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Pot Scarcity Peeves Patients

By Hempology | October 26, 2002

From the New York Post, October 25, 2002

By Richard Johnson, Paul Froelich and Chris Wilson

A mysterious marijuana shortage in New York has gotten so bad that local medicinal pot groups are begging for an emergency supply of reefer from out-of-state sources.

According to a board member of the New York City Medical Marijuana Buyers Club, the shortage has gotten so desperate that two cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy have had to be re-hospitalized because they ran out of the weed.

“There’s almost no pot around at all. None,” the source tells PAGE SIX’s Ian Spiegelman. “There is a very small amount of hydroponically grown marijuana available, but it’s incredibly expensive.”

Ultra-potent hydroponic pot runs about $400 an ounce. More common commercial blends cost a mere $100 to $150 per ounce.

The medical marijuana club represents about 150 severely ill people who treat their symptoms with cannabis – which is still illegal in New York State, even for terminal cases. The typical patient uses about two ounces a month, and cannot afford the price of the luxury bud. “We sell it at cost, but the stuff that’s around now is too expensive even at cost,” a club member said.

Club members are reaching out across the U.S. “We’re e-mailing other buyers’ clubs, requesting that because of the emergency situation people come and donate small amounts.”

The lack of herb has been attributed to everything from the arrest of 25 corrupt officials in Mexico last week to heightened security on East Coast highways until the sniper case arrests. “Because of all the police activity, people do not want to come up the Interstate with large quantities of marijuana,” says the source. “They’re too scared.”

And New Yorkers just lost out on a botanical bonanza yesterday when two men in upstate Herkimer were busted for possession of 150 pounds of the forbidden weed.

The shortage appears to be strictly local. Keith Stroup, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, says, “I buy marijuana regularly and I haven’t had any problems.”

Will the city’s potheads really have to pack up and move to Humbolt County? Fred Gieger, unit head at the DEA’s New York field office, says, “We have no indication that there is any marijuana shortage.”

The NYC Medical Marijuana Buyers Club plans to hold a rally at City Hall on Halloween, in honor of club member “Uncle Donny,” who died last week of kidney failure that had nothing to do with his smoke intake.

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