MMJ Advocates Sue To Halt Dispensary Closings
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MMJ Advocates Sue To Halt Dispensary Closings
Posted by CN Staff on November 08, 2011 at 05:51:54 PT
By John Hoeffel, Los Angeles Times
Source: Los Angeles Times
California -- Medical marijuana advocates have filed lawsuits in California's four federal judicial districts aimed at quickly winning court orders to halt the U.S. attorneys from closing dispensaries.The lawsuits are the second legal challenge to the stepped-up enforcement efforts that the four prosecutors announced last month at a high-profile joint news conference in Sacramento.
Matt Kumin, one of the attorneys who filed the lawsuits, said that Tuesday the plaintiffs plan to ask the judges assigned to the cases for temporary restraining orders halting the crackdown."The government has gone well down the road to allowing medical cannabis in the United States," he said. "It can't reverse itself now, particularly because of the promises it made to the American people and the federal judiciary. They're stuck."The 13-page lawsuits argue that the federal government's threats to prosecute dispensary owners and their landlords conflict with an agreement that led a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit by patients with the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana in Santa Cruz. In that case, the government said it would not use federal resources against medical marijuana patients who complied with state law."You tell people, 'Hey, you can do this,' and they rely on it, and the next thing you know, they can get arrested. It's entrapment," said Kumin, a San Francisco lawyer working with a team of attorneys who specialize in medical marijuana litigation.The lawsuits were filed Friday and Monday against U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric Holder, Drug Enforcement Administration head Michele Leonhart and each of the four federal prosecutors, including U.S. Atty. Andre Birotte Jr. in Los Angeles. Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for Birotte and the Justice Department, said he could not comment on the lawsuits.At their news conference, the U.S. attorneys said they would target dispensary operators and growers who were violating state law, which prohibits for-profit sales. The prosecutors have taken different enforcement approaches, including sending letters to dispensary landlords threatening to seize their property. Birotte has focused his efforts in the Central District on shutting down medical pot shops in cities that have banned them.In the lawsuit filed in the Central District, the plaintiffs are Conejo Wellness Center Cooperative in Agoura Hills; the dispensary's landlord, Executive Center of Simi Valley; and Billie Jo Maisonet, who has a doctor's recommendation to use medical marijuana.Joe Elford, chief counsel for Americans for Safe Access, an advocacy group that filed a separate lawsuit last month, said he was surprised that more lawsuits have not already been filed. "We certainly welcome other challenges," he said. "If any of us win on any theory, we're all better off."Kumin said he hopes to reach a compromise with the federal government on a California medical marijuana program it can support. He noted that federal prosecutors have not issued similar threats in Colorado, which has opted for heavier regulation of medical marijuana sales.He said only a few pot collectives and landlords put up money for the suits. Many dispensary operators are unwilling to take on the government publicly, he said. "Everybody's gone underground."The lawsuit charges that the heightened enforcement "will eviscerate and likely eradicate" California's established medical marijuana system, which relies heavily on storefront dispensaries."California now has an entrenched cultivation and distribution network of medical cannabis supplying approximately 1,000,000 patients throughout state," the lawsuit says. It adds that the network generates annual revenue estimated by advocates at between $1.5 billion and $4.5 billion, and annual sales taxes of $50 million to $100 million, according to state estimates.Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)Author: John Hoeffel, Los Angeles TimesPublished: November 8, 2011Copyright: 2011 Los Angeles TimesContact: letters latimes.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #18 posted by disvet13 on November 11, 2011 at 15:22:26 PT:
complete legalization
either vote for complete legalization or spend all your tax dollars and eternity while lawyers and politicians play adversarial process bureaucracy. that's what they teach them in college. There is an element that has invaded our government(woodrow wilson), it was the thought process, a virus injected into the computer of the united states government over 70 years ago, it has now proliferated into cancer. Call it E.A.J.A., every lawyer in the U.S. gets paid out of a special fund, and depending on which state, how much per hour, for any work they do, whether social security, workers comp, or veterans, or aclu. So how long does it take for the individual citizen to obtain those benefits? YEARS, and the dear little lawyers who reinvent and change the laws every year are making a living spending your tax dollars, plus...they still get the percentage of backpay. a self imploding cancer of government, pretty soon the socialist nazi party will have complete control, all your sons and daughters can't resist reinventing government, they're under the influence of cancer, a virus injected into government when they invented the federal reserve and the disability insurance agencies, like the dept. of veterans affairs. they gave it a great name, just like reinventing government every year, so every lawyer can have a bigger piece of your tax dollars. either vote for complete legalization this time, or the opportunity will be lost forever, just like gun ownership, or the ability to buy ammo that will work longer than 6 months, thats what they're working on now, they can't take the guns, so make the ammo useless. ask the afghanistan people how long they been at war. best start saving up while you can, and vote for complete legalization, or you won't get the chance when they really reinvent government. they're working on that now, the new world government.
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on November 10, 2011 at 17:17:20 PT
Appeals Court Rules Cities Can Ban Dispensaries
Appeals Court Rules Cities Can Ban Medical Marijuana DispensariesNovember 10, 2011California -- In a decision that could have immediate fallout for medical marijuana dispensaries, a state appeals court has ruled that California law allows cities to ban the stores. The contentious issue has bounced around state courts for years, but the opinion issued Wednesday is the first published one that directly tackles it and does so in unambiguous language. The decision, which upheld Riverside’s ban, could embolden cities and counties to enact bans and spur those that have them to seek court orders to close defiant dispensaries. “I think its impact will be significant throughout the state,” said Jeffrey Dunn, the attorney who argued the case for Riverside in an appeals court hearing last week and praised the decision’s simplicity. “It’s not wishy-washy. It squarely addresses it. And it makes it very clear.” URL:
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Comment #16 posted by The GCW on November 10, 2011 at 13:05:17 PT
Missouri Approves Marijuana Legalization Initiativ
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Comment #15 posted by dongenero on November 10, 2011 at 12:16:23 PT
“This is just going to add to it.” Bennett-DC
I very much doubt that assertion. The likely outcome would be the gentrification of a neighborhood that had previously been plagued by crime and drugs.
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Comment #14 posted by afterburner on November 10, 2011 at 09:44:14 PT
Commissioner Bennett - Brainwashed (FoM #13)
“We’re in the heart of the community where we have been traditionally plagued with crime and drugs for many, many years,” ANC 5B Commissioner Vaughn Bennett said. “This is just going to add to it.”This is medicine, sir, not drugs!This is legal cultivation, not crime!
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on November 10, 2011 at 05:21:02 PT
Washington, D.C. Medical Marijuana News
Applications for Medical Marijuana Factories Clustered in One Area of D.C. November 10, 2011URL:
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Comment #12 posted by The GCW on November 09, 2011 at 18:49:00 PT
Telling cops: blow off.
Voters resoundingly approve Tacoma's pot-priority initiative A word of advice to Tacoma police and prosecutors: Blow off the pot crimes. You’ve got bigger issues to wrestle. Or so Tacoma voters resoundingly told city law enforcement officials on Tuesday, easily passing citywide Initiative No. 1.Cont.
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Comment #11 posted by Canis420 on November 09, 2011 at 12:10:37 PT:
Into the courts
These raids are pushing the issue...this is what we need. Cannabis prohibition being challenged on multiple fronts in the courts.
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on November 09, 2011 at 08:38:30 PT
Thank you. We did it! It's a very good feeling.
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Comment #9 posted by runruff on November 09, 2011 at 08:29:31 PT
The first Indian was told about Daylight S. T.
It was recorded that he said,"Only the government thinks it can cut a foot of the top of a blanket and sew it on the bottom and have a longer blanket!"
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Comment #8 posted by dongenero on November 09, 2011 at 07:42:20 PT
By the way- OT
Congratulations to the workers of Ohio. Congratulations to the will of the voters prevailing.
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Comment #7 posted by ekim on November 09, 2011 at 07:16:05 PT
lowest priority
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Comment #6 posted by CropReport on November 09, 2011 at 06:54:17 PT
Comment #4 by Oleg ~ H.B. 2306
Otherwise known as "H.B. 2306, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011"I would call my rep, but Jared is already a sponsor :)
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Comment #5 posted by The GCW on November 08, 2011 at 20:09:22 PT
Cancer, Republicans and cannabis
Lawsuits Filed Over Medical Marijuana Crackdown representative Brian Bilbray’s daughter, a cancer survivor, is one of the plaintiffsSan Diego medical marijuana advocates joined a series of lawsuits Monday seeking an immediate stop to the federal government’s statewide efforts to close dispensaries.A coalition of patients, storefront collectives and their landlords beginning Friday filed lawsuits in all four California federal judicial districts — Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento and San Diego — where U.S. attorneys have set various deadlines for dispensaries to shut down or risk criminal prosecution and forfeiture of their properties.Briana Bilbray, the 25-year-old daughter of Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-San Diego, is among the plaintiffs in the suit filed in U.S. District Court in San Diego that, among other claims, accuses the Department of Justice of entrapping marijuana providers by reversing its own policy.That lawsuit names as defendants U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Drug Enforcement Administration head Michele Leonhart and U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy of San Diego.“Not only is the U.S. attorney infringing on my right as a California resident to obtain the medicine I need, but she is punishing me by making it more difficult to get the one thing I really need as a patient,” Briana Bilbray, a cancer survivor who has spoken out on behalf of patient cooperatives, said Monday in a prepared statement. “It is one of the worst feelings imaginable.”Asked about his daughter’s involvement, Bilbray issued the following statement: “Karen and I raised our children to be strong individuals who think for themselves. I respect my daughter’s right to fight for what she believes in based on her personal experiences. We may not agree with our children on every issue, but Karen and I are very proud parents.”AdvertisementBilbray’s son, Imperial Beach City Councilman Brian Patrick Bilbray, recently cast the lone dissenting vote against a citywide ban on medical marijuana dispensaries, saying he supports marijuana access for patients but also was concerned about legal repercussions for the community.Cont.
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Comment #4 posted by Oleg the tumor on November 08, 2011 at 13:14:54 PT:
The Entrapment Argument . . (Heah come de judge!)
Way, way back, when all of this started, the federal law regarding cannabis was in the form of a tax stamp. It didn't last very long, but it does inform that the "intent of the legislation" was to target, or entrap, individuals carrying weed (traditional migrant workers from Mexico) to subject those people to Federal Offences in order to hold the threat of deportation over their heads, that is, unless they agreed to the working conditions and the wages dictated to them.
Is this entrapment? UHH... Yeah! Y'know it think it really is! It all comes out in the end, doesn't it?
Pay heed to Bill Piper's comments in #1 and contact your elected officials about supporting this bill. 
Does anybody know the HB (or SB) number for this bill?
That would help. 
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Comment #3 posted by John Tyler on November 08, 2011 at 11:27:05 PT
Beatles tribute band
If you loved the Beatles and wished you could see them again maybe, you can. There is a fantastic Beatles Tribute band called Rain that is on tour. I missed it when it came to my town, but if you are neat the tour date schedule you might want to check them out.
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Comment #2 posted by The GCW on November 08, 2011 at 08:19:14 PT
They're stuck."
YES, the feds are stuck. The sham not gaining ground. The Fed's discredited and vulgar war on a God-given plant can not be allowed to gain another inch.
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Comment #1 posted by runruff on November 08, 2011 at 08:18:23 PT
More about Mickey and Blue-Gil, monstercrates!
Dear jerry,The federal assault on medical marijuana patients and providers is escalating.The best way to ensure that medical marijuana patients and providers no longer have to live in fear of federal authorities is to end federal marijuana prohibition altogether.Right now, there is a bill sitting in Congress that would end federal marijuana prohibition and protect the ability of states to make their own marijuana laws without federal interference. Urge your representative to support this bill to end federal marijuana prohibition today!Multiple federal agencies are working in tandem to assault medical marijuana patients and providers. The DEA is raiding licensed and regulated dispensaries that are legal under state law. The ATF is discriminating against medical marijuana patients by prohibiting them from owning firearms. The IRS is rejecting standard business expense tax deductions from legitimate medical marijuana providers. And federal threats have intimidated banks and landlords into refusing to do business with the medical marijuana industry. Even free speech is under attack -- at least one federal prosecutor is threatening to target newspapers that accept medical marijuana advertising.Last week, for the first time ever a Gallup Poll found that 50 percent of all Americans want marijuana legalized. We have reached the tipping point -- now let’s seize this opportunity! Tell your legislators to get in line with public opinion by ending the federal war on marijuana and allowing states to decide their own marijuana laws -- free from federal interference. With your help, we can protect medical marijuana patients and providers from these outrageous assaults by ending federal marijuana prohibition. Sincerely,Bill Piper
Director, Office of National Affairs
Drug Policy Alliance 
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