Feds Target Owners Renting To Pot Dispensaries 

  Feds Target Owners Renting To Pot Dispensaries 

Posted by CN Staff on July 17, 2007 at 08:05:01 PT
By Eric Bailey 
Source: New Mexican 

Los Angeles, CA -- Raising the stakes in the federal government’s war against medical marijuana, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has warned more than 150 Los Angeles landlords that they risk arrest and the loss of their property if they continue renting to cannabis dispensaries.The two-page letter dispatched last week by Timothy J. Landrum, DEA special agent in charge of the Los Angeles office, has whipped up worries among landlords and dispensary operators in a region that has seen a proliferation of the businesses in the past two years.
“I’m devastated,” said Lisa Sawoya, who left her job selling high-tech hospital equipment to open a dispensary 18 months ago in Hollywood. “My landlord believes in cannabis as medicine. But they’re taking the letter very seriously. So I’ll be closing my doors at the end of this month.”Sarah Pullen, a DEA spokeswoman in Los Angeles, said the purpose of the letters is to “educate” property owners at risk because they’re housing marijuana dispensaries. “The move by the DEA has focused entirely on Los Angeles. Activists suspect the logistics and timing — more than a decade after state voters legalized medical marijuana — is intended to thin the ranks of Los Angeles dispensaries on the eve of new city regulations. A proposed city ordinance would cap and regulate the number of outlets, which now number more than 400.Medical marijuana activists say most landlords are taking the threat seriously and have asked the dispensaries to move out. “Raiding dispensaries and arresting patients hasn’t worked to end medical marijuana so the DEA is trying a new tactic and claiming a new victim in this war,” said Steph Sherer of Americans for Safe Access, a group that supports medical marijuana.Dale Gieringer of the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws said the DEA crackdown won’t stop patients’ marijuana use. Instead, he said, the ill could be driven to find drugs on the illegal market, potentially putting themselves at risk.In recent years, courts have upheld the federal government’s ability to seize assets. After the DEA raided the Los Angeles Cannabis Resource Center in 2001, the federal government seized more than $300,000 that West Hollywood had loaned the center to buy its building.Gieringer said the most likely outcome of Landrum’s letter would be numerous evictions and shutdowns followed by a few select forfeiture prosecutions “to scare remaining landlords.”Hap Kent, who runs Therapeutic Medicinal Health Resources in the Sherman Oaks district of the city, said he hopes the DEA would consider letting dispensaries continue to operate for another six months.While the possibility of eviction looms for many dispensaries, Kent sees a possible silver lining — a political outcry that could get the state to respond to voters’ wishes and take on the role of directly supplying medical marijuana.“That’s the way it should have been from the beginning,” he said. Source: New Mexican, The (Santa Fe, NM)Author: Eric Bailey, LA TimesPublished: July 16, 2007 Copyright: 2007 The Santa Fe New MexicanContact: webeditor Website: Related Article & Web Site:Americans For Safe Access Medical Marijuana Outlets May Be Closed

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Comment #26 posted by Hope on July 18, 2007 at 09:16:48 PT
What a stupid, wasteful, insane,
evil excuse we have for a Federal Government.Sickening. 
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Comment #25 posted by FoM on July 18, 2007 at 07:07:09 PT
Feds Indict Medical Pot Dispensary Operators
By Eric Bailey, Times Staff WriterJuly 18, 2007 The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration announced a set of indictments Tuesday alleging that operators of nearly a dozen medical marijuana dispensaries — including two in West Hollywood — profiteered from the illegal distribution of pot.Among those accused are the operators of Compassionate Caregivers, a chain-store medical marijuana operation that did more than $95 million in business.Complete Article:,1,2501076.story
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Comment #24 posted by FoM on July 17, 2007 at 14:57:39 PT
Press Release from The DEA
July 17, 2007 Local Marijuana Dispensary Operators 
Indicted on Drug Trafficking Charges  JUL 17 --(LOS ANGELES) The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) along with the United States Attorney's Office of the Central District of California, the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, the San Luis Obispo Sheriff's Department, the Corona Police Department and the Los Angeles Police Department announced today the indictments of owners and operators of four marijuana dispensaries in Morro Bay, Corona, and two in West Hollywood. These individuals have been indicted on federal criminal charges alleging that they conspired to distribute and distributed large quantities of marijuana, including to minors, for significant profits. Also indicted is a medical doctor who wrote marijuana recommendations for payment including recommendations for minors with no medical examinations.Complete Press Release:
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Comment #23 posted by paulpeterson on July 17, 2007 at 13:11:07 PT
ONDCP violation of Hatch Act-finally they get it!
In 2002, I sent Asa Hutchinson (DEA Czar then) a letter critical of his interfering with the Matyland legislature-I asked him to send me a copy of his letter sent to the legislators of that sovereign state. HE DID! I complained to him that he had violated some law or ethics rule-at that time I still wasn't sure which he had violated.Well, in 2003, HE DIDN'T BOTHER THEM AGAIN, and sent Johnny Pee instead and the MM law passed, I think (from memory, that is). Asa bowed out because he recognized that he would be in trouble if he took point on that issue ever again.Now, finally, congress is getting into the act here, which seems to relate to the very issue of the debate on the Hinchey amendment right now, which is genius. The increased power the dems are wielding right now, in the investigation of the political mis-management of those 8 attorney firings, is being used to sling-shot this issue into the most ideal ONDCP Hatch Act violations, and just in time for prime time.Kudos to Waxman, bringing Taylor back into the spotlight. This fight is heating up quite nice like, eh? PAUL PETERSON
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Comment #22 posted by FoM on July 17, 2007 at 12:51:58 PT
I posted it and thanks.
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Comment #21 posted by kaptinemo on July 17, 2007 at 12:48:09 PT:
If you want to, FoM
But this is the beginning: Politicization of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, from Waxman's Web site got the link from Pete's DrugWarRant
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Comment #20 posted by FoM on July 17, 2007 at 12:42:50 PT
Should I post the article from Raw Story?
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Comment #19 posted by kaptinemo on July 17, 2007 at 12:39:48 PT:
The kicker is in the names of States
Namely, all the States that had drug law reform measures on ballots. Which, needless to say, most Republicans in those States were against. And, of course, ol' Johnny 'just happened by' with lots and lots of Gub'mint money to dole out like old John D. Rockefeller did with dimes. It couldn't have gotten more blatant.I'm ticked that it is this political stuff, and not the fact that ONDCP violated the letter of the law itself, that has gotten them in hot water, but I'll certainly be happy to see them stew, as Rep. Waxman has all the smoking guns he needs. They were really sloppy, which goes back to an observation a very bright lady named Catharine Austin Fitts made once: "The winners in a rigged game get stupid." The Bush Administration has certainly been acting that way...
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Comment #18 posted by FoM on July 17, 2007 at 12:30:40 PT

That's an interesting article. Thanks.
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on July 17, 2007 at 12:26:54 PT

Thank you for commenting on what happened. I sometimes think that the republicans got jealous over Clinton and Lewinsky. I never liked Clinton but oh for the days of talk shows discussing the Lewinsky affair and how much better it would be then what Bush has done to us and the world.
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Comment #16 posted by kaptinemo on July 17, 2007 at 12:06:08 PT:

OT, but hot stuff!
Recall how it's been said here many times the ONDCP has been violating the Hatch Act? Well, it would seem Representative Henry Waxman is not amused: House Oversight Committee calls ex-Rove aide Taylor back to the Hill the article:Waxman, the Oversight Committee's chair, was particularly critical of the White House appearing to deploy the nation's 'drug control czar' and his staff in the Office of National Drug Control Policy to Republican Congressional campaign events."As the nation's drug czar, Director [John] Walters has the responsibility to oversee the federal government's domestic and international drug control efforts," he wrote in the Tuesday letter. "It is hard to understand how his ability to perform this essential function would be enhanced by extensive taxpayer-funded travel to 'god awful places' to appear with vulnerable Republican members."It gets better. Go see before the link is moved. Johnny Pee could finally be in the hot water he's been boiling for a long time...
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Comment #15 posted by paulpeterson on July 17, 2007 at 12:05:47 PT

A wide variety of reasons for stupidity
Each election cycle is unique. I can't pretend to understand all flows of decision making, for instance, why the 2000 election went repugnant. It probably had something to do with a repugnance among God fearing persons towards the sexual immorality of our former President-the one that shook his Bill finger at the American people 1) when he claimed not to have inhaled & then later, when he said 2) he did not have "sex" with that woman, and then wanted to clearly define "is" ie: as to whether he had a current relationship with that woman, after all, and forever coined new terms like "Clinton Sex" and "Bill job" and my favorite "Bill shit" (ie: doublespeak so incredible that you wonder if anyone could ever top his flimsy denials).But of course, when the weight on the bottom of a long cord moves one way, it will move back the other way eventually, and that guy that stole the election by claiming he was holier than thou, that now is steeped in a deep pile of deception with hundreds of thousands of bodies and millions of refugees, that still has America believing in weapons of mass destruction, and that the Taliban was in bed with Saddam all along, etc., and that things are getting better all the time in Iraq, has outdid Clinton on all fronts, hasn't he?So I'm going to state that Clinton's lack of willingness to admit he was wrong, when and where he was wrong, did us in good-I can forgive him for denying he inhaled, of course. But that just traumatized him to the point where he wouldn't ever even consider reading the IOM report he commissioned-in 1999, had he really had any balls at all, he would have admitted to the American people that he did, in fact, inhale after all, but he had to fudge on that one, and that is just the point here-that this system of retaliation, for speaking out loud, kept him from being able to admit he inhaled, which cries out for change-so people can stop denying what would be politically suicidal-being truthful about such sacred cows as the drug war-so we can start to heal rifts and heal the sick, rather than viciously burning them over slow burning pyres, and I'm not talking bong here, the other pyres.And then, when Monica-gate hit, he should have admitted, that in fact, he is merely human, and even he, the highest office-holder in the land, is human, with needs, and wants, and ask for forgiveness, because that would be the right thing to do, as a Christian, and also as a really good Saxophone player should do, and of course, Hillary forgave him after all, even though he never did ask the American people for forgiveness, did he?So because he was foibled and flawed, we got ourselves into another worse mess, with the Bush thingy, that time.Now, of course, in 2002, we had this conservative affective disorder retreat back to stereotypical behaviors, because Bush played the war/death/fear/terrorism card, which he learned from history works each time, better than clean, all the way to bright-to cover any stubborn ring around the collar stains-and boy, did he keep from having to face blue Monday for a long time, eh?You see, when people are so traumatized that they can't think straight, because of the wonderful prime time video mini-cam event, which forever etched that 911 event into everybody's angst (adrenaline etched memories can only be removed with careful therapy, with proper levels of cannabinoid intake, at just the right time-when the tears flow like rivers and the event is on-screen with stunning technicolor, in panavision, etc.), they always retreat to that simpler era, when detergent had phosphates, things like that-when laundry day stains were the worst problem us little people had to deal with (and Hitler, the Moose, Rush & Ronnie himself were the best darned soap salesmen in history on this one, which little Bush had studied well, or well, maybe that Cheney Cheney guy was the historian and scholar that learned so well how to write the script-go figure).So now, finally, people are starting to wake up from this sleepy time story time, to realize that 6 years have elapsed since those chads sealed the deal and stole our rights and all of them-and the little weight on the bottom of a cord seems to be moving back the other way, finally, and finely.And now, yes, the repugnants are right, that the far left is getting more radical, because there is a segment of the population that is angry at those dems for not stopping the war yet, and angry defectors from the dems will shake them to regain their footing as opposition to the repugnants. And now angry voters back home are causing repugnants to start to mutiny the ship, and there will be a further shift away from war-mongering, methinks.Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the angry debate about the war, and the budget blood flow from sending all our money overseas will cause politicians, all over the globe, to start to see more clearly just how stupid it is to continue a drug war, when, instead, we should start to read that 1999 IOM report, finally, and now there is good cover for a real debate, about how we should stop putting more and more good soldier types in prison, etc., and so look for about 25-30 more votes on that Hinchey amendment which might just get us within striking distance of the White House on this one, this time, eh?I'm done now, and thanks for listening, over and out, from behind enemy lines, in Northwest Iowa  PAUL PETERSON(ps: Ive now got the local police in a multi-charge pattern of evidence destruction, tampering, withholding, and witness secrecy that should trigger a Mike Nifong disbarrment of the new county attorney, that still doesn't realize how dangerous it is to keep prosecuting me-and he was a BONG BROTHER, just a generation ago, back during that 70's show, oh boy).
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Comment #14 posted by ekim on July 17, 2007 at 11:07:31 PT

the law needs to be changed---
The Hinchey amendment would prohibit the Justice Department -- including the DEA -- from spending funds to interfere with state medical marijuana laws. contact your rep and ask them to vote for 
www.norml.orgUpdate in MI -- great debate on Gov. Granholm submitting new
proposals for drug offences. Local LEOs saying that the State will be shifting offenders down to the Countys -- Ann Arbors 30 year ticket law for cannabis use now under more scrutiny then ever. Howard Wooldridge will be speaking to the Flint Rotary on Thursday. He will be on talkradio wkzo 7am in Kal on Wed to talk about how the drug prohibition is costing millions in MI and what he thinks about reducing
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on July 17, 2007 at 10:33:05 PT

I look at it this way. Yes they will be out of power after the elections in 08 and I believe until then they are going to act like a cornered vicious dog. They aren't going down easy.
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Comment #12 posted by Sam Adams on July 17, 2007 at 10:25:30 PT

The DEA knows there's an excellent chance the party will end in January 2008! Look for them to pull out all the stops in the months leading up to then.  History tells us the worst atrocities are almost always at the end of the war.MPP's got a few more surprises cooked up for the 2008 election, btw. They plan to run 3-4 medical MJ referendums that will establish legal protection for dispensaries in new states like Maine and Washington.
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on July 17, 2007 at 10:14:50 PT

We are paying a big price for the Republicans being in power since the 2000 elections. I never will understand why anyone would have wanted the Republicans to rule us. It's totally beyond my ability to understand.
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Comment #10 posted by mykeyb420 on July 17, 2007 at 10:00:54 PT:

With all of the TONS of cannabis comming across the border and the mexican drug lords setting up " shop " in our national parks and forrests, why does the government attack the sick and dying people that voted for them. We hear about the terrorist in the middle esat comming to attack us, now we have to sit and wait for the government terrorist that might come to attack us while we medicate. What happened to the RIGHT to LIFE liberty and the pursuit of happiness,, it got thrown out after the 2000 election.
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on July 17, 2007 at 09:57:18 PT

Article in the LA Times
This is where the above article originated. I didn't post the LA Times because I only figured out that I didn't have to snip the LA Times anymore today. Now I know and I will use their articles. That's all for now.,1,419789.story
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on July 17, 2007 at 09:53:07 PT

Max Flowers
Thank you. I didn't know any of that. I don't use a cell phone except when I borrow my husbands that he has for work now and then. 
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Comment #7 posted by ripit on July 17, 2007 at 09:50:12 PT:

why can't
the city's and county's rent space to the dispensaries?do you see any reason why they couldn't? how would the dea confiscate public buildings?
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Comment #6 posted by Max Flowers on July 17, 2007 at 09:48:07 PT

Disposable cellphones
Well the thing is that yes, they may be able to zero in on any given cell phone number, but then they (cannabis sellers) can just get a different phone the next day (and the next day and the next day, etc.), making the feds' efforts nearly useless. Then you multiply that by hundreds, and you can see the task that the feds have. The idea is not total impunity, but overwhelming them by numbers.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on July 17, 2007 at 09:32:31 PT

Dr Ganj 
You can tell I am not from California. I didn't know that any cell phone would hide the phone number from any government officials if they want that information.
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Comment #4 posted by Dr Ganj on July 17, 2007 at 09:23:23 PT

This will only create more cannabis delivery services.
It already is quite popular, and with anonymous cell phones available at any Wal-Mart, stopping this creative sales tactic will be impossible.
The demand is just too huge, and the profits too alluring, for people to be afraid of the DEA.
So, for all intents and purposes, medical marijuana will always be just one phone call away. 
Sorry, fuzz, you can keep trying to scare people, but it's never going to work.
Oh, pardon me, but I have to load my bong now....
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Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on July 17, 2007 at 09:23:19 PT

They won't stop...
until EVERY element of your life is "regulated" and controlled by the government and corporations. That is the techno-utopia we're aiming for, right?
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on July 17, 2007 at 08:30:26 PT

That's an interesting comment. Do you mean like a person calls for a pizza and it's delivered? If so couldn't the base phone number be found by them?
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Comment #1 posted by dongenero on July 17, 2007 at 08:20:23 PT

harder to control
The feds are just going to make it harder to regulate.Rather than having a brick and mortar dispensary to check on, provide a secure location for patients and a secure location for the cannabis, the dispensaries may have to go to a delivery based system.Good luck with regulating that! We already know it is impossible to regulate the underground cannabis trade. 
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