Activist to start biweekly medical-pot classes |

Activist to start biweekly medical-pot classes

Nevada County medical-marijuana users pump $10 million into the drug’s black market each year, Martin Webb estimates.

He uses conservative figures to reach the dollar amount: At least 2,000 patients – based on patient numbers provided by three prescribing doctors – each pay dealers about $5,000 a year.

Webb called it a ripoff for users, lost revenue for the local economy and an added burden to law enforcement.

That’s why he teaches patients how to grow their own pot. Starting Sunday, he’ll hold class every other week at Center for the Arts in Grass Valley.

Students will learn the medical benefits and risks of taking marijuana and the laws on cultivation. Also, to help patients stay within the county’s 10-plant guideline, he’ll show how to grow bountiful plants.

“You better be able to prove that what you’re growing is what you need,” said Webb, director of The CIRCLE – Cannabis Information Resource Center Legally Entitled.

Webb, himself a medical-marijuana user, gets by on three plants each year and has shown the seriously ill – including AIDS patients – how to grow their own.

Webb decided to start the class partly to limit the “wear and tear” on his car from trips to remote homes. Because theft is a problem, he also didn’t want to be falsely accused of ripping off growers.

District Attorney Mike Ferguson, a possible upcoming speaker, has no problem with the classes. He says the know-how Webb provides isn’t exactly confidential.

“The information is out there,” Ferguson said Wednesday, turning to his office computer.

In seconds, he went to, typed in “marijuana,” and found titles like “The Big Book of Buds” and “The Cannabible.”

Ferguson’s main concern is that growers risk getting ripped off. A pair of recent armed robbery cases involved marijuana, and both times shots were fired.

“If I was a medical-marijuana user, I wouldn’t blab it around town,” Ferguson said.

u The first medical-marijuana users1 class is 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday at Center for the Arts. Wayne Justmann, with the San Francisco Patients Resource Center, will speak. The phone number of The CIRCLE is 432-3266.

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