Medical Marijuana Catch-22 for S.F.

Medical Marijuana Catch-22 for S.F.
Posted by CN Staff on April 25, 2005 at 07:12:32 PT
By Wyatt Buchanan, Chronicle Staff Writer 
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
S.F. Calif. -- Federal drug agents who want to crack down on marijuana use in San Francisco, medical or otherwise, say the city’s plan to regulate the drug may give law enforcement what it needs to do its job: a paper trail. Documents such as business permits, licenses and financial records do not exist at many of the 43 known pot clubs in San Francisco. But new city regulations — including some proposed last week by Mayor Gavin Newsom — could force clubs to begin keeping such records.
“Yes, we can subpoena documents,” said Lawrence Mendosa, assistant special agent in charge for the San Francisco Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Those documents would assist federal agents in mapping the infrastructure of the marijuana distribution system in the city, he said. While many pot club operators and medical marijuana users in San Francisco agree the city needs regulations, the record-keeping issue most certainly will be raised today when a Board of Supervisors committee meets for the first time to explore marijuana regulations. Newsom, who describes himself as a strong proponent of medical marijuana, says the threat of DEA action because of city regulation is “a legitimate question that should be explored.” The DEA’s mission is to stop the sale, use, possession and cultivation of illegal substances Northern California — and marijuana is second on its priority list, after methamphetamine. “Our responsibility is to enforce federal law and to bring justice those who violate the law,’’ Mendosa said. “Whether it’s legal in the state really doesn’t affect what we do.” The DEA has raided clubs and crops across the state but so far has not conducted a wide-scale assault on clubs in San Francisco, which has more dispensaries than any other city in the nation, according to marijuana activists. Drug policy experts say it’s clear why pot clubs refuse to keep financial records. “If you file a state return reporting tax payments to undertake a federally prohibited activity, activity, you’re basically providing evidence to the federal government,” said Peter Reuter, a professor at the University of Maryland and co-author of the book “Drug War Heresies.” Reuter said San Francisco will be entering what he calls the “netherworld” of creating rules for an illegal substance. He said the Netherlands, where marijuana use officially is prohibited, is also in that realm and it creates constant problems. Snipped:Complete Article: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)Author: Wyatt Buchanan, Chronicle Staff Writer Published: Monday, April 25, 2005- Page A - 1Copyright: 2005 San Francisco Chronicle Contact: letters sfchronicle.comWebsite: Related Articles & Web Site:Medicinal Cannabis Research Links High Time To Regulate Newsom Offers Plan To Regulate Pot Clubs Declares Moratorium on Marijuana Clubs
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on April 27, 2005 at 11:48:13 PT
Hello, You are new here and you might not realize how many people read CNews. I know you are only upset but if they can take a comment as a threat it can bring reproach on this site and you. 
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Comment #10 posted by indijo142 on April 27, 2005 at 11:39:43 PT
Feds should respect State laws
The DEA is one of the most unAmerican agencies in the USA. They violate free American citizens rights on a daily basis and have no respect for the U.S. Constitution. There is nothing moral or ethical about their actions; they are fascist vultures preying upon Americans with some holier-than-thou right-wing religious rationale. I recently met one of these jokers, after he paid a visit to my private mailbox store. He really thought he was something special, talking to the counter girl there about how they manage to stop drugs in the private mail system, acting like he was some kind of great American hero for violating people's rights. What a major f___kin a-hole this guy was. I'm certain he was just trying to impress the girl. He got my seeds. I could have killed him for it. F___kin vulture! 
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on April 25, 2005 at 17:30:28 PT
News Brief from
Mayor Gavin Newsom's Recommendations For Pot Club Regulation April 25, 2005Here are Mayor Gavin Newsom's Recommendations For Pot Club Regulation:* Forbidding the clubs to operate within 1,000 feet of places where young people congregate, such as playgrounds, parks, schools or youth centers, or within 500 feet of another dispensary. * Prohibiting the drinking of alcohol on the premises. * Making club records available to city inspectors to verify they are meeting state requirements to operate as a not-for-profit cooperative or collective. * Ensuring that only primary caregivers and authorized patients are buying the marijuana.
 * Requiring owners to get Planning Department approval and to notify neighbors of their intent to open a club. * Restricting advertising of the clubs to medical and public health communities, such as hospitals and clinics. * Requiring that the clubs adhere to good-neighbor policies to prevent such nuisances as loitering, excessive noise and illegal parking around the facilities. Source: Mayor's Press OfficeCopyright 2005 by KTVU.com
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on April 25, 2005 at 12:35:19 PT
ASA: Fresno Sued by Medical Pot Advocacy Group 
Americans for Safe Access News Advisory Media Contact: Hilary McQuie: (510) 333-8554Monday, April 25, 2005 
Fresno Sued by Medical Pot Advocacy GroupAdvocates Say Fresno Defied State Law in Banning Cannabis Clubs
Fresno, CA - A medical marijuana advocacy organization today filed a lawsuit against the city of Fresno for enacting a ban on medical cannabis dispensaries. The lead plaintiff, William McPike, is suing Fresno with Americans for Safe Access (ASA), a medical marijuana organization concerned with what they contend are the illegal permanent bans passed by Fresno and 3 other California municipalities.
 "The permanent ban on dispensing, enacted by Fresno and a handful of other cities in California, is an unlawful barrier to medical marijuana," said ASA Legal Campaign Director Kris Hermes. "Without the means of growing it themselves or finding a caregiver to do it for them, dispensing collectives maybe a patient's only legal option for obtaining medical marijuana." 
William McPike applied for a business license for the "Tower Health Clinic and Dispensary", and went to the city repeatedly to satisfy their informational requests. When he thought he was close to being denied or approved, the city council passed the ban without informing him of the hearing, or the decision, until a couple of days after the fact. 
 The basis of the lawsuit is that Fresno is in violation of SB 420, which the California legislature passed into law in 2003 in order to clarify the Compassionate Use Act (CUA), noting that uncertainties in the act have prevented qualified patients and primary caregivers from obtaining the protections afforded by the act. According to the ASA lawsuit, cities and counties are compelled by SB 420 to implement ways in which qualified patients and designated primary caregivers can obtain the full protections afforded by the act. To see the complaint, go to: 
Currently, there are thirteen cities or counties that have enacted local ordinances recognizing and regulating medical cannabis dispensing collectives. Thirty-four other localities have temporary moratoria while they write ordinances. See attachment or Americans for Safe Access says they have not ruled out litigation against the cities of Rocklin, Yuba City, and San Rafael, which have also passed permanent bans.
 The US Supreme Court will rule this spring on Ashcroft v. Raich to determine the extent to which the federal government has authority to interfere in the intrastate conduct of medical marijuana patients. However, even if the Ninth Circuit's decision in Raich v. Ashcroft is overturned, the decision will not alter the California state law allowing for collective and cooperative dispensaries. 
# # # #Americans for Safe Access
Defending Patients' Access to Medical Marijuana!
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on April 25, 2005 at 10:38:56 PT
Portion of Article from Salem News
Take the First Step: Does Marijuana Affect Driving Ability? By Dr. Michael Levy Monday, April 25, 2005 Q: There's a lot of information online about the effects of alcohol and driving, but not much about marijuana. Is there a certain amount of marijuana that can be smoked where it would have virtually no measurable effect on one's ability to drive? Is there a certain amount of time that could elapse between smoking marijuana and getting behind the wheel where one would not be impaired? A: Research has shown that marijuana can have some effect on one's driving performance. More specifically, research has shown that people intoxicated with marijuana may show some sway when driving in a straight line. However, at the same time, research has shown that people high on marijuana are aware that their performance is affected and they are able to compensate for their difficulties. This is unlike individuals who are drunk and believe that their driving abilities are not affected. As a result, drunk drivers do not, and cannot, correct their judgment and impairment, and their state of intoxication greatly affects their driving, whereas those high on marijuana do show an ability to correct their impairment.Researchers who have conducted these studies have also reported that the driving impairment related to marijuana is subtle and may not generally be seen in most driving situations. However, in an emergency situation, which places a high demand on performance, it is possible that the use of marijuana could lead to poorer judgment. I also cannot say how long a person should wait after smoking marijuana before driving because any effects would depend upon how much is smoked and its potency. Research, however, has shown that even when varying the dose of marijuana taken, any driving impairment can last up to two hours.While I would never recommend driving under the influence of marijuana, the research that I have reviewed demonstrated that the driving impairment related to marijuana is less dangerous than if the person was drunk. However, it does cause some impairment, which could affect performance, particularly in an emergency situation.Complete Article:
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on April 25, 2005 at 10:04:03 PT
Medical Marijuana Advocacy Group Sues Fresno
Monday, April 25, 2005 Eric Nelson, News DirectorA medical Marijuana advocacy group has filed suit against the city of Fresno for enacting a ban on medical marijuana dispensaries.The group Americans For Safe Access contends that the bans enacted by Fresno and three other California cities are an unlawful barrier to medical marijuana.The suit claims that the city is in violation of the state's Compassionate Use Act, and that uncertainties in the act prevent qualified patients from gaining access to legal marijuana for medical purposes.The group says it will not rule out legal action against the cities of Rocklin, Yuba City and San Rafael for imposing similar bans. Copyright: 2005 Clarke Broadcasting Corporation
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on April 25, 2005 at 09:29:10 PT
Max Flowers 
Meth isn't a number one priority. Meth and the people that use and make it are scary and can be very dangerous. Cannabis is an herb and I remember on a documentary years ago that the cop said cannabis people are nice and don't cause any trouble when we raid them. Raiding people over cannabis is far less dangerous to the police.
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Comment #4 posted by Max Flowers on April 25, 2005 at 09:26:10 PT
I keep saying the feds have zero jurisdiction in the states, but it was just pointed out to me that they do have it in very limited circumstances, that is, only regarding certain crimes. Drug "crimes" are NOT among them. They have it regarding counterfeiting and a few other things, but that's all. I'll find the very short list, and post it.
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Comment #3 posted by Max Flowers on April 25, 2005 at 09:22:43 PT
DEA doesn't even have jurisdiction in N. Cal!!
- The DEA’s mission is to stop the sale, use, possession and cultivation of illegal substances Northern California — and marijuana is second on its priority list, after methamphetamine. -I don't believe this for a second. First of all, if meth were truly their #1 priority, IT would be what you see in their public efforts constantly, rather than cannabis which is what we see. Where is the barrage of anti-meth ads and public talks by shills like Barthwell, and all that? Where were all the anti-meth TV ads before the Super Bowl? Pushed out by anti-cannabis efforts, that's where. They LIE---cannabis is far and away their #1 priority, and meth from all appearances is the distant second.More importantly, the feds have ZERO criminal jurisdiction in Northern California and the other 49 states (don't believe me? look it up), so they should actually not be be making such unconstitutional statements and doing these unconstitutional things.Every time things like this get said in the news, we should be saying 10 times louder that DEA has no jurisdiction. Wake up folks, we're all arguing about the wrong thing. We need to get to the foundation of the whole problem, which is that they have NO JURISDICTION.
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Comment #2 posted by dongenero on April 25, 2005 at 08:17:02 PT
speaking of jail
I saw an article on one of the wires with a headline to the effect:
1 of every 138 American citizens is incarcerated.We know that a great number of those individuals are in prison for a victimless crime, a result of the war against cannabis.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on April 25, 2005 at 07:59:15 PT
I Wonder What Will Happen
Catch 22 is sure the truth. I get so upset when I get asked this question. Why don't people change the laws since they are wrong concerning Cannabis. I can only answer FEAR! Fear of being hassled by the government. How can we change laws when they want to put everyone in jail?
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