Dispensary Is Focus Of Federal Government

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  Dispensary Is Focus Of Federal Government

Posted by CN Staff on October 29, 2011 at 17:02:32 PT
By Zusha Elinson 
Source: New York Times  

Oakland, CA -- Richard Lee, the leader of the marijuana legalization movement in California, does not appear to be intimidated by the federal government’s crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries. Mr. Lee closed his Oakland dispensary, Coffeeshop Blue Sky, this week after the Department of Justice threatened his landlord with criminal prosecution. He then reopened it three doors down, with enormous posters of marijuana buds in the windows.
On Thursday morning, an employee was handing out fliers to customers at the new locale that read: “Thank you for your support. Together we will survive the attack. Long Live Oaksterdam.” Oaksterdam, where the dispensary is located, is an area near downtown Oakland that was created largely by Mr. Lee, a soft-spoken libertarian and longtime activist in the marijuana reform movement. It features Oaksterdam University, a school he founded that offers classes in marijuana cultivation and business; a cannabis museum; and other marijuana-related businesses. Last year, Mr. Lee bankrolled Proposition 19, a failed measure that would have legalized marijuana in California. In a letter sent earlier this month, Melinda Haag, United States attorney for the Northern District of California, ordered Mr. Lee’s landlord to evict the dispensary or face criminal prosecution or forfeiture of the property, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter. Ms. Haag declined to comment on Mr. Lee’s case. The move was part of a crackdown by the state’s four United States attorneys on what they described as widespread criminal activity in the rapidly growing $1 billion medical marijuana industry. The effort has heightened the tension between California, which legalized medical marijuana in 1996, and the federal government, which forbids the drug. In the Bay Area, Ms. Haag has ordered the closings of several dispensaries near schools and parks where children play. Mr. Lee’s dispensary, one of four licensed by the City of Oakland, is around the block from the Envision Academy of Arts & Technology, a charter high school. Ms. Haag said she had received numerous letters from people concerned about the proliferation of marijuana dispensaries in their communities, particularly near schools. “I hope these people who believe that marijuana dispensaries should operate unfettered can step back and understand that not everyone shares their position,” Ms. Haag said. Mr. Lee’s supporters say they believe that Mr. Lee is drawing attention because he is a pioneer and a leader of the movement to legalize marijuana. “By sending a threat to Richard it seems like they’re trying to send a message to the movement,” said Tom Angell, who was a spokesman for the Proposition 19 campaign. “But I really don’t know what the message is besides ‘Be afraid; we know who you are.’ ” Mr. Lee declined to comment on the letter and did not return calls about the new club, but a manager there said the move had been planned before the crackdown. Earlier in the week, Mr. Lee said he was not afraid of being a target. “If they do decide to prosecute me criminally,” he said, “my defense is that juries cannot be punished for their verdicts.” A version of this article appeared in print on October 30, 2011, on page AX of the National edition with the headline: Dispensary Is Focus Of Federal GovernmentSource: New York Times (NY)Author: Zusha ElinsonPublished: October 29, 2011Copyright: 2011 The New York Times CompanyContact: letters nytimes.comWebsite:  Medical Marijuana Archives

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Comment #5 posted by John Tyler on October 30, 2011 at 20:21:28 PT
OT Bill Maher
Bill Maher defends the use of psychedelics on his show on Friday night incase you missed it.
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Comment #4 posted by Oleg the tumor on October 30, 2011 at 17:20:02 PT:
What the Doctors Need to Communicate to the Feds:
If you are a physician and are tired of being lectured by the police on topics you know they could not defend in a typical peer review session, consider communicating the following to your peers elsewhere and to Washington:1: That the cure to cannabis abuse (prohibition) is worse than malady itself.(Millions of voters have already come to this conclusion and the California Medical Association is to be given credit for making it public.)2: That the only thing about marijuana that the feds can affect now is its price. Availability is no longer an issue, if it ever was.3: That you cannot study and make findings on what you cannot get. (Unobtainable funding is a separate issue)
Everyone wants answers but no one trusts the Feds myopic view except the people who think "Reefer Madness" was an award-winning documentary.4: That patient histories will look more like police reports – full of gaps and undisclosed facts because of fear. Getting a straight answer out of a patient East of the Rockies under the present federal policy is like pulling teeth. Stepping between the doctor-patient relationship like this is not in the Constitution. Only the physicians can object, because the feds don't listen to people they are trying to arrest. But you guys are next.5: That the cannabis issue is within a few short years of being decided at the ballot box as result of federal intransigence. Only "Primacy of Number" will drive this issue to its logical conclusion. The present policy is a doomed and wasteful one. Scrap it now. 6: That the position of Surgeon General has been reduced to that of a defective rubber stamp serving the tobacco interests, whose product is a proven killer, and is labeled as such.
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Comment #3 posted by museman on October 30, 2011 at 10:41:35 PT
cannabis and the class war
By now most people who have been involved in the activism of seeking liberty, and expecting the 1% and their pocket-puppets; the politicians, lawyers, cops, and other 'law' employees to recognize the common sense and logic of their issues and grievances, have realized that the people who rule, and run things, do not care a rats ass for anyone but themselves, and their gluttonous lifestyles. Those well-meaning, and uber-justified young people attempting the near impossible (getting acknowledgement beyond token compromises from the government) with the OWS movement are just getting to see the police state we really live in.I really hope that this movement can survive all of what the 'compassionate' government will be throwing at them from now on, without breaking into major violence and destruction, but it just seems inevitable.These cops and lawyers, and politicians are so far elevated into their own falsified, make-believe reality, they really think they can just bully everyone around like they and their kind have been doing for thousands of years. They are deeply programmed, and probably have no free will left in their small-minded actions and words.The treatment that the people are receiving from their 'elected representatives' is so far from the hopes and reasons that the people elected them, the lies and obfuscations are not being swallowed quite as quickly and easily as in the recent past.This is a war. It was declared on the people by a minority faction of a class that has ruled planet earth since history began (they wrote it). We have been duped, used, abused, ridden, enslaved, and that's just for being born. For stepping up to truth and reality, we have been martyred, maimed, imprisoned, and made to live lives of suffering and naught.Great labors of subterfuge and elaborate misdirection have been initiated over the centuries to keep the masses ignorant and pliable. Religions were hijacked from the original spiritual peoples (after killing the originals first, so there would be no possibility of rebuttal or rebuke), every peoples movement has been infiltrated and sabotaged, or taken over by the agents of the elite. They are everywhere, these agents, because, since the world has been indoctrinated to believe in the value of money over the value of life itself, and all the wonderful human creations (that were also hijacked and put into the control and pockets of the same illicit group of rulers - to be sold back, and distributed for profit, as if it were they who were the authors and creators of the crafts, arts, and artifacts.) it is easy to 'buy' a mans actions and words. We have managed greatness, in spite of being oppressed slaves in a class-controlled environment. And make no mistake, the greatness of humanity does not reside in rich mens houses, except as 'art collection.'Cannabis is a lever that opens up consciousness and awareness, It is a FREE medicine that heals more than any other known to men (who are not trying to fool us into buying their various poisonous, toxic concoctions shoved at us through the pharmaceutical extension of corporate control - you know, the 'experts',) and it is the single most useful plant for just about everything that is now produced wastefully, and with great damage to our environment and collective health. -by the elite rich who rule in every country.When the ignorance of western european (Roman) culture met the experience of old, perfectly functioning cultures, whose wisdom of the earth and it's gifts surpassed the superstitious, fearful 'science' of the church, instead of evidencing intelligence and awareness, the ignoids just went in and slaughtered the people who knew, so they wouldn't 'infect' the slaves (who did the killing for them) with knowledge that could make them think.When the recently 'freed slaves' (lol) -the black people started to rise in popularity and resource through their music, in the 20's and 30's cannabis was outlawed to stop that process, because the 'reefer' was beginning to show the people that 'the man behind the curtain' was no jolly Kansas charlatan, but a class of vain, and evil men. But it wasn't enough, so they orchestrated the first 'depression' to re-establish their power as the ruling class. Seem familiar to you? Ring any bells?Now many words, and much time will be wasted (if we allow it) on debating the nuances of 'working with the law' so that people who are looking on will still have great opportunity for confusion, but ultimately the people will just stop listening because the 'cat is out of the bag' and it's not going back in, unless they totally show their true colors and just start killing lots of people. The fact that they cannot single out any "leaders" in the current OWS movement is no doubt causing sleeplessness in some less stable houses of those-who-kiss-the-rich-asses.Americans have been brought up to believe in such concepts as "All men are created equal...endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights."Too bad for the rich, ruling class, but there many of us who still believe that is a truth, not a concept that can be arbitrarily manipulated into false controls of 'laws and ordinances.'The constitution guarantees us rights, but the "law" is there to limit those rights, and stop liberty from ever taking place.Liberty is manifesting right now in the OWS. And the reaction of the powers-that-be is a telling tale.The fact that an attempt has been made to separate the cannabis issue from other people's issues is a classic 'divide and conquer' technique used by Roman tacticians since the Legions came into being. If anyone thinks that cannabis freedom is not linked to peoples freedom, I doubt their motivation and sincerity -particularly if they interrupt the flow of information with contrary, shallow arguments designed to undermine the solidarity of true people's movements. And if they argue for compromise with the the ruling class, their loyalty to the cause cannot in any cognizance be trusted.The separation between us and the 1% is not of our making, not really even a choice that we have made -unless you count all, the professional politicians who have been picked for us by the elite, and all the 'laws' we have had to vote on that were not initiated by corporate non-affiliates.It may be seen as an 'affront,' but to me, 'blowing smoke in the face' of any servant of the Status Quo is benign compared to what they have done, will do, and would like to do to us.Wake up and join the awakening, or join the dying juggernaught of the old world values as it dives over the final, inevitable cliff to destruction.We are the 99%LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #2 posted by disvet13 on October 30, 2011 at 05:50:10 PT:
complete legalization
vote for complete legalization. until then, all the lawyers and politicians will just keep on playing adversarial process bureaucracy and following their own agenda's. then they will collect your tax dollar paychecks...over and over and over and over......................
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Comment #1 posted by Paul Pot on October 29, 2011 at 22:04:29 PT:
Depriving the Yes campaign of funds.
“I hope these people who believe that marijuana dispensaries should operate unfettered can step back and understand that not everyone shares their position,” Ms. Haag said.Ms old Haag needs to understand that nobody has the right to push others around just because they do not share the same position. There has to be some genuine wrong done. A loss of some kind, liberty, health or property loss. Who ever is complaining is doing so merely because of personal affront, they are upset that people in the community are refusing to bow to their will. The real problem is trampled ego's. The presence of the dispensaries doing so much business proves that marijuana is harmless because there is no associated epidemic of drug abuse fall out that you would expect if the prohibitionists' stories of doom were right. No hordes of schizophrenic zombies, no bodies choking the gutters, hospitals, morgues and rehab centres. It's just life as usual. The honest presence of pot has made little difference to the community apart from the relief of not having to be on your guard all the time for the cops.But worse, there is a political agenda, to restrict the cash flow of dispensaries and tie up their time to make it difficult for them to contribute to the yes vote on the legalize marijuana ballot for the Nov 12 election. Dirty undemocratic tactics.These actions make it clear that this semi-legalization of medical marijuana is not enough to protect citizens rights from the bureaucratic monster. Full legalization is the only answer and that is what is coming next year. The authorities are actually helping to force the issue out into the open with these obnoxious tactics.
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