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Los Angeles' top prosecutor vows to target pot shops

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LA's top prosecutor vows to target pot shops

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Clay Tepel knew there were risks to setting up a medical marijuana shop: it could lose money, be robbed or be raided by authorities.

Still, he wasn't expecting the phone call one August day when a voice said the police were outside and he needed to open up or they would bust down the door. His first thought that it was a joke turned to terror when he opened the door.

Heavily armed officers in helmets, bulletproof vests and, oddly enough, Bermuda shorts stormed his store, handcuffed him, disabled security cameras and seized his drugs before taking him to jail. When he asked why his shop was invaded, an officer responded, "We're closing them all down."

Those words could prove prescient after Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley said last week he wants to shutter clinics that sell pot for profit. Cooley's plan is the latest salvo in a prolonged conflict in California over whether medical marijuana is truly having its intended effect or is being abused by the larger population.

Until recently, raids on clinics typically led to federal prosecutions, but Cooley's remarks and similar ones from Attorney General Jerry Brown signal a new approach to clear the haze left by Proposition 215, the 1996 state ballot measure that allowed sick people with referrals from doctors and an identification card to smoke pot.

"Everybody is scared," said Tepel, who has spoken with other pot store operators. "Why are voters' rights being stepped all over? This kind of blind justice has to stop."

The crackdown is a crushing blow for dispensary owners who were relieved in March when U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said federal agents would only target marijuana distributors who violate both federal and state laws.

A three-page memo spelling out the policy is expected to be sent Monday to federal prosecutors in 14 states, and also to top officials at the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration. Under federal law, marijuana is illegal.

The comments Holder made earlier this year appear to have emboldened entrepreneurs as marijuana shops cropped up across California. In Los Angeles alone, there are an estimated 800 dispensaries, more than any other city in the nation. In 2005, there were only four, authorities said.

Cooley contends a vast majority of several hundred outlets his office investigated aren't following state law. Initially, the law allowed authorized marijuana users to grow their own plants, but lawmakers revised the law in 2003 to allow collectives to provide pot grown by members.

Cooley said he would target stores who are profiting and selling to people who don't qualify for medicinal marijuana.

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http://apnews.myway.com/article/20091019/D9BE45981.html

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Is marijuana not controlled like any other prescription drug in Cali?

Nope. You just need a Medical Marijuana ID Card to possess the pot. Otherwise, the hippies pretty much police themselves. But, that is slowly changing. There is an inititiative being circulated that would finally let the state tax (and control) marijuana sales, in exchange for outright legalization.

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Is marijuana not controlled like any other prescription drug in Cali?

Nope. You just need a Medical Marijuana ID Card to possess the pot. Otherwise, the hippies pretty much police themselves. But, that is slowly changing. There is an inititiative being circulated that would finally let the state tax (and control) marijuana sales, in exchange for outright legalization.

A new source of revenue for our state. :thumbs:

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I always assumed it would be like any other prescription drug. In my mind, it should be. Any reason it's not?

Poorly written inititiative, and stoners running the insane asylum.

How about other states with medical marijuana laws, do you know if they treat MJ like any prescription drug or are they also like Cali?


Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is.

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I always assumed it would be like any other prescription drug. In my mind, it should be. Any reason it's not?

Poorly written inititiative, and stoners running the insane asylum.

How about other states with medical marijuana laws, do you know if they treat MJ like any prescription drug or are they also like Cali?

Don't know. Before the initiative passed, patients could get a prescription for manufactured cigarettes, or extracts. That seemed to work well for people that really needed the medication, although you could get better smoke from one of your neighbors. I know a couple folks that died of AIDS, and smoking pot did improve the appettite. That was before the new "cocktails" that seem to keep the HIV Positive folks around here surprisingly healthy compared to the rest of us.

Edited by Lone Ranger

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I always assumed it would be like any other prescription drug. In my mind, it should be. Any reason it's not?

Yes, because the California law circumvents federal statues regarding it. It's sort of a loophole that they don't prosecute at a state level. Cities however do as they please, and frequently, federal agencies raid the distribution stores.

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Have any of you Angelenos walked around Venice lately? It's practically Amsterdam these days....even Abbott Kinney has the yuppie version of a pot shop

I don't have to go to LA. My previous neighbor had the Eau de Weed that you could catch from the elevator from the other side of the building.


Wishing you ten-fold that which you wish upon all others.

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Have any of you Angelenos walked around Venice lately? It's practically Amsterdam these days....even Abbott Kinney has the yuppie version of a pot shop

LoL, that has always been the case in Venice, regardless of state inititatives and medical pot :lol:

So much rasta music and greatful dead posters, you know someone had to be smoking :lol:

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Have any of you Angelenos walked around Venice lately? It's practically Amsterdam these days....even Abbott Kinney has the yuppie version of a pot shop

LoL, that has always been the case in Venice, regardless of state inititatives and medical pot :lol:

So much rasta music and greatful dead posters, you know someone had to be smoking :lol:

True dat....and the "will work for weed" guy....but about 20 marijuana dispensaries have just opened up, practically overnight in the area....it almost feel like an Amsterdam coffee shop type arrangement


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