BAKERSFIELD, CA — Two men were fatally shot Wednesday inside a medical marijuana dispensary in Bakersfield, California, according to police.
Police spokeswoman Michaela Beard said a 911 call reporting possible gunshots fired at the dispensary was received at 9:49 am Wednesday, and officers responded to find two men dead inside the First Reliable medical marijuana collective.
The victims were identified as Devin Scott Daniels, 23, of Bakersfield, and Tony Conrad Sherman, 55, of Los Angeles.
Police would not immediately confirm if the victims were employees or customers, but both are believed to be security guards employed by the collective.
A woman outside the dispensary shortly after the shooting, Cristina Lutrul, told a local. . . . . READ MORE
SALEM, OR — A bill that would expand the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program to include licencing and regulating medical marijuana dispensaries is heading to the desk of Governor John Kitzhaber (D) after House members concurred Saturday with Senate amendments to the bill.
The Oregon Senate voted Wednesday to approve House Bill 3460, which was approved by the House in June. Because of some changes made to the bill by a Senate committee, the House met Saturday to approve those changes.
The bill will now be sent to Gov. Kitzhaber, who is expected to sign the legislation into law. Earlier last week, Gov. Kitzhaber gave final approval to two bills that reduce marijuana penalties for in the state.
Medical marijuana dispensaries already exist in Oregon, but are operating in a legal grey area. The Oregon Medical Marijuana Act (OMMA) allows patients to grow their own medicine or have someone else to i. . . . . READ MORE
SAN FRANCISCO, CA — A medical marijuana dispensary billed as the world’s largest cannabis store may stay open while the city of Oakland fights a U.S. government effort to shut it down or seize the property, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday in an ongoing tug-of-war in Caifornia between federal authorities and the medical marijuana industry.
In February, Magistrate Maria-Elena James, the same judge who issued the ruling on Wednesday, said the city had no right to intervene in a federal prosecutor’s civil-forfeiture action against the Harborside Health Center, which was previously featured on the Discovery Channel reality TV show “Weed Wars.”
The city appealed the ruling, and James’s latest order allows the dispensary to continue to sell medical marijuana to individuals carrying a doctor’s recommendation while the appeal is under review.
James called the question of Oakland’s legal standing in the case “a matter of significant public interest.”
Attorney Cedric Chao, who is representing . . . . . READ MORE
BERKELEY, CA – The City of Berkeley filed a claim Wednesday in the action brought by the federal government in May to seize the property used by Berkeley Patients Group at 2366 San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley, California. Berkeley Patients Group has been providing medical marijuana to patients within the City since 1999. It is in full compliance with the City of Berkeley’s medical marijuana ordinance, regulations, and zoning laws.
U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag of the Northern District of California has used federal asset forfeiture laws to target and close numerous medical marijuana dispensaries, even when those dispensaries have long track records of working with the cities in which they are located, responsibly providing medical marijuana to patients, and complying with state and local law.
The city’s claim was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. In its claim, the City asserts that the closure of Berkeley Patients Group will harm the City through the loss of substantial revenue. Berkeley Patients Group has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to the City in taxes over the years. The federal government’s action also undermines the City’s comprehensive plan to regulate and control medical marijuana, which was designed and implemented to positively impact the health and well-being of all Berkeley residents and to which the City has devoted a significant amount of time and resources.
The claim, filed on Ju. . . . . READ MORE
LOS ANGELES, CA — California medical marijuana dispensaries — and their patients — are under a sustained, two-pronged attack, and that is having a dramatic impact on patient access across the state. Under pressure from the federal government on one hand and newly-emboldened local officials on the other, dispensary numbers are shrinking and ever larger swathes of the state that legalized medical marijuana nearly 17 years ago are without anywhere to get medical marijuana.
Anyone who is following the situation in the Golden State at all closely has seen a numbing litany of reports of dispensaries forced out of business, including from some of the most venerable, respected, and law-abiding operations in the state.
What had been the occasional raid or prosecution by the DEA or federal prosecutors during the early years of the Obama administration has turned into a heightened onslaught since the issuance of the notorious Cole memo, written by Assistant Attorney General James Cole, two years ago next week and the announcement by California’s four US Attorneys that fall that they were declaring open season on dispensaries.
And while recalcitrant city and county law enforcement and elected officials had managed to make access to medical marijuana a pat. . . . . READ MORE
BAKERSFIELD, CA – The Bakersfield city council voted 4-0 this week to ban all medical marijuana dispensaries in the city, giving local law enforcement the power to close the existing dispensaries beginning in about a month.
City Attorney Ginny Gennaro says that under the ban, approved Wednesday, medical marijuana dispensaries will not be required to close overnight. Instead, the ordinance prohibits their operation in all zones of the city, from residential to industrial.
Actual enforcement of the ban, Gennaro says, will vary depending upon the situation, but investigations into dispensaries will initiated by complaints.
The city’s Code Enforcement Department will investigate the zoning violations with the aid of the Police Departmetn.
The ordinance makes closing dispensaries a civil matter, not a criminal one, unless crimes are found to have occurred at a dispensary.
Gennaro said it is not his intention to criminally prosecute, or even issue a fine, to medical marijuana dispensaries operating in the city after the ban goes into affect. Enforcement efforts will concentrate on simply closing the business.
City officials estimate that there are about a dozen medical marijuana dispensaries currently operating in the city.
Marijuana advocates say they won’t petition against the ban because there’s not enough time and it’s too expensive, estimating it would cost between $50,o00 and $60,000 to attempt to place the mea. . . . . READ MORE
RIVERSIDE, CA — Shuttered medical marijuana dispensaries in Riverside. CA who have been attempting to continue to provide medicine to patients via delivery service must cease under a new city-wide ban on mobile marijuana dispensaries and medical marijuana delivery services.
The city of Riverside recently won a court case in which the California Supreme Court ruled that local municipalities can ban medical marijuana dispensaries, and has since shuttered nearly every dispensary in the city.
Now, Riverside officials are taking the dispensary ban one step further by banning all medical marijuana delivery services, including mobile medical marijuana dispensaries.
Attorney James DeAguilera, who represents about 15 marijuana collectives that operate in Riverside, doesn’t believe the City Council can ban delivery services, let alone enforce the ordinance.
“Would Riverside set up checkpoints all around the city and have police confiscate marijuana?” DeAguilera asked. “It doesn’t make a lot of sense.”
About 200 municipalities in California have banned retail medical marijuana sales, according to estimates from the national medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access, while more than 40 have laws allowing dispensaries.
Kris Hermes, a spokesman for the organization, said. . . . . READ MORE
LOS ANGELES, CA — Federal prosecutors have sent dozens of letters warning medical marijuana shops in Los Angeles and Long Beach to shut down or risk potential criminal or civil action in the latest attack in the War on Marijuana.
Authorities say more than 100 medical marijuana dispensaries across Los Angeles County received the letters Tuesday.
Lawsuits also were filed against two property owners in Long Beach, telling them it’s illegal to allow pot sales in buildings they own.
California’s federal prosecutors launched a coordinated crackdown on the state’s medical marijuana industry in 2011 by threatening landlords with property forfeiture. Since then, many of the 625 dispensaries targeted in the seven-county Central District of California have closed.
California was the first state to legalize marijuana for medical use when voters passed Proposition 215 in 1996, but marijuana remains illegal under federal law.
Feds Launch New Crackdown on California Medical Marijuana Dispensaries was written by Associated Press and appears in full on The Daily Chronic.. . . . . READ MORE
BERKELEY, CA — As U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder delivered a commencement speech Friday for UC Berkeley law school graduates, a plane flew overhead with a banner that read “Holder: End Rx Cannabis War. #Peace4Patients,” in protest against recent actions by the Justice Department (DOJ) in the Bay Area.
Outside the Hearst Greek Theater, where Holder gave his speech, medical marijuana advocates also handed out fake DOJ recruitment flyers, detailing how the Obama Administration is engaging in harmful tactics that are adversely affecting the lives of hundreds of thousands of patients in California.
“Patients will not stand idly by while Attorney General Holder’s Justice Department continues to attack our community and endanger the lives of Berkeley residents” said Caren Woodson, one of the le. . . . . READ MORE