Berkeley, CA Dispensary Closed by Feds to Reopen Down the Street
A few months ago the Berkeley Patients Group – one of the most respected dispensaries in California – was forced from its original location by threats from the federal government.
But BPG has found a new location right down the street from the old one, and work has begun on a 14,000 square foot lot and dilapidated 1,200 square foot building that has been an eyesore for as long as most residents can remember.
The owner of the new property said she is not worried about threats from the federal government for renting to a medical marijuana outlet.
"Our property is not close to any school," said Nahla Droubi, who has owned the lot for 10 years. "The previous landlord had a very good experience with this group. He said they were very organized, and most important thing is they had no violations and great security."
The same could be said about Harborside Health Center in Oakland, but that didn’t stop the feds from threatening them.
The property owner also said that she talked to the Berkeley Police Department, the city attorney and neighboring landlords at the group's previous site down the street "and I heard they had no problems."
"It's good to see a business in that place because its been dead for a quarter century," said Herb Permillion, owner of a typewriter repair shop next door called California Office Machines. "I might have a concern about parking. Right now there is room on the street, but if they have a big overflow crowd, it could be tricky."
But another business owner nearby said they were worried that the dispensary would attract “riffraff.” A bigoted statement that just goes to show that there is much work still be done wiping the stigma from marijuana.
Court Commissioner in AZ Wants Deputies to Return Medical Marijuana to Woman in CA
A court commissioner in Yuma County, Arizona - Lisa Bleich – wants sheriff’s deputies in her county to return medical marijuana they confiscated from a legal California medical marijuana patient.
Valerie Okun has a valid CA medical marijuana card, and the medical marijuana law in Arizona specifically provides for honoring valid cards from other states. Deputies confiscated 3/4ths of an ounce from her at an interstate checkpoint last year, citing Arizona drug laws.
Five months later, Okun’s case was dismissed. Okun then filed for return of her property, with a judge ordering its release.
When Yuma County Sheriff Ralph Ogden refused, the judge ordered both sides to submit legal arguments to Bleich. And Bleich has ordered the return of Okun’s property.
"Congress did not intend to trample on the rights of the state to make their own laws pertaining to illegal drugs and medical marijuana use,” she wrote earlier this year, rejecting arguments by prosecutors that federal laws making possession and distribution of marijuana a crime override the 2010 voter-approved law in AZ. "It further implies that state laws pertaining to medical marijuana use can co-exist with federal law without conflict.”
Sheriff Deputies say returning the medical marijuana would violate federal law. "It doesn't resolve the fact that people shouldn't be forced to do things that are otherwise illegal under our state and/or federal law,” said Yuma County Attorney Jon Smith.
Deputy Yuma County Attorney Edward Feheley makes a similar argument in in trying to get relief from the Arizona Court of Appeals.
"The sheriff is prohibited from delivering marijuana to a person he knows has no right to possess marijuana -- even for medical purposes,” Feheley wrote, pointing out the federal law says there is no legitimate medical use for marijuana.
And the battle over medical marijuana in Arizona continues.
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