A Space for Plant-based Medicine

By Montecito Journal   |   June 28, 2022

In response to “Two Years Later: Still an Unfair and Forced Choice Objections to Cannabis Retail at Santa Claus Lane,” I wanted to take the opportunity to provide some actual facts about legal, compliant cannabis dispensaries. I’m three months shy of my 60th birthday and my interest in medicinal cannabis began in 2014 with my father’s diagnosis of terminal heart disease — We had buried both my brother and mother years prior and I promised never to let him suffer the way they had. Dad’s hospice team was doing their best to provide comfort, however the side effects from the pharmaceuticals were making his remaining time on Earth absolutely miserable. Through the help of cannabis experts, books, seminars… I was able to hone a dosing regimen that helped relieve his pain, anxiety, and sleep deprivation. Cannabis didn’t save his life, but it sure made the life he had left joyful. He lived out his time sitting on the porch, eating ice cream, and enjoying close relationships. I’ll forever thank God and Cannabis for this. 

My interest in cannabis education continued, which led me to sharing with others. Most recently, I presented to nearly 60 Carpinteria Senior Center members. These seniors were curious about transitioning away from over-the-counter drugs to plant-based medicine and like all the other audiences, their interest was sincere and vast. Not at all surprising, since the largest and fastest growing group of cannabis consumers are the aging population. 

I shop every dispensary from Santa Barbara to Ojai, procuring items for those too ill to leave their homes — I mostly purchase: pain patches, salves, tinctures, ointments, capsules, and feel well versed when speaking about the professional integrity of a dispensary and the demographics of their consumers.

Here’s what I know to be FACTS about our local dispensaries:

1st: The largest group of legal cannabis consumers are the ages of 60 years and up. 

2nd: Dispensary prices are expensive, highly taxed, and identification is required at each and every time of purchase. The fear of underaged children enticing adults to purchase high priced, legal cannabis is laughable. The black market still has nearly 87% of the cannabis market (a topic for another time) and that’s where the underage go to purchase. Persons under the age of 21 cannot even enter a dispensary, unlike liquor stores where children are free to roam. And, once inside a dispensary all products are under lock and key. Products cannot even be displayed in windows, in fact walking by a dispensary, one would never know they were walking by a dispensary.

3rd: No dispensary is ever wall-to-wall with customers. Strict regulations detail the number of persons allowed in a dispensary at a time, and I’ve NEVER experienced wait time or crowds. The average customer spends around 10 to 15 minutes procuring product, there’s no hanging around the location or consumption.  

4th: Dispensaries are absolutely compatible with other businesses. The city of Santa Barbara has three of the most beautiful dispensaries I’ve ever visited, one could easily mistake walking into these locations to walking into a jewelry store. To my knowledge, their business neighbors: Derf’s Restaurant, McConnell’s Ice Cream, Hair Salon, Law office, Dance Studio, Ralphs market, Insurance Company, MTD… have never filed a complaint about parking, odor, and most importantly the attraction of law-breaking customers. 

5th: As a life-long Carpinterian who spends many days per week on Santa Claus Lane, I’m far more concerned by the alcohol being served by those restaurants and annoyed by the events companies taking up all the parking than any legal, licensed dispensary. In fact, the dispensary location has their very own parking lot behind their building AND the building is located on the far end of the lane, nowhere near any of the restaurants. 

Property and Business owners Pat and Maire Radis have proven themselves as exceptional humans. Their commitment to our environment and the aesthetics of the lane has set a most impressive watermark for our community. Pat was diagnosed with Parkinson’s a few years ago and has found cannabis to be a significant addition in managing his symptoms. Because of their first-hand experience, Pat and Maire are ideal dispensary business owners and their building is the IDEAL location.

Much of the opposition to this project feels like residual Reefer Madness which I understand, because 80-plus years of targeted propaganda against this plant can leave some nasty lingering effects. But let’s remember, Cannabis has been part of the medicinal landscape for thousands of years AND has proven to offer incredibly profound relief for some of our most heinous and debilitating conditions, illnesses, and diseases.

I encourage those fearful of a dispensary to visit one, truly learn the facts, and free themselves of the unfounded fear they carry.

Tina Fanucchi-Frontado, MPA

Vouching for Change in Education

The reelection of Susan Salcido as superintendent indicates that progressives are indeed very supportive of the policies of educational failure. Now hear me out. Just because 2/3 of the students are failing in math doesn’t mean that liberals need to change viewpoints and tactics in education. OK it should mean that, but they don’t really have to change.

The progressive government education machine has enough votes to simply vote down any change in their personnel or programs. With over half the workforce in government, it’s a built-in, paid-for majority. And education is a cash cow for the liberal machine.

So if Latino students can’t read, write, or do basic math, it doesn’t matter. As long as this progressive education machine still gets paid taxpayer dollars, to run their obviously failing programs. That’s what matters. It’s all about the money. And that’s why I say, defund big government education now.

Bring on a voucher program because that will ensure parents can choose successful education programs for their children. And isn’t choice a good thing?

Dr. Thomas Cole  


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