Medical Pot Dealers Protest

Medical Pot Dealers Protest
Posted by CN Staff on January 19, 2007 at 10:32:11 PT
By Rachel Uranga, Staff Writer 
Source: Los Angeles Daily News
California -- The lifesaving treatment Jorge Ceballos undergoes three times a week, three hours a day leaves him drained and pained. And the best medicine is marijuana. "I don't use this to just get high," he said. "It's medicine for me. It's no joke." At just 24, Ceballos' kidney is near failure. For three years he has had to undergo dialysis to stay alive. When he can't stand the treatment, he swallows two pills filled with the plant's psychoactive chemical.
And for a few moments this week, he thought his lifeline might be cut off. On Wednesday, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration raided 11 medical marijuana clinics, seizing 5,700 pounds of pot and shaking up the pro-cannabis community. In a move of solidarity Thursday, more than a dozen of the San Fernando Valley's 53 dispensaries closed down for the day as dozens of patients and shopowners protested the move in West Hollywood. "It looks like what they are trying to do is intimidate and use fear to shut down the collectives," said Don Duncan, the Southern California coordinator for Americans for Safe Access, a cannabis advocacy group. The DEA says anyone who owns a dispensary should be worried. "Anyone in violation of the federal drug law should be concerned, but to say that next week we are going to do raids, ... this is an ongoing investigation, and we can not say where the next phase will come from," DEA agent Sarah Pullen said. Under a 1996 state ballot measure, the clinics can distribute doctor-prescribed marijuana. But federal officials consider all marijuana use illegal. Though the clinic where Ceballos buys his pot remained open Thursday, Calvin Frye, the collective's owner, fielded dozens of calls from patients afraid his shop on Ventura Boulevard had been shut down. Standing in front of a dry-erase board that listed various types of marijuana - Indica, Sativa, Hindu Kush - Frye defended his business. "You just don't walk out of here with weed. You walk out of here with the knowledge of what you're using this for," he said, noting some strains of the plant target depression, chronic pain and other ailments. But police say the clinics have become crime magnets, and as they proliferate - 138 opened last year alone in L.A. - they attract unscrupulous owners hungry to make a buck. Worse still, they said, the clinics are targeting teenagers, with one clinic distributing fliers at Grant High School last summer. On Tuesday, Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton called for a moratorium on the clinics. And he is backing a proposal by City Councilman Dennis Zine banning storefronts 1,000 feet from day care centers, schools and places of worship. "We are not going to allow them to bring crime in the area and introduce the biggest gateway drug to young people under the guise of this dispensary," LAPD Lt. Paul Vernon said. But unlike the DEA, local police will not target the clinics unless they create other crime problems. Source: Los Angeles Daily News (CA)Author: Rachel Uranga, Staff Writer Published: January 18, 2007Copyright: 2007 Los Angeles Newspaper Group Website: http://www.dailynews.comContact: rachel.uranga Related Articles & Web Site:Americans For Safe Access Medical Marijuana Raids are Criticized Raids Medical Marijuana Centers
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Comment #4 posted by afterburner on January 19, 2007 at 22:39:07 PT
The CSA is Probably Unconstitutional, but ... 
the Federal Government does have the Constitutional authority to sign treaties. The UN Single Convention is such a treaty, and the Single Convention recognizes the medical use of cannabis.The Single Convention 
[ Article 49 ] provides that "the use of cannabis for other than medical and scientific purposes must be discontinued as soon as possible."Not bad for a "toothless debating society" --George W. Bush, who thinks the US can unilaterally break treaties at will. Anyone going to Federal Court on a cannabis charge should enter the Single Convention as a Federal Court exhibit. The USA is still a signatory to this treaty and in fact uses the same treaty as an excuse to avoid liberalizing the cannabis laws!The Single Convention allows the medical use of cannabis, so the sovereign State of California is operating legally according to international law.Personally, I believe in preventative medicine.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on January 19, 2007 at 15:07:18 PT
OCR Editorial: Foolish and Wasteful Raids
Friday, January 19, 2007The storm-trooper-like raids Wednesday by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration on 11 medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles County were not only a waste of taxpayers' money  especially in an era of justified concern over terrorism  they amounted to a concerted effort to create misery among especially vulnerable people. If the raids and confiscation are all that come of this commando-like action, they will be exposed as simply efforts to intimidate sick people by a gang of thugs operating under color of law.To be sure, there is some legal justification for the raids, given that marijuana possession and sale is illegal under federal law. However, that position is based on what we believe is a misinterpretation of the Controlled Substances Act, whereby drugs placed on Schedule 1, such as marijuana, are totally prohibited. We believe marijuana does not meet the Schedule 1 criteria. That proposition, though shared by many, has not been tested in court.Secondly, California's law, thanks to the voters who approved Proposition 215 in 1996, allows the medical use of marijuana or cannabis when recommended by a licensed physician. The dispensaries raided Wednesday  especially the five in West Hollywood, where the local government has been especially supportive  were established to implement the will of the voters.Snipped:Complete Article:
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Comment #2 posted by Toker00 on January 19, 2007 at 14:27:25 PT
Ignorance, stubbornness. That's all it is.
"We are not going to allow them to bring crime in the area and introduce the biggest gateway drug to young people under the guise of this dispensary," LAPD Lt. Paul Vernon said.That's not what they are doing. Mr. Vernon, you are doing that by not having already legalized cannabis. You are ignorant of the fact that the gateway theory has been thoroughly Debunked and that cannabis has been medicine longer than anyone can declare. Who's doing the breaking and entering? Whose doing the stealing of property and privileged information? Who is forcing fear and panic on already health-panicked persons? We are going to change these laws, and they know it. It's like the bully sensing his victims courage grow, and getting his last kicks and punches in before his victim finally turns the table. They know we are coming. Kucinich, are you reading?Toke.  
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on January 19, 2007 at 10:50:38 PT
Fear and Intimidation
These are tactics used by thugs and fascists! Hopefully with Kuchinich this will be over soon, for good!
Nobody Can Stop This!
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