Browsing: Dispensaries

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Artwork: Jim Wheeler
Safe access to marijuana remains a distant dream to many patients — even in states which have legalized medical use

​One by one, the lights are winking out. In city after city, town after town, in states where medical marijuana is now legal, patients who had dared hope they would at last have safe access to the medicine recommended by their doctors are having those hopes dashed.
The problem? Political cowardice and the panicked reaction of the status quo.
Every week brings more news of freaked out city councils and county boards of supervisors who desperately want to appear to be “doing something” — anything — about the proliferation of marijuana dispensaries.
This phenomenon is so far mostly confined to California and to a lesser extent Colorado, but it’s unfortunately also starting to happen in Michigan, Montana and even Maine — where voters specifically approved dispensaries in November.
Rather than showing true leadership by showing genuine concern for patients and communities, too many local government officials are going for the easy, knee-jerk reaction. The level of disregard for the intentions of the voters — who clearly expressed their will by legalizing medical marijuana — is breathtaking.

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MediLeaf
The little dispensary that could: MediLeaf is still open, despite the efforts of the Gilroy, Calif., City Council

​​A Superior Court judge handed down a ruling Tuesday keeping Gilroy, California’s new medical marijuana dispensary open for now, prompting a city councilman to call for a refund from the city’s legal firm.

MediLeaf owners embraced and sighed with relief in San Jose when Judge Kevin Murphy denied the City of Gilroy’s legal request for an injunction to shut the dispensary down immediately until after a trial ended, reports Jonathan Partridge of the Gilroy Dispatch.
The dispensary could open remain for a year or longer as the case winds its way through the labyrinthine legal process.
If that sounds expensive for the city, yes, it is. Councilman Craig Gartman said this week the he’d heard litigation could cost the city at least $250,000, and maybe up to half a million dollars.

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Photo: stopthedrugwar.org
San Diegans protest Operation Green Rx, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis’ dispensary crackdown

​The San Diego City Council is considering adopting dispensary regulations that were developed recently by the city’s Medical Marijuana Task Force, with substantial public input.

The task force held public meetings, studied ordinances from other cities and counties around the state, and considered comments from San Diego residents over a period of five weeks before making the recommendations.
“The San Diego City Council is doing a difficult and brave thing,” said Margaret Dooley-Sammuli, deputy state director in Southern California for the Drug Policy Alliance Network. “It’s putting safe access for medical marijuana patients and the needs of San Diegans above the political opposition of the County Board of Supervisors and the District Attorney.”

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Despite a moratorium on the opening of any new dispensaries, beautiful Richmond, California still has safe access for medical marijuana patients — for now.

​East Bay city Richmond, Calif., will hold off on an outright ban of medical marijuana dispensaries, Katherine Tam reports in The Oakland Tribune.

City leaders in Richmond, an residential inner suburb of San Francisco, say they are still looking for a way to regulate dispensaries without exhausting police resources, “which should be focused on homicides and more serious violent crimes.”
Richmond officials plan to study other cities’ tactics as they weigh their options.
“See if there is a way to try to accomplish the goal of getting a convenient way for people to have access to medical marijuana in a way that doesn’t lead to constant drains of police resources,” said Councilman Jim Rogers.

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MediLeaf
The little dispensary that could: MediLeaf is still open in Gilroy, Calif.

​Gilroy, Calif., Councilman Perry Woodward has called for a “full refund” of legal fees from the city’s contracted law firm after learning that Gilroy’s assistant city attorney advised the neighboring City of Los Altos to take a “diametrically opposed” stance on banning marijuana dispensaries, reports Jonathan Partridge at the Gilroy Dispatch.

Woodward urged the council to demand restitution for all legal fees paid to hired attorney Linda Callon of San Jose-based law firm Berliner-Cohen in connection with regulating medical marijuana dispensaries. According to the Dispatch, the councilman has sent emails to fellow council members, city administrators and Callon herself.

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Photo: Laurie Avocado

​The Los Angeles City Council’s proposed restrictions on where medical marijuana dispensaries can locate in the city would eliminate most sites, according to maps drawn by city planners, John Hoeffel of the L.A. Times reports.

City Councilman Ed Reyes said Tuesday that the current proposal — a 1,000-foot buffer between dispensaries and residences or other “sensitive” areas, including schools and parks — “will go out the window right away” when the council returns to the issue today.

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CMMR

​Coloradans for Medical Marijuana Regulation (CMMR), a coalition of medical marijuana patients, providers and growers supporting responsible regulation of medical marijuana, today released proposed guidelines for regulating medical marijuana dispensaries.
According to CMMR, the guidelines would protect the businesses and their patients, as well as promote public safety.

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Photo Courtesy Eugene Davidovich
Marijuana hero Eugene Davidovich: In San Diego court today at 1:30 p.m.

​Medical marijuana patient, activist and provider Eugene Davidovich is scheduled to appear in court in San Diego today.

Davidovich is one of the victims of San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis’ war on cannabis patients and providers.
Eugene’s hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at 220 West Broadway, San Diego. If you’re in the San Diego area, in-person court support is much appreciated.
A military veteran with an honorable discharge, Davidovich started a legal marijuana collective in San Diego, carefully abiding by state law.
Eugene was arrested last February as part of Operation Green Rx (aka Operation Endless Summer). He told me that the chief investigative officer in his case testified on the stand that the officer based his expert testimony, as far as “medical marijuana training,” on a handout from something called the Narcotic Educational Foundation of America, “Drug Abuse Education Provider of the California Narcotic Officers’ Association.”
In this toxic little screed, with the title Use of Marijuana As A “Medicine” (the quotes are theirs), we learn right off the bat — in the first sentence! — that “Marijuana, a plant from the cannabis family, is illegal and highly psychoactive.” No mention of the fact that medical use of marijuana is legal, mind you — and this in materials used to educate law enforcement officers.

Seniors living at the Laguna Woods Village retirement community, also known as “Leisure World,” didn’t have a medical marijuana dispensary — so they formed their own patient-run collective, as reported by Ellen Leyva at KABC.

The city of Laguna Woods, with a majority of older residents, was one of the first in Orange County, Calif., to pass an ordinance allowing medical pot dispensaries. But nobody’s opened a shop yet, so these folks took matters into their own hands.

“A group of patients got together and decided we’d try to grow our own and make it available for our neighbors who also have doctor recommendations, but are too ill to grow,” said Lonnie Painter, a resident and member of the Laguna Woods for Medical Cannabis Collective.

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i.ehow.com

​Colorado should pay to defend medical marijuana growers and dispensaries in court if federal authorities arrest them in the future, a state senator said Sunday.

The provision was part of a plan unveiled yesterday by State Senator Chris Romer, reports Jessica Fender at The Denver Post.

Romer, a Denver Democrat, is proposing legislation to regulate the booming medical marijuana industry in Colorado. He wants to use a state database to track growers and their plants for health, safety, and law enforcement purposes, he told a crowd at a medical marijuana health fair.