MMJ Advocates Ask L.A. Prosecutor To Drop Lawsuits
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MMJ Advocates Ask L.A. Prosecutor To Drop Lawsuits
Posted by CN Staff on February 24, 2010 at 07:44:57 PT
By John Hoeffel
Source: Los Angeles Times
California -- The nation's main advocacy group for medical marijuana threatened Tuesday to challenge Los Angeles City Atty. Carmen Trutanich's legal assault on dispensaries, saying it is "unlawful, unconstitutional, and contravenes the spirit and letter of the governing laws."The city prosecutor's office filed three lawsuits last week seeking court injunctions to force Organica in the Venice area and two Holistic Caregivers stores in South Los Angeles to stop all sales. Trutanich maintains that state law authorizes collectives only to grow marijuana and recover their actual costs, not to sell it.
Americans for Safe Access, which advocates for the use of medical marijuana and has defended dispensaries in court, has tried repeatedly to persuade the city prosecutor that he is misreading the law and recent court decisions, but he has not budged.The organization's chief counsel, Joseph D. Elford, sent letters to Trutanich and Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley, who shares Trutanich's view, saying the advocacy group would join the lawsuits unless they are withdrawn."We want to let Trutanich and Cooley know we're not just going to sit this one out," he said.The organization's decision increases the likelihood that Los Angeles, the ground zero of the state's dizzying dispensary boom, also will become the center of litigation that clarifies murky issues.Voters passed the state's medical marijuana initiative in 1996 and the Legislature adopted a law to expand access in 2003, but the courts still have not ruled directly on whether collectives can sell marijuana to their members.William W. Carter, the chief deputy city attorney, said he had not seen the letter."I've read their press release, and I am not impressed," he said. "We obviously don't agree with their position. We are enforcing the existing local and state laws just as we've been doing for a long time."Carter said the city attorney's office had no intention of withdrawing the lawsuits, noting that it has already won an injunction barring one dispensary from selling marijuana in a similar case and is confident in its legal position.Trutanich and Cooley have pressed cases that could force the courts to weigh in. Trutanich sued Hemp Factory V, an Eagle Rock dispensary, and his lawyers persuaded a Superior Court judge to take their side. Elford said he learned about the case too late to intervene before the decision.Cooley's office has filed felony charges against dispensary operators, saying their sales violate state laws.On Monday, prosecutors charged Jeff Joseph, the operator of Organica, with 24 felonies.Elford also accused the two prosecutors of taking preemptive action before the city's medical marijuana ordinance takes effect. "They fought us tooth and nail with the City Council," he said. "They're not happy with the result."Trutanich and Cooley had pressed the council to explicitly ban sales, but lawmakers rebuffed them.Pointing out that the city attorney's office filed its lawsuit against Hemp Factory V months before the council approved the ordinance, Carter dismissed Elford's contention, saying, "We were fully engaged."Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)Author: John Hoeffel Published: February 24, 2010Copyright: 2010 Los Angeles TimesContact: letters latimes.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #12 posted by Hope on February 24, 2010 at 21:54:17 PT
I hope you're right.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #11 posted by rchandar on February 24, 2010 at 20:46:13 PT:
Mark my words, we will NEVER, EVER allow her to be elected.
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Comment #10 posted by Canis420 on February 24, 2010 at 16:16:11 PT:
Comment #2
"the lunacy is tiring" so true but way understated!
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Comment #9 posted by ezrydn on February 24, 2010 at 11:30:51 PT:
Limits for ALL
Why is it that one medicine can be sold for a profit and another can't? Why isn't Big Pharma met with the same outcrys that Compassionate Cannabis is? Meds are meds. Do these city councils go ballistic whenever Big Pharma comes out with a new narcotic? Why the hell not??? Anything one "sells," you can expect that person to hope for a "profitable" sale. Right? Cars kill more people than Cannabis yet they're sold for a profit.City Councils are full of idjets! Plus, they have no ears. They're unable to hear the crys of their constituents. Since they've all bought into the "Be Afraid" mantra, then "Be Afraid" because We, the People on the march!
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on February 24, 2010 at 10:09:21 PT
I never heard of it before you mentioned it. 
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Comment #7 posted by dongenero on February 24, 2010 at 09:33:44 PT
reminds me
Have you seen the book, "Going Rouge: Sarah Palin: An American Nightmare"It's the non-fiction Palin biography. I love the "rouge" as opposed to "rogue" play on words
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on February 24, 2010 at 09:32:08 PT
Banana Republic used to have a great pair of pants called "Rogue" pants. They had hidden, secret pockets. Hidden, secret pockets, aka, agendas, on legislators and politicians sounds like a bad idea, though.
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on February 24, 2010 at 09:27:49 PT
Rogue and "Going Rogue" : vagrant, tramp
2 : a dishonest or worthless person : scoundrel
3 : a mischievous person : scamp
4 : a horse inclined to shirk or misbehave
5 : an individual exhibiting a chance and usually inferior biological variationWell, at least Palin admits it. She should have stuck with "Maverick".1 : an unbranded range animal; especially : a motherless calf
2 : an independent individual who does not go along with a group or party, some people think their "Roguishness" is a virtue or great character trait or something. It's not. 
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on February 24, 2010 at 08:53:36 PT
Going rogue these days means just saying no. No to about everything too.
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Comment #3 posted by johnentrikin on February 24, 2010 at 08:46:00 PT:
recover costs?
how are the dispensaries to recover their costs w/o selling the stuff????DUH!!!!...and if that's all they did was truly recover costs...where would the rest of the tons of evil plant go??? Ms. Trutanich's children on the black market....from an illegal Mexican gangster selling meth and weed!!!!think about it...
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Comment #2 posted by dongenero on February 24, 2010 at 08:34:58 PT
DA Cooley and CA Trutanich
are a couple of power hungry, dictatorial SOBs, huh?The other great conservative virtue these days, going "rogue". sigh, the lunacy is tiring
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on February 24, 2010 at 08:19:18 PT
What a sad state of affairs ...
We the people have spoken clearly in 1996, here we are 14 years later after the legislature has chopped up prop. 215 with lawsuits and court decisions. This is democracy USA style! Meanwhile the entire national healthcare system has become unglued. Is this a coincidence?
Legalise it now, before USA is really bankrupt!
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