bodom wrote:What about narcotic pain relievers sold by pharmacists?
I think there's a difference between selling drugs that, while occasionally used for intoxication, are designed specifically to treat serious diseases and selling plants that, while occasionally used for serious diseases, are designed specifically for intoxication.
I don't doubt that marijuana can help people with pain, and I would never mean to criticize a cancer patient or AIDS victim for using intoxicants in such a way - however, coming from a medical marijuana state, I can definitely say with confidence that many people, perhaps the majority, use these dispensaries for vague ailments like "anxiety" or "back pain" in order to legally obtain marijuana for smoking in a recreational manner. I've heard the same from the dispensary owners, who are good people, but on the whole they seem to be far more interested in just getting cannabis to people. I remember a quote from a man who ran one near Seattle, and he said that he would be able to run any kind of real business if he could only deal with people who had legitimate health issues that marijuana could alleviate.
If you work at a dispensary, you are going to sell quite a bit of marijuana to people who will use it for unwholesome purposes. I think that's what it comes down to. It might not be your job to examine other people's motivations, but I don't know if it's wholesome to sell something that can be so easily and inevitably misused and then claim that you have no culpability because you couldn't be absolutely sure they were without the best intentions.
I may have been premature to claim that it is a violation of right livelihood. That's your decision to make. I certainly, however, I would stay away from such industries. I don't mean to sound holier than thou at all, it's just something that strikes me in a weird way. I'm sure you could hold a position there and, with the right intentions, not harm your practice.