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OfflineTwiztidsage
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Los Angeles County D.A. Prepares to Crack Down on Pot Outlets...[CA]
    #11212238 - 10/09/09 01:55 AM (8 years, 1 month ago)

October 9th, 2009 - The Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley said Thursday he will prosecute medical marijuana dispensaries for over-the-counter sales, targeting a practice that has become commonplace under an initiative approved by California voters more than a decade ago.

"The vast, vast, vast majority, about 100%, of dispensaries in Los Angeles County and the city are operating illegally, they are dealing marijuana illegally, according to our theory," he said. "The time is right to deal with this problem."

Cooley and Los Angeles City Atty. Carmen Trutanich recently concluded that state law bars sales of medical marijuana, an opinion that could spark a renewed effort by law enforcement across the state to rein in the use of marijuana. It comes as polls show a majority of state voters back legalization of marijuana, and supporters are working to place the issue on the ballot next year.

The district attorney's office is investigating about a dozen dispensaries, following police raids, and is considering filing felony charges against one that straddles the Los Angeles-Culver City line.

"We have our strategy and we think we are on good legal ground," Cooley said.

Medical marijuana advocates say the prosecutors are misinterpreting the law.

"I'm confident that they are not right," said Joe Elford, chief counsel for Americans for Safe Access. "If they are right, it would mean that thousands of seriously ill Californians for whom the Compassionate Use Act was intended to help would not be able to get the medicine that they need."

Law enforcement officials have been frustrated by the explosion in the number of dispensaries in Southern California, arguing that most are for-profit enterprises that violate the 1996 voter initiative legalizing medical marijuana and the 2003 state law permitting collective cultivation. Cooley's announcement, coming at a news conference that followed a training session he and Trutanich conducted for narcotics officers, dramatically raises the stakes.

In the city of Los Angeles, some estimates put the number of dispensaries as high as 800. The city allowed 186 to remain open under its 2007 moratorium, but hundreds of others opened in violation of the ban while the city did nothing to shut them down.

In August, Cooley and Sheriff Lee Baca sent a letter to all mayors and police chiefs in the county, saying that they believed over-the-counter sales were illegal and encouraging cities to adopt permanent bans on dispensaries.

Mark Kleiman, a professor of public policy at UCLA and an expert on drug policy, was not surprised that local prosecutors had decided to attack the rapid proliferation of marijuana stores.

"I think it's a natural response to the rather flagrant marketing practices of a bunch of the dispensaries. The medical veneer has been wearing thinner and thinner," he said. "I've always wondered why those things were legal when they didn't look legal to me."

Cooley said he believes that under state law, collectives must raise their own marijuana and can only recoup their costs. "That's absolutely legal," he said. "We're going to respect that."

But he said none of them currently do that.

The district attorney's warning could make the situation more chaotic in Los Angeles, where the City Council has struggled for two years to devise an ordinance to control the distribution of medical marijuana.

In addition to prosecuting dispensaries, Cooley said he would consider going after doctors who write medical marijuana recommendations for healthy people. Medical marijuana critics argue that some doctors freely recommend the drug to people who are not ill.

Medical marijuana advocates celebrated a brief thaw in the enforcement climate after the Obama administration signaled earlier this year that it would not prosecute collectives that followed state law. That spurred many entrepreneurs to open dispensaries in Los Angeles. As stores popped up near schools and parks, neighborhood activists reacted with outrage and police took notice.

Councilman Dennis Zine, a key player on the issue at L.A. City Hall, welcomed Cooley's decision to prosecute dispensaries. "There are many that are operating illegally and it's not a secret," he said, adding that he believes "a few" collectives in the city are operating legally.

Anticipating that police departments will ramp up raids on dispensaries, medical marijuana advocates reacted with dismay to Cooley's announcement.

"What we'll see is a big disruption," said Don Duncan, the California director for Americans for Safe Access. He called Cooley's decision "incredible" and said, "It certainly sounds scary."


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Invisibleminerva
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Re: Los Angeles County D.A. Prepares to Crack Down on Pot Outlets...[CA] [Re: Twiztidsage]
    #11213326 - 10/09/09 06:41 AM (8 years, 1 month ago)

hmm i seem to remember obama promising to stop the medical marijuana dispensary raids...

guess we can add that to the ever growing list of campaign promises he's already broken


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InvisiblesuiM
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Re: Los Angeles County D.A. Prepares to Crack Down on Pot Outlets...[CA] [Re: minerva]
    #11213378 - 10/09/09 07:25 AM (8 years, 1 month ago)

this isnt obama this is a state run police enforcing potentially, illegally operating dispensarys. this has nothing to do with the feds.


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OfflineSeussA
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Re: Los Angeles County D.A. Prepares to Crack Down on Pot Outlets...[CA] [Re: minerva]
    #11213379 - 10/09/09 07:25 AM (8 years, 1 month ago)

> hmm i seem to remember obama promising to stop the medical marijuana dispensary raids...

It is sad that so many people actually believed his BS.  Even worse are those that continue to make excuses for their loser, er Savior.

> they are dealing marijuana illegally, according to our theory

I don't care about his "theory", I care about the law that was passed by the People.  It amazes me how the vast majority of voters feel that cannabis should be legal, yet a small minority are able to keep the prison state operating contrary to the will of the People.


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InvisiblesuiM
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Re: Los Angeles County D.A. Prepares to Crack Down on Pot Outlets...[CA] [Re: Seuss]
    #11213382 - 10/09/09 07:27 AM (8 years, 1 month ago)

well if the majority of clubs are operating for profit thats illegal, and again its the LA DA, not the federal gov.


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Invisibleminerva
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Re: Los Angeles County D.A. Prepares to Crack Down on Pot Outlets...[CA] [Re: sui]
    #11213482 - 10/09/09 08:28 AM (8 years, 1 month ago)

i understand the difference between the state and feds, and if these dispensaries are actually breaking laws then i could see why they would be investigated. i just hope that's the case. because obama specifically said that dispensaries wouldn't be targeted anymore. and i know that has already happened to dispensaries that were acting within the guidelines.

the state of california has every right to investigate these guys, and if they are found to be breaking laws, they should be penalized because they're giving the whole movement a bad reputation.

i just hope this isn't more of the same bullshit that's been going on.

the second line of the article stated:

Quote:

"The vast, vast, vast majority, about 100%, of dispensaries in Los Angeles County and the city are operating illegally, they are dealing marijuana illegally, according to our theory," he said.




i have a hard time believing that close to 100% of the dispensaries are acting illegally. presumably meaning that they're selling to people who don't have an MJ license. some of them may be that stupid, but nearly 100%?? this guy doesn't sound like he has any solid evidence when we uses phrases such as "according to our theory"...

your 'theory'? sounds like they're trying to find loopholes or any little thing they can do to fuck these guys over. one of their favorite tactics has been to bust a club, confiscate EVERYTHING - computers, records, pot... and then never return it because it's "evidence" for their investigation which they know will never turn up a damn thing.

all in hopes of financially hurting the club and forcing them to shut down, or at least go through some hard fuckin times.

i don't buy this shit.



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OfflineRamlaen
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Re: Los Angeles County D.A. Prepares to Crack Down on Pot Outlets...[CA] [Re: minerva]
    #11213586 - 10/09/09 09:08 AM (8 years, 1 month ago)

You can't turn a profit, thats what's illegal about the dispensary's, not that they are selling to non medical users.  The IRS could probably jail them all for a very long time


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Invisibleminerva
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Re: Los Angeles County D.A. Prepares to Crack Down on Pot Outlets...[CA] [Re: Ramlaen]
    #11213716 - 10/09/09 09:52 AM (8 years, 1 month ago)

i see...
that makes a whole lot more sense now...
thanks for the clarification.
i should have picked up on that already


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OfflinePhychotron
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Re: Los Angeles County D.A. Prepares to Crack Down on Pot Outlets...[CA] [Re: Twiztidsage]
    #11230468 - 10/12/09 01:26 AM (8 years, 1 month ago)

a news special was on the other day about marijuana in general,  medical marijuana and these places. They said that it cost about $400 to grow a lb of marijuana. If that's true, then the prices for the pot they were selling is extremely over inflated. They showed a 1.5g bag for $45. Now that's reaming it to no end.

if they can only recover operating cost, then shouldn't they have to be a non-profit organization?  Sure, pay your employee's a decent salary of $25/hr (cause it is the medical industry.)

the one guy who owned a few dispensaries in the area said he paid about $300,000/yr in state taxes, and about $600,000/yr in federal taxes. That equates to a huge profit.

So the state will go in, ruffle some feathers, and drive the price down. This is a fairly new market, and a lot of dishonest people will try anything to make it rich. They just need a simple reminder to keep it real.

If they really wanted to control it they would need to have a tiered price cap to allow all sizes of dispensaries to operate. Or have a set price and tax according to size/volume of the dispensary.

Another problem may arise when it comes to doctoring the books. They would have to give everyone a card to swipe that recorded the amount you purchased and from where. Then the real totals would come in, because they could send in secret shoppers to see if the card's are always being swiped or not.


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They tried the truth, It didn't work. Then they wrote the bible. 

Only the foolish fear the inevitable.


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Invisibleminerva
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Re: Los Angeles County D.A. Prepares to Crack Down on Pot Outlets...[CA] [Re: Phychotron]
    #11230781 - 10/12/09 02:21 AM (8 years, 1 month ago)

they're definitely raping on some of those prices, but some strains do cost a lot more to grow than others. which is one reason why some strains are a rare treat, and some you will never see. if the weed is being grown in bulk for selling purposes then the farmer usually sticks with the heavy producing strains.

some strains are extremely rare, produce hardly anything, and are harder to grow, but the weed is phenomenal. like some of the sativas. farmers grow these strains for personal smoking mostly. but they do sometimes get to the market, and that's why some strains cost so much  in the shops.

but most of the prices are just rape.


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OfflinePhychotron
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Re: Los Angeles County D.A. Prepares to Crack Down on Pot Outlets...[CA] [Re: minerva]
    #11250041 - 10/15/09 01:41 AM (8 years, 1 month ago)

those sound like opportunity cost of growing the low yield strains.  Can it be considered a cost, if anything they grow is profit?


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On a mission to prove that the truth gets you no where.
They tried the truth, It didn't work. Then they wrote the bible. 

Only the foolish fear the inevitable.


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