Search Results: federal crackdown (146)

The Med Men

The battle over the legality of operating a medical marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles continues to escalate this week, leaving shop owners, patients and law enforcement officials without a clear picture of how to operate on the right side of the law.
In recent weeks, federal officials have perpetuated the confusion surrounding the medical marijuana industry in Los Angeles, issuing warning letters demanding that select dispensaries shutdown. This comes on the heels of the withdrawal of a citywide ban on dispensaries, which was passed and didn’t even get a chance to go into effect before being rescinded.
“The bottom line is that the state of California provides for the existence of collectives and dispensaries,” said Adam Bierman of MedMen, an L.A.-based consulting group that specializes in industry-specific branding, marketing and legal and financial consulting. “And as all the politics play themselves out in the media, well-intentioned operators are inevitably distracted.”

Chris Roberts/S.F. Examiner
Catherine and Steve Smith founded HopeNet 14 years ago and have diligently gone by state and city laws

The ranks are thinning. Two more of San Francisco’s most well-known medical marijuana dispensaries closed their doors permanently on Tuesday, both due to the federal government’s crackdown in states which have legalized the medicinal use of cannabis.

HopeNet and the Vapor Room both announced they would shut down due to threatening letters sent to their landlords by the federal government, reports Joe Rosato Jr., of
“The Justice Department sent out landlord one of those nasty letters,” HopeNet cofounder Catherine Smith said. “So this is our D-Day; we have to leave.”
HopeNet was founded 14 years ago by Smith and her husband on Ninth Street in San Francisco’s South of Market. The business has long been regarded as an excellent example of a working, legitimate medical marijuana dispensary which carefully abides by state and city laws. Smith worked alongside city officials, serving on the Medical Marijuana Task Force and helping craft S.F.’s groundbreaking city ordinance on medicinal cannabis.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi: “I have strong concerns about the recent actions by the federal government that threaten the safe access of medicinal marijuana”

U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Wednesday released a statement pushing back against the Obama Administration’s escalated interference with medical marijuana laws in California and other states, which is threatening safe access to medicinal cannabis for patients.

“Crucially, she pointed to the stark contrast between the administration’s current actions and its previous written policy that ‘did not pursue individuals whose actions complied with state laws,’ remarked media relations director Tom Angell of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP).
“Access to medicinal marijuana for individuals who are ill or enduing difficult and painful therapies is both a medical and a states’ rights issue,” Pelosi said. “Sixteen states, including our home state of California, and the District of Columbia have adopted medicinal marijuana laws — most by a vote of the people.

Village Voice Media

​A federal judge has rejected the request of medical marijuana providers to stop U.S. Attorneys from filing charges against them or seizing their property.

U.S. District Judge Sandra Brown Armstrong ruled in her Oakland courtroom that the medical marijuana collectives hadn’t shown they would suffer “immediate, irreparable harm” without the court order, reports Henry K. Lee of the San Francisco Chronicle.

“The court is sensitive to the desires of individuals to use medical marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation, as permitted by California law,” Armstrong wrote in her 27-page ruling, filed this week. “Nevertheless, marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and in Congress’ view, it has no medicinal value.”
The judge also said she doubted that the collectives would win lawsuits trying to stop the Obama Administration’s crackdown on dispensaries.
Marijuana distributors, patients and dispensary landlords filed lawsuits in all four of California’s federal districts in October, accusing the Department of Justice of violating an agreement to not go after them if they complied with state law.

MMJ Truth

It can be hard to find areas of agreement in politics — but the federal government’s assault on medical marijuana patients and providers has resulted in a lot of city and state officials finding common ground in California.
On Tuesday, on the steps of City Hall (Polk Street entrance) at 11:30 a.m., an overwhelming number of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors will be joined by representatives from the offices of the City Attorney, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, State Senator Mark Leno, and the Board of Equalization to show their support for medical cannabis patients by delivering a strong message to the Obama Administration regarding recent actions by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the State’s four U.S. Attorneys against local medical cannabis dispensaries.

Charles Wright indicted.jpg
Charles Wright was one of the five men federally indicted Wednesday in a federal crackdown on medical marijuana in Spokane, Washington

​A federal grand jury has indicted five medical marijuana dispensary owners in and near Spokane, Washington. On Wednesday, a laundry list of federal marijuana charges, including distributing and selling near an elementary school, were announced in the indictments.

Four of those indicted consist of two two-man owner teams from two separate Spokane dispensaries, while the fifth person indicted was allegedly cultivating more than 100 marijuana plants in Loon Lake, Washington.

William Breathes/TotT.

A bill that would ban the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration from prosecuting medical marijuana patients, caregivers and businesses which are otherwise following state laws is up for debate this week in Washington D.C.
Similar measures have failed in recent years, but bipartisan backers of the bill – including author Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican from California – say they’ve got the support this time around.

Thumbnail image for marijuana bottles @ostrowitzs.JPG
ostrowitzs / Flickr

Despite growing evidence that marijuana is more than just a buzz-drug, a federal appeals court rejected an attempt to reclassify pot as a medically recognized substance.
The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today voted 2-1 to agree with lower courts that “adequate and well-controlled studies” do not exist to support the legitimacy of medical marijuana.
As it stands then, marijuana will remain a federal outlaw drug with no recognized uses — worse than cocaine in the federal government’s eyes.
The ruling won’t help those states like California that have legalized medical pot, as federal authorities can still cite its schedule I status and crackdown.

Sam Hodgson/Voice of San Diego
San Diego Mayor Bob Filner: “Stop targeted enforcement against marijuana dispensaries in the City of San Diego immediately”

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner announced end to code enforcement attacks by the city, agreed to develop regulatory ordinance
Advocates applauded the recent actions of San Diego Mayor Bob Filner in trying to put an end to the years-long crackdown on access to medical marijuana in the city.
Two days after announcing at a local chapter meeting of Americans for Safe Access (ASA) — the country’s largest medical marijuana grassroots advocacy group — that he was going to direct city authorities to stop shutting down dispensaries, Mayor Filner delivered on that promise by sending letters yesterday to San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne and Neighborhood Code Compliance Director Kelly Broughton.

Dave Maass/San Diego CityBeat
San Diego Mayor Bob Filner has ended that city’s crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries with a stroke of his keyboard

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner has ordered an end to that city’s crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries.

The mayor’s order decrees an immediate stop to the city’s practice of filing code-enforcement violations against the collectives.

Acting on City Attorney Jan Goldsmith’s advice, the mayor sent a letter [PDF] to Kelly Broughton, director of San Diego’s Development Services Department, reports Dave Maass at San Diego CityBeat.
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