.

    Yes, THC is the primary cannabinoid responsible for “getting high.”

    Now, where should I start with the falsehoods and erroneous logic in your lengthy statement?

    1) There are, in fact, studies showing some medical benefit to cannabinoids. The AMA DOES actually recognize some of these studies, NOT “bought and paid for by the marijuana industry.” (unfortunately all short term studies with a small sample size). At the moment, the AMA recognizes usage for increasing appetite and for reducing nausea associated with chemotherapy, states that more need studies need to happen.
    2) “Medical marijuana” is not recreational marijuana. Medical marijuana shouldn’t be smoked (again, AMA and other organizations, like American Academy of Pediatrics). Also, most medical marijuana, either oil or pill, is LOW THC. If marijuana was regulated correctly (correctly by my definition, at least), a person wouldn’t be able to “get high” from medical marijuana.
    3) Yes, states do have “driving under the influence” laws. Yes, those laws are enforced. Yes, recreational marijuana legalization leads to a slight increase in traffic accident. No, medicinal marijuana legalization does not lead to an increase in traffic accidents, actually it leads to a slight decrease. Please be careful about which study you’re looking at.
    4) In fact, the NHTSA finds that “after adjusting for age, gender, race and alcohol use, drivers who tested positive for marijuana were no more likely to crash than who had not used any drugs or alcohol prior to driving.”
    5) Pharmacies aren’t going to touch marijuana, because it’s still a Schedule I drug.
    6) Any research group getting Federal $$$ (NIH grants, NSF grants, even National Endowment for the Arts grants) (any college that has students getting federally funded scholarships) won’t touch marijuana studies, because it’s still a Schedule I drug.
    7) Many ridiculous laws get reversed at the state level before the federal level reflects that change: gay marriage, segregation, interracial marriage, etc.

    Again, I do agree with you that the federal status of marijuana needs to change. To do that, through, states need to take action, otherwise we get congressmen who continue to assert fallacies and lies about marijuana, just because it was fashionable to do so in the ’60s – ’80s.

  26. Really says:

    Its time to vote out the old guard and old ways. I am tired of these people telling me how to live my life. Go away

  27. Wishful thinking says:

    FlaglerLive:
    You have the petition which clearly defined the many reasons to oppose C-2 zoning in unincorporated Flagler which requires ONLY a 50 foot buffer homes ..
    . It also detailed Florida Statute 386.981 which forces homes to be only 50 feet from a Must be cash business- must be open 24/7 For deliveries – must have video surveillance 24/ 7 – must be lit from dusk to dawn.
    You twisted the decent request of over 135 people who read and knew exactly why they were asking for a thousand foot buffer under the circumstances from their homes mostly because of the proven theft risks with any all cash business!
    Most of the speakers voiced their complete approval of medical marijuana. The vote was based on the asinine 32 year old zoning code which had to have been written by political jsvkasses because it allows bars next to day care centers – the county if they voted to approve dispensaries it would have been restricted to this insane C- 2 zoning. The issue has nothing to do with use- just where and how. You have the 2 page petition which was well founded
    Shame on Flagler live for slanting what this ban – which can be revisited – unlike the approval which would be forever and ever and Nate Mclaughin never asked for a buffer bigger than a lousy 50 feet for some of his own constituents.
    My husband also spoke and he does not live in Treetop
    P. He stated he could not believe the state of Fl requires a 500 buffer from schools but doesn’t give a damn that the same children will sleep in the dark of night- next to an unlit- never patrolled area with just a few lousy feet from a proven risky all cash business. Why dont you publish the actual petition- and let your readers read the truth077

  28. Anonymous says:

    Hypocrites!

  29. So glad I moved….flagler was worse place I’ve lived….and I’m from Baltimore….

  30. DOWNTOWN says:

    The voters have spoken. You have no right to stand in the way, regardless of your personal feelings. Carry out the voters wishes or step down from your position in County government. You are not above the voters and their wants. Do it or be voted out next election.

  31. Anonymous says:

    McLaughlin will agree with what ever way the wind is blowing on any given day. He is a puppet for Coffey and as liberal as they get. He can’t manage his own personal finances and this is nothing more than an attempt to make him shine knowing he is nervous about next years election. He has been in office too long and he needs to go packing as Revels and Hanns did. Greg and Dave are the only two board members who have any common sense and morals….they just need to grow some and stand up to Coffey. Coffey leads all of them around by the nose and has them convinced that the board works for him. Save your pennies Nate and start packing. It’s time for you to get a real job….something you have never had.

  32. ApotINeveryCHICKEN says:

    Guess we will have to settle for medical margaritas.

  33. Layla says:

    I support this vote. You can still buy it in both Palm Coast and Flagler Beach.

  34. Lou Karen says:

    Wait until these old men need super pain relief. As for the turds on that street, may you suffer real pain.

  35. Jitters says:

    Marijuana is the bomb rich morons
    In plantation bay
    Haven’t got a clue and the
    Commisinors are dumb asses
    Time to go down the street to get my own
    Supply illegally you can’t stop what’s
    In demand
    All you old asses need to stay indoors
    And fall asleep 4 good R I P

  36. Truth says:

    These morons are ignorant to the million dollar industry taking place in flagler county already. So the legal states get all the revenue from our drug users that are already there its not sn untapped market its one alive well and taken care of honestly as any resdient of flagler eho smokes knoes hoe easy it is to get. Real smart economics idiot rednecks

  37. Dave says:

    Linze , this was only about sick medical patients including children, this has nothing to do with dope or dopers of any kind. Sickening and Dad, Let’s sue the county!!

  38. Anonymous says:

    The 3 Stooges….they are too foolish to see thru Coffey’s manipulation, incompetence and slimy ways. As long as they let him get away with more of the same old and not get rid of him we can expect no difference. The sad part is they knew what’s been going on in local government before they decided to run for public office of submit paperwork to be appointed and then when they get in office they roll over and do nothing. They knew we expect better, but will they be man enough to stand up to Coffey and Company? Nate McLaughlin is for anything that he think will earn him votes. Fortunately we have figured him out and know in 2018 he needs to be replaced. Though unincorporated Flagler County doesn’t have something now doesn’t mean it won’t be implemented in those areas. Chances are if they can keep all the madness away from us here in the city they will set up shop out in unincorporated areas of Flagler County. All we need to do is keep our ear to the ground, Nate McLaughlin has diarrhea of the mouth and we will eventually learn it on the street. Don’t get painted with the same brush Dave and Greg…..if you don’t stand up Coffey and McLaughlin will not only throw you under the bus, they will drive over you!

  39. Wishful thinking says:

    Flagler live apparently doesn’t care where any all cash business cgoes . Our petition was based on facts including the insane zoning category county staff chose which also allows bars , day care centers , adult congregate facilities. Fact is county couldn’t prevent a medical marijuana from existing smack in between the bar and day care. THAT IS A FACT ! It was all about the insane zoning. C-2 – all 490 acres- would have allowed. Most of us supported and voted for medical marijuana but we also expect our officials to know that pot shops don’t belong next to homes- bars-or daycare centers!

  40. DisgustedinPC says:

    These men have been elected because they supposedly are educated. Yet they make decisions on false information and without doing as much research as they possibly could. The evidence is clear. Marijuana has many benefits. I just love how one comment talks about people that use it as “dope users”. Another uneduacated voice. Medical marijuana relieves and controls seizures, it increases appetites in cancer victims and kills cancer cells. But oh no, lets call them “dope users”. do some research please! Educate yourselves!

  41. woody says:

    The three wise men?Tis the season.

  42. I am about to turn 60 next year and even I want new young blood in these positions. These men are self serving arrogant narcissists. Your time is up!

  43. REJECTS! GET RID OF THESE IDIOTS!

  44. Kathy Young says:

    Glad I moved to Ormond.

  45. Edman says:

    I guess Government “by the people and for the people” takes on a very narrow definition in Flagler. Fake news is going to ruin this country.

  46. gmath55 says:

    @ Tim jones whether NOT weather. And, enough is enough NOT enough if enough. Were you smoking when you wrote your comment? LOL

  47. bob says:

    What a bunch of wrinkly bs!!!!! Get a life old guys! Go waddle around walmart for while and stop screwin everything up. Wrinkle cream, isle 3

  48. Bo Stemen says:

    Time to vote these commissioners out, if the stuff will help people better then some engineered chemical drug then why not have it ?

  49. Peaches McGee says:

    The citizens of Florida already voted on this issue and passed it.

    Now it’s time for Flagler County citizens to get rid of these politicians who do not support the will of the majority!

  50. NIMBY says:

    We are a society of believers of facts based on fears. “Not in my backyard”, the mantra of the uninformed and easily rattled. No well-researched data to support the claims, just hyperbole and fear mongering. One might even say propaganda.

    Here is the danger. It’s not that folks in unincorporated Flagler County will have to go elsewhere for the relief of their debilitating symptoms, it is the organized and systemic stigmatizing of medical marijuana use and thus the further stigmatizing of those people whose quality of life is improved by such use; however unintentional.

    The alternative facts and non-sequitors……24/7 all cash business…. sirens….. lights shining in bedrooms…..
    property values diminished……… reefer madness! Words used as weapons against the very people who deserve our compassion. Effective, but what does it say about us as society?

  51. Adam Frank says:

    What is that business that shows up on Google maps at 43 Tree Top circle?

  52. Terminus says:

    Wow. Just wow. Ignorance always wins. My father had cancer. Lost his appetite from chemo and radiation. Wasting away from not eating. We did what we needed to do and procured some marijuana. We created our own tincture for him and he started taking it…within a few days he got his appetite back and started eating again. It didn’t save his life but it made the quality of the last moments of his life better. I call bunk when people say marijuana isn’t helpful. It’s the only thing that worked for my anxiety. Helped his appetite. Stop listening to the fear. I never was tempted to take other drugs. People take other drugs that want to take other drugs – they don’t need a gateway. This helps my friend with his seizures – he has NONE anymore. The pharma meds did nothing and made him sick. Another friend used marijuana recovering from breast cancer and it helped her continue eating and manage her pain from treatments. I am so sick of other people deciding what works for me and others. If you don’t want to use it or have a condition that allows for its use, guess what, don’t use it, but don’t deny those of us that it works for because you have illogical fears. None of us ever committed a crime or wanted to commit a crime. Now, meth, cocaine, heroin, they are different…marijuana is NOT like those drugs and neither are the users. Grow up and stop living in fear preventing us from living.

  53. Wishful thinking says:

    To NIMBY
    Read Florida Statute 381and county zoning C-2. You are uninformed.

  54. Thomas says:

    Thank you, commissioners.We already have enough druggies without growing more

  55. Stop voting for those who will vote for their own moral crap…..vote the greater good

  56. Mark101 says:

    I guess with NO medical marijuana dispensaries the county will see an increase in opioids sells. Go figure, the voters passed it but the old men on the county just want support the voters.

    But that Nov. 6 vote itself was divided: Commissioners Nate McLaughlin, Donald O’Brien and Greg Hansen voted to pass the ordinance allowing medical marijuana facilities, while Commissioners David Sullivan and Charlie Ericksen voted against it.

    On Nov. 20, Hansen switched sides and voted with Sullivan and Ericksen in favor of a total ban on medical marijuana facilities. McLaughlin and O’Brien voted against the ban.

    Hansen’s concern was proximity to homes: He was in favor of a buffer between the dispensaries and single-family homes, much like the 500-foot buffer required by state law between dispensaries and schools.

  57. Steve Wardrip says:

    Old fuddy-duddies need to go. Go away, Greg Hansen, Dave Sullivan and Charlie Ericksen. We don’t want you as neighbors. You scare us and our families. We fear that you want to harm the community by being backwards. We have you outnumbered by the truth and the majority wants legal marijuana available in the United States. We are citizens of the United States of America and we want our representatives to honor our interests. We are interested in having medical marijuana dispensaries conveniently located in local safe areas. The Commissioners should be ashamed of themselves for trying to deceive the public that medical offices invite crime. Crime is what we are eliminating when legalizing marijuana. We’re taking the crime out of the equation. Go away old fuddy-duddies and usher in a brand new fresh and clean day, full of hope, promise, relief and remedy.

  58. Dusty Pye says:

    They best look for another county to lead. Got a feeling they will be voted out big time

  59. Richard says:

    rkbeemer@aol.com I really don’t care one way or the other… live around the corner in Plantation Bay, in fact I can see the benefits of medical marijuana to a degree. But when Tim jones above refers to the dissenters as arrogant cowards, blue pill users etc etc… I will gladly line up against this very poor messenger.

  60. smarterthanmost says:

    Mark101 says:

    November 25, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    I guess with NO medical marijuana dispensaries the county will see an increase in opioids sells.

    Their vote was regarding the unincorporated portion of the county. Check your facts.

  61. The sky is falling says:

    The Commissioners were not left without other options. If the zoning had been approved, there was no emphatic plan to open a MM dispensary 50 ft from those homes. It could have been and still could be the site for something far nefarious than a pharmacy meant to help people. The commissioners discussed the fact that they would still get “another bite of the apple” or another chance to have input into the location of a dispensary, even citing that a retention pond might be used as an additional buffer. The hysteria and “done deal” claims from some individuals did no service to anyone other than to inflame and frighten.

    Rabbi Tucker’s manipulative statement that perception is reality in the court of public opinion makes me bristle.Rabbi, is that what you teach your parishioners?

  62. Anonymous says:

    I say let the dispensary should be in the government building where there is security, vaults etc. This will keep it local where it will be conveniently accessible to everyone. Just do it!

  63. Resident says:

    Idiots, let the new people run the office next year, these are dumb.

  64. Personally, I would rather see a doctor prescribe marijuana than pills to patients! It may just reduce the opiate addiction and overdoses. It will help our family and friends who suffer from cancers seizures. What about the men and women who suffer after serving our country?? Stop being selfish and think about our families!!

  65. DoubleGator says:

    Dotards. Society has moved on and way past due. Flagler will catch up one day too.

  66. I be Erudite says:

    @Florida Voter

    You falsely attribute many things to my “lengthy writing”:

    1) There are, in fact, studies showing some medical benefit to cannabinoids. The AMA DOES actually recognize some of these studies, NOT “bought and paid for by the marijuana industry.” (unfortunately all short term studies with a small sample size). At the moment, the AMA recognizes usage for increasing appetite and for reducing nausea associated with chemotherapy, states that more need studies need to happen.

    Response: AMA position is there is some evidence that marijuana increases appetite and reduces nausea for chemotherapy. Although you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to support the notion that marijuana increase appetite thus the notorious “munchies” attributed to marijuana usage, the AMA only states there is convincing evidence that needs more scientific study. This is far from a validated scientific study and no prescription drug would ever be approved by the FDA based soley on such a standard. They still do not endorse marijuana usage for any medical purpose.

    2) “Medical marijuana” is not recreational marijuana. Medical marijuana shouldn’t be smoked (again, AMA and other organizations, like American Academy of Pediatrics). Also, most medical marijuana, either oil or pill, is LOW THC. If marijuana was regulated correctly (correctly by my definition, at least), a person wouldn’t be able to “get high” from medical marijuana.

    Response: Florida law does not allow medical marijuana in any form that can be smoked. This is true although some states do allow marijuana to be smoked for medicinal purposes. However, there are a host of illnesses that Florida law allows full strength THC in oil form that will get a user as high or higher than smoking weed. How they came up with that list of diseases or conditions is a mystery since most drugs get endorsed for treatment of illnesses based on scientific studies. The remainder of conditions for which someone could get a medical Marijuana (mm) prescriptionin Florida are indeed low dose and would not get a user high. Meanwhile, many people with serious illnesses could turn to medical marijuana and reject proven treatments that will actually help them.

    3) Yes, states do have “driving under the influence” laws. Yes, those laws are enforced. Yes, recreational marijuana legalization leads to a slight increase in traffic accident. No, medicinal marijuana legalization does not lead to an increase in traffic accidents, actually it leads to a slight decrease. Please be careful about which study you’re looking at.

    Response: I did not write that medical marijuana would lead to an increase in traffic accidents, I wrote that users could be prosecuted for driving under the influence of marijuana due to THC in their bloodstream even though they were not actually impaired at the time of an accident. That being said, here is a CDC link that shows marijuana use does cause impairment. Again, some users of medical marijuana in Florida will indeed get full strength products that will get them high. https://www.cdc.gov/marijuana/pdf/marijuana-driving-508.pdf

    4) In fact, the NHTSA finds that “after adjusting for age, gender, race and alcohol use, drivers who tested positive for marijuana were no more likely to crash than who had not used any drugs or alcohol prior to driving.”

    Response: Please cite your source. I repeat mine…. https://www.cdc.gov/marijuana/pdf/marijuana-driving-508.pdf It is pure nonsense to suggest that full strength marijuana products will not cause impairment.

    5) Pharmacies aren’t going to touch marijuana, because it’s still a Schedule I drug.

    Response: I never suggested they would. Where are all the falsehoods and erroneous logic in my original post?

    6) Any research group getting Federal $$$ (NIH grants, NSF grants, even National Endowment for the Arts grants) (any college that has students getting federally funded scholarships) won’t touch marijuana studies, because it’s still a Schedule I drug.

    Response: This is your statement not mine and you are correct. Where is my falsehood or erroneous logic?

    7) Many ridiculous laws get reversed at the state level before the federal level reflects that change: gay marriage, segregation, interracial marriage, etc.

    California, perhaps the most liberal state in the nation passed a Constitutional Amendment recognizing that prohibted same sex marriage. This halted same sex marriages from proceeding in California until Judge Vaughn, himself a gay man, ruled the California Constitutional Amendment to be unconstitutional. Please note that the US Supreme Court subsequently ruled in favor of same sex marriage making it legal in all 50 states. This ruling made the federal “Defense of Marriage Act also known as DOMA unconstitutional. I write this now to demonstrate that a State Constitutional Amendment can actually be unconstitutional. If states that now have legalized marijuana in any form get challenged at the Supreme Court level, the Court could very well strike down their laws. Especially with the current makeup of the court and the likelihood of it gaining one or two more conservative seats in the next three years. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage_in_California

    8. Again, I do agree with you that the federal status of marijuana needs to change. To do that, through, states need to take action, otherwise we get congressmen who continue to assert fallacies and lies about marijuana, just because it was fashionable to do so in the ’60s – ’80s.

    Response: This should be attacked at the federal level and get marijuana off of schedule 1 status by Congressional vote. I hate seeing states openly and brazenly contridicting federal law. I have always believed in trying to overturn bad laws through the democratic process rather than simply picking and choosing which laws to obey. That being said, I mostly agree with you on your last statement, although fallacies and lies abound on both sides of the issue. Follow the money and you will indeed see that most of the promoting of medical or recreational marijuana is done by those who have the most to gain economically. They could care less about any possible benefits to the user. They just want to make money without regard to possible negative impacts on society. I am a Libertarian at heart and have no problem with people using any drug they want as long as they do no harm to anyone else. They should also be allowed to commit suicide if they choose to which is also a valid option to relieve suffering. Suicide is also illegal almost everywhere in the country. In my opinion, it is nobody’s business but again, please do no harm to anyone else. I would point out a distinction in states permitting suicide. Oregon for example has a law permitting suicide but it is not contrary to a federal law because to my knowledge there is no federal law prohibiting suicide.

    Summary, you make some good points but why bother mixing them with your accusations that I wrote many falsehoods? I see no falsehoods in anything I wrote although you may not agree with what I wrote. You merely addressed some things you assert were false in my post while mixing in your own editorial (which has a few good and valid points) and some falsehoods of your own.

    Respectfully,

    I be Erudite!

  67. Vote them out give other young men and women a chance…

  68. Edith Campins says:

    Vote them out. They simply don’t care. Medical Marijuana and illegal drug use are not even remotely the same thing. They don’t care that you can get enough, legal prescription opioids to get the entire population addicted.

  69. blondee says:

    These geezers need to retire or catch up to the 21st century.

  70. Lou says:

    As long as we have political parties select “qualified” candidates for you to vote for, why would you expect to have elected official to be able to make proper decisions for society?

  71. Bill says:

    This is yet another bad decision by individuals that do not represent the views of the voters. We are now the only county in the surrounding area that does not treat simple possession of small amounts of grass as a simple citation offense. We through the actions of these Commissioners chose to mark our young people as unemployable due to an arrest for a small amount of grass. This is basically stupid and just shows an adherence to views on the subject that are seriously out of date and damaging to everyone.

    Now by also blocking the setup of local dispensaries for medical marijuana they continue to show a total lack of understanding on this issue. Over 60% of the people in this state have voted and said it’s time to move on. Come on guys, wake up!!!!!

  72. Sarah says:

    I am very disappointed in Flaglerlive misrepresentation of how the meeting went on November 20th. Medical Marijuana does include strains that give people a high. There is lots of articles about dispensaries being robbed. For Flaglerlive to totally discount and make fun of the residents points is shameful when they indeed where stating facts and have genuine concerns.

    • FlaglerLive says:

      We don’t question that dispensaries get robbed, nor the existence of articles pointing that out. Many retail businesses, banks, pharmacies and so on do. We point out that residents who claim that dispensaries get robbed more than banks or pharmacies are factually wrong. And yes, we do discount fabrications: that’s our job, especially when the concerns you point out are based on fabrications.

  73. Dave says:

    Walgreens in palm coast has been robbed how many times? And do people talk about getting rid of pharmacies? No because they need there meds. Well it’s the same thing with medical marijuana, only marijuana is much safer and healthier than any medication u can get at walgreens

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