Medical marijuana is legal in California, but getting it from seed to plant to patient remains a risky business.

“Compared to most other California cities,” we report, “San Diego is still a perilous place for those who grow and distribute pot for medical purposes.”

New medical marijuana dispensaries continue to be raided on a regular basis, and prosecutors are still prosecuting.

Why is the county being so tough? Depending on whom you talk to, it has something to do with being ahead of the curve or behind the times.

Drugs are in the news across the county today. In Escondido, the U-T reports, the City Council won’t allow any medical-marijuana dispensaries for 45 days until it figures out whether to regulate or ban them.

KPBS-FM, meanwhile, looks at why the county won’t approve clean-needle exchange for drug users. One key statistic: Hepatitis C cases in the county have more than doubled in 10 years.

The new owners of the Union-Tribune would love to double production from a staff 40 percent smaller than it was. To that end, the efficiency specialists hired to help employees work better — i.e., quit wasting time — have returned.

The efficiency firm doesn’t include testimonials from any previous newspaper clients on its website. But it had at least one, back in the 1990s, and its advice didn’t go over well.

Bandwidth overload, not workload, is occupying the minds of those planning the upcoming Comic-Con. Columnist Scott Lewis reports that a potential disaster — thousands of nerds without iPhone service — has been averted thanks to a bunch of “cell sites on wheels,” or COWS.

Lewis also thinks a San Diego city councilman’s “vision” is clouded and uncovers another delay for “Wild Erp,” the city’s troubled new computer system. You’ll find the reason hard to believe.

Also in our opinion section, James O. Goldsborough looks forward to the American withdrawal in Iraq and wonders if anyone has learned anything from the failed endgames in other wars.

In another commentary, Dr. Vanessa S. Flores, a local veterinarian, tackles ethical questions surrounding the first clinical trial of a stem-cell-based therapy in people. This is the first time stem cells will be injected right into the spinal cords of patients. Are newly paralyzed people in a position to make the risky decision to participate?

Elsewhere, KPBS-FM reports that efforts to convince the federal government to restore a park at the border have gained support from the California attorney general and more than 200 community groups and local leaders.

The feds spawned outrage when they closed Friendship Park to build more border fencing. “For decades,” KPBS explains, “people in San Diego and Tijuana have met at the park to visit through the border fence.”


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