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Riverside Has Gone to Pot: First Legal Dispensary Opens Today

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Photo by Caveman 92223 via Flickr
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Here in Los Angeles the issue of legal medical marijuana dispensaries is still being debated by local leaders, as once again talks and decisions regarding our loop-hole laden laws have been postponed by the City Council. However, today in Riverside the Inland Empire Health and Wellness Center Medical Marijuana Collective, a non-profit organization, is opening its doors for the first time, according to CBS2.The outfit is the first medical marijuana dispensary to operate in the city of Riverside, and they are "complying with city regulations, which include having security guards on duty when the collective is open," according to Manager William Sump. So far the collective boasts 150 members who have a doctor's permission to purchase and use pot for medicinal purposes. In fortuitious planning, the dispensary is located across the street from the THCF Medical Clinic, where patients can seek just such a recommendation.

Earlier this week, NPR took a look at the issue of marijuana in California, including how much of a boon the plant is--and could be--to our local economy, and the often treacherous search-and-destroy type missions authorities conduct to weed-out growers--oftentimes those producing the lucrative crop as part of complicated and violent foreign drug cartels. Earlier this year, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger acknowledged it was 'time for debate' about potentially making the crop legal and taxable in order to help the flagging state economy.