Image 1 of 1
Laguna Beach, California, October, 26, 2010 - A tray of marijuana buds absorbs the late afternoon light on the back patio of Bill Roley, who suffers from a lack of appetite due to extensive radiation from throat cance. Roley is a member of the Laguna Woods for Medical Cannabis, a collective of about 100 members that operates as a dispensary for medical marijuana in the nearby senior community of Laguna Woods Village. Rolley was visiting with his friend Lonnie Painter who is the chairman of the Laguna Woods for Medical Cannabis. Up until this month, the members were allowed to grow marijuana within their own gardens. Painter says, "We do this by the book, to the letter of the law. We are not potheads. We are people with legitimate medical needs." Despite their best efforts, the group has faced some challenges recently. The board that oversees the community recently banned the growing of marijuana in the community gardens, despite the fact that each person has their own fenced and locked garden and the entire compound is surrounded by a chain-linked fence with barbed-wire. "We can still grow indoors, but it costs 20 times as much," says Painter. California's Compassionate Use Act, passed in 1996, allows people with a prescription to use and cultivate medicinal marijuana..