California's medical marijuana wars spark up again
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Mon, February, 4th 2013 by THCFinder
California's experiment with medical marijuana has sparked a hazy version of the old Not-in-My-Backyard syndrome.
From Hollister to Antioch, from Scotts Valley to Petaluma, from Seaside to Moraga, city after city has banned medical marijuana dispensaries, sending a message that even the sickest of patients must go elsewhere for that state-permitted dose of prescribed medical weed.
But on Tuesday, this fear-and-loathing approach to outlawing medical pot providers will face an unprecedented test in the California Supreme Court. The seven justices are to hear arguments on whether local governments can ban the dispensaries in view of the state's 1996 voter-approved law legalizing pot for medical use.
The case involves the Inland Empire Patients Health and Wellness Center, which more than two years ago sued to block Riverside's dispensary ban, arguing that cities and counties cannot bar activities legal in California. A state appeals court sided with Riverside, and now the Supreme Court, faced with similar legal tangles across the state, has jumped into the fray.
The stakes are high in California's ongoing struggle pitting medical marijuana advocates against cities worried about problems associated with some of the dispensaries, such as lax control over the distribution of a drug that remains illegal under federal law.
"The Riverside case is a fascinating example of our 'laboratories of democracy' in action," said Julie Nice, a
law professor at the University of San Francisco, where the Supreme Court will hear the arguments. "It illustrates the difficulties created when each level of government ... stakes out a different regulatory position on a controversial subject."
The Bay Area, like the rest of California, is divided on the issue. San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland and Richmond have allowed certain numbers of dispensaries, even taxing their revenues, while large swaths of the region are dispensary-free zones.
Overall, there are at least 180 local government bans on medical marijuana dispensaries in California, about three dozen of them in the Bay Area, according to the marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access. And that does not include moratoriums and regulations such as zoning limits, which medical marijuana supporters agree can be enforced.
Robbery victim says authorities took his marijuana
Category: News | Posted on Mon, February, 4th 2013 by THCFinder
TEMECULA, Calif.—A robbery victim says Riverside County sheriff's deputies took his marijuana and he wants it back.
John Szwec runs a service that delivers medical marijuana to patients. He was making a delivery last week in Temecula when robbers took an ounce of pot and about $400 in cash.
When they drove off, Szwec chased them in his pickup. The getaway car crashed on a freeway offramp and two men were eventually arrested.
But Szwec tells U-T San Diego (http://bit.ly/14vYV4m) that deputies who responded to the scene took the entire supply of marijuana from his pickup.
Sheriff's Deputy Albert Martinez says it's being held as evidence.
Szwec says he could understand holding the stolen ounce of pot but not his entire business supply—and he wants it back.
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