Los Angeles Dispensary Owners Fight Ban

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Fri, August, 17th 2012 by THCFinder
The Los Angeles City Council voted in July to ban prescription pot shops, but dispensary owners have decided to fight back, the L.A. Times reports.
As detailed by the Times, the City Attorney has threatened medical marijuana managers with "penalties of $2,500 a day and up to six months in jail" if they refuse to shut down by Sept. 6, sending them a warning letter this week.
Some potpreneurs, however, are working to get a measure on the ballot to overturn the ban, the paper reports.
Area medical marijuana backers have already started gathering signatures for such a referendum.
They need some 27,500 people to sign onto their proposal.
Right now, the prohibition bars L.A.'s some 1,000 storefront dispensaries.
However, the paper explains, patients and caregivers can still legally "grow and share marijuana in groups of three people or fewer."
Elsewhere in America's weed world....
Reports indicate that Arizona's medical marijuana database -- which contains info on program participants -- is being used frequently both by law enforcement and private employers.
Though "its primary use is to ensure that patients don't get arrested if caught with pot by police," Phoenix New Times' Ray Stern points out a problem associated with these kinds of things, writing: "We're just wondering how long before the state's database gets hacked."


Los Angeles Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Face Sept. 6th Deadline to Close

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Thu, August, 16th 2012 by THCFinder

By some accounts there are over 1,000 medical marijuana dispensaries in the city of Los Angeles, and they have all been sent letters telling them they have until September 6th to close their doors or face legal action.


Instead of going through the “trouble” of regulating dispensaries in L.A., the city council has decided to take the easiest and most economically destructive path of approving a full ban. For example, if each dispensary in Los Angeles has an average of 3 employees, that’s about 3,000 jobs the city council feels are just not needed.


The council's vote allows primary caregivers and patients to grow and transport marijuana. Under the new ordinance, two or three patients are allowed to collectively grow and share marijuana in homes or apartments, but not storefronts. Those who have medical marijuana cards will still be able to grow and smoke marijuana, but they won't be able to go into a dispensary and buy it.


Meaning those who are not able to grow or don’t have someone who can grow for them must either do without or resort to the black market for their medication.


So the council doesn’t do their job, destroys thousands of real jobs and denies health care to tens of thousands of people. Is this what the citizens of Los Angeles voted for? How hard can it possibly be to set up some regulations governing dispensaries?


In fact, isn’t that one of the functions of city government, to regulate local businesses? What recourse do voters have when their government stops doing its job, other than to vote everyone out and try different people?


It is the height of lunacy to destroy jobs in a struggling economy. Every action by the council should be directed toward things like job growth and better quality healthcare.




AZ Governors Waiver Allows State Attorney General to go After Medical Marijuana

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Fri, August, 10th 2012 by THCFinder

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has signed a waiver that allows Attorney General Tom Horne to try to close down the marijuana dispensaries that her state health department is in the process of licensing.


AG Horne recently released a formal legal opinion which stated that the voter-approved medical marijuana in AZ violated federal law. Why would he bother stating this obvious fact formally unless he was planning on doing something about it?


For her part, the Governor said Thursday that she does not intend to block Health Director Will Humble from continuing the process of issuing state permits. And Humble, who conducted a lottery Tuesday to see who gets to serve each of the 126 health districts in the state, said the first of those shops could be open by the end of this month.


"I gave him a waiver and put kind of a wall between Mr. Horne and myself so that he could represent this position and he could still represent me with other attorneys on the other side,' Brewer said.


AG Horne said this arrangement will allow one of his deputies to continue to provide legal advice to Humble even as he personally pursues a court order declaring the dispensaries preempted by federal law.


As many may remember, Governor Brewer initially tried to halt the medical marijuana program. "I took it to court and I was ruled against, (with a judge) saying that I had to implement the law,” Brewer recalled Thursday ."So we moved forward under the direction of the court.”


But the governor said Horne and Montgomery remain free to try to shut down the dispensaries anyway.


"If they believe they have a reason to think they can get that overturned, they have that right and privilege to do that,” Brewer said. "But in the meantime we have and will continue to move forward until we hear differently.”


In other words, the battle over medical marijuana in AZ is far from over.




NJ's Medical Marijuana Program Finally Takes Off

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Fri, August, 10th 2012 by THCFinder
New Jersey approved a medical marijuana program more than two years ago but the program will finally begin to go into effect on Thursday.
That's the day when qualified patients can first register to receive an ID card for purchasing medical marijuana. That doesn't mark the start of any drug availability which is likely to come sometime next month.
Creating a patient registry is an important first step in allowing patients to use medical marijuana. But that doesn't mean people who participate in the system are safe from legal consequences.
New Jersey is the 17th state to permit medical marijuana but possession and use of the drug is still a violation of federal law, medical use or no.
The fact that a patient is allowed to purchase and use marijuana under state law does not protect them from federal prosecution, according to a Supreme Court case from 2005. Obama has said that it's not his priority to bust medical marijuana users, but that doesn't mean the government is ignoring dispensaries, reports LA Weekly.
The legal murkiness doesn't seem to be stopping New Jersey from going through with plans to allow medical marijuana. The state already has about 150 doctors registered to prescribe the drug and six nonprofit dispensaries with a license to sell.
Only one of those dispensaries currently has a site but it plans to begin selling soon, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The Greenleaf Compassion Center of Montclair, New Jersey hopes to open its doors in September pending final permits. Until other dispensaries open it will be the sole provider of medical marijuana in the state.


Medical Marijuana: Arizona's Dispensary Lottery Results in Legal Confusion

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Wed, August, 8th 2012 by THCFinder
Well, we really don't know what to make of all this...
As we have been attentively tracking any and all U.S. drug policy developments, a common motif is the legal confusion surrounding medical marijuana.
In California, for example, some municipalities have held back on clearly defining dispensary policies, as they are not sure about the relationship between federal statute -- which bars bud -- and state statute -- which welcomes weed. Officials in other cities, such as Oakland, have banded behind dispensaries, outright criticizing federal crackdowns as harmful to patients.
In Colorado, on the other hand, much of the state is vehemently pro-prescription pot and plan on protesting Barack Obama's anti-drug policies when he makes a campaign stop in the swing state.
Things get really weird, though, when we talk about Arizona.
Remember that the state's health officials planned on holding a lottery to dole out dispensary permits for prescription pot?
The contest did take place yesterday, awarding 97 licenses in a "four-hour, bingo-style drawing," according to the Arizona Republic.
However, Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne believes that the dispensaries break federal drug laws.
And Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery promised to prosecute any and all pot shops.
All of this, of course, comes after Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and Horne tried to put the kibosh on kush with a federal law suit last year.
However, the judge junked their lawsuit, and a lower-court judge also determined that the dispensary process must continue.
And so the U.S. cannabis circus continues -- nobody really knows WTF is up, and it's unclear whether that will be resolved anytime soon.


Medical Marijuana Crackdown: 10 More Colorado Pot Dispensaries Near Schools Ordered To Shut Down Or Move

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Mon, August, 6th 2012 by THCFinder
On Friday, U.S. Attorney John Walsh's office issued letters to the owners of 10 medical marijuana dispensaries in Colorado that are within 1,000 feet of schools notifying them that they have 45 days to shut down, move their business or face federal enforcement action.
According to 7News, the 10 shops that got the letters are in the Denver metro area and in southern Colorado.
This is the third wave of letters Walsh has sent out to Colorado dispensares deemed too close to schools. In January, the first round of letters were sent to 23 medical marijuana businesses and in March another 25 letters were sent out.
After an order to shutdown one marijuana shop was withdrawn when the shop pointed out that the school it was near was no longer in use, a total of 47 of Colorado's medical marijuana dispensaries have now been shuttered since the crackdown began in January in what has become the most aggressive law-enforcement action against the medical marijuana industry that the federal government has pursued in the state.
Walsh's office cites the Controlled Substances Act, title 21, section 860, a federal law which references the 1,000 foot boundary for manufacturing or distributing a controlled substance near a school or college, although nothing in Colorado's medical marijuana law specifies the distance between a shop and a school, the decision, like most such zoning matters, is left to local communities.
"I can see no legitimate basis in this judicial district to focus the resources of the United States government on the medical marijuana dispensaries that are otherwise compliant with Colorado law or local regulation," Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett told Walsh in a recent letter. "The people of Boulder County do not need Washington, D.C., or the federal government dictating how far dispensaries should be from schools, or other fine points of local land use law.”



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