Has the medical-marijuana industry been hijacked?
Times' reporter Richard Winton has a story today about Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca's sharp criticism of the medical marijuana industry, which Baca said had been "hijacked by underground drug-dealing criminals who are resorting to violence in order to control their piece of the action."
The sheriff's remarks came after last week's triple homicide in West Hollywood, a crime that investigators believed was a botched robbery attempt. The victims, detectives believe, bought the marijuana from collectives and then tried to resell it on the streets
At a news conference Wednesday, Baca said the dispensaries have strayed from their original mission — to aid the seriously ill — and are now the target of criminals who see an easy way to make money and get drugs. At least seven homicides in Los Angeles County in recent years have been tied by authorities to the medical marijuana industry, according to data collected for the Homicide Report. Click for a map showing their locations.
What to you think about Baca's statements regarding medical marijuana?
-- Megan Garvey
Top photo: Map shows marijuana-related deaths in L.A. County this year. Source: Homicide Report. Bottom photo: Sheriff Lee Baca criticizes the medical marijuana industry. (Nick Ut / Associated Press / August 12, 2010)