Medical Marijuana Profiteers Targeted

  Medical Marijuana Profiteers Targeted

Posted by CN Staff on July 07, 2006 at 07:24:19 PT
By Jeff McDonald, Union-Tribune Staff Writer 
Source: San Diego Union Tribune 

San Diego, CA -- With dozens of medical marijuana dispensaries doing a brisk business across San Diego County, and many patients showing no signs of serious illness, state and federal prosecutors decided they had seen enough. Yesterday they conducted a multi-agency sweep that snared what officials said were the worst offenders: dealers capitalizing on California's loosely drawn medical marijuana law to make a profit.
The pot dispensaries have become “magnets for crime in San Diego,” Police Chief William Lansdowne said. The operators “have taken the compassionate use of marijuana and convoluted it into a million-dollar business.” Drug agents showed up at dispensaries in La Jolla, Ocean Beach, North Park and elsewhere across the city, detaining patients, running warrant checks on employees and arresting previously identified dispensary owners. Of the 15 people arrested, six face federal charges related to a grand jury indictment handed down late Wednesday, and 10 were charged by county prosecutors. One suspect, John Sullivan, 38, of San Diego, faces both federal and state charges. “Their motive was not to better society,” U.S. Attorney Carol Lam said at a news conference announcing the arrests. “But rather to make a profit by breaking the law.” Prosecutors took the unusual step of filing official complaints with the California Medical Board against four physicians who they said sell an inordinate number of recommendations for medical marijuana. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that doctors cannot be targeted for recommending that their patients use marijuana. The raids followed a December sweep by the same joint-agency narcotics task force. In that sweep, agents confiscated equipment and thousands of patient records but made no arrests. Snipped: Complete Article: MayanSource: San Diego Union Tribune (CA)Author: Jeff McDonald, Union-Tribune Staff WriterPublished: July 7, 2006 Copyright: 2006 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.Contact: letters uniontrib.comWebsite: Article: Five Arrested, Marijuana Dispensaries Raided Medical Marijuana Archives 

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Comment #33 posted by user123 on July 08, 2006 at 10:54:05 PT:
1.5 Billion Addicts Worldwide
“Their motive was not to better society,” U.S. Attorney Carol Lam said at a news conference announcing the arrests. “But rather to make a profit by breaking the law.” I guess it's ok to make a profit by not breaking the law even if your motive is not to better society?
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Comment #32 posted by charmed quark on July 08, 2006 at 10:24:38 PT
They sure look healthy!!!!!!
This stuff just pisses me off, pardon my French.I just got over another relasping episode. For two days I could not walk at all, and for the next two days I could walk with a cane but was in severe pain. Now I'm in a remitting period and I look and feel quite healthy. In fact I plan to do a charity bike ride tomorrow.I look very healthy and, in fact, consider myself to be so. But this is partly because I use THC to manage my symptoms and help prevent progression. And I work hard to maintain my general health with diet, yoga and exercise and medications. It's only on occasion that the full force of my disorder is obvious.I guess I'm suppose to neglect my personal appearance and give up on exercise and diet and just let myself go because I have a disease. I wouldn't want to upset people's expectations. Otherwise I'm not deserving of cannabinoids.This is like Senator Frisk diagnosing Schiavo by looking at a video tape of her. Somehow HE could tell she wasn't vegatative by just looking for a few moments, while doctors who had made extensive physical exames of her couldn't.
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Comment #31 posted by afterburner on July 07, 2006 at 21:50:51 PT
Meanwhile over the Medicine Line, another MM ... 
Supplier Has his Day in Court:Grant Krieger, longtime Calgary pot crusader, progressive multiple sclerosis patient and medical cannabis supplier to other ill patients "is asking the judge to stay two counts of trafficking in marijuana." See two articles below:CN AB: 'Impossible' Pot Rules Challenged, Calgary Herald, (06 Jul 2006) AB: Ottawa Making Medical Pot 'Almost Impossible', National Post, (06 Jul 2006) 
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Comment #30 posted by FoM on July 07, 2006 at 19:24:56 PT
Related News from
 Demonstrators Rally Against Marijuana Dispensary RaidsRaids Result In Several Arrests*** July 7, 2006SAN DIEGO -- Agents raided six marijuana dispensaries, temporarily putting them out of business.People who depend on the marijuana for medical purposes said authorities have gone too far.During the Thursday raids, more than a dozen people were arrested and the U.S. attorney indicted six more.Two of the men indicted were arraigned at the federal courthouse, charged with cultivation and distribution of marijuana. 
 Sources told 10News 16 people would be facing similar charges in San Diego Superior Court Monday.On Friday, a group of San Diegans walked up and down a street where a dispensary was raided.The people protesting support the use of marijuana and some of them are customers at the dispensaries that sell marijuana.Dion Markgraaff of Americans For Safe Access said the raids are going to hurt people who depend on the dispensaries for medical marijuana."The way they want to regulate is going in with guns to everybody's head and finding out if there's a crime," said Markgraaf.District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and U.S. Attorney Carol Lam said the raids were necessary because the dispensaries were doing more than just selling marijuana to seriously ill peopleDumanis pointed to undercover video taken by agents who went into doctors’ offices pretending to be seriously ill.10News staffers did the same thing for their investigation and staffers were able to easily receive marijuana recommendations from doctors.Markgraaf said, "Of course, there are people taking advantage of the law. There's people taking advantage of everything in society."“These patients, these individuals find relief through cannabis. They find relief through a plant,” said attorney Mark Bluemel.Bluemel said just because some people are taking advantage of the law, others who really need marijuana deserve a place where they can buy it."Not anyone can grow cannabis. It's complicated, and if someone has a major disease, they can't do it. They need to be able to have a legal source of obtaining this," said Bluemel.Deputy District Attorney Damon Mosler had a different view on dispensaries.“Patients are not being prosecuted. We're prosecuting wholesale distributors of marijuana. That's who we prosecute," said Mosler. Copyright: 2006 by
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Comment #29 posted by FoM on July 07, 2006 at 19:07:37 PT

Back pain is so disabling. My back isn't strong and maybe my mind isn't either anymore. LOL! I had more horses to ride and students to teach and then my back got worse and worse. I had a yearling who weighed about 800 flip out in her stall when I was trying to straighten her winter blanket. The blanket slipped and horses are terrified of anything around their legs suddenly. She ran in circles trying to free the blanket and knocked me down and I got trampled each time she spun around until I pulled myself out of the way. I was alone and it was a serious injury and from then on I had to take pain pills. You can't stop doing what you do just because you get hurt in this day and age. I'm glad those days of serious injury type pain are over for me now.
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Comment #28 posted by BGreen on July 07, 2006 at 18:51:30 PT

Back pain
I always felt like back pain was one of the worst afflictions to have because you LOOK perfectly fine but you FEEL like crap.I've suffered from back pain since the late 70's due to riding (or falling off LOL) motorcycles.I hurt like hell sometimes, but you can't tell by looking at me. I do my best not to bend over or limp when I walk, no matter how crappy I feel.I'm SO sick and tired of cops playing doctor without a license. Prosecutors are not proctologists, but I would suggest that proctologists be called in to remove the prosecutor's heads from their arses.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #27 posted by Wayne on July 07, 2006 at 18:24:16 PT

NORML article
Speaking of "marijuana profiteers", here's another bit from NORML about Marc Emery. We definitely need to pray for Marc, so that God doesn't let the US gub'ment get their grubby hands on him.
NORML: U.S. Wants Emery Extradited
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Comment #26 posted by FoM on July 07, 2006 at 17:24:15 PT

ACLU Backs CA's Medical Marijuana Law 
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Comment #25 posted by mayan on July 07, 2006 at 16:38:30 PT

“We support (medical marijuana) wholeheartedly, but Proposition 215 is being severely abused,” Dumanis said. “It's just really gotten out of hand. . . . Those of us in law enforcement have tolerated it for too long.”No, we've tolerated intolerant fascists like Dumanis for too long. Yeah, I'm sure she really supports Medical cannabis... “We've raided some of you today,” she said. “We'll raid the rest of you if you do not cease and desist. We'll raid you again and again.”And we'll come back AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN. Our numbers are growing and we are not going away. Prohibitionists, on the other hand, are quickly becoming an endangered species not worth protecting!
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Comment #24 posted by global_warming on July 07, 2006 at 11:06:37 PT

hey sam
I would love to be able to walk into a pharmacy to lay down $300-$400 for an ounce of high-quality cannabis. It doesn't matter if someone's making $10 off me or $200. and they are talking marinol, the stock holder don't care about jesus or spirit, the bottom line, is, the law is the law, and the law makers breathe comfortbilly, in this world,There is punishment for for all these idiots and greedy fools,While they prosper on prohibitionThey can only see their pay checkWhile they feed, they are bare and harmless
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Comment #23 posted by FoM on July 07, 2006 at 11:04:59 PT

Can I join you for an episode. Maybe many people here would want to join in too. Seriously I am sorry you had problems yesterday. Nausea is hard to handle. 
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Comment #22 posted by Sam Adams on July 07, 2006 at 11:04:32 PT

Oooh! Sexy young ladies telling me of the big Marijuana bust! This is what passes for titillating infotainment in America. Most of us will view this as we sit on our large backsides in front of the TV. The party is over! Damn straight! This is America, we don't like parties. We like sexy news anchors, and young prosecutors in expensive suits on our TVs. We're not like those wimpy, skinny Euros, riding the trains together & hanging out together in cafes and bars. Give me my Cheetos and a big-screen TV baby!You can never tell who is a regular joe and who is some young perpetrator needing beat-down. The sexy TV people will work it all out for you though.(sorry for all the sarcasm, I'm just trying to figure out what goes on in the mind of the average American, the Bush voter, the dumber 50% of us, sitting out in the suburbs, eating, waiting for the crime and news shows to tell us who to hate)I wonder what the whole thing cost? How much for all the cops, prosecutors, judges, jail guards, investigations, undercover agents, their pensions, health care benefits, vehicles, overtime, etc. These are crazy times we live in. Unbelievable wealth squandered on silliness and persecution. How long can it all last?A man giving cannabis to his elderly German shepherd? Damn, I'd definitely pay 200 grand in taxes to have the pigs beat that guy down.
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Comment #21 posted by FoM on July 07, 2006 at 10:58:54 PT

Pictures from
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Comment #20 posted by Hope on July 07, 2006 at 10:52:16 PT

Just thinking
When you go to the doctor's office...those people hardly ever look sick. Most of them do not show their illness at all. My daughter in law in epileptic...but you can't tell by looking at her unless she happens to be in the midst of a seizure.I looked sick when I came in with my puke bucket after that antibiotic episode. It scared the people there, too and they got on the ball. They aren't used to people coming in that look sick.Nausea is pretty much my constant companion. It's awful. I thought I'd have to leave my cart and quit my shopping yesterday and I was so afraid I was going to puke there in the floor of the dairy department. I managed to hold back the horrible gagging sounds that overwhelm me all too often. I'm the picture of robust health, and I am healthy, but I'd kind of like to have one of my "episodes" on this reporter's shoes. HIV people, and even people with full blown aids or cancer can "look" remarkably healthy.People need to send an avalanche of complaints to him. He needs to be fired for really poor reporting.
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on July 07, 2006 at 10:49:40 PT

Video: Feds Raid Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
Prosecutors Say Drugs Were Sold To Healthy People July 7, 2006Video:
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Comment #18 posted by Sam Adams on July 07, 2006 at 10:41:15 PT

I wonder which "profiteer" has a higher profit margin in his business, Bill Gates or the dispensary operator? Personally, I"d rather support a profiteer who's selling me useful medicine, rather than one who cranks out buggy, virus-prone software.I guess my point is that those us who need medicine don't mind a whole heck of a lot if someone's making money off it. I would love to be able to walk into a pharmacy to lay down $300-$400 for an ounce of high-quality cannabis. It doesn't matter if someone's making $10 off me or $200.My alternative is a black-market supplier who charges $400-$450 per ounce for herb that's full of chemical nutrients and possibly mold. And I have no control over which strain I'm getting.Also, let me point out that the Pharmaceutical industry has some of the highest profit margins in corporate America.
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Comment #17 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on July 07, 2006 at 10:39:36 PT

Now, now, EJ and Hope, give McDonald a break...
He was simply saying that the only people who should be going to a marijuana dispensary are people so violently ill that they couldn't possibly go to a marijuana dispensary.And, of course, if we let well people pick up the marijuana for the sick people, they'll just smoke it or sell it to school children.Anyway, we all know it couldn't possibly be that using marijuana is making the extremely sick look perfectly well.See, there's just no logical way this thing is ever going to work.
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on July 07, 2006 at 10:36:36 PT

Thanks EJ 
Catch 22 I understand. We need the laws changed on Cannabis. This is almost totally insane to me anymore. I like to connect dots. They won't allow us to connect the dots.
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Comment #15 posted by Sam Adams on July 07, 2006 at 10:33:00 PT

I sent a scathing letter to the editors and reporter, the reporter replied to me almost immediately, he sounds like a nice guy, says that he's sorry and has no control over the editorial slant of articles or the headline, which is usually true at most papers. So those of you writing letters might want to take it easy on the reporter in this case!
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Comment #14 posted by E_Johnson on July 07, 2006 at 10:30:40 PT

FoM they're not allowed to have nonprofit status
Nonprofit status is a legal status that is granted by the state.The LACRC applied for legal nonprofit status but was turned down because the people who regulate nonprofit status -- The Board of Equaization I believe -- weren't willing to go that far out on a limb.So without legal nonprofit status, technically any medical marijuana operation can be called "for profit" whether or not they are making any actal profit.This is another one of those diabolical Catch-22's that the system has set up to make dispensary operators look like a bunch of greedy drug dealers.Prop. 215 didn't allow for any distribution at all. But SB420 did allow for patient collectives.So the dispensaries are all operating in a kind of legal gray area.But the nonprofit/ for profit issue is a red herring.Maybe some clubs are in it for the money, but how do you tell, when the ones who really are nonprofit are not allowed to apply for legal nonprofit status with the state?
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Comment #13 posted by global_warming on July 07, 2006 at 10:22:46 PT

hey ej
you are a living dream,they never said they would play fair or by the Law
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on July 07, 2006 at 10:11:17 PT

Thanks EJ
Are for profit dispensaries allowed in Prop 215?
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Comment #11 posted by E_Johnson on July 07, 2006 at 10:01:15 PT

FoM Prop 215 leaves it to the doctors
FoM, I can certify from personal experience that 95% of the people going in and out of medical marijuana clubs LOOK very healthy.I look very healthy myself. You could never guess from looking at me that anything at all is wrong with me.My doctors know otherwise, however, and Prop. 215 leaves it up to the doctors to decide who is sick and who is not.When a reporter writes that the people going in and out of the clubs "show no signs of serious illness," that's just an excuse to justify the raids.Prop 215 never said you have to be so ill that any passing stranger on the street can tell just by looking at you.Prop 215 says a licenced physician has to sign a recommendation.Prop. 215 very wisely leaves it up to the medical profession to decide who is sick and who is not.I'll bet they're going to find all of those clinics had all of their doctors letters all in line.
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Comment #10 posted by lombar on July 07, 2006 at 10:00:37 PT

Sad day
“Their motive was not to better society,” U.S. Attorney Carol Lam said at a news conference announcing the arrests. “But rather to make a profit by breaking the law.”Better to make a profit breaking an unjust and hypocritical law than making a profit enforcing it. Drug warriors are not motivated to make a better world, just a world with MORE SUFFERING in it... and they are willing to lie and kill to maintain the ongoing deprival of liberty. A gun is an overreaction to a PLANT. Removing everyones privacy to catch a few is an overreaction to a plant. ..Persecute the compassionate, feed the populace lies and fear, and enforce rule by intimidation. For being so concerned about the messages they send, its ok to send the message that the establishment will stoop to any low to maintain its prohibition against cannabis.I have been getting kind of sick of the cycles... we get big poll numbers then they hit back with loads of propaganda. The polls go up, the police escalate their rhetoric. The rat study is being hailed across the board as if it is proof of the gateway when it is really just proof of the reaserchers lack of humanity and ability to be cruel to living things, proof of the medias complicity in the ongoing drug war, and proof that society is very sick. Cruel: Torturing rats. Involuntary addiction to herion.Inhuman: Vivisection after torture. Did they leave that part out?Sick: All to continue persecuting humans. Sure, they say its to prove an effect on the brain but why? Not for knowledge sake but to continue to prop up a failing war on people.23But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on July 07, 2006 at 09:49:37 PT

Just My Thoughts
I don't know what to make of of all of this. What does Prop 215 allow and what doesn't it allow?
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Comment #8 posted by Sam Adams on July 07, 2006 at 09:42:48 PT

As I read the smear article against young sick people, a huge bottle of Coors Light bounced back & forth across the screen. Who's doctor recommended Coors?What a disgraceful rag of a newspaper. I would like to know how locking up 10 people in our $45,000 per year prisons is going to "better society". I would like to see where in Prop 215 it says that only seriously ill people are allowed to use medical MJ.  I would like to see where in Prop 215 it says that only elderly people are allowed to use medical MJ.The newspapers and feds can try and try again, but every time the people of America are asked about medical MJ, they approve it by a wide margin. All the feds are doing is trying to slow down the political movement by forcing activists like the ACLU and ASA to use their lawyers to fight this stuff.

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Comment #7 posted by global_warming on July 07, 2006 at 09:37:52 PT

My Condolences
To the good people in North CarolinaASHEBORO — Authorities seized $9 million to $10 million worth of marijuana plants Wednesday, the sheriff's office reported.A Highway Patrol helicopter spotted a field, which appeared to have marijuana plants growing in it. many old and sick people will be denied their medicine,While the cops and lawyers are giving each other high fives,little do they realize their part in this inhuman enterprise, called prohibition.
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Comment #6 posted by global_warming on July 07, 2006 at 08:59:47 PT

it should have read
instead of Profiteers Targeted, Profiteers Moved In,the whole lot of profiteers in this ungodly prohibition on Cannabis and the sublime.
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Comment #5 posted by E_Johnson on July 07, 2006 at 08:32:46 PT

Here's his contact info
Jeff McDonald: (619) 542-4585jeff.mcdonald uniontrib.comTell Dr. McDonald you want to lower your health care costs by having him diagnose your illness just by looking at you.THis is so insulting.It took my doctor whole frigging year of blood tests and ultrasounds to diagnose my illness.
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Comment #4 posted by Dankhank on July 07, 2006 at 08:21:08 PT

look well?
This is a recurring theme from 'round there.'I called a radio station from 'round there' once and sugessted they spend some time around a military hospital and try to decide which soldiers are sick and which not. Virtually all of those men and women look very healthy, yet the hospital is busy.Stupid people in CA. "Don't look sick?" Jeff McDonald is sick ...
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on July 07, 2006 at 08:18:32 PT

People local to that reporter need to call him
and ask him to try his amazing diagnosis techniques on them. It would save a lot of money and those medical tests are expensive...and we know that insurance companies and health "managers" don't like money "wasted" on expensive tests. Beside that, the tests can be uncomfortable and even dangerous. That reporter needs to share his "gift" with others.
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Comment #2 posted by Truth on July 07, 2006 at 08:13:15 PT

Pot = crimeNOT!Has anyone watched NBC's to catch a preditor? It showed me that the world is full of dangerous folks. People were lining up to have sex with minors. If our LEO's were allowed to go after serious crime, such as pedophilia, we could protect the children. Instead, the law thinks it's better to spend their resources seperating families over a God given herb, turning their backs to serious law breakers so they can go after peaceful hippies and other hemp users.No victim - no crimesheesh!!!
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Comment #1 posted by E_Johnson on July 07, 2006 at 08:03:41 PT

This reporter must be a medical genius
Never before in my life have I heard that you can tell who has a serious illness just by looking at them.If doctors all over the country could learn the new diagnostic techniques invented by the Union Tribune, health care costs in America could be dramatically lowered.For example, why should I bother my next mammogram?I could have Jeff McDonald watch me walk down the street, and tell me whether or not I have cancer.These people are such idiots. It's like shooting fish in a barrel to mock them.
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