Some Medi-Pot Dispensaries May Be Illegal

Some Medi-Pot Dispensaries May Be Illegal
Posted by CN Staff on August 25, 2008 at 18:51:58 PT
Breaking News
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel
CA -- California Attorney General Jerry Brown said Monday that for-profit medical marijuana dispensaries in the state are likely operating illegally, opening the way for local police to join federal authorities in shutting down such enterprises. There are an estimated 300 so-called "storefront" dispensaries operating throughout California in various business guises and little agreement on how many are operating as for-profits.
In nonbinding guidelines released Monday, Brown said formal cooperatives registered under the state's Food and Agricultural Code or organized as less formal "collectives" are legal under California law. Brown said that anyone running a for-profit storefront dispensary not operating as either a registered cooperative or collective may be arrested and prosecuted by local authorities. "For example, dispensaries that merely require patients to complete a form summarily designating the business owner as their primary caregiver and then offering marijuana in exchange for cash 'donations' are likely unlawful," Brown concluded. Brown also suggested that all patients receiving doctors' recommendations to use marijuana obtain identity cards that each county is required to issue. The guidelines aimed to clarify the state's medical marijuana laws, which have caused varied and confused responses from local law enforcement but has led to an aggressive federal crackdown on the dispensaries. Federal law makes marijuana illegal in all circumstances. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2005 that the state law doesn't shield California users, sellers and growers from federal prosecution. Northern California's chief federal prosecutor, U.S. Attorney Joseph Russoniello, said federal officials are targeting "commercial traffickers" rather than "caregivers." Russoniello said he believes 90 percent of the dispensaries are for-profit businesses that run afoul of Brown's guidelines. Russoniello also said that he believes the state system that hands out identity cards to patients whose doctors recommend medical marijuana is rife with "an enormous amount of scam and fraud." On Friday, agents with the California Bureau of Narcotics raided a dispensary in Los Angeles' Northridge neighborhood called Today's Healthcare and seized 1.1 million plants valued at $6.6 million. Two men were also arrested with three pounds of marijuana and $9,000 in cash. The attorney general advised local law enforcement officials that each legitimate dispensary can grow six mature or 12 immature plants per qualified patient, each of whom need a doctor's recommendation to smoke marijuana to ease health ills. Each dispensary can also have a half-pound of dried marijuana for each qualified patient. "We think the vast majority of dispensaries in California will be in compliance," said Joe Elford, the top lawyer for the marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access. Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel (CA)Published: August 25, 2008Copyright: 2008 Santa Cruz SentinelContact: editorial santa-cruz.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on August 26, 2008 at 18:45:16 PT
They have always been so outrageous, it's hard to know if it's a typo or they're up to more exaggeration for effect.The effect being "More money" and "Bigger budgets".
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Comment #4 posted by ripit on August 26, 2008 at 09:37:58 PT:
that figures out to $6. a plant? how could anybody believe they had a million plants? and if its not a typo it seems they made up another way to value them again? i feel that stupid ppl should be slapped in public ya know just like back in the day when they used to put ppl in stocks in the town square. something like that!then maybe theyed get the point!i don't know it just seems anymore we need to do something drastic like that !
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on August 26, 2008 at 05:50:49 PT
"Seized 1.1 million plants" at one dispensary
Any body up for "swallowing a camel" today?Who did we pay and how much to count those plants?I call "Liar". Most people will "Swallow that camel" whole and never even realize it, though.It makes me wonder if the agents aren't saying among themselves, "Let's see how big a camel they (the public) will swallow."
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on August 25, 2008 at 20:18:39 PT
News Article From The Olympian
Debate Continues on How Much Medical Marijuana is Needed August 25, 2008
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on August 25, 2008 at 19:09:46 PT
Bla, bla, bla, bla, another 12 years of bull ....
This cat and mouse game is caused by conflict between US Federal and State law by politicians and for politicians. We the people, are just fodder in their game which continues ... probably forever, because you cannot understand if your paycheck depends on this and so we are locked in a very low consciousness. Way to go USA!In the Netherlands, we do not have this game but we have REAL freedom.
On a mission from God!
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