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Only Licensed Dispensary in San Diego County, CA Forced to Close by Feds

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Tue, September, 4th 2012 by THCFinder

The Mother Earth Alternative Healing Co-Operative is the only medical cannabis dispensary licensed under San Diego County, California’s restrictive ordinance, but it is now being forced to close under threats from the federal government.

 

“Mother Earth” serves about 2,500 patients, who will soon be displaced when it comes to getting their medicine. Co-founder Bob Reidel says it’s been tough the past few weeks.

 

"I mean every day we're dealing with people walking through this building crying," said Reidel. "What are we going to do? How come they don't care? And what am I supposed to say to people like that."

 

“How come they don’t care?” A great question, but one many people have trouble answering. We know “Mother Earth” was helping 2,500 people, so who exactly are they harming?

 

According to U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy: "It is not a defense to either criminal liability or to the forfeiture of property that the dispensary is providing 'medical marijuana.' The United States Attorney's Office supports eviction of the commercial marijuana businesses, like Mother Earth, that operate outside of federal law."

 

In other words, screw medical marijuana patients.

 

“Mother Earth” was able to forestall closure a couple months ago by filing for bankruptcy protection, but their legal maneuvering ran out Monday.

 

"We're going to keep fighting for it," said Reidel. "We're still a corporation, with no home. But, we can't stop this fight. We will stop dispensing and we will look for other legal means to reopen. Hopefully here. Maybe somewhere else that complies with the ordinance. We don't know."

 

The closure of “Mother Earth” will leave 70,000 patients in San Diego County without anywhere to get their medical cannabis, leaving the prospect of long trips out of county or the black market.

 

Source: http://www.kpbs.org


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LA Marijuana Dispensary Ban Suspended

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Fri, August, 31st 2012 by THCFinder
Medical marijuana patients in Los Angeles can exhale a sigh of relief. At least for now.
 
LA's marijuana dispensary ban, which was set to go into effect in one week, has been temporarily suspended after patients and supporters delivered 50,000 signatures to force a referendum on the ban, the city clerk's office told The Huffington Post Thursday.
 
The ban, which has the approval of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Police Chief Charlie Beck, intends to shut down about 1,000 marijuana dispensaries in the city, including those that have complied with the law. Instead of using dispensaries, groups of three or fewer marijuana patients would be allowed to grow marijuana in their homes.
 
“We understand and appreciate the need for strict rules and regulations regarding dispensaries. But the outright ban went too far, and will result in many sick and infirm patients suffering needlessly," Gary Carver, a medical marijuana user who suffers from glaucoma and was one of the petition's signatories, said in a statement. "What we need is a thoughtful policy that allows us to get our medicine and protects communities, not a shortsighted ban that causes us pain and thwarts the will of the people.”
 
The city clerk's office has 15 days to verify the signatures. If at least 27,425 signatures are verified, the City Council has 20 days to choose to either repeal the ban or to put it to the voters on the March 5, 2013 ballot.
 
Patients and supporters hope the ban will be repealed, but if it's put to a vote, they say they're confident Angelenos will support storefront access to medical marijuana.
 
Opponents of the ban say that most sick patients either do not have the ability, time or funds to grow medical-grade marijuana at home. At the initial City Council hearing in July, a representative of the United Food and Commercial Workers, which now includes dispensary workers, said that setting up a bare-minimum, one-light "grow tent" at home costs more than $5,000.
 

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Medical Marijuana Activists in L.A. Submit 50,000 Signatures for Ballot Measure to Overturn Dispensary Ban

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Thu, August, 30th 2012 by THCFinder

Medical marijuana activists in Los Angeles turned in about 50,000 voter signatures to the city clerk Wednesday, hoping to force a ballot referendum to repeal a recently passed ban on medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles. The ban was approved by the L.A. City Council last month.

 

Now the ordinance must be temporarily suspended, according to election officials in the city clerk's office. The signatures will then be verified against voter registration information. If they are found to be valid, the ban would be further suspended until voters get a chance to decide whether to keep it in place.

 

As an alternative to a total ban – which now looks very unlikely to stand - Councilman Paul Koretz is pushing for a new law that would allow 100 or so of the city's oldest and most established dispensaries to remain in business.

 

"The city needs a small number of well-regulated and patient-centered dispensaries," he said Tuesday. Without it, he said, "the city will be stuck with no rules and no protections again."

 

Leaving 100 dispensaries open is certainly better than closing them, but in the end, how many dispensaries are open should be primarily left to the market. The City Council needs to adopt a set of regulations, then let the market do the rest.

 

In fact, isn’t that one of the jobs of the city council? It’s certainly not their job to shut down 1,000 businesses and kill thousands of private sector jobs. Would you vote for a person for city council if they promised to destroy a few thousand jobs? Of course not. The voters of Los Angeles need to overhaul their City Council completely; these people are not fighting for you.

 

Source: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com


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Berkeley, CA Dispensary Closed by Feds to Reopen Down the Street

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Wed, August, 29th 2012 by THCFinder

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.

 

Source: http://www.insidebayarea.com


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Medical Marijuana Dispensary Ban Thrown Out in California Supreme Court

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Mon, August, 27th 2012 by THCFinder

Last Week the California Supreme Court dismissed review of an important appellate court ruling, and this will have implications for medical marijuana patients throughout the state.

 

The CA Supreme Court threw out the controversial decision in Pack v. City of Long Beach, which had said that federal law preempted some forms of dispensary regulations. The Pack decision has been used by several municipalities, including Los Angeles and Long Beach, to suspend or ban outright the distribution of medical marijuana. But now the dismissal of Pack removes the legal precedent used in many bans.

 

"This is an important moment for medical marijuana patients in California," said Joe Elford, Chief Counsel with Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the country's leading medical marijuana advocacy organization. "The California Supreme Court has essentially pulled out the rug from under local officials who have used the Pack decision to deny access to medical marijuana for thousands of patients across the state," continued Elford. "Pack is now a dead letter and, because of the California Rules of Court (Rule 8.528), it is disingenuous for any public official to contend that the Court of Appeal decision is somehow reinstated."

 

The reason for the dismissal of the case was that after the California Supreme Court decided to review the appellate decision, the Long Beach City Council repealed and replaced the ordinance with an outright ban on dispensaries thereby making moot the issues before the court. In addition, the petitioners in Pack "have now abandoned their federal preemption argument in favor of unrelated issues not raised or decided at any prior stage of this proceeding," according to the court.

 

The recent ban on dispensaries in Los Angeles is predicated on the Pack case, meaning the city council has little legal cover left for their awful decision.

 

Source: http://www.opposingviews.com


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DEA Targets 23 Medical Marijuana Dispensaries In Washington State

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Fri, August, 24th 2012 by THCFinder

On Thursday the DEA sent letters to 23 medical marijuana businesses in Western Washington, warning they could be prosecuted and the properties seized if they are operating within a school zone.

 

“Please take the necessary steps to discontinue the sale and/or distribution of marijuana…within 30 days,” read the letter, signed by Matthew G. Barnes, special agent in charge for the Seattle field office.

 

“I am confident that once notified of the ramifications and penalties associated with renting a property for marijuana distribution purposes, property owners will take appropriate steps to rectify the situation on their own.  The DEA will not turn a blind eye to criminal organizations that attempt to use state or local law as a shield for their illicit drug trafficking activities,” Barnes said in a statement.

 

The letters follow the same pattern of letters to hundreds of dispensaries in Colorado and all over the west coast.

 

“We need to enforce one message for our students: drugs have no place in or near our schools,” the U.S. Attorney for Western Washington, Jenny Durkan, said in a statement.

 

Why aren’t officials worried about the message that hiding medical marijuana sends to kids? It tells them that cannabis is bad, so when they need medical help, they will turn to dangerous and addictive prescription drugs.

 

To be fair, dispensaries are not legal under Washington state law, but that still does not make it a matter for the DEA. They are using federal law to butt into state business.

 

An attempt was made to legalize and regulate them and a bill passed the state Legislature last year, but it was vetoed by Gov. Chris Gregorie. The Governor’s veto left intact a law that allows 15 patients to band together to form a 45-plant “collective garden.” Some medical marijuana storefronts have used a broad interpretation of that provision to form networks of collective gardens, with patients signing into an open slot in a garden.

 

Source: http://blogs.seattletimes.com


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