5 Held in Raid on Pot Stores

5 Held in Raid on Pot Stores
Posted by CN Staff on July 25, 2007 at 22:00:49 PT
By Steve Hymon, Times Staff Writer
Source: Los Angeles Times 
Los Angeles, CA -- The gap between state and federal drug laws became apparent again Wednesday when federal agents raided 10 local medical marijuana facilities only minutes after the Los Angeles City Council placed a moratorium on new facilities so rules could be drafted to better regulate them.The ban is for one year, but the council can extend it for another year.
The city move was widely applauded by medical marijuana activists who believe that having a solid set of rules will help prevent future city crackdowns and ensure that dispensaries remain open.But state or local laws have no effect on federal activities.Although voters in California approved the use of medical marijuana in 1996 and said users should not be subject to criminal prosecution, it remains illegal under federal law to possess, sell or cultivate marijuana and neither the federal nor state courts have resolved the matter.Drug Enforcement Administration officers served a search warrant on facilities across Los Angeles County, including the California Patients Group in Hollywood, said DEA spokeswoman Sarah Pullen. The timing of the raid was not intended to coincide with the council vote, she said."These are ongoing enforcement operations. As far as we know, we've been planning this for some time," Pullen said.The Los Angeles Police Department was on hand to patrol the perimeter, as it often does as a courtesy to federal agencies.LAPD officers arrested five people demonstrating outside the California Patients Group dispensary, said Lt. Ruben De La Torre. Four of the arrests were for blocking a DEA vehicle and failing to comply with orders from a police officer to move. The other arrest was for vandalizing a police car.Don Duncan, operator of the Hollywood dispensary, was the first activist to testify at Wednesday's council meeting. He also is a board member of Americans for Safe Access, a pro-medical marijuana group."It's disgusting that sick people would be subjected to this right here in Los Angeles," Duncan said.Pullen said that although medical marijuana was legalized by state voters, the DEA has been enforcing federal laws. The agency has ramped up efforts recently because the number of dispensaries has grown to more than 400 in Los Angeles County and the surrounding area, she said.The DEA and other agencies earlier this month issued indictments against six men, alleging that they participated in selling marijuana at dispensaries throughout the state, including two such stores in West Hollywood.In response to a request from the council, the office of City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo reported earlier this year that at least 98 dispensaries are in Los Angeles, although some activists believe there are more.The report also found that 12 dispensaries were near schools or day-care centers.City Councilman Dennis Zine said the temporary ban was designed to protect patients' rights while drawing up rules to protect communities where dispensaries are located. He also suggested that the DEA raid on the Hollywood dispensary was intended as a statement."I think the DEA is doing it out of spite, which I think is sad," said Zine, who is a reserve LAPD officer.Several dozen medical marijuana activists attended the council meeting to support the temporary ban. No one spoke against it.Activist Sarah Armstrong said that she often has to travel from her home in Ventura County to Los Angeles to obtain medical marijuana to help relieve pain from arthritis she said was the result of a 1989 car crash.Cities and police agencies in Ventura County and others in Southern California have been far less tolerant of the dispensaries, which is why most in the region are in L.A. County."I don't want some medical marijuana facilities stigmatized," Armstrong said. "I want the kind of regulations that make distinct the difference between them and some guy selling pot in his living room."Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)Author: Steve Hymon, Times Staff WriterPublished: July 26, 2007 Copyright: 2007 Los Angeles TimesContact: letters latimes.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Americans For Safe Access DEA Targets Landlords in Pot Battle Medical Marijuana Outlets May Be Closed
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Comment #7 posted by whig on July 27, 2007 at 09:28:41 PT
Colbert is on our side.
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Comment #6 posted by ekim on July 27, 2007 at 07:57:58 PT
is Jessie reaming DEA official on you-tube
please Gov. Jessie Ventura and Gov. Garry Johnson start a boot camp for building strong spokespersons able to stand there ground against those like Colbert or any other defender of the unjust drug war.URL:
 Votes: 0
Pubdate: Wed, 25 Jul 2007
Source: Auburn Journal (CA)
Copyright: 2007 Gold Country Media
Author: Penne Usher, Journal Staff Writer
Bookmark: (Cannabis - California)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)COUPLE COULD FACE DECADES IN PRISON FOR POT CHARGES Foothills Doctor And Husband Say They Grow Legal Marijuana Two Cool residents could face up to 40 years in prison and millions in fines, if found guilty of manufacturing and selling large amounts of marijuana. But the Cool professionals, a doctor and a lawyer by trade, say they are unfairly targeted and that the pot they were growing, completely legal, was allowed under the California Compassionate Use Act. Dr. Marion "Molly" Fry and her attorney husband, Dale Schafer, were indicted by the U.S. Attorney's office in June 2005. Their case is headed to federal court Aug. 1 in Sacramento.
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Comment #5 posted by BGreen on July 26, 2007 at 23:34:16 PT
I'm worried about EJohnson
She has a hard enough time getting her medicine and now this.I hope she's OK. She doesn't need or deserve this kind of stress just because the medicine that works best for her doesn't come in the form of an expensive pill.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on July 26, 2007 at 20:17:41 PT
I am very concerned about these raids. I am afraid there will be many people serving some hard time over this. People will lose so much because they will want to gather as many spoils of war while they can I think. Violence really doesn't help. People get hurt.
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Comment #3 posted by Wayne on July 26, 2007 at 19:57:06 PT
Re: FoM
They better not push LA too far. We've seen all too often what that city is capable of once they're pushed too far.I see some sort of backlash coming from this soon. FoM, I know you've told me before that violence will get us nowhere. But I don't know how much more the people can take, with all of us repeatedly being ignored and violated and arrested and beaten and killed, at the hands of the police, the Congressmen and the judges. It makes me more and more angry every day. When the day comes that the folks on our side start dishing it back and the narcs and DEA scum start getting their heads broken, I admit I'll be the first to stand up and scream 'Hell yeah!' at the top of my lungs.You can only turn the other cheek so many times before they both start bleeding. I see it coming, and it will be ugly.
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Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on July 26, 2007 at 08:20:23 PT
Looks like the vote is in, defeated 262-165. So much for Democratic Congress changing anything. They didn't budge an inch.  Makes me pessimistic anything will change after 11/08.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on July 26, 2007 at 06:46:54 PT
A Question
Will they keep pushing against Los Angeles or will they move into other more liberal cities? They can only do so much damage until they are not in control. 
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