Oakland Protests U.S. Attorney's Crackdown 
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Oakland Protests U.S. Attorney's Crackdown 
Posted by CN Staff on July 13, 2012 at 05:12:52 PT
By Lee Romney, Los Angeles Times
Source: Los Angeles Times
Oakland -- A day after federal prosecutors moved to shutter the country's largest medical marijuana dispensary, city leaders and other officials came to the defense of Harborside Health Center, warning of dire economic and social consequences if Oakland's carefully regulated industry is quashed."We cannot afford the money, we cannot afford the waste of law enforcement resources, and we cannot afford the loss of jobs that this would entail," City Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan said Thursday at a news conference as dozens of Harborside Health Center patients stood by.
Co-founded in 2006 by Executive Director Steve DeAngelo, Harborside has in many ways set standards for the medical marijuana industry.The sleek operation — which has a smaller sister dispensary in San Jose — lab tests its cannabis to assess quality and measure key chemical components; offers acupuncture, pain management and other free wellness services to its thousands of members; and employs more than 125 people.DeAngelo worked closely with Oakland officials as they crafted one of the nation's strictest regulatory schemes to monitor and tax the industry, and officials say he complies with all local and state laws.But Melinda Haag, the U.S. attorney for California's Northern District, is now seeking to seize the properties where Harborside operates, alleging its marijuana sales violate federal law and that its size as a "superstore" increases the likelihood that it is in violation of state law. A civil forfeiture action was served Wednesday against Harborside's two landlords.If the move drives Harborside out of business, a chunk of its $30 million in annual sales would no doubt return to the streets, benefiting dealers who don't lab test their products or work with patients to customize medications, DeAngelo and other advocates said Thursday.Jason David, father of a 5-year-old boy with Dravet syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy, wept as he recounted his son's positive response to a glycerine-based tincture developed with DeAngelo's help. The tincture uses a strain high in cannabidol, which is not psychoactive."He's down from 22 pills a day to four. When I look in his eyes and tell him, 'Give me a kiss,' he can now give me a kiss," David said. "Please, Ms. Haag, have some compassion. Don't let me lose my son."DeAngelo pledged to "never abandon our patients." Harborside attorney Henry Wykowski added that he is conferring with the property owners and has not decided how to proceed. The landlords are expected to reply to the federal action within 20 days and a hearing has been set for October."There is no reason to kick down our door," Wykowski said, and invited federal prosecutors to arrange a visit.Aside from the effect on patients, Harborside's closure — or failure to find another property if the current forfeiture action moves forward — would deal a direct financial blow to the Bay Area city.Last year alone, Harborside paid $3.5 million in taxes — $1.1 million of which went to Oakland coffers as a business tax. Additional sales tax and payroll taxes were paid as well.The business tax represents the bulk of the $1.4 million paid last year by Oakland's four permitted dispensaries combined, among them one associated with medical marijuana pioneer Richard Lee that was shuttered in April after a federal raid and is now regrouping without Lee's participation.Lee's company, which operated the industry trade school known as Oaksterdam University, dissolved, forcing 45 direct employees off the payroll, cutting their health benefits and eliminating 63 other union jobs in related businesses, said Dale Sky Jones, who now operates the university and is rebuilding its curriculum.Out-of-towners had flocked to the university's classes, staying at downtown hotels and further spurring the city economy, added Oakland revenue manager Dave McPherson.McPherson said the business taxes paid by dispensaries make up about 2.5% of the $54 million paid citywide. But that is no small contribution in a city struggling with a shrinking police force and the return to the state of $21 million in redevelopment funds, said City Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente."This action will have a long-term impact," he said. "Landlords will be intimidated into not leasing buildings" to dispensaries.Oakland moved in 2004 to limit dispensaries, and in 2009 became the first city to tax the operations. The City Council recently raised the number of dispensaries from four to eight. Applicants are moving through the permitting process but have had difficulty finding willing landlords, said Deputy City Administrator Arturo Sanchez.Also coming to the defense of Harborside on Thursday were Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland); State Board of Equalization member Betty Yee, who said her office collects $58 million to $105 million in annual state tax from California dispensaries; and Oakland City Atty. Barbara J. Parker, a former federal prosecutor."I strongly oppose federal actions against members of Oakland's business community who are complying with California and Oakland laws and regulations and paying their fair share of taxes," Parker wrote in a statement.Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)Author:  Lee Romney, Los Angeles TimesPublished: July 13, 2012Copyright: 2012 Los Angeles TimesContact: letters latimes.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on July 19, 2012 at 17:54:47 PT
On a Lighter Note
Here are a few pictures of what has been keeping me very busy. The pups will be 5 weeks old in a few days.
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on July 19, 2012 at 15:46:39 PT
Thank you. You said what I feel. I don't know how people can hate so much. 
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Comment #15 posted by Hope on July 19, 2012 at 08:11:07 PT
That's one thing that C-News has always
had great value in doing. Helping us learn how to speak out against injustice without ruining everything we're trying to do by making a display of vulgarity. It makes me think of angry, captive chimpanzees. I despise chimpanzees. Aaargh. 
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Comment #14 posted by Hope on July 19, 2012 at 08:04:31 PT
Well said, FoM.
Chilefarmer. You can express how you feel about the situation without being nearly so crude and offensive. We can make the world a better place and be disappointed or angry at politicians without adding to the corruption with our own words.I am sensitive to what we all are and what we are becoming, as a people. As humanity. That is why I'm speaking out against the government and the lovers of prohibition in this matter in the first place.I am sensitive. Not overly sensitive. Just the right amount of sensitive. I'm sensitive to arresting and killing people over drugs, ESPECIALLY cannabis. I'm sensitive to the way government agents treat people. I am highly offended at what they are doing. I don't like supporting monsters. I don't like foul mouthed cretins breaking down people's doors, armed to the teeth and calling citizens and their children vile names. We don't have to act like we're a bunch of freaking miscreant hooligans breaking into someone's home screaming obscenities to say we hate what they are doing.Freaking miscreant hooligans congregate other places besides C-News. If you don't like the way FoM keeps house... you'll have to find another forum to express how you feel. One that doesn't mind what you drag in and fling around.Other than that, hey... how are you today?
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on July 18, 2012 at 19:51:20 PT
You can vote for Gary Johnson and I will vote again for Obama. He has done more for my family then we could have ever hoped for. There are other issues that are important to people besides our issue. I'd appreciate it if you aren't so hostile to Obama. I didn't like it when people were very hostile towards Bush. It really doesn't help anything. I won't insult any person running for President. I might not agree with their politics but I won't be mean about it. 
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Comment #12 posted by chilefarmer on July 18, 2012 at 18:27:26 PT:
Don't reward the Liar In Chief
It should be evident by now, even to the most leftist stoner, that Obama is nothing but a typical crooked Chicago politician. Promises to whatever interest group he is talking to, then stab them in the back when he thinks it is to his political advantage. I for one am not going to reward a POS liar with my vote. I'd rather have a President who is honest in his opposition to me on this than someone who pretends to be with me but isn't. If we as cannabis legalization proponents really have the courage of our convictions, we'll support Gary Johnson.
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Comment #11 posted by museman on July 16, 2012 at 11:41:50 PT
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Comment #10 posted by Richard Zuckerman on July 14, 2012 at 15:50:04 PT:
What has U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell done for us?
Here in Seattle, Washington, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell is running for re-election, hoping her costly dinner event last week gives her campaign more funding. WHAT HAS U.S. SENATOR MARIA CANTWELL DONE FOR THE MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION MOVEMENT? Why should I vote for her? I stopped in her office a couple of weeks ago, but she hasn't mailed me any letter response to the issues I raised, such as ending Hemp Prohibition!! She has not done anything to correct the problem of the overly-inclusive construction of federal jurisdiction under the interstate commerce clause, either!! She's just a Party-line-Democrat, most of whom should be run out of office, as far as I am concerned!! With the Initiative 502 on the ballot this November here in Washington State, I expect federal government interference in the event it passes, and I hope there are at least a few brave lawyers prepared to litigate and appeal the interstate commerce clause issue to the U.S. Supreme Court, in the spirit of States' Rights!!!
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Comment #9 posted by afterburner on July 14, 2012 at 10:41:34 PT
Another Article from our Friend Paul
AlterNet / By Paul Armentano.
There's Been a Tectonic Shift on Marijuana Across the US, Except in Washington -- Why Can't We Pop the Beltway Bubble?
More Americans and local politicians than ever before are demanding an end to marijuana prohibition -- but for change to happen, we need federal officials to start listening.
July 10, 2012 | America is at a tipping point when it comes to the politics of pot. Never in modern history has there existed greater public support for ending this nation’s nearly century-long experiment with cannabis 
prohibition and replacing it with a system legalization and regulation. Moreover, state and local politicians beyond the ‘Beltway bubble’ for the first time in many decades are responding to this sea change in public 
opinion, even if their colleagues in Washington are not. From Rhode Island to Texas, from New York City to Chicago, lawmakers are finally acknowledging that being pro-pot reform equals votes. The question is: Why 
isn’t Washington getting the message? up, beltway. Do your elected duty. Reschedule medical cannabis. Allow the herb to grow!
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on July 13, 2012 at 15:15:06 PT
I believe our government is controlled by special interests and that is what is wrong.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on July 13, 2012 at 15:12:28 PT
Thank you. I have the article posted now.
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Comment #6 posted by konagold on July 13, 2012 at 13:15:47 PT:
OT : ATTN FOM in 8 with fibromyalgia uses medicinal cannabis NEW YORK — One in eight people with the painful condition fibromyalgia self-medicate with pot and other cannabis products, according to a new Canadian study. 
"That is not unusual behavior, in general, for people with chronic medical illnesses for which we don't have great treatments," said Dr. Igor Grant, who heads the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at the University of California and was not involved in the study."People start looking around, they look for other types of remedies, because they need the help," he told Reuters Health.The question is if self-medicating with cannabis is really helpful for people with fibromyalgia, researchers say.Marijuana has been shown to ease certain types of pain in patients with HIV and other conditions. But Grant said he doesn't know of any research showing the drug can relieve the pain associated with fibromyalgia.And the question of whether it helps fibromyalgia sufferers regain some of their daily functions, such as housekeeping or working, remains up in the air, too."We don't want to just see pain reduction, but an improvement in function," said Peter Ste-Marie, a pain researcher at McGill University in Montreal, who worked on the new study. "If it's not helping them get back into a daily life pattern, is it helping them?"People with fibromyalgia typically experience pain in their joints and muscles and may also suffer from frequent headaches and fatigue.According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about two percent of adults have fibromyalgia, which remains a mystery to scientists.The condition can be treated with physical therapy, antidepressants, pain medications and other approaches, although none of them is a cure.To see how many people turn to marijuana, Ste-Marie and his colleagues collected information from the medical records of 457 patients who came to the pain unit at McGill University Health Center. Their findings are published in the journal Arthritis Care & Research.All of the patients had been referred to the clinic for fibromyalgia symptoms, although only 302 of the patients were confirmed to have fibromyalgia as their primary diagnosis.About 10 percent said they smoked marijuana for medical purposes and another three percent had a prescription for a synthetic form of the active chemical in the cannabis plant."The popular knowledge of marijuana being available for pain would tend to demonstrate why 10 percent of patients would give it a try," said Ste-Marie."There really is no miracle drug for fibromyalgia. We definitely understand that patients would try to find something else," he told Reuters Health.The researchers couldn't tell from the study which of the patient had started smoked pot before their fibromyalgia developed. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 40 percent of U.S. adults have tried marijuana at some point.The study showed that pot smokers and non-users had the same rates of disability and unemployment. However, patients who had unstable mental illness or had a worrisome use of opioid pain medications were more likely to report using cannabis - a finding that raised concerns with Ste-Marie and his colleagues."Before saying herbal cannabis has a future in fibromyalgia, there are multiple things that need to be looked at," he sai
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Comment #5 posted by bullhead on July 13, 2012 at 13:08:02 PT:
When will the madness end! What`s wrong with these people! Why do they waste the time the money! This is criminal! My government is corrupt! 
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on July 13, 2012 at 10:45:43 PT
Gosh I don't know. I use a desktop and don't know anything about iPads.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on July 13, 2012 at 10:13:47 PT
That's a good idea.
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Comment #2 posted by Rainbow on July 13, 2012 at 10:13:17 PT
Site operations
FoM I Amon an iPad and finding that not all the comments show up. It states that there are 10 on a previous article and I wrote one but only 5showup.Any thoughts?
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Comment #1 posted by Rainbow on July 13, 2012 at 10:08:12 PT
Outside the box
The council should find government/state/city owned property to rent to the dispensaries. Let 's watch the fearless steal land from all taxpayers and the anti would be upped a bit.
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