L.A. Warns Prospective New Pot Shops Not To Open In The City
The city of L.A.'s top attorney on Friday warned new pot shops not to open their doors despite a judge's recent order telling City Hall not to enforce much of its new medical marijuana dispensary law.
"The City's Medical Marijuana Ordinance remains in effect. Judge Mohr's ruling does not allow any new collectives to open their doors ... My Office is committed to public health and safety and will continue to protect patients from smuggled and contaminated medical marijuana, as well as enforce existing laws in order to prevent the proliferation of pot shops and the unlawful sale and distribution of marijuana to recreational users and others for profit."
Although the Court found the bulk of the ordinance to be constitutional and valid, Judge Mohr enjoined the City from implementing the following provisions: the "grandfather" provisions that allowed medical marijuana collectives operating before a certain date to have a preference in registering under the new ordinance; the imposition of criminal penalties for violations of the ordinance; certain patient information and record-keeping requirements; and the expiration date or "sunset clause" of the ordinance.
San Jose cannabis club holds smokeout
SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- The confusion over state, federal, and local laws concerning medical marijuana dispensaries is heating up in San Jose. That's where dozens of people openly lit up on Friday night, in a place city leaders insist is off limits.
They lit up and smoked out in San Jose for a fundraiser and unity party at a medical marijuana collective which is all in response to a series of raids on pot clubs in Santa Clara County.
"We're trying to protect every medical marijuana collective in Santa Clara County because they raided seven collectives yesterday," says Shelby Ferry, a Santa Clara resident.
Right now, no South Bay city allows medical marijuana dispensaries to legally operate.
Dave Hodges, from the San Jose Cannabis Buyers Collective, was asked if he thought what he was doing was legal and he responds, "It's 100 percent legal."
"A lot of people think things are legal that are not legal," says San Jose City Councilmember Pete Constant.
Currently, there are 99 pot clubs in San Jose and according to city leaders they are all illegal because the city doesn't have a zoning ordinance to allow for them.
"We need to provide more access to more patients and that basically means San Jose is completely open until they pass some sort of regulation," says Hodges.
On Monday San Jose's City Council will hold a special meeting to establish zoning regulations so pot clubs can legally open in the city, but until that happens, council member Constant says the smokeout is inappropriate.
ABC7 showed him photos of what was going on inside the MedEx Collective on Friday night.
"There's a lot of haze in this picture," says Constant. "What are the odds that everyone needs their medicine at the same time and is it really medicinal act or are these people simply using this as an excuse to smoke marijuana?"
Everyone inside the collective insists their needs are legitimate and they have the paperwork to prove it with their medical marijuana cards.
"I have bad back pains," says Ferry.
"I also have fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, and my bones are getting deformed," says Patricia Sanchez, a San Jose resident.
Judge Tosses L.A. Pot Dispensary Moratorium
A judge issued a ruling Friday banning Los Angeles from enforcing a moratorium on new medical marijuana dispensaries.
The city council approved the moratorium this year. But the ordinance said dispensaries must have registered no later than Nov. 13, 2007, to operate legally.
Superior Court Judge Anthony Mohr called the deadline "arbitrary and capricious" because the registration requirement had expired by November 2007, the Los Angeles Times reported.
"The justification for using that date as a bright line was compromised, if not confounded, by the fact that it was unnecessary to register," he wrote. "The requirement had ceased almost two months earlier, and no one could have anticipated that compliance with a dead statute would be necessary in order to continue as a collective three years later."
The council adopted the moratorium because dispensaries had been sprouting up, some with doctors on the premises prepared to write letters authorizing marijuana use to walk-in patients. Mohr acknowledged his decision is likely to mean the quick opening of many new stores.
State appellate panel finalizes pot ruling
A state appeals panel says an Orange County judge must hear a lawsuit challenging the city of Anaheim's ban on medical marijuana dispensaries.
City News Service says the Fourth District Court of Appeal finalized the ruling Monday, after the California Supreme Court refused to hear Anaheim's appeal of the decision it first handed down in August.
The justices ruled that Superior Court Judge David Chaffee wrongly dismissed the lawsuit brought by the Qualified Patients Association in 2007 based on the argument that federal marijuana laws trump state law.
They did not rule on whether state laws allowing medical marijuana pre-empt the Anaheim ordinance, and the city prevailed in its arguments that the ordinance does not violate civil rights.
Chaffee will now take up an amended version of the lawsuit.
Rally Against L.A. Countys Dispensary Ban on December 7th
Our friends at CA NORML are urging everyone to join a planned protest against the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors decision to ban medical cannabis dispensaries in unincorporated parts of the county - an area that covers some 1.5 million people.
The rally will take place on Tuesday, December 7th starting at 9 a.m. in front of the L.A. Board of Supervisors’ building at 500 W. Temple St. (between Hill and Grand). The event is being organized by Americans For Safe Access.
Make your voice heard and let the Board of Supervisors know they are making a mistake – one that will hurt countless patients.
Medical pot co-op drops plans
The operator of an already approved medical marijuana dispensary withdrew his business license application yesterday just before the Board of Supervisors was set to discuss reversing an earlier decision to grant it.
Bradley Ehikian, who was poised to operate the Peninsula’s first permitted dispensary, said San Mateo County’s commitment to providing legal medical marijuana does not match his own.
“The county simply does not have the will to allow any facility in the county,” Ehikian said.
In October, Ehikian was granted a business license for the Sans Souci Medical Collective in a 14,000-square-foot building at 2676 Bay Road in the unincorporated area near Redwood City’s Fair Oaks neighborhood. But Sheriff Greg Munks, District Attorney Jim Fox and 39 residents who were worried about the size and location appealed the license board decision to the Board of Supervisors.
After hours of waiting for other items — the 10 a.m. appeal wasn’t heard until close to 1 p.m. — Ehikian made the matter moot by ending an effort he said has taken 17 months and hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Ehikian wanted to honor the memory of his mother and grandmother with what he said would be a high-standard medical clinic with a research aspect. Although he and lawyer Ted Hannig said they believe the county’s position flies in the face of state law, he didn’t want to spend further time in vain.
“We do this because we are committed to the cause but we also know our commitment is not enough to overcome the lack of commitment on the part of law enforcement,” Ehikian said.
Munks, speaking after Ehikian’s withdrawal, said the Ehikian family’s intentions were honorable but was concerned future operators may not be as honorable.
Prior to Tuesday’s meeting, Munks and Fox argued that the large-scale scope of the operation made it unlikely to fit the definition of a legal collective.
Munks calculated the operation could dispense 11.4 tons annually based on a maximum of two ounces per day for up to 500 members.
While there are few hard and fast rules about the definition of a collective in a May 2009 county ordinance, it is widely assumed members will participate in the growing and harvesting in return for use. Sans Souci anticipated so many members it was unlikely all or even most would do anything other than collect and use its product, Munks and Fox argued.
Ehikian said he understood the county’s desire to limit “fly by night” dispensaries but insisted his plan was to offer a vital service to those with medical, not recreational, need.
Hannig also said the county would be better off with one large high-quality clinic rather than smaller facilities possibly run by less scrupulous operators.
Aside from the dispensary itself, Hannig told the board it should consider a systemic conflict of interest by having Munks weigh in on the license board vote, act as an appellant and ultimately as a law enforcement official charged with safety at the dispensary.
San Mateo County and its cities have a mixed approach to medical marijuana dispensaries. While some jurisdictions such as the county and the cities of San Mateo and San Carlos regulate them, others banned them outright.
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