Letter to the Editor: Resident Hopes for Rational Discussion of Having a Cannabis Dispensary in Burbank


Letter to the Editor:

I’d like to have a rational discussion about the possibility of having a cannabis dispensary in Burbank.  I think it’s time we stopped the scare tactics and nonsensical repudiation of the benefits of this plant and those who seek to use it.

I’m disabled and I have other health issues that warrant the use of this product.  I’m not embarrassed to say that it relieves pain, relaxes my muscles and allows me to reap its benefits with no side-effects at all.  Alcohol doesn’t do this and neither do prescribed medications.

I feel it’s imperative we study this plant further and in-depth.  I’m convinced it has vast implications for our health and the treatment of a myriad of diseases, disabilities and mental conditions.

Currently, our federal government is looking into removing this product from its Schedule I list.  San Francisco has refused to ban cannabis for apartment-dwelling patients and a local California cannabis industry group has reached an agreement with a credit union that will allow for better and safer banking services for both dispensaries and companies.

For me, and for many others, this product is medicine.  I don’t ask for your permission and I don’t need anyone to condone the usage of this product.  I do expect my neighbors and my city to examine the need for a cannabis dispensary in Burbank with a clear head, an unbiased approach and all the kindness and understanding a civilized society can muster.

To do less, is to run screaming from a revival showing of Reefer Madness, and succumb to propaganda and not the truth.


Pamela Lang


    1. Pamela, I am sorry to hear. Have it delivered. I don’t want retail pot shops here. No way. All excise taxes on legally-obtained pot benefit everyone including Burbank. I assure you I have studied it. The small amount of local tax isn’t going to help us very much at all and enforcement and ER costs from tourists coming here to OD on edibles will rapidly overtake any tax benefits. The County will raise taxes to cover it. This is all well-studied. Google it please. Delivery is actually cheaper because rent, security, utilities, insurance and additional staffing costs mean stores charge more. Delivery is your ticket.

      “To do less, is to run screaming from a revival showing of Reefer Madness, and succumb to propaganda and not the truth.”

      We do not need strip clubs, porn movie theaters and pot shops in Burbank. My brother and nephew both suffered from cannabis addiction. No thanks. We don’t need it here. People buy gasoline here but we don’t need a refinery in Burbank. We drive cars but we don’t need steel mills here. Order delivery! May the Force be with you.

    2. Christopher, thank you for toning down your response to my letter. I understand how you can think that delivery is the only option for those of us who use cannabis, but I can tell you it isn’t an option for many of us.

      When you factor in to the equation that most legal cannabis products are taxed at an exorbitant rate, which is being looked at by our state and local governments, and then add on the high cost of delivery and tips, you make the product unaffordable for many medical patients.

      I don’t believe wanting a dispensary in Burbank is a no-win situation for any of us. We could allow one in a non-residential area and, as you well know, these dispensaries have their own private security.

      I hate to use this very tired example by pointing out all the liquor stores and bars, etc. that Burbank allows within its borders, but it’s true nonetheless. Cannabis is far less problematic than alcohol and I stand by this fact.

      We may not agree, Christopher, but we can still debate the issue using common sense and a modicum of understanding for each other’s viewpoint. I can see your viewpoint. Are you willing to see and understand mine?

    3. Hello Pamela,

      Respectfully, I did not tone my rhetoric down for you. I mirrored your tone. You are clearly an intelligent person with an opinion. I am a constitutionalist and you are entitled to your own opinions and because you are polite, I will be polite too!

      I do not agree with your viewpoint. I have engaged on this from all points of view, for years. Studied it extensively and spoken with many people. Two family members suffered addiction.

      In no dimension of reality can you compare alcohol to cannabis. Sorry Pamela, I am the son of a medical doctor. No…that will not work on me. I am very aware of the effects of pot on the brain.

      “Further, fewer Americans view marijuana use as risky, although studies have shown that use or early use of marijuana is associated with increased risk for many outcomes, including cognitive decline, psychosocial impairments, vehicle crashes, emergency department visits, psychiatric symptoms, poor quality of life, use of other drugs, a cannabis-withdrawal syndrome, and addiction risk. Further, marijuana use disorders (abuse or dependence) are associated with substantial comorbidity and disability and are consequently of substantial public health concern.”

      Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5037576/

      I do not make this offer lightly but if you are that sick that you cannot acquire the cannabis products you want, I am willing to help pick items up for you. I am not willing to speak softly about introducing pot shops into our city.

      I am 100% opposed to tent cities and believe our police should have the power to remove them. We have plenty of shelter space. Trust me, I know, I have raised millions of dollars to help those in need and assist our homeless on a weekly basis. I am also hypersensitive to the causation of homelessness and I estimate that 99% of all cases have a drug abuse component. Meth is the most common causation however Robert M., a former tenant (2004) started with pot and it was a gateway drug for meth and he is now homeless and mentally broken beyond repair.

      No thank you to pot shops. If you need assistance, please reach out via Facebook @borntodeal and I will make every effort to provide support. There is a large network of volunteers assisting the disabled in Burbank and I am one of hundreds here.

    4. Christopher, I’m thankful for your response and your offer of aid, should I need it. You never know, I may take you up on it.

      I do understand your viewpoint and I respect it. I don’t, as you know by now, agree with it. I’m not sure how you arrived at a tent-city, homeless problem from my letter, or comments regarding having a medical cannabis dispensary in Burbank, but I do understand your somewhat convoluted logic.

      Having been a medical cannabis patient for only a handful of years, I can expound on this subject in detail, as I’ve endeavored to understand and research the effects of cannabis on the cannabinoid and endocannabinoid systems. I doubt seriously that many of the side-effects you’ve listed in your latest comment are true, unless the user/patient is smoking or ingesting cannabis 24/7, and most people aren’t doing this.

      Doubtlessly, there are cases of overuse, but I question the belief that cannabis is addictive and that using it is a “gateway” to other drugs. Many of the misapprehensions we cling to today are remnants of the scare tactics used in the 1930’s, and in the 1970’s, when cannabis and its use were criminalized.

      Many of the studies released in the last few years point to a multitude of prospective medical uses, affects, and interactions for future use. We need more studies to be done and we simply must keep an open mind.

      Using myself as an example, this plant and its terpenes have helped me immensely. There’s no denying this fact. Whether or not, this reality translates into a medical cannabis dispensary in Burbank, I leave to others to decide. But, the medical effects of this plant can’t be denied and overall public opinion has changed to acknowledge this truth.

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