Legalize Pot? That's Nearly the Case Now in Calif.
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 11, 2009 1:55 PM CDT
Los Angeles medical-cannabis dispensary owner Vincent Mehdizadeh poses with his new Marijuana vending machine installed at the Herbal Nutrition Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2008.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
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(Newser) – Don’t look now, but marijuana is essentially legal in California, the Washington Post reports. Medical marijuana facilities litter the state, some offering only the flimsiest pretext of medical care. Stride into the Medical Kush Beach Club in Venice Beach, for example, and two scantily clad women will lead you to a physician who will, for $150, dispense a “physician’s recommendation." Then you can enjoy the smoking lounge upstairs.

Doctors will prescribe pretty much any amount to pretty much anyone. At the Blue Sky Coffee Shop, one young smoker tries to remember his malady. “Um, my back. Chronic back pain and the rest, like everyone else,” he says. “That, and I love pot.” The industry is only likely to grow. Applications for new retail outlets shot up as soon as Eric Holder announced that the DEA wouldn’t raid them anymore.