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InvisibleveggieM

Registered: 07/26/04
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DEA Goes After Calif. Pot Clinics
    #6657189 - 03/11/07 12:47 AM (14 years, 2 months ago)

March 10, 2007 - 11alive.com
DEA Goes After Calif. Pot Clinics

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Federal agents trailed Sparky Rose as he drove a Porsche Carrera convertible to his medical marijuana clinic.

Under California law, clinics are supposed to dispense marijuana just to seriously ill people and clinic owners are to get only "reasonable compensation." But to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the sports car suggested that Rose might be pocketing big money from his purportedly nonprofit clinic, New Remedies Cooperative.

Rose was arrested in October and accused of illegal drug trafficking — charges he denies. According to court papers, an investigation turned up records showing $2.3 million was deposited in a New Remedies bank account over eight months starting in December 2005, and Rose wrote himself weekly checks of $9,600.

California was the first of 12 states to allow the sale of marijuana for medicinal purposes, mainly pain control, and is regarded as having the loosest regulations.

Oversight is lax and there are few specific guidelines for buyers and sellers of a drug still illegal under federal law.

Who can open a clinic, what constitutes reasonable compensation and who can grow and supply marijuana are all open to broad interpretation — factors that have helped fuel a surge in new clinics, to about 400 statewide. Los Angeles alone has about 100.

Oakland, Santa Rosa and even famously permissive West Hollywood are among cities that have imposed moratoriums on new clinics amid concerns owners and buyers are abusing the law. Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton has called for a similar moratorium in his city.

The DEA also has taken notice, embarking on a stepped-up effort targeting clinics run by people who appear to flout the reasonable compensation provision.

Federal officials raided 11 Los Angeles-area dispensaries in one day in January, the largest such crackdown. They returned to one of the clinics in West Hollywood this past Wednesday, breaking down a door and seizing additional records.

DEA spokeswoman Sarah Pullen said authorities chose clinics that were making big money, had become hot spots for crime or were part of large franchises. The raided clinics on average raked in $20,000 in profits each day, she said.

Many clinics were buying pot wholesale from street dealers and reselling it for twice the roughly $100-an-ounce black-market rate, Pullen said. "It's become something we can't ignore," she said.

That investigation is continuing and has yet to produce any arrests or charges. Some clinics have remained closed while others reopened.

West Hollywood City Councilman Jeff Prang said the federal government should leave it to local governments to monitor and regulate marijuana dispensaries that provide relief for those suffering from cancer, Parkinson's, AIDS and other debilitating diseases.

"It's a real sad day for the DEA if these type of facilities are that high on the list of priorities," he said.

Police, clinic owners, activists and legislators — even the author of the law — can't say for sure how much money clinic owners can legally earn.

"A profit is in the eye of the beholder," said Joseph David Elford, a lawyer for Americans for Safe Access, a medicinal marijuana advocacy group.

Elford said a hands-off government approach to the clinics should boost competition, keeping marijuana prices affordable for those who need it and forcing owners to limit profits. Pullen said that hasn't happened.

The author of the 2003 law, then-state Sen. John Vasconcellos, has no problem with clinic owners earning hefty salaries as long as they provide help for ill people. He said the federal government should mellow out.

"We're helping people who are sick and they have this fascist mentality against good health and pleasure," Vasconcellos said.

The bill's co-author, state Assemblyman Mark Leno, sees no need to clarify the law and says there is no serious effort by state politicians to further regulate the industry.

Rose attracted the DEA's interest after police raided a West Hollywood clinic he ran in 2005 and seized almost 700 pounds of pot, $242,000 in cash and evidence of nearly $2 million in bank deposits, plus pay sheets "reflecting enormous profits," according to court papers.

Rose, who is free on bail, did not return a call seeking comment. He defended himself on his Web site, http://www.freesparky.org/ — "My dispensary was a nonprofit and to paint me or my employees as profiteers is simply appalling."

He also wrote that the silver Porsche was leased and valued at less than $50,000.


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InvisibleLe_Canard
The Duk Abides


Registered: 05/17/03
Posts: 94,392
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Re: DEA Goes After Calif. Pot Clinics [Re: veggie]
    #6657195 - 03/11/07 12:50 AM (14 years, 2 months ago)

Sad. I hope abuse like this doesn't put an end to medical weed in the U.S..


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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: DEA Goes After Calif. Pot Clinics [Re: veggie]
    #6657755 - 03/11/07 10:01 AM (14 years, 2 months ago)

These people have pushed for medical marijuana to be made available to the sick so that they could personally benefit from it "not being as illegal". Of course, if its usage was entirely illegal, then this would not be happening.


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InvisibleSuperD
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Re: DEA Goes After Calif. Pot Clinics [Re: fireworks_god]
    #6657829 - 03/11/07 11:24 AM (14 years, 2 months ago)

<<"It's a real sad day for the DEA if these type of facilities are that high on the list of priorities," he said.>>

Quoted for truth.


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:super:D
Manoa said:
I need to stop spending all my money on plants and take up a cheaper hobby, like heroin. :lol:

Looking for Rauhocereus riosaniensis seeds or live specimen(s), :pm: me if you have any for trade


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InvisibleDihnekis
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Re: DEA Goes After Calif. Pot Clinics [Re: SuperD]
    #6658120 - 03/11/07 02:08 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

This medical marijuana crap is hurting us right now. We want it legal for everyone to smoke, because its fucking harmless. When they do this kind of shit where it is half legal but everyone is smoking it anyway, it hurts the cause. Get your act together california stoners, before you ruin it for all of us.

I think medical marijuana should get legalized asap, regardless of other legalization to help those in need... but dont use it as an excuse to get your weed if you aren't sick, lets be honest about it. I want weed to be legal so I can smoke it and get high.


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OfflineMadtowntripper
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Re: DEA Goes After Calif. Pot Clinics [Re: Dihnekis]
    #6658518 - 03/11/07 04:24 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

I'm 100% in favor of legaliztion, and I have no problem w/ medical providers...

But what the fuck is w/ the prices?

I can understand paying $50 for an 1/8th on the street, but when its being grown legally and sold from a shop, why charge that much?

I'm sorry, but if you were really "compassionate", you could sell it for half that much and make a profit. Electricity and fertilizer are not that expensive.


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After one comes, through contact with it's administrators, no longer to cherish greatly the law as a remedy in abuses, then the bottle becomes a sovereign means of direct action.  If you cannot throw it at least you can always drink out of it.  - Ernest Hemingway

If it is life that you feel you are missing I can tell you where to find it.  In the law courts, in business, in government.  There is nothing occurring in the streets. Nothing but a dumbshow composed of the helpless and the impotent.    -Cormac MacCarthy

He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.  - Aeschylus


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OfflineCryogenicz
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Re: DEA Goes After Calif. Pot Clinics [Re: Madtowntripper]
    #6658603 - 03/11/07 05:17 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

I dont smoke Marijuana, but I'd have to say: Let whom ever wants to smoke it, smoke it... the crap is better for you than alcohol.


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OfflineSeussA
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Re: DEA Goes After Calif. Pot Clinics [Re: Cryogenicz]
    #6659014 - 03/11/07 07:32 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

> the crap is better for you than alcohol.

I don't care if it is worse than battery acid... who am I to tell you, an adult, what you can, or cannot, put into your own body? Just because I was born in America, does not mean that the American Federal Government owns my flesh and bones, nor does it mean that the American Federal Government has a right to legislate my moral values.


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Offlinej3ckyl
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Re: DEA Goes After Calif. Pot Clinics [Re: Seuss]
    #6660706 - 03/12/07 09:00 AM (14 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Seuss said:
I don't care if it is worse than battery acid... who am I to tell you, an adult, what you can, or cannot, put into your own body? Just because I was born in America, does not mean that the American Federal Government owns my flesh and bones, nor does it mean that the American Federal Government has a right to legislate my moral values.




too true


--------------------


"There are only two states of being: Too much and not enough"

Isnt the war on drugs supposed to reduce harm? So far all i see are casualties.


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InvisibleCowgold
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Re: DEA Goes After Calif. Pot Clinics [Re: veggie]
    #6660837 - 03/12/07 10:40 AM (14 years, 2 months ago)

Once the Federal government admits marijuana has medicinal value it, will be rescheduled from a schedule 1 substance. Then, pharmaceutical companies will replace these 'Pot Clinics'.


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OfflineSeussA
Error: divide byzero


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Re: DEA Goes After Calif. Pot Clinics [Re: Cowgold]
    #6660888 - 03/12/07 11:24 AM (14 years, 2 months ago)

> Then, pharmaceutical companies will replace these 'Pot Clinics'.

Ah yes, marinol... :rolleyes:


--------------------
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InvisibleCowgold
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Re: DEA Goes After Calif. Pot Clinics [Re: Seuss]
    #6660956 - 03/12/07 12:08 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

Big business hasn't jumped on this because, why take the risk. Once people stop getting prosecuted for providing medicine, big business will be in on it. Sure, there's marinol, but that's shit. You can't pantent something that is natural produced, but you can pantent and own geneticaly altered plants. Once it's legal I'm sure you'll see pharmy's with geneticaly altered plants so they can market their medicine. Fuck Marinol.

I'm not sure exactly the means of how they'll make it happen, but pharms will have a piece of the pie as soon as the legal matters are worked out.


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InvisibleCaptainKirk


Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 2,478
Loc: gone
Re: DEA Goes After Calif. Pot Clinics [Re: Madtowntripper]
    #6660960 - 03/12/07 12:11 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Madtowntripper said:
I'm 100% in favor of legaliztion, and I have no problem w/ medical providers...

But what the fuck is w/ the prices?

I can understand paying $50 for an 1/8th on the street, but when its being grown legally and sold from a shop, why charge that much?

I'm sorry, but if you were really "compassionate", you could sell it for half that much and make a profit.  Electricity and fertilizer are not that expensive.




i give a a pateint free meds all the time:)  he has crohns and is really sick..his wife said he really benifits from it and she works in the med community.....
compassion is the ability to put others needs above your own:thumbup:


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OfflineIzzyToxic
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Re: DEA Goes After Calif. Pot Clinics [Re: veggie]
    #6661250 - 03/12/07 02:40 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

IMHO, at least 80% of the reason that weed is illegal in these supposedly modern times is that wealthy people at the CEO level and above fear that legalization would leave them with a less productive work force. How else can you explain the fact that the US government actively pursues the prosecution of terminally ill cancer patients for smoking herb, all the while the tobacco industry is making a killing selling their proven cancer-inducing products to high school kids! With the greedy folks who are currently running this planet, the rest of us don't even stand a chance.


--------------------
Users are losers and losers are users - so don't lose drugs. Don't lose drugs!
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InvisibleCowgold
Bullshit

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Re: DEA Goes After Calif. Pot Clinics [Re: IzzyToxic]
    #6661273 - 03/12/07 02:48 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

:rolleyes:


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OfflineLawsonishere
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Re: DEA Goes After Calif. Pot Clinics [Re: Cowgold]
    #6662235 - 03/12/07 07:34 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

This just shows how fucked up our legal system is... So many loopholes


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