Chief Wants Medical-Pot Moratorium

Chief Wants Medical-Pot Moratorium
Posted by CN Staff on January 17, 2007 at 06:46:53 PT
By Rachel Uranga, Staff Writer 
Source: Los Angeles Daily News
California -- With an explosion of medical marijuana storefronts in Los Angeles - 143 of them, more than half in the San Fernando Valley - and reports of Grant High School students being targeted for business, Police Chief William Bratton is backing a moratorium on pot-distribution centers. On Tuesday, Bratton and the Los Angeles Police Commission called for the City Council to impose a moratorium on all centers until they ban dispensaries within 1,000 feet of any school, day-care facility, church or other house of worship.
"It's mind-boggling that the state has allowed them to mushroom," Bratton said. "The state should be ashamed of itself for setting up a process so that this gateway drug is allowed to proliferate, and have it so poorly regulated." Under a 1996 state ballot measure, the clinics can distribute doctor-prescribed marijuana to relieve anything from anxiety to nausea to acute pain. But federal officials consider all marijuana illegal. Bratton said he supports medical marijuana but believes pharmacists - not storefront operators - should be the ones dispensing pot. "I am sorry, but the vast majority of these places are using it for recreational drugs, and that's my opinion," he said. With the number of dispensaries jumping from just five in July 2005 to 143 by the end of last year, police say the centers' tactics have become more brazen, including distributing fliers near high schools and colleges. At Grant High in Van Nuys, police found medical marijuana fliers on car windshields in August and said they appeared to be ads to get teens high. The message in the fliers, emblazoned with a marijuana leaf: "It is still legal to own, grow and smoke medical marijuana as long as you do it properly. Qualification is simple, and our experienced physicians are more than happy to help you." The Pacific Support Services ad offered "$15 off with flier." A call to the number on the flier went unanswered. The dispensaries also have attracted crime, with neighborhood complaints around the centers totaling 110 as of November, police said. Police also note an increase of robberies around the dispensaries. But medical marijuana advocates say any change in the city's law could harm patients in need of pain relief. "This is completely arbitrary and capricious. There is no rational reason," said Bruce Margolin, director of LANorml, a local marijuana legalization advocate group. "By forcing it back into the black market, you are going to be encouraging more underground use of marijuana." Last year, Councilman Dennis Zine called for a moratorium on new clinics after a rash of clinic openings spawned community complaints. And the police note that seizures of marijuana are up 140 percent. "It's alarming that it's increased, and there are so many of them," said Sarah Pullen, a spokeswoman for the Drug Enforcement Administration. "As far as we are concerned, they are regular drug dealers. They are violating federal law." An aide for Zine said the matter could come before the council early next month. But it won't come without protest. "This is not a big scam. This is not a way to get rich," said a man who said he is the owner of the Natural Relief Center, a Canoga Park marijuana center, but who declined to disclose any name but Michael. "There are a lot of things involved, working with cancer patients, patients who have seizures. They want to make us look like a bunch of partying hippies." Note: Dispensary proliferation, fliers near school alarm Police Commission.Source: Los Angeles Daily News (CA)Author: Rachel Uranga, Staff Writer Published: January 16, 2007Copyright: 2007 Los Angeles Newspaper Group Website: http://www.dailynews.comContact: rachel.uranga Related Article & Web Site:LA NORML Moratorium Sought on New Pot Clinics Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #5 posted by John Tyler on January 17, 2007 at 22:21:15 PT
one more thing
According to Wikipedia, L.A. is the largest city in Californis and the second largest city in the U.S. In 2005 it had a population of 3,844,829, and covers 498 square miles. 143 is pretty small by comparison.
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Comment #4 posted by John Tyler on January 17, 2007 at 22:08:22 PT
L.A. needs more outlets not less
Los Angles is a really big town. 143 medical cannabis outlets is really a pretty small number for such a big place. The market could probably sustain a lot more outlets. How many drug stores are in L.A., or gas stations, or convenience stores, or restaurants, or banks, or bars, or strip clubs, or churches even? I bet that there are more than 143 in each category. So does Chief Bratton have a real reason or just a bad attitude? Maybe he should just follow the law, not try to make it.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on January 17, 2007 at 08:49:40 PT
Bratton Evades Hot Seat at Golden Globe Awards
By Andrew Blankstein, Times Staff WriterJanuary 17, 2007 Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton plans to get tough on medical marijuana dispensaries.So perhaps it was a good thing that the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. changed his seating arrangements at Monday's 64th annual Golden Globe Awards.Bratton had been scheduled to sit with the cast of "Weeds," the Showtime comedy starring Mary-Louise Parker about a pot-selling suburban soccer mom.Several days before the big event at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, however, organizers noticed the potentially problematic pairing and quickly moved the chief and his wife, Rikki Klieman, an actress and legal analyst."There was a moment of silence when we realized it and then we burst out in laughter," said Theo Kingma, a photographer and member of the Hollywood association.Snipped:Complete Article:,1,3732435.story
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Comment #2 posted by doc james on January 17, 2007 at 08:04:00 PT
proliferation of med mj disp.
I wish....I lived in this state but unfortunately I don't and can't relocate at tthe moment, but, my take on it is that the more dispensaries ther is, makes for a more varied variety of medicine and it keeps the prices honest, one would assume. There are so many strains out there that are good for one ailment but not for another, all euphoric pleasure aside of course, as we aren't supposed to enjoy taking medicine. I dont like to wish anything bad on anyone, but the policeman should hurt his spine in a manner that causes extreme distress physical and societal in his life, then let him judge how others get their medicine, he'll sure be out there looking too. life sucks when you have a disabling injury, but I'll get by with a little help from my friends, all girls growing in the bedroom smiling at the sun.
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Comment #1 posted by mai_bong_city on January 17, 2007 at 07:56:11 PT
heavens? no.
how about we contract with walgreens pharmacies or something, then, and put them inside with all all the other drugs. would that satisfy them?? and what the heck is this about churches?? keep that evil weed their god made away from the worshipers driving home in their hummers, by all means. is it all just getting more ridiculous, or is it just me??
pardon me, i must go and partake in my medication now. hiding away, like the heathen they've made me.
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