Feds Say They're Not Really Pot Cops

Feds Say They're Not Really Pot Cops
Posted by CN Staff on June 09, 2005 at 16:28:47 PT
By Jane Meredith Adams, Newsday Correspondent
Source: Newsday 
San Francisco -- Tucked into brown paper bags, baked into chocolate brownies and mixed into a solution of herbs and alcohol, marijuana streamed out the door of the Green Cross medical marijuana dispensary here yesterday, one day after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right of the federal government to crack down on the sale and use of medical marijuana.At this stylish Noe Valley neighborhood dispensary, where disco music throbbed while customers browsed, Green Cross president Kevin Reed said he was not at all worried that his operation would be shut down.
"It will have no effect whatsoever," Reed, 31, said of the Supreme Court ruling.In 1996, California voters legalized the use of medical marijuana with a doctor's permission. That law remains on the books, although the Supreme Court ruling allows the federal government to come into states that have such laws and prosecute patients and their suppliers.Federal law enforcement officials in San Francisco said yesterday that they don't intend to ramp up prosecution."We investigate large traffickers," said Javier Pena, special agent in charge at the San Francisco office of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. "We're not after the users, the sick people, the dying people. However, marijuana is still against the federal narcotics laws."San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris said, "We're not going to use our resources to prosecute patients."Standing guard at the door at Green Cross was volunteer staff member Anthony Boss, 26, a former chef who said marijuana helped ease the pain of his rheumatoid arthritis. He opened and closed the door while customers flowed in and out of the store making transactions that Green Cross requires last less than five minutes. Customers - as many as 200 a day - are not allowed to smoke or use marijuana on the premises."Marijuana allows me to reduce the number of pills I take," Boss said. "I'm taking enough nasty drugs as it is."Reed, who said he uses marijuana to treat his anxiety and back pain, said he remained confident the operation will continue because medical marijuana enjoys wide public support. He cited a 2004 public opinion poll by the AARP that found 72 percent of adults 45 years and older nationally supported the use of medical marijuana if it was based on a physician's recommendation.While local and federal law enforcement agencies here have typically turned a blind eye to the dispensaries, cities, including nearby Oakland, have begun to issue regulations to limit the amount of marijuana a dispensary or individual patients can grow.In addition, Oakland last year reduced the number of dispensaries from 19 to four, in part to make it more difficult for medical marijuana to end up being resold on the street."We know it's very easy to get a prescription," said Ignacio De La Fuente, president of the Oakland City Council. He said according to police, some drug dealers have obtained marijuana from medical dispensaries."Of course we're concerned," he said. "That's the reason we're regulating them."The Medical Case To Light UpSeveral states have allowed medicinal use of marijuana, and New York state lawmakers have been considering a bill.Tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient, has been shown to be useful for treating some medical conditions, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Some possibilities:Cancer: Used to treat nausea resulting from chemotherapyAIDS: Used to stimulate appetite in patients with wasting.Pain management: Being researched for its potential to alleviate certain types of painMultiple Sclerosis: Research on its ability to relieve spasticity.Risks: Concern remains over side effects, including data showing it can increase the risk of a heart attack and raise blood pressure. Source: Newsday (NY)Author:  Jane Meredith Adams, Newsday CorrespondentPublished: June 9, 2005Copyright: 2005 Newsday Inc.Contact: letters newsday.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Angel Raich v. Ashcroft News Fight Far From Over Congress Have The Guts To Tackle MMJ? Let Congress Legalize It 
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on June 10, 2005 at 14:07:20 PT
News in Brief from The San Francisco Bay Area
June 10, 2005SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Two city supervisors are calling on the city attorney to crack down on as many as six new medical marijuana clubs that have opened here since officials imposed a moratorium on such dispensaries two months ago.Supervisors Sean Elsbernd and Gerardo Sandoval introduced a resolution directing City Attorney Dennis Herrera to close the clubs. With at least 43 cannabis clubs and co-ops, San Francisco already has more by far than any other city in California."I do have some concerns that people are flouting the law, making a mockery of it," Elsbernd said. "I appreciate it's a complex issue. But disagreement is not an excuse for inaction."City officials have been concerned about the proliferation and lack of regulation of the marijuana clubs. Supervisors established a six-month ban on new clubs while they and Mayor Gavin Newsom craft a set of proposed rules.Asked about the violations of the moratorium, Newsom said, "It's wrong, it's illegal, it's inappropriate, and we're going to stop it. The intent is to close down anybody that's broken the intent of the board and the law."Existing clubs also have been told to obtain business permits, but few have done so, said Dean Macris, the city's interim planning director."It's been difficult just getting access to the clubs," he said.
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Comment #3 posted by fjrio3 on June 10, 2005 at 01:05:00 PT
Big traffickers my ass!
Just large traffickers, huh? Kinda like the Patriot Act will only be used to protect us from terrorists? (1st use of the Patriot Act in 10th circuit was a marijuana smuggling case, with under 250,000 allegedly laundered...) When I was in CA one dude got 4 years for 55 plants on federal land. AND before leaving office Asscroft sent letters to every US attorney telling them to disregard the Clinton era policy of not going federal unless there were at least 100 plants. So this situation will only get worse. Feds are really snakes. Javier Pena is full of shit!
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Comment #2 posted by runderwo on June 09, 2005 at 22:59:33 PT
"Bowdin applied a tincture liniment to an ailing left arm. Bowdin said he pulled his ulna nerve while playing the drums recently. The liniment, made with Everclear alcohol and marijuana, works, he said."It's medicine. It's an herb and it works," Bowdin said."How exactly does skin absorption of cannabinoids even work? The only thing I can think of is that the cannabinoids dissolve in the alcohol and are carried with it as it enters the bloodstream (since I believe alcohol is absorbed through the skin). I wonder if the effects could be experimentally isolated from the alcohol though - maybe it's just the alcohol making him feel good...
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Comment #1 posted by jose melendez on June 09, 2005 at 21:36:02 PT
All the world's a page
Myth: If It's Medicine, It's Safe,,2-2005260702,00.html Many arthritis sufferers switched to using anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen when the drug Vioxx was withdrawn last year on safety grounds. But a report in the British Medical Journal questions the safety of certain drugs. Nottingham University researchers found after studying more than 9,000 heart-attack victims that, for those patients taking ibuprofen-style drugs in the three months before their attack, the risk was greater than for those who had not taken the drugs for three years. But the researchers said people should not stop taking the drugs. Fact: If It's Cannabis, It's Safe and Efficacious, Unsmoked. Bowdin applied a tincture liniment to an ailing left arm. Bowdin said he pulled his ulna nerve while playing the drums recently. The liniment, made with Everclear alcohol and marijuana, works, he said."It's medicine. It's an herb and it works," Bowdin said.
"And the public needs to make itself heard."
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