cannabisnews.com: LA To Set Pot-Club Rules 

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††LA To Set Pot-Club Rules 

Posted by CN Staff on November 23, 2009 at 20:09:09 PT
By John R. Emshwiller†
Source: Wall Street Journal†

Los Angeles -- The city council here could vote as early as Tuesday on a set of rules for hundreds of local medical-marijuana dispensaries, amid a growing debate about whether many of those pot shops should be allowed to operate at all.California voters passed a law in 1996 that allowed a seriously ill person with a doctor's clearance to use marijuana. Another law in 2004 permitted patients and their primary caregivers to open collectives to procure and distribute marijuana to their members.
But in Los Angeles, city officials say the number of outlets -- and the freewheeling fashion in which many of them operate -- has gotten out of hand. The city now has as many as 1,000 dispensaries, several hundred of which opened in the past year. That growth has been driven in large part because the city council never set regulations on how they should operate. San Francisco, which has rules for dispensaries, has about 30.Though the council is now trying to craft guidelines -- including possible rules on the number and location of dispensaries -- Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley contends that many of the outlets are simply illegal, drug-selling operations that are reaping huge profits, much of it in cash. He says that if the stores don't close voluntarily, he will move to have them closed and file criminal charges against their operators. "The sale of marijuana is illegal under state law," said Mr. Cooley.Dispensary defenders argue that such sales are allowable, noting that one state agency has even put out a directive saying that legal marijuana transactions are subject to sales tax.According to 2008 guidelines from the California attorney general, qualified users and their primary caregivers can form cooperatives or collectives to grow and supply pot to members. Those entities have to operate on a not-for-profit basis but can recoup expenses; dispensary defenders say that is where the over-the-counter sales come in. The Los Angeles city attorney's office, another critic of over-the-counter sales, says the costs have to be recouped through a mechanism such as monthly membership dues. Law-enforcement officials also say dispensary operators often don't qualify as primary caregivers..Law-enforcement officials also argue that a doctor's recommendation is easy to get. They note that some physicians openly advertise for marijuana-seeking patients, with one such ad promising that "if you do not qualify for a recommendation" the $150 examination fee would be waived. There is "a corruption of a portion of the medical community," said Mr. Cooley, who said he will also seek to punish offending doctors.While there are bad actors among dispensaries, "I believe that the vast majority are trying to operate legally," said Don Duncan of Americans for Safe Access, a marijuana advocacy organization. The lack of clear rules in Los Angeles doesn't help, he added.Possession and sale of marijuana remain illegal under federal law. During the Bush administration, federal prosecutors here won criminal convictions against some dispensary operators.Early this year, President Barack Obama's attorney general, Eric Holder, said federal prosecutors wouldn't go after people complying with state marijuana laws. Since then, several hundred new dispensaries filed notifications with Los Angeles city officials. Mr. Holder "was widely heard," said David Berger of the Los Angeles city attorney's office.A Justice Department spokeswoman said nothing in Mr. Holder's remarks should have given "any encouragement to people to open illegal marijuana operations." Those found to violate federal and state marijuana laws will be prosecuted, she added.Local law-enforcement officials say the case of Luis Godman illustrates the kind of operation they are worried about. A former real-estate agent who became a marijuana dispenser, Mr. Godman was arrested last year in an underground parking garage while purchasing more than three pounds of marijuana. Mr. Godman told officers he bought marijuana for $3,000 a pound and received the equivalent of $9,000 a pound at a roughly $20-per-gram "donation" from collective members, according to court filings.Mr. Godman pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana with intent to sell and tax evasion related to under-reporting of what authorities calculated was hundreds of thousands of dollars of income.The district attorney recommended a year in jail. The judge gave Mr. Godman 180 days of home confinement.Mr. Godman's attorney, Bruce Margolin, said his client "was acting in good faith" in operating the dispensary. The home-confinement sentence, he added, shows "the court didn't think he was acting in a criminal fashion."Arrested with Mr. Godman was Nathan Holtz, who has been charged with illegal cultivation of marijuana, theft of utility services and other crimes. In court filings, the district attorney's office linked Mr. Holtz to two houses that had been converted into indoor marijuana-growing facilities that contained more than 1,300 plants. To power pumps and grow lights, main utility lines were tapped and more than $60,000 of electricity stolen, the filings said.Mr. Holtz has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial. He is a member of a number of "lawful" collectives and supplies marijuana to each, said his attorney, Bradley Brunon.Source: Wall Street Journal (US)Author: John R. EmshwillerPublished: November 24, 2009Copyright: 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.Contact: wsj.ltrs wsj.comWebsite: http://www.wsj.com/URL: http://drugsense.org/url/mIutyhBwCannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/medical.shtml

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Comment #32 posted by Hope on November 25, 2009 at 12:44:47 PT
BGreen
I don't doubt that he knows one when he sees one, either.
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Comment #31 posted by Hope on November 25, 2009 at 12:43:52 PT
Runruff
I don't doubt that you know one when you see one.
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Comment #30 posted by runruff on November 25, 2009 at 12:27:42 PT
reco loc is a cop!
I just now found the post. I can always spot a LEO. They try to blend in but can't. Just like when they were in high school which is what made them angry enough to want to become cops in the first place[legal bullies].Yeah, I really enjoy when they try to use street slang but they always leave a bitter sarcastic feel to it! That is one way you can tell. Another is their use [choice] of words and the faux authority they try to convey.I hope ol' lock an' load had his fun, I know I did!
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Comment #29 posted by FoM on November 25, 2009 at 12:05:07 PT
Hope
I have always preferred decriminalize over legalize. Legalize means a free for all in most people's minds but decriminalize means taking the crime out which means it will be legal if there is no crime in it.
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Comment #28 posted by Hope on November 25, 2009 at 11:41:03 PT
Reading this
is the first time I ever was ever able to understand why some people prefer the term "Decriminalize" over "Legalize".Decriminalizing Drugs Is The Answerhttp://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v09/n1050/a07.html?397
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Comment #27 posted by Hope on November 25, 2009 at 11:13:37 PT
Runruff
"Don't give me no lines and keep your hands to yourself!"Georgia Satellites - "Keep Your Hands To Yourself" Live '87http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16Ur45vTtw0(Thanks you, Had Enough.):0)
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Comment #26 posted by runruff on November 25, 2009 at 10:17:19 PT
Hope 
Funny how I seem to rubbing everyone the wrong way lately.Bet they're glad I'm not their masseuse, huh? 
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Comment #25 posted by Hope on November 25, 2009 at 09:56:02 PT
This published letter made me smile.
Deer Hunt, Pot Crops Are an Odd Mixhttp://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v09/n1051/a02.html?397
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Comment #24 posted by Hope on November 25, 2009 at 09:38:09 PT
Swearing at you...
Sorry, I didn't think I did that, but you're probably right. I thought I was swearing about what you said and the situation and maybe your thought patterns and I like you enough that it matters.Those other people that talk and think like that. I won't say it.I don't feel good today. I'm angry. I have so much to do. I shouldn't even be sitting here... but it's my break.Just because I'm mad at you doesn't mean I don't love you. 
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Comment #23 posted by runruff on November 25, 2009 at 08:50:21 PT
Hope 
I didn't mean to be sexist. I use ugly in a behavioural sense,like;that was an ugly thing you said"!In Texas and Oklahoma I have many relatives and they talk this way down there!Anyway I do not mind you swearing at me for being so insensitive.I liked Ann Richards very much. She once said about G.W.: "W can't help it he was born with a silver foot in his mouth! He was born on third and thought he'd hit a triple. Then he worked his way back to second!Gotta love her!
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Comment #22 posted by Hope on November 25, 2009 at 07:25:15 PT
Runruff
Dammit, Runruff.It isn't how ugly or pretty she is... it's how mean and dictatorial she is.When Ann Richards was our governor, some years ago, I saw how mean, silly, sexist, petty, and stupid, men could get about women that had political power and that they didn't find sexually attractive.You are bringing to mind that other "pig" slur we heard often a long time ago... that wasn't about police.
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Comment #21 posted by Hope on November 25, 2009 at 07:17:17 PT
Uh..
Let me go back and rearrange that punctuation. Or not. You know what I was trying to say, I hope.Anyway. It wasn't Fay that said, "Someone has to die"... it was Volkow.
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Comment #20 posted by Hope on November 25, 2009 at 07:14:32 PT
Uh oh
I owe an an apology to Calvina Fay and you guys.It wasn't she that, said a few weeks ago, about cannabis that someone had to die before people would pay attention to her dislike of cannabis use. It wasn't Fay, it was Dr. Nora Volkow. I'm pretty sure.Sorry.
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on November 25, 2009 at 04:31:48 PT
Had Enough
I had to remove the long link because it made the page go off center. I re-posted the shortened link here.http://drugsense.org/url/gkC7XmfN
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Comment #18 posted by runruff on November 25, 2009 at 03:47:29 PT

Tight lips!
Tight up north, tight down south!This is one up tight wench!She memorizes the bovine drop loads like it was gospel.I think we are lucky to have such a small minded uptight Sara Palin lite and ugly! You know her talking points only appeal to her base!
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Comment #17 posted by Had Enough on November 24, 2009 at 21:12:20 PT

Our Girl Calvina
Calvina Fay - Sounding the Alarm Against So Called Medical Marijuana in Floridahttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsS4-oq4nhw***"Crisis in California" - Calvina Fay Debates Rob Kampiahttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yn67v6e2JKcmore Calvina...take your pick...************Hey Florida...Donít wait for the legislature...put it on the ballot yourselves...http://www.pufmm.org/http://www.meetup.com/People-United-For-Medical-Marijuana-Orlando/http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=127343055695***PUFMM Cartoon...Click to seehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahHozo2Db_A
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Comment #16 posted by Sam Adams on November 24, 2009 at 20:03:07 PT

yikes
I had not seen a picture of the Ms. Fay, I will have to check it out. Does not sound good!interesting, here are a couple bloggers from the WSJ:http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2009/11/24/the-pot-revolution-is-legalization-an-inevitability/http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2009/11/24/medical-marijuana-goes-retail-you-can-tax-it/I have to say we are beginning to see the stanchest bastions of anti-cannabis propaganda start to break down and admit they're wrong, it's a beautiful thing to watch and it's only going to get better in the next few years.For instance it will be fun to see what they say when the LA city council approves hundreds of dispensaries.  Time to eat crow prohibitionists! Isn't there are a song about this?"We fought the weed, and the weed won"
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on November 24, 2009 at 18:48:43 PT

City Council Might Have Pot Law Ready For Vote
November 24, 2009The Los Angeles City Council today came up with an ordinance that might just please its desire to continue to allow cash sales of medical marijuana while creating a legal loophole to appease legal eagles who believe cash-for-pot is not allowed under state law.The proposed rule, which could see a vote next week, will allow collectives and dispensaries to receive "cash contributions, reimbursements and compensations for actual expenses" in harvesting and bringing the weed to market.As we told you previously, Attorney General Jerry Brown, county District Attorney Steve Cooley and City Attorney Carmen Trutanich have all stated that they don't believe the kind of retail pot establishments that have flourished in L.A. are legal under Prop. 215, the 1996 law that legalizes medical marijuana and allows for nonprofit distribution to the "seriously ill" via collectives.The council has struggled to get a grip on the dispensary business in L.A. as the number of pot shops has grown to more than several hundred. (See LA Weekly's cover story this week on the medical pot trade and the city's failed attempts to regulate it).URL: http://www.laweekly.com/2009-11-26/news/l-a-39-s-medical-weed-wars/Trutanich in particular has repeatedly told the council that there is no room under state law for storefronts that sell marijuana for cash. But the council has bucked his advice and asked for a loophole. It's not clear if the "cash contributions, reimbursements and compensations for actual expenses'' will satisfy Trutanich and Cooley, who have vowed to crack down on dispensaries if they're allowed by the city to operate as-is.Copyright: 2009 Village Voice Media URL: http://blogs.laweekly.com/ladaily/city-news/city-council-might-have-pot-la/
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on November 24, 2009 at 18:17:22 PT

News Article From The LA Times Blog
Council Backs Medical Marijuana Sales, Might Adopt Cap on Dispensaries***November 24, 2009Dispensaries will be allowed to continue selling medical marijuana, the Los Angeles City Council decided today as it considered a draft ordinance that may also cap the number of shops in the city between 70 and 200.URL: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2009/11/council-backs-medical-marijuana-sales-might-adopt-cap-on-dispensaries.html
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Comment #13 posted by Hope on November 24, 2009 at 17:21:10 PT

Sam
I really wasn't looking for the resemblance. It was just there and stunningly so.Cruella is too skinny to even look like Fay. She's not fat, but she's not skinny, like Cruella. The name Cruella would no doubt go well with Fay's usual demeanor.If you've ever seen Fay in action, you'll notice the resemblance, for sure, when you see Bates in the part.As I recall the Queen's most memorable line in the book was, "Off with their heads!""Off with their heads!" certainly has a Calvina Fay quality to it.
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Comment #12 posted by RevRayGreen on November 24, 2009 at 17:02:32 PT

One thing 
Calvina is BEASTLY.......
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Comment #11 posted by Sam Adams on November 24, 2009 at 16:51:48 PT

101.....
whoops, she was in there, thanks for the straightening me out! where did "beauty and the beast" come from, I don't know
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Comment #10 posted by RevRayGreen on November 24, 2009 at 16:43:10 PT

Cruella De Ville was in
101 Dalmations? no :)_______v""'''''
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Comment #9 posted by Sam Adams on November 24, 2009 at 16:19:45 PT

Fay
Hope, sounds like a great movie. you might also want to reference Cruella De Ville's character from Beauty and the Beast when looking for Fay portrayals
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Comment #8 posted by Hope on November 24, 2009 at 13:49:53 PT

Calvina "Someone has to die" Fay
I've been seeing commercials for a new Alice in Wonderland movie. Kathy Bates is playing the Queen. As soon as I saw her in her role, I thought, "My gosh. She's using Calvina Fay as her model for the character!" She looked and acted like Fay in the commercial previews of her part in the movie.I thought it was stunning and recognized the amazing resemblance to Fay in Bate's character portrayal immediately.
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Comment #7 posted by runruff on November 24, 2009 at 10:15:23 PT

recalling these two people....
I started thinking about their writing styles. Always stiff, authoritative, textbook style. Their phrasing is always meant to sound as if they have been eye witnesses to hell!They haven't seen hell like the seething, sweaty, stinky, loud, lonely, dangerous, cold, sleepless, degrading, boring hell they have sentenced millions to! Like the dutiful little reporters they are they describe the doom and gloom, the disasterous conseqences, the distruction and misery caused by this evil plant! Not giant carniverous plants I fed little children to, no!
This evil plant they are saving me from, us from, is my medicine. To save me from the inconvience of having decent eyesight into my old age? To make sure I don't have eyes to witness their evil any longer. To press their heal down upon my neck until I sometimes ask myself," is this all worth it just to be able to read news print without glasses or to go through life excusing yourself to strangers in the produce isle for bumping into them? Or walking up to strange women and addressing them as your wife?This is exactly what having my herbal medicine means to me!
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Comment #6 posted by runruff on November 24, 2009 at 09:38:03 PT

I know!
Johnny P. has been wrong before!We need a second opinion, I know lets ask Calvina Fay!

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Comment #5 posted by FoM on November 24, 2009 at 09:25:05 PT

runruff
That's funny. Thanks.
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Comment #4 posted by runruff on November 24, 2009 at 09:23:45 PT

Irvin
According to John Pee pee Walters, after 115000 joints, Irvin should be sitting bug eyed, insanely pounding on a piano someplace while laughing hysterically!
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on November 24, 2009 at 09:17:32 PT

News and Video From ABC News
Irvin Rosenfeld Has Received Over 115,000 Joints from the Federal GovernmentNovember 24, 2009URL: http://abcnews.go.com/Business/man-sets-marijuana-record-smokes-115000-joints-provided/story?id=9159281
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Comment #2 posted by runruff on November 24, 2009 at 09:16:19 PT

WSJ & Mega-corps?
Is there any difference? I always looked a WSJ as the number one money rag in the country! Practically cheer leaders for wall street!I think that today, with the Internet, cops cannot deal in the dark any longer. Everyone is watching, it is only these dim witted public teet suckers that are not getting it.Ask any one here if they think our sheriff's dept. is honest?They deal the most dope of anybody and everyone knows it. At least our cops are not so stupid as to go parading around acting like they are some standard of virtue. They used too but after a few firings and Tim Thompson the DA pot farmer fiasco and a few other incidents they don't crow so much anymore!I think about what a monumental failure this government has been. I see the problems this country is dealing with due to our stupid and greedy public servants who has gained the upper hand on us. Now we work to feed them while they tell us how to live!They still have the time and funds to examine the content of millions of usin's urine? 
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Comment #1 posted by Sam Adams on November 24, 2009 at 08:42:32 PT

talk about hypocrisy
Wow, look at the incredible arrogance of the police. The LA police force has been proven as THE most corrupt of any big city in the United States! Rampart, Rodney King, repeated scandals and convictions against the police have been proven in courts of law more in LA than anywhere else!And yet they suggest that medical doctors are "corrupt" for recommending pain medication to people. What a joke. You can see the kind of world they want. If everything is illegal, the cops run the rackets and extortion and control every aspect of life.It's really incredible to see the right-wing WSJ complaining about free-market business and urging increased regulation. "corruption"?? Are you kidding me? Look at the name of the newspaper! We just got swindled out of 2.5 TRILLION dollars by these guys and their cronies, and they're yelling "corruption" at some doctors taking a hundred and fifty bucks?that is the true nature of propaganda, as described in 1984. Your mind and will must be broken to accept these kinds of blatant lies as truth. That's what they want. total capitulation!When the DA's and police and mainstream media start to make sense, you are broken. You have become a true slave.
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