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The Sun-Times’ inexcusable reefer madness

Friday, Aug 1, 2014

* Eric Zorn

Wednesday, the Chicago City Council banned medical marijuana dispensaries — the city is slated to have 13 — from manufacturing districts and transportation corridors, from areas near parks and forest preserves, and from certain downtown areas.

Even this wasn’t enough to prevent our friends at the Sun-Times from splashing their front page with the alarming headline “Neighborhood joints: New zoning rules mean medical pot spots likely to pop up in busy areas.”

You’d think Illinois was the first state — not the 20th — to OK the medical use of marijuana. You’d think there were no data whatsoever about the impact, if any, of dispensaries in busy or even comparatively idle areas.

But police agencies and academics have looked at just these sorts of concerns over the years. The Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C., has collected the results; nearly all of it reaches the same “hey, no big deal” conclusion reached by researchers from the University of South Florida, the University of Colorado and the New York City Criminal Justice Agency when they studied 275 medical marijuana distribution sites.

Despite all the advance warnings, they wrote in a paper published earlier this year, “these centers do not appear to have any impact on the urban landscape and, therefore, on the health of the communities in which they are located.”

The media needs to grow up, already.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


17 Comments
  1. - CircularFiringSquad - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 12:35 pm:

    We think in the good old days this was called panic peddling take anything that looks a problem and blow it out of proportion


  2. - NotRMiller - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 12:54 pm:

    both Chicago papers have become a joke..very sad..


  3. - Carl Nyberg - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 1:16 pm:

    What is the average age of the columnists at Trib & S-T? Editorial board members?

    They write like they are “out of touch” b/c they are “out of touch”.


  4. - John A Logan - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 1:18 pm:

    Things get pretty sensitive around here when anyone doesn’t fall in line with the weed slingers


  5. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 1:38 pm:

    Where is the evidence prohibition works John Logan? And if you claim it does why not all cigarettes and cigars, all alcohol, and all guns?


  6. - Rich Miller - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 1:40 pm:

    Logan, did a pot smoker run over your dog or something?

    You’re just full of drive-by crud, but you rarely ever explain why you believe we must keep putting people in steel cages and ruining their lives for smoking marijuana, even if they have cancer.


  7. - Illinois taxpayer - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 1:45 pm:

    Continuing dumbing down of the media is not a good sign of the health of our democracy.


  8. - A guy... - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 1:56 pm:

    In the Windy City, not every day produces a headline, so sometimes you need blow up the controversy around blow.
    Today, unfortunately a tragic headline was produced that merits attention and outrage in a Loop Building Shooting exacerbated by a business downsizing.
    The paper went ballistic for a day about legalized refer. Today’s headline was more significant but much smaller. The funny smell isn’t coming from the dispensary.


  9. - wordslinger - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 2:18 pm:

    The Sun-Times edit was curious. All I can say, at least a couple of members there have developed a zealotry of the recently converted when it comes to the “dangers” of weed. Back in the day….


  10. - Meanderthal - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 2:19 pm:

    Illinois should have an honest debate about marijuana legalization on its own merits and stop hiding it behind medicinal uses.
    It is never good for your health to put smoke in your lungs for any purpose.


  11. - VanillaMan - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 2:20 pm:

    Colorado is the guinea pig.
    Watch them deal with all this stupid and try to figure it out.

    Then we can proceed smartly.


  12. - the Patriot - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 2:20 pm:

    I never have understood the opposition to med mal. There are a lot more folks on high dose narcotics for lesser conditions, and narcotics have much worse side effects for the individuals and the community.

    All I can say is maybe they need a little more puff, and a little less give.


  13. - OLK 73 - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 2:25 pm:

    Let’s just see what relative of which Aldermen get to lease the buildings to the owners who I’m sure will have a connection to the proper committeemen etc.


  14. - walker - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 2:26 pm:

    Retail shops are likely to “pop up” where the customers are.

    Wow! Just Wow!


  15. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 2:56 pm:

    Didn’t the Sun-Times editorialize in favor of decriminalizing possession?


  16. - A guy... - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 3:21 pm:

    === Rich Miller - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 1:40 pm:

    Logan, did a pot smoker run over your dog or something?====

    As a Dog Dude, you shouldn’t even joke about such a thing. Oscar cannot be happy with this comment. lol


  17. - Biker - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 3:41 pm:

    The National Media is actually pretty good on this, the Chicago (Tribune and SunTimes) Media on the other hand…
    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/07/27/opinion/sunday/high-time-marijuana-legalization.html?_r=0


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