Hell-Bent on Shutting Med Marijuana Dispensaries

Hell-Bent on Shutting Med Marijuana Dispensaries
Posted by CN Staff on February 15, 2008 at 05:46:15 PT
By Betty T. Yee and Carole Migden
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco, CA -- This will be a make-or-break year for medical marijuana dispensaries - if they can survive the tactics employed by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which recently added busting dispensaries' landlords to its repertoire of raids and fear. As urged by Senate Joint Resolution 20 by state Sen. Carole Migden, D-San Francisco, the federal government needs to back off and respect state compassionate use laws that authorize a network of responsible, law abiding and tax-paying medical marijuana providers.
In 1996, California voters passed Proposition 215 to exempt patients and caregivers from criminal penalties when they possess or cultivate marijuana for medical use as recommended by a physician. On the heels of voters approving the initiative, the Legislature enacted a regulatory framework that authorizes local governments to work with dispensaries so medical cannabis could be provided to seriously and terminally ill patients. Eleven other states have similar laws following California's model.Since 2005, the DEA has raided dozens of medical marijuana dispensaries and collectives, with 28 of these raids occurring since June 2007 in 11 counties in California. Los Angeles County saw a record of four raids in a single day last year. Although the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the DEA's authority to conduct these raids in Gonzales vs. Raich, it left state medical marijuana laws intact. Angel Raich of Oakland had sued the federal government in 2002 to prevent it from interfering with her right to use medical cannabis for an inoperable brain tumor, seizures, life-threatening wasting syndrome and severe chronic pain.The DEA believes these dispensaries are illegal drug dealers facilitating recreational drug use. However, most of the dispensary operators who have contacted the State Board of Equalization for information about how to obtain seller's permits for collecting and remitting sales taxes are not fugitives, but responsible persons willing to abide by the laws to conduct their businesses. Snipped:Complete Article: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)Author: Betty T. Yee and Carole MigdenPublished: Friday, February 15, 2008Copyright: 2008 Hearst Communications Inc.Contact: letters sfchronicle.comWebsite: Medical Marijuna Archives
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Comment #5 posted by rchandar on February 17, 2008 at 19:54:02 PT:
Legal Precedent
I'm not sure what to make of the war on MMJ, mostly because the law hasn't changed. Peron's landmark campaign resulted in the amendment in California in 1996--twelve years ago.The Dutch cannabists had a much more fruitful time of it. They started "coffee shops" around 1972; it was an unlegalized form of civil disobedience. Four years later, the Dutch Parliament amended their "Opium Act," and the system as we know it (basically) was instituted.So we've been fighting this negotiation of MMJ for twelve years--and every year more states put the measure on their ballot. There are some states where the idea hasn't even been proposed--unfortunately, all of these states are in the South. Which brings us to an inevitable inequity--some states will be allowed to provide for their sick, and others wont.I'm not saying that MMJ can't be misused, but the Cali politicians have struggled to keep it reasonable, and that's good. As for the MMJ issue, I'd say it's high time. There is no better medicine for a wide range of illnesses, and certainly for people who are crippled or have chronic pain.The DEA always struck me as a bunch of Nazis--greedy for power and infused with a positive blood-lust for marijuana growers and users. Look at their website sometime, how pretentious and stupid their attitude is. It reads at the beginning, "Don't mess with the men in blue."What a crock. They should be thrown out altogether.rchandar 
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on February 16, 2008 at 20:00:55 PT
It's nice to see you. That's what I am counting on.
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Comment #3 posted by user123 on February 16, 2008 at 12:07:00 PT:
Hurry Up
Better hurry up with your plans, DEA. Come 1/20/09 there might be some changes.
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Comment #2 posted by mykeyb420 on February 15, 2008 at 12:23:03 PT
quote of the day
"Of course the people don't want war. But after all,
it's the leaders of the country who determine the
policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the
people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist
dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist
dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can
always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That
is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are
being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack
of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater
danger."-- Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials
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Comment #1 posted by potpal on February 15, 2008 at 07:16:00 PT
Next year...
We pray it'll be a different ballgame. Bast*rds. They're all camped out in CA chasing a helpful herb while big pharm poisons the world. It is apparent who they work for, it's certainly not for the benefit of the people who dole out the taxes to pay for this kind of harrassment.The fed has its head...Cannabis Prohibition is the crime and the DEA are the criminals.
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