Posts Tagged ‘medical marijuana’
June 7th, 2010 at 1:54 pm
La-La Land Weed Whacking: City of Angels No Longer Sanctuary City for Illegal Pot Shops

After letting medical marijuana dispensaries illegally mushroom to about 1,000 within city limits, L.A.’s city council is imposing tough new restrictions designed to reduce that number to between 70 and 130 within six months.  Under the recently passed ordinance, violators could be fined up to $2,500 a day, and possibly face jail time.

Here’s a mind-blowing perspective:

“The sky isn’t going to fall down,” Asha Greenberg, assistant city attorney, told National Public Radio. “LAPD isn’t going to go around kicking down doors, etc. Initially we’re going to be doing information gathering.”

At least there’s one deleterious activity the people running L.A.’s City Council are willing to fight against.  (At least until November…)

November 24th, 2009 at 11:45 pm
Regulation of California’s “Compassionte Use Act” Goes Up in Smoke in West Hollywood

Just when I begin to think that California government can’t produce a worse example of willful resistance to the rule of law, the city council of West Hollywood vies for attention. Under the terms of California’s “Compassionate Use Act” medical marijuana dispensaries are supposed to be non-profit entities supplied by legal growers for distribution to people with a qualifying medical ailment. This is how the city council of West Hollywood is choosing to implement that law.

Simply, West Hollywood has no clue if its dispensaries are buying pot from gangs, organized crime and illegal grows — or someplace else.

As West Hollywood Councilman John Duran says, “We knew from the beginning that they were operating for a profit. The greater evil was to send AIDS patients back to drug dealers and back alleys.” In fact, the West Hollywood “model” of regulation, praised days ago by city councilmen Rosendahl, Dennis Zine and Paul Koretz, is a rudimentary system of rules that require closing on time, using an unarmed security guard and not attracting loiterers. The city is not even attempting to prevent profits.

But Duran concedes a darker truth, saying, “We know that the collectives are not able to get all their marijuana from California, and some are coming from drug cartels, and the pesticides are highly toxic to AIDS patients. We did advise the dispensary that they should find marijuana that won’t be harmful to patients.” Beyond that, although having only four outlets to worry about, they simply “don’t have the expertise to figure out” where all that high-end $25-per-gram pot is coming from, Duran says.

According to the same LA Weekly article, the Los Angeles city council follows a similar program of non-compliance. Amazing.

October 19th, 2009 at 5:35 pm
Meet Barack Obama’s Attorney General — John Calhoun
Posted by Print

Regardless of how you feel about its policy aspects, the legal components of the Obama Administration’s decision to essentially halt prosecution for users of medical marijuana in states where it is legal is curious.

The problem is that the Controlled Substances Act has prohibited marijuana as a matter of federal law since the 1970s.  And in 2005, the Supreme Court’s decision in Gonzales v. Raich clarified that this federal power supercedes the states’ ability to legalize pot for medicinal purposes.  Yet despite the fact that there has been no change in federal law, the Justice Department is now essentially allowing the states to nullify the statute by telegraphing that DOJ won’t bring prosecutions.

In fairness, you can make a good case that the medical marijuana laws really are an instance of federal excess (Clarence Thomas does it very well in his Gonzales dissent).  But that’s an argument about what should be, not what is.  And in a nation of laws, that’s not enough.