Federal Government Intimidates Landlords to Destroy Medical Marijuana Industry

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Fri, June, 15th 2012 by THCFinder
If you have followed the progress of the federal medical marijuana crackdown began in earnest last
fall, you know that while there have been armed raids of some dispensaries, the majority of closures
have come from federal intimidation of landlords. The owner of a building housing a medical marijuana
operation will invariably receive a letter from the U.S. Justice Department, telling them of all the awful
consequences they face if they do not shut the business down.
Facing the possible loss of their property under federal asset forfeiture laws, many landlords have
capitulated and closed the dispensary down.
"Filing asset-forfeiture lawsuits against these commercial properties is a very clever way to handle an
otherwise horribly difficult and controversial situation," said Greg Baldwin, a partner at the Miami law
firm Holland & Knight and a former federal prosecutor.
"If you bring criminal charges against these medical marijuana businesses, the federal government gets
pilloried in the press for attacking California law and sick people," Baldwin continued.
How clever of the government to attack sick people while trying to seem like they are not. But is their
subterfuge working? Recent polls show nearly 75% of respondents saying they oppose the federal
medical marijuana crackdown. It’s a very simple thing for people to see; decimating the suppliers of
medicine hurts those who need the medicine.
If the government was cracking down on Walgreens and CVS, the AARP would be up in arms and federal
policy would be quickly amended. Oftentimes it helps to have a rich and powerful lobby behind you.
"It's being done softly,” said Allen St. Pierre, Executive Director of NORML, “because if they tried to go
the harsh criminal route there is a very good chance they would not only fail but become even more
unpopular, something you tend to not want to do going into your last election."
But it’s already unpopular. We just have to make sure those in power know just how unpopular it is.


Tempers Flare in Kent, WA over MMJ Dispensary Ban

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Thu, June, 7th 2012 by THCFinder

The city council in Kent, Washington voted Tuesday night by a vote of 4 to 3 to ban medical marijuana dispensaries in the city. The vote angered many medical cannabis supporters, like Michael Ranetta, who has Multiple Sclerosis. "Please don't take away the medical marijuana. We need it, it's safe and we don't want to die on pain pill narcotics."


In fact, more than 150 medical marijuana supporters packed the city council chamber to decry the decision. One man said, "All these dispensaries have helped many of us stay out of jail, because we have a place to go." But it was to no avail.


The Cannabis Action Coalition served Kent’s mayor with a lawsuit, saying the city council’s action were illegal. "State law is very clear on what they can and cannot do, and they voted to violate that law and we'll take them into state court and we'll stop them," said the coalition's Steve Sarich.


Medical cannabis opponents try to build an aura of stigma around medical marijuana dispensaries like they are businesses of ill repute. Undoubtedly some are, but so are some bars and corner stores. Businesses should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, not banned outright. If a pharmacist at a local pharmacy is caught selling pills on the side, are all the pharmacies in the city shut down?


While medical marijuana activists battle for rights for patients, they must also be aware of how opponents try to turn public opinion against full and safe access. Marijuana still suffers from what, in current terms, could be called “bad PR.” Decades of propaganda is hard to overcome and we must strive every day to fight the lies and half-truths of those who profit from prohibition.


Our momentum is undeniable, but it only exists through hard work.




Surge in Crime at Denver Medical Marijuana Dispensaries?

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Wed, June, 6th 2012 by THCFinder

New statistics from the Denver, Colorado police department show a 69% increase in crime at medical marijuana dispensaries in the city since last year, with a 75% increase in burglaries.


Reports say that there are about 400 medical marijuana dispensaries in Denver now, but the police statistics don’t say how many dispensaries there were last year. In other words, if the number of dispensaries is up by 69% as well, then crime isn’t up at all. If the increase in dispensaries is less than 69% then crime went up, and so forth.


As with any business with a valuable product, medical marijuana dispensaries are targets for thieves. And these places, which include banks and all manner of stores with valuables and cash on hand, become bigger targets as the economy fails to rebound.


Other factors are involved as well, like location and how much of a police presence there is in the area.


One incident in particular has people “worried” and that’s a murder of a medical marijuana caregiver that occurred last month. Richard Nack was shot in killed in his home on May 26th in an apparent robbery. Friends say not many people knew he grew medical marijuana, and it’s a stretch to blame medical cannabis for his death.


Anyone with something valuable at their home is a target of robbery and violence if someone else finds out they have it. This is just as true of someone with a rare coin collection or someone who doesn’t trust banks and keeps a safe at home. Was Richard Nack wrong for helping people? Or was he an innocent victim?


Some want to use the “medical marijuana attracts crime” argument as an excuse to restrict access for patients. Under their logic all banks, liquor stores and 7-11’s should be moved to vacant industrial areas.




Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Don't Boost Local Crime

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Wed, June, 6th 2012 by THCFinder
WEDNESDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- Neighborhoods with medical marijuana dispensaries do not have higher crime rates than other neighborhoods, according to researchers who examined 95 different areas of Sacramento, Calif., in 2009.
As more U.S. states have legalized the use of marijuana for medical reasons, some people have expressed concern that outlets that dispense the drug and their clients will become targets for crime.
But that's not the case, according to the study in the July issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.
[Read: Americans Support Ending Federal Crackdown on Medical Marijuana.]
The researchers found no evidence that neighborhoods with a higher density of medical marijuana dispensaries had higher rates of violent crime or property crime than other neighborhoods.
The study authors added, however, that further research is needed because they looked at neighborhoods at only one point in time. A neighborhood's crime patterns could change over time as more medical marijuana dispensaries open.
"This study is a good first step," study leader Nancy Kepple, of the University of California, Los Angeles, said in a journal news release. "But it was not designed to address the bigger picture of how these dispensaries might be affecting neighborhoods."
She also noted that the findings are based on one city, and research in other cities may yield different results. Currently, 17 states and Washington, D.C., permit medical marijuana use.
"The more research that's done, the more complete a picture we'll have," Kepple said.


Rhode Island MMJ Dispensaries Could Be Open By Fall

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Mon, May, 21st 2012 by THCFinder

This weekend the Rhode Island House of Representatives passed a revised medical marijuana bill in an attempt to have three compassion centers open by the fall. They have been working on the new rules feverishly for quite a while now (


After a delay of a few years, patients in Rhode Island may soon have a place to purchase their medicine. Medical marijuana was legalized in the state in 2006.


Under the new bill each of the three dispensaries would be able to keep up to 1,500 ounces – or a little less than 100 pounds – on hand at any one time. There are about 4,400 legal patients in the state.


The bill now goes to Governor Lincoln Chafee, who has said he’ll sign it. Some may remember that Chafee is the one who halted the dispensary program last year after threats from the federal government.

The new bill also provides oversight of the dispensaries by law enforcement, including a seat on the board of each center.


Time will tell whether these new rules for dispensaries will keep the federal government – which already has shown no regard for state regulations of medical marijuana, no matter how strict - from stepping in and imposing its will on the state.


Rhode Island may be the smallest state in the U.S. but patients in every state deserve full access to their choice of medicine. And until all medical cannabis users have full, legal access to their meds, no MMJ patient is truly free.


The time has long passed when medical marijuana patients should have stopped being treated like second-class citizens.  Alcoholics can by liquor most hours of the day, but medical marijuana patients shouldn’t be allowed to purchase their choice of a non-toxic herbal medicine?


Someday every state will have medical marijuana and these days will just be something kids read about. But we were there. We saw how medical cannabis patients were treated.





L.A. Council battles over future of pot shops

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Thu, May, 17th 2012 by THCFinder
A proposal for a "gentle" ban on medical marijuana clinics brought out some hardball politics at the Los Angeles City Council Wednesday.
The proposal would close dispensaries but allow patients to grow their own marijuana or share it through collectives. But a final decision was postponed after the ban was sent back to the council's Planning and Land Use Management Committee for further study.
A clearly angry Councilman Jose Huizar, who has been trying to ban dispensaries, complained the council was "playing games" to avoid a decision on his controversial proposal.
"Two weeks ago, in closed session, we had a very level-headed discussion and a good decision on the direction our city attorney should take," Huizar said.
"Now, they jumped hoops and waved out this new proposal that is an aggressive attempt to undo the direction we were going in."
The new proposal from Councilman Paul Koretz would allow some dispensaries to continue to operate if they agreed to a set of city regulations.
"They might call it a gentle ban, but I call it a vicious, heartless ban," Koretz said of Huizar's proposal.
"A lot of the people who need this drug the most wouldn't know (how) or be able to grow it themselves. For them, it is critical they have a place to go to get the medical marijuana."
Koretz said he believes the city should allow about 100 pot clinics to continue to operate as long as they abide by city regulations on location, hours of operation, security and other factors.
"I have far too many of these in my district and they are a nuisance," Koretz said. "But we need to regulate these, not shut them down."



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