Sturgeon: Why keep south Scottsdale residents from getting legal medicine?


Medical marijuana is out of reach for many of us in southern Scottsdale.

That’s because there is no dispensary that serves the southern city. It is very inconvenient for older residents and those of us with mobility issues to drive to Tempe or north Scottsdale. Access is therefore not readily accomplished.

For those of us who live in south Scottsdale, news of the Sunday Goods dispensary opening up was indeed great news for those dealing with the side effects of chemo therapy, for chronic pain sufferers who want to avoid addictive pain killers, or for the countless residents who would benefit from a local dispensary.

For the disabled community, where mobility issues often hamper access, a local dispensary is truly important.

In a recent editorial, Michael Auerbach insists that there is no medicinal benefit to medical marijuana and that its proponents want to legalize all drugs.

That’s nonsense.

Contemporary research has proven differently. I would challenge Mr. Auerbach to have a chat with some of the countless pain sufferers and cancer patients who have been helped by this legal medicine.

I have had more than a few chats. For many it’s a game changer. For some it’s a life saver. Maybe Mr. Auerbach should walk in my shoes, all of them, because part of my leg was amputated.

I speak not only from personal experience; but for my city and its ability to serve fellow residents in need.

Mr. Auerbach goes into great detail about the bureaucratic procedures involved as to whether the item should be continued. He cites some older and easily refuted anti-medical marijuana studies. But he never really tells us what is the harm of opening a dispensary in south Scottsdale?

After all there are four in the northern part of the city, all operating responsibly with few if any problems, according to Scottsdale police. That’s because between the state and city there are effective regulations in place that have served the community well.

I would politely remind Mr. Auerbach that there are lot of things far worse than people quietly and legally buying medicine at an upscale and well-regulated dispensary.

We in south Scottsdale seem to be able to handle the routine challenges of our neighborhoods such as occasional traffic jams, rowdy club patrons, motorized rented scooters, and people who let their dogs run around without a leash.

Mr. Auerbach would certainly know something about that last item. But I wouldn’t hold that against him. And sometimes people get into disputes while walking their dogs and “injunctions” are issued. But again there may be two sides to every story or incident.

Because the dispensaries in north Scottsdale have operated without incident, it indicates that would be the case here as well.

That brings me back to the central question. What harm would a dispensary cause Mr. Auerbach or anyone else in south Scottsdale? The fact is it wouldn’t hurt anyone. But it would help a whole lot of people.

Editor’s Note: Paula Sturgeon is a Scottsdale resident.