Council Backs Off Banning Pot Clubs

  Council Backs Off Banning Pot Clubs

Posted by CN Staff on April 04, 2006 at 09:27:13 PT
By Clark Mason, The Press Democrat 
Source: Press Democrat 

California -- Healdsburg's City Council was poised Monday to make the city the first in Sonoma County to ban medical marijuana dispensaries but backed off for fear it would trigger a costly legal fight with advocates. Fearing crime and other problems a medical marijuana outlet could bring, council members said they were inclined to ban the dispensaries.
"The town is too small. There isn't an area you could put it in, where it wouldn't affect citizens," said Councilwoman Lisa Schaffner."If it's truly medicine, it should be dispensed like a pharmacy," she said."I would support an all-out ban," said Councilman Gary Plass. "But my biggest fear is a lawsuit."In the end, council members decided to revisit the issue in June, noting a one-year moratorium they passed against marijuana clubs won't expire until August.Healdsburg, like all other cities in the county, other than Cloverdale, last year passed a temporary moratorium on medical marijuana outlets.Both the county Board of Supervisors and the Sebastopol City Council have meetings scheduled today to consider the issue of regulating marijuana outlets and whether to extend their temporary bans.Local governments say they want to avoid problems and complaints that have plagued some medical marijuana outlets, including smoking around the dispensaries, illegal sales and robberies.The governments are wrestling with conflicting legal issues brought on by a state law enacted by voters 10 years ago that allowed the use and cultivation for medical purposes. But federal law prohibits it, with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year the federal government has the authority to prohibit local cultivation and use of marijuana.A number of cities in California, including Concord, Susanville, Fresno and Pasadena, have been sued for banning medical marijuana dispensaries.Medical marijuana advocates say the Compassionate Use Act passed by voters preempts local law and cities cannot interfere with distribution of medical marijuana.Santa Rosa last year became the first city in Sonoma County to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries. The City Council decided to allow dispensaries - but only two serving no more than 500 customers each, per month - something marijuana advocates complained was too restrictive.The Santa Rosa ordinance also limits where and when dispensaries may operate, requires criminal background checks for employees and prohibits smoking on the property.There are four known medical marijuana dispensaries in Sonoma County: In Guerneville, south of Santa Rosa city limits on Santa Rosa Avenue, on Montgomery Drive in east Santa Rosa and in southwest Santa Rosa off Dutton Avenue.Medical marijuana advocates say they prefer some type of regulation of the clubs."The more above-board it gets, the better," said Doc Knapp, a spokesman for the Sonoma Alliance for Medical Marijuana. "The more underground it is, the less easy it is to control for law enforcement and patient health and safety - the quality of the marijuana. It helps everybody to have regulations."Note: Worry about lawsuits from marijuana advocates spurs delay in decision.Source: Press Democrat, The (Santa Rosa, CA)Author: Clark Mason, The Press DemocratPublished: April 4, 2006Copyright: 2006 The Press DemocratContact: letters pressdemo.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:SAMM Cracks Down on Pot Clubs Clubs - Press Democrat

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Comment #26 posted by Truth on April 05, 2006 at 21:05:41 PT
drunking driving
Oops....Sorry bout the spelingg
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Comment #25 posted by Truth on April 05, 2006 at 21:03:43 PT
Healdsburg promotes wine tasting like crazy. Free wine at any tasting point, then drive on to the next and the next. Can you say drunking driving.But,When one of their own citizen needs medication the receive persecution instead.SheeshLand of the free.....
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Comment #24 posted by afterburner on April 05, 2006 at 12:22:22 PT
They're Finally Getting the 'Message'
"Healdsburg's City Council was poised Monday to make the city the first in Sonoma County to ban medical marijuana dispensaries but backed off for fear it would trigger a costly legal fight with advocates."It's too bad that "getting the sick and dying off the battlefield" (Richard Cowan) is not enough to make governments comply with compassion. It's too bad that the waste of tax money and ruined lives is not enough to get governments to comply. It's good though that the threat of lawsuits (backed up by continuing legal action by medical patients and activists) is making governments do a retink about prohibition and the arrest & jail-based approach.
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Comment #23 posted by OverwhelmSam on April 05, 2006 at 06:26:00 PT
I'm Bad
I had to get the "punishment monger" insult in the letter. LOL
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Comment #22 posted by OverwhelmSam on April 05, 2006 at 06:22:23 PT
Letter Sent To Govenor of Texas (DPA Template)
Governor Rick Perry,As a taxpayer and voter, I'm writing to urge you to consider long overdue cannabis law reform as a means of balancing the state budget. Incarcerating nonviolent cannabis consumers cannot be justified from either a fiscal or public health perspective. Jail cells and criminal records do not stop people from using this recreational drug that is safer than alcohol. Non-violent cannabis consumers are released, with dismal job prospects due to criminal records. Turning cannabis users into unemployable ex-cons is a senseless waste of tax dollars.Please take a leadership role and add your voice to the growing nationwide movement towards alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent cannabis consumers. As long as there exists an unmet need for effective enforcement, it makes no sense to continue the "lock 'em up" approach, an approach that has done little other than give the former land of the free the highest incarceration rate in the world. The tax dollars wasted on incarcerating Texans for cannabis use would be better spent on effective drug treatment and investigation of serious crimes. Please recommend a fine in lieu of arrest for possession of less than one ounce of cannabis. Anything more than this is not just, and perpetuates the punishment monger mentality toward our own families. Thank you for showing leadership on this issue. Sincerely,
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Comment #21 posted by Toker00 on April 05, 2006 at 03:58:53 PT
Frustrating, isn't it ?
Something is wrong when the majority of votes don't elect a president. Something is wrong when Twin Towers "accidentally" fall in their own footprint. Something is wrong when we attack and occupy a country not a threat to us. Something is wrong when we torture people for ANY reason. Something is wrong when the very thing that is killing our planet is being fought over with the lives of our CHILDREN. Something is wrong when The Constitution becomes just a "God D*mn Piece of Paper". Something is wrong when a Nation so cherished by the world, becomes so hated by the world. Something is wrong when the Rich have the Finest, and the Poor have Nothing. Something is wrong when the one plant that could change all this, is demonized by the very government that professes to stand under God, the creator of this plant.Something is very, very WRONG.Waging peace on war, and ENDING CANNABIS PROHIBITION NOW, would be the RIGHT thing to do. 
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Comment #20 posted by whig on April 04, 2006 at 21:45:43 PT
I just wanted to note that yesterday was the second anniversary of the death of Casey Sheehan. He died on 04-04-04.Thank you George W. Bush for caring so much. As if.
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on April 04, 2006 at 21:43:20 PT
That's cool.
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Comment #18 posted by lombar on April 04, 2006 at 21:41:03 PT
strange factoid
At 1:02:03 am wedensday morning it will be01:02:03 04/05/06:)
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on April 04, 2006 at 21:27:27 PT
We're all mixed up. I really want to do what I can and be frugal and try hard not to be wasteful. You have a woodstove and so do we. We probably both were trying to be conservative and save oil after the oil crunch when we sometimes waited to get fuel in long lines. When we decided to build in the country we kept that in our mind even with the style of the house. I think now after 27 years or so how much money we have saved by using wood as our heat source. I helped conserve. Somewhere all these big cars were being made and pushed and it never made sense to me because they are fuel hogs and that wasn't good because of needing more oil. We have lost our concern for our resources and our land. We kick it. We abuse it and we seldon seem to care. We need to learn something I think. We need to learn we all are in this together no matter where we live or even what language we speak. Stuff and more stuff isn't the answer to problems. I bet if people stopped buying lots of stuff our economy would crash in no time. How can we even slow it down anymore?
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Comment #16 posted by Hope on April 04, 2006 at 21:01:35 PT
But it will cease and it WILL stop...
or at least diminish so much that it's nothing more than a desire in a hate filled heart.WILL
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Comment #15 posted by Hope on April 04, 2006 at 20:57:07 PT makes me sad...
but hey...we're no strangers to disappointment in this movement to change drug policies. It's been a pretty constant companion in our effort for very many, many years now. It's far more flabberghasting, even breath taking, when we don't have disappointment. Because we know it so well, it can hardly hurt or surprise us anymore. Well, it hurts...but it's no stunning surprise or anything like that. Their, prohibitionists and those that let it continue, when they might fight it with us...their sheer, stubborn ignorance and arrogance is stunning...but that's been a given for a very long time now.When will it cease? When will the insanity stop? I don't know. But it will cease and it stop...or at least diminish so much that it's nothing more than a desire in a hate filled heart.
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on April 04, 2006 at 20:40:42 PT
What you said is so true.
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Comment #13 posted by Hope on April 04, 2006 at 20:29:41 PT
Oh Canada...
I thought she'd burst through the barrier to bring the world to a freer and much better condition. The very amazing and astounding "Senate Report"...isn't that what it was called...has been ignored? More proof it's about some hateful personal and economical power view for a certain elite few, instead of just a normal, idiotic, misconceived, and misguided prohibition. It's a way of torturing and punishing people and the prohibs are loving it. They love it and they are increasing their wealth on it. It, Canada's Senate Report, was a grand and mighty work...and it has been ignored, like so many others, because lovers of prohibition have power over the nations and they will not allow the people this freedom that so many want and have been all too willing to risk and lose to much for. Prohibitionists are cowards. They are afraid to admit the truth. They don't want to say they were wrong…but most of all, they don't want their bottom line touched…..for any reason. Like the extended Bush family, under the tutelage of their matriarch, profiting from imprisonment of others.That's so low.
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on April 04, 2006 at 20:21:04 PT
Just a Comment About Canada
I am a member of a very good canadian e-mail group. I have been quietly doing mostly reading and learning for years now. I believe that the Canadian people are good people. There is a rebel spirit in them that seems stronger to me then our spirit. I believe that Canadians have been anti-conformity for many years. I like that about them. What hurts me is I see what is happening. It makes me feel so bad for them because they just don't understand how it can be yet. We are a big and powerful neighbor. Canada is small in population compared to us. Canada has oil and water and lumber and probably other things we need. What can Canada do to stop what is happening? Don't they understand that the more laws are put upon a society the more rebellion will rise up? Don't the leaders see? Don't they understand? Oh Canada. anyone is interested here is my Canadian Link page. I added the banner for the upcoming rally.
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on April 04, 2006 at 19:25:41 PT
DPA: Don't Let Congress Poison People
Tuesday, April 4, 2006Congress is considering a drug war idea so bad that even Drug Czar John Walters is against it. The House has authorized, and the Senate is considering, a proposal to revive research on the use of toxic, mold-like fungi called mycoherbicides to kill drug crops in other countries.Tell Congress it's a bad idea!Mycoherbicides have already been extensively studied over the last thirty years - and the results make it clear that they are not an option for controlling crops of coca or opium poppies. They attack indiscriminately, destroying fruit and vegetable crops, causing open sores and feminization in reptiles and other animals, and sickening humans as well. The toxins mycoherbicides produce contaminate soil for years, so that nothing can grow where they have been. Mycoherbicides are so destructive that governments have even stockpiled them as weapons!Incredibly, the proposal now before Congress advocates using mycoherbicides in "field studies" in countries such as Colombia and Afghanistan - something the world would certainly see as an act of biological warfare.Office of National Drug Control Policy head John Walters spoke out against further mycoherbicide research last year, but this terrible proposal is now part of the ONDCP Reauthorization Act. We need to make sure the Senate removes the mycoherbicide research language from the bill before it passes! Let your Senators know that renewed mycoherbicide research is both unnecessary and dangerous!Take action now!For more information on mycoherbicides, read the new report commissioned by DPA, "Repeating Mistakes of the Past: Another Mycoherbicide Research Bill" (PDF). --
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Comment #10 posted by mayan on April 04, 2006 at 18:23:45 PT
Canada has fallen into the grasp of the neo-cons. I believe the only way we can take back our countries is by exposing our government's and media's complicity in the 9/11 inside job. 9/11 truth will set us free!!!THE WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN...If You Love Your Country, You Should Question 9/11: military brass knew in advance that 9/11 would take place: Radio Station WOR Continues 9/11 Coverage - Audio Download: a 7-Man Job: presents Access Hollywood Covers Charlie Sheen:
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Comment #9 posted by OverwhelmSam on April 04, 2006 at 15:47:13 PT
It's Like They Want the Right To Abuse their authority and they'll coerce anyone to protect that so called right. And law enforcement wonders why no one respects them. They should just join Social Traitors Under the Prejudicial Impact of Departmental Coersion Of the People, (STUPID COPS).An ignorant cop once told me that the courts ruled it's legal to do what they do. I reminded him that just because a court says something is legal, doesn't make it moral or ethical. Law is a human institution and it has been both immoral and unethical throughout History. Those in power, get higher of that power than I ever could off of a joint. Ever see the THUGS Under Color of Law, I mean COPS?
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Comment #8 posted by whig on April 04, 2006 at 14:32:17 PT
Ebb, and Flow.Canada is Ebbing. It's a down-cycle for a few years because it takes time to bring things around, and the public is not with us fully yet, or there is enough resistance that builds up that it cannot be pushed beyond a certain point without a temporary retraction.We just have to keep on educating and helping people and showing that we're the good guys by our peaceful fruit, people will tire of violence, war and deception in time.What we have to do, though, is help people not to fear, help them not to surrender their safety to "protectors" that intend them nothing but harm, show them through our own example that communities can help one another out of genuine caring, and without a profit motive.
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Comment #7 posted by whig on April 04, 2006 at 12:13:41 PT
OT: Florida Police Retaliate Against Journalist
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Comment #6 posted by Max Flowers on April 04, 2006 at 11:13:59 PT
Regarding the article 
Healdsburg is a total wine-country tourist town. I live in the general area and am familiar with local politics... let me tell you, that's what the city council is actually being weird about. Money. They are afraid the cash-cow tourists would somehow be offended by seeing some stoners walking in and out of a dispensary. They are just projecting their own prejudices onto the tourists.The reality is that the tourists will always be so busy running from B&B to winery and back that they won't even notice a few stoners. Healing and pain relief for sick people (their own Healdsburg citizens, I might add) is given far less importance there, evidently, than tourist dollars.
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Comment #5 posted by Max Flowers on April 04, 2006 at 11:02:53 PT
Oh, Canada (WTF happened to you?)
And to think that less than a year ago I was considering moving to Canada because of its "permissive" stance on medical cannabis! Things sure can change fast in just a few months these days.Well, if it changes back (better chance of that happening there than here...?) I could still go.... maybe...
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on April 04, 2006 at 10:45:58 PT
Storm Crow
I removed the extra post. I like to mention it so no one thinks I am removing a post because of a comment.
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Comment #3 posted by dongenero on April 04, 2006 at 10:39:00 PT

overbearing government?
What country does this remind you of? I guess we know where the new conservative regime in Canada gets their playbook.I guess it will not be long before Canadian citizens are as fed up with their "leaders" as most people in the US are with their "leaders".I hold out hope that the US Constitution will ultimately allow "The People" to demand a Government that is truly by and for the People. We just have to get them redirected from American Idol and Fear Factor......ah well, I still hold out hope

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Comment #1 posted by Storm Crow on April 04, 2006 at 10:20:49 PT

OT- but here's another MMJ user being hassled
In my rambling through the net, I see bad scenes every day, but this one was plain awful and seems extremely unjust.Yo Mamakind Desperately Needs Yo Help!Basically, I was in Vancouver when I received a call from my husband (foam on the forums) that Canada Customs & Immigration had shown up at my house on the Sushine Coast with about 20 cops. He was with my three year-old, Mia. They came on the phone and said they were kicking him out of the country for at least a year and catching the next ferry out in 40mins., so I'd better find someone to take my daughter. They didn't even let her say good bye to him.My husband is very sick with Myalgic Encephalomeyelitis and uses a respirator to help with his breathing. Despite this, they arrested him on a Friday, so he'd have to spend the weekend in a holding cell, without his meds. He's had a legal medical exemption to use and grow his own meds for months. Despite this, the RCMP came into my home, trashed it and cut down all of his plants. He has no criminal convictions, neither here nor in the States.In fact, due to RCMP harrassment prior to this (mostly due to the fact that I was one of the founders of the Sunshine Coast Compassion Club), I now hold a criminal record for cultivating the plants that he's now legally allowed to grow!My husband was not here illegally. We've always renewed his visa and were in the process of applying for Landed Immigrant status for him, but Customs & Immigration turned down his last Visa application, stating that , " 1) We think he might try to stay in Canada 2) Though he has no record and no convictions, we're going to count dropped charges as convictions and keep him out based on that".I was able to have him home for about 12hrs. before he had to leave. He only had an hour to visit with our eight year old son, who is in foster care due to his chronic and severe medical issues. During that hour, we had to try to get foam's meds from the cop because they admittedly, had no right to take it. Someone "forgot" the key to the locker, could he come back tomorrow? He had to leave the country by noon!The Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD), "Social Services", immediately threatened to apprehend both of my children. Only through much negotiation and extraordinary planning have I managed to avert this, but I continue to have them breathing down my neck.You see according to MCFD, even though I've been using cannabis as my own medicine for years to help alieviate chronic intestinal issues (possibly Crohn's, I'm at the tail end of the diagnoses process), an activist for years, worked for CC and now Skunk Magazine, ran a compassion club and my husband is a medical user and grower himself: I AM A POTHEAD JUNKIE WHO HAS TO GO INTO REHAB &/OR THE PSYCH WARD AND TAKE PISS TESTS.Why the double standard between my husband and I? They say it's because I'm my children's primary caregiver because of foam's health and because my son is particularily challenging to parent, I need to be "MORE STRAIGHT THAN ANYBODY ELSE". My doctor has told me that MCFD informed her that I am not allowed to be given an exemption for this reason.So, now I have a very sick husband who is stuck over the border with no way to generate more income and support himself. I'm trying to work full time with four jobs (I'm Sex Editor & Sales Rep at Skunk, Editor-In-Chief of Skeet Magazine and I model), be a single mom with my three year old and try to get my house in order for my very, very challenging eight year old to come home at the end of the month (I won't even go into his medical issues, but they are physical as well as neurological.)Our lawyer said that there is a possiblity of getting him back within a few weeks (Immigration says otherwise), but it's going to cost us approximately $4000+ CND to pay for the lawyer, the fees, etc... Legal Aid won't accept our case because they say it's unwinnable. Not to mention the US might cut three quatrers of his disablility off because he's "not living with his wife and kids anymore, so they'll just cut off the portion that's supposed to go to us".It seems that we are probably going to get an eviction notice this week (I'm $650 short), which is made even worse by the fact that we can't afford to move and had really lucked-in on a landlord who would be willing to let foam have his garden.If we get evicted, it'll mean MCFD will just hold onto my son even longer and their accusations that pot has ruined my family's lives will be somehow fortified, even though I argue that it's prohibition that has ruined things for us, not pot.There just isn't enough of me to handle all of this. It's too much, too fast. I'm really not very good at asking for help, but I need to do so now. Here's how you can help...I'm putting together a fundraising event and would like to do something at the 4/20 rally in Vancouver. I really need cash more than anything right now to pay rent, keep foam going down in the States, take care of the children's needs (I still have certain financial responsibilities associated with my son, even though he's in Care).I need $650 for rent right now, $1400 to the lawyer right now and realistically about $200 just so I can put some gas in my car to drive Mia to school and buy food for us.Also when the cops took his meds, they essensially took mine. I cannot afford the medicine that keeps me from throwing up all morning and eating SOMETHING so I can cope with all of this bullshit. And of course, I have thwarting doctors.I'm trying to get a fundraiser going for both Mr.Mamakind & Marijuana Man around the 4/20 weekend, so any donations of ANYTHING for a silent auction and raffle would be greatly appreciated (paraphrenalia, art, gift cerificates, ANYTHING!!!). If you're planning on being in Vancouver that weekend, there will be a kissing/spanking booth set up at the rally, so come on down and Mistress Pain & I will make your day.SKUNK MAGAZINE & Cannabis Culture Magazine have both donated some gnarly swag for the cause, so look for perhaps a raffle for signed shirts and mags.Another thing you can do is write the media. There will be media coverage of this, but I just don't have the time and energy to do all of this alone. Please help me get the word out, especially at this time when Harper is trying to further establish this horrible prohibition that has laid to waste mine and so many other families. This is an outrageous thing to have happen: remember foam has no record anywhere and nor was he illegaly at any time. He's legally married to a Canadian and has two young Canadian children!My mailing address is :PO BOX 108
Roberts Creek, BC
V0N 2W0Please feel free to PM or email me mamakind at anytime with any questions or concerns you may have. Ginormous thank yous to everyone who has helped us so far (JodieGR, cannagirl420, FranCouver, AnewB & Suncell in particular).Stay green,Mamakind ;->---~~Can you help this lady? Maybe you got your income tax refund or other cash? Why not slip her a $10?
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