With Law Hazy, Defiant LA Pot Clinics Open Again
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With Law Hazy, Defiant LA Pot Clinics Open Again
Posted by CN Staff on December 24, 2010 at 10:40:04 PT
By Greg Risling, The Associated Press
Source: Associated Press 
Los Angeles -- Months after Los Angeles got serious about running a majority of medical marijuana dispensaries out of town by passing strict regulations, the ubiquitous shops are cropping up again.A judge recently scratched key portions of the ordinance city officials spent years crafting, noting in his Dec. 10 ruling granting a preliminary injunction that a large number of shuttered collectives could reopen. Attorney David Welch, who represents clinics that sued the city when they were forced to close, said nearly 60 collectives have planned to open, and 10 have done so since the judge's decision.
"The injunction removes the fear my clients have of being prosecuted and arrested during litigation," Welch said. "My clients are reopening."Los Angeles has been lost in a legal haze on the medical marijuana front over the past year, partly because it was faced with closing more than 430 clinics during the summer and having proponents challenging city officials at every turn.Despite passing the ordinance in January, Los Angeles appears to be no closer to figuring out how to regulate the clinics. About 180 collectives applied to remain open, but only about 40 met all the ordinance's criteria, which included being located at least 1,000 feet from schools, parks and other gathering sites.City Attorney Carmen Trutanich recently said the judge's ruling doesn't mean dispensaries can start cropping up once again.His office will "enforce existing laws in order to prevent the proliferation of pot shops and the unlawful sale and distribution of marijuana to recreational users and others for profit," said Trutanich, whose office said the injunction wouldn't take effect until next month.Eric Matuschek, owner of Starbudz, is willing to take his chances. He closed his storefront in May after receiving a letter from the city ordering him to do so. But Matuschek, who is part of the lawsuit before Superior Court Judge Anthony Mohr, reopened about a month later and was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor.Undeterred, Matuschek opened again and has welcomed patients back over the past two months, although some of his clientele have gone elsewhere or have joined home delivery services that emerged in Los Angeles after dispensaries closed.He said the ordinance unfairly targets some clinics that operate legally under state law, and city officials should focus their efforts elsewhere."It obviously has to be controlled and regulated," he said. "Go after the illegal clubs. That would keep them extremely busy."Determining which clinics should be allowed to operate has been a major challenge for city officials. The shops that registered before a 2007 moratorium and meet the ordinance's requirements are sanctioned, authorities said.However, Mohr disagreed with the city's approach, saying the new local law was unconstitutional on several grounds. He said the ban on new dispensaries hadn't been extended properly and actually lapsed before the clinics' registration deadline in November 2007.Mohr also said the due process rights of operators of shuttered dispensaries were violated because they weren't provided a hearing to argue against the closure. The ordinance invades patients' privacy rights, he said, because police can access personal information without a warrant or subpoena.He suggested in his ruling that the City Council could amend the ordinance to possibly avoid further litigation.City Councilman Ed Reyes said the council will likely ask the city attorney's office in January to draft new ordinance language that addresses the judge's concerns."The legal shifting of the sands is difficult for us to draft a policy that has some consistency," Reyes said. "Our ordinance is trying to protect our communities while trying to provide medicine to those who need it most."Observers said Los Angeles has struggled where other California cities haven't based on its sheer size. Los Angeles is one of about 35 cities in California that opted to create laws setting local rules for pot clinics."Los Angeles has tried to take a more aggressive stance against collectives, but collectives have also done the same with the city," said Rory Little, a professor at the University of California Hastings College of Law. "I don't think the judge's ruling is a clear victory for anybody. It's one step in an ongoing cultural battle."Source: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Greg Risling, The Associated PressPublished: December 24, 2010Copyright: 2010 The Associated PressCannabisNews  Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on December 26, 2010 at 13:26:56 PT
Didn't Jimmy Fallon do a great job playing a young Neil Young? When I started the video the first time Stick said Neil Young? I said no but Fallon did a great job of imitating him.
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Comment #15 posted by runruff on December 26, 2010 at 11:45:57 PT
If Burce ever clears his throat....
...he'll be out of a job!
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on December 26, 2010 at 09:05:51 PT
You mentioned Springsteen and this skit was really funny on Jimmy Fallon.Whip My Hair - Neil Young & Bruce Springsteen
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Comment #13 posted by afterburner on December 26, 2010 at 08:22:25 PT
A New Spin on Christmas
Stevie Van Zandt, of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band and host of Little Steven's Underground Garage said recently, "Everyone celebrates Christmas, even if they're not Christians, because it's cool!" So, Merry Christmas everyone or enjoy whatever holiday is your favorite faith this holiday season. Enjoy family, friends and the increase of daily daylight.Peace and Happy New Year of cannabis law reform progress! 
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on December 26, 2010 at 06:06:28 PT
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you too.
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Comment #11 posted by Dankhank on December 25, 2010 at 17:04:32 PT
Merry Christmas ....
to all and a happy new year as we approach that which we have worked for these many years ... a better forum does not exist on the net.\Peace to all who work to bring sanity to this world ....
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Comment #10 posted by Storm Crow on December 25, 2010 at 10:07:46 PT
Happy Holidays to All!
Eat, drink and toke some Mari, for tomorrow we start working (again) to get cannabis legal for all! But in the meantime, have a whole bunch of fun!Today, I'll be at home with my family, but I'm going to drop in (if we don't have a blizzard) on a New Years Eve MMJ Party being thrown by several dispensaries down near Anderson! Normally, I wouldn't post about a commercial event, but a portion of the proceeds are going to two very good causes- the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization that assists U.S. Veterans wounded in military service, and also Operation Smile, an international medical charity that repairs cleft lips and palates and other facial deformities. Hope to meet you there! You can read more about the New Year's party here-
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Comment #9 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on December 25, 2010 at 09:32:57 PT
Merry Christmas, Cannabis News!!!
God bless us, everyone!
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on December 25, 2010 at 06:53:24 PT
Ho Ho Ho Everyone
I uploaded Wille's song since I couldn't find it online this year.
Wille Nelson's Christmas Song
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Comment #7 posted by BGreen on December 25, 2010 at 06:44:10 PT
Merry Christmas, Everybody!
I hope everybody has a happy and stress-free day.Bud
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Comment #6 posted by runruff on December 25, 2010 at 06:43:38 PT
That long haired, bearded hippie in the red suit?
He came by here last night. We left him a fattie and a pile of Russian Wedding Cookies. He smoked out, pigged out, left stuff here and boogied.Last we heard he was seen sailing across the sky blasting Willie Nelson's Christmas Ode to Marijuana song with Steve Colbert? I always knew he was a party guy.That's why we call him the Sanity Claus!
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on December 25, 2010 at 05:47:09 PT
Merry Christmas to you too. We had a lovely family gathering last night.
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Comment #4 posted by JHarshaw on December 25, 2010 at 05:31:22 PT
Dear CNewsers
May you all be blessed at this time of year. Merry Christmas and a great new year to us all, every one.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on December 24, 2010 at 19:30:22 PT
Merry Christmas Dongenero & Graehstone!
I wish you both the very same!
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Comment #2 posted by Graehstone on December 24, 2010 at 16:40:17 PT
Feliz Christmas, Merry Navidad ... 
... to one and all here at CNews! 
Thank you for being there!May your stash be never empty, your plants bug and disease free and all of your days be filled with Love, Health and Happiness and your nights with Passion.
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Comment #1 posted by dongenero on December 24, 2010 at 12:29:41 PT
Dear FoM and all at CNews
Merry Christmas everyone.May 2011 be a happy and healthy new year for all. May 2011 bring new freedoms.
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