Medical Marijuana Provider Raided 

Medical Marijuana Provider Raided 
Posted by CN Staff on December 21, 2005 at 08:03:56 PT
By Bonnie Eslinger and Marisa Lagos, Staff Writers
Source: San Francisco Examiner
San Francisco, CA -- Federal Drug Enforcement Agents raided a South of Market warehouse, a medical marijuana club and the home of the club’s owners on Tuesday, altogether seizing more than 600 marijuana plants.Catherine and Steve Smith, proprietors of Hopenet, a medical marijuana club on Ninth Street, said about a dozen DEA agents with a warrant woke them up at 6:30 a.m. at their home in the 200 block of Clara Street and seized, among other items, $20,000 in cash, growing lights, photos, tax documents, utility bills, cell phones and 122 marijuana plants, which they said are used for sick patients who patronize their medical marijuana dispensary.
“I realize they say this is illegal federally, but it’s legal here in California and we’ve had the blessings of The City,” Catherine Smith said. “I believe this is a test to see if the community as a result will stand up to them [federal law enforcement].”Nine years ago, state voters passed Proposition 215, which approved of marijuana use for patients who have a doctor’s recommendation. Pot clubs have sprouted across the state as a result. Last month, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors established rules for The City’s 33 dispensaries that outlined where clubs can operate and how much marijuana a patient could buy.Nonetheless, in June the U.S. Supreme Court said California’s law doesn’t supersede federal law, a ruling that seemed to open the door for federal prosecution of the state’s medical marijuana users.Supervisor Ross Mirkirimi, who authored San Francisco’s medical marijuana club legislation, said that because use of the drug is still considered a federal offense, medical marijuana users and supporters will “always be looking over our shoulders.”“That’s why, federally, we need to reform the marijuana laws and decriminalize it,” Mirkirimi said.Note: DEA seizes more than 600 plants.Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA)Author: Bonnie Eslinger and Marisa Lagos, Staff WritersPublished: Tuesday, December 20, 2005Copyright: 2005 San Francisco ExaminerContact: letters sfexaminer.comWebsite: Related Articles: Pot Club Owners' Home Raided in SoMa Pot Clubs Call Raid Warrants Illegal
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on December 21, 2005 at 10:20:43 PT
In a perfect world Cannabis would be legal like it was before prohibition. My hope is that someday Cannabis Shops will be able to order from around the USA different strains of Cannabis and have a variety for people who live in an area that they can't grow their own. What an industry it would be. The variety would become like fine wine. Cannabis would be commercialized and it would be like beer but champagne of Cannabis will always have it's place and serve it's purpose like in the alcohol industry.PS: Ho Ho Ho to you!
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Comment #2 posted by Ron Bennett on December 21, 2005 at 10:11:43 PT
Decentralization would reduce such probs...
To harp on it again, decentralization of the actual medpot distribution would reduce problems of raids, etc.There's no reason for a cannabis clinic to have medpot on hand ...For example, traditional doctors don't make their medications ... and don't have most types of medications on hand either, but instead they send patients to the local pharmacy, via mail order, etc to actually obtain the prescribed medications.Point is that decentralization is not a new concept - traditional medicine already operates in such a manner ... cannabis clinics should too so as to remain viable; reduce occurrances of devestating raids.In regards to hopenet ... are they operating out of a residential zone? -or do I misunderstand the article...Simple things like being in a commercial zone (operating in a residential zone is recipe for problems), not having supply on-hand (ideally be only minimally associated with suppliers), minimal cash on hand, no grow equipment, etc would all go a long way to reducing risks for cannabis clinics.Ronp.s. FoM- I saw your reply ... wish you a happy holiday too :)
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on December 21, 2005 at 09:48:52 PT
Expanded San Francisco Examiner Article
More Information:***DEA spokeswoman Casey McEnry said the raids in San Francisco and a related raid in Sonoma County, in which agents found 200 plants, followed a two-year investigation based on a tip received via an anonymous letter.The biggest stash of plants — 500 — was found in a raid early Tuesday evening at a warehouse on Clara Street, not far from the Smiths’ home, McEnry said. Hopenet was also raided but no plants were found, only marijuana-baked goods. 
McEnry said the early morning raid led the federal officers to the pot club and that although the Smiths were not arrested, future enforcement action was still possible.“According to federal law, marijuana is a crime,” she said.Earlier in the afternoon, after the first raid, the Smiths and other medical marijuana advocates rallied in front of the pot club, holding up signs and chanting “DEA out of California,” and “compassion not harassment.” About a dozen San Francisco police officers were on hand, but only for crowd-control purposes, a department spokesperson said. 
San Francisco resident Richard Derus, who bought the residential property next door to Hopenet a few months ago, said while he agreed with medical marijuana in concept, he’s been concerned with loitering around the club and would like to see stricter regulation for who gets the medical marijuana cards that prove they have a doctor’s recommendation.“Three-quarters of my residents have cards and none of them is sick,” Derus said.
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