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ASA’s Media Summary For The Week Ending 7/27/07

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
ASA’s Media Summary for the Week Ending 7/27/07
FEDERAL : More Intimidation Aimed at LA’s Politicians and Patients
FEDERAL : Congress Gets Two Votes Closer to Stopping DEA Raids
CALIFORNIA : Kern County Patients Struggle with Access
CALIFORNIA : Claremont Endorses Dispensaries
NEW MEXICO : Medical Marijuana Program Gets Started
CANADA : Patients Still Insist on Growing Their Own
IN MEMORIAM : Reform Advocate Virginia Resner Dies
FEDERAL: More Intimidation Aimed at LA’s Politicians and Patients

Another set of coordinated DEA raids on medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles proved again that federal action on the issue is less about law enforcement than it is politics. And it wasn’t just that the ten simultaneous raids came close on the heels of intimidating letters sent to at least 150 landlords renting to patient cooperatives, it was the day chosen. At the very moment federal agents were kicking down doors and detaining patients, two important political actions were in progress. The Los Angeles City Council was taking action on establishing regulatory ordinances for the operation of the dispensaries, and the US House was considering for the fifth year an amendment to stop funding for DEA raids on patients. Not only did LA -- under the leadership of councilman Dennis Zine, a former LAPD officer -- take a step toward regulation, it added a resolution urging Congress to stop federal interference in this local public health issue. Unfortunately, Congressional leadership failed to put their weight behind the bipartisan Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment, but it came two votes closer to passage than it did last year. ASA emergency response to the raids turned out hundreds of protesters within two hours, helping generate intense media coverage and, more importantly, secure the release of dispensary employees being held by the DEA.

DEA raids 10 pot shops
by Steve Hymon,
Los Angeles Times
The gap between state and federal drug laws became apparent again Wednesday when federal agents raided 10 local medical marijuana facilities only minutes after the Los Angeles City Council placed a moratorium on new facilities so rules could be drafted to better regulate them.

DEA raids LA medical marijuana clinics
by Andrew Glazer,
Associated Press
Federal agents raided 10 marijuana clinics Wednesday, the same day city leaders introduced a measure calling for an end to the crackdown on the dispensaries allowed under state law.

DEA serves 10 warrants in LA medical marijuana crackdown
Associated Press
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration served search warrants at 10 different locations throughout Los Angeles County in connection with its crackdown on medical marijuana facilities.

DEA targets landlords in pot battle
by William M. Welch,
USA Today
The U.S. Justice Department is unleashing a potent new weapon in its battle against California’s hundreds of medical pot clinics, threatening landlords with arrest and property seizures for renting to tenants who flout federal drug laws.

Humboldt County ASA to hold protest
Eureka reporter (CA)
The Humboldt County chapter of Americans for Safe Access will hold a protest on the front lawn of Arcata City Hall tonight at 5, according to a news release from ASA. The demonstration will be held in response to raids conducted Wednesday by the Drug Enforcement Administration against medical marijuana dispensaries in the Los Angeles area.

Medical pot stores' profits questioned
by Dan Abendschein, Whittier Daily News (CA)
The recent busts of medical marijuana dispensaries have raised questions about the revenue the operations collect. "A business grossing the kind of numbers released by the DEA is not making that much money," said Chris Fusco of the Americans for Safe Access organization. "Both the federal and state governments need to give clear guidelines so there is no confusion for dispensary operators."

Drug warriors on the hunt
Orange County Register
The federal Drug Enforcement Administration has started playing hardball with medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles, but it's unclear how far it will move beyond symbolic intimidation. The DEA, which has discretion when it comes to setting priorities, would do well to abandon this effort to deprive seriously ill people of medicine to which they are entitled under state law. Such efforts are unworthy of it.

Federal intervention

EDITORIAL, Los Angeles Daily News
Feds, back off. That's what the Los Angeles City Council and medical marijuana advocates hope will happen by adopting a moratorium on new dispensaries and bringing current ones into compliance while stricter rules are written.

FEDERAL: Congress Gets Two Votes Closer to Stopping DEA Raids

For five years, an amendment has been put before Congress that would cut off the DEA’s funding for raids on medical marijuana patients and providers in states where it is legal. The bipartisan effort, lead by Democrat Maurice Hinchey of New York and Republican Dana Rohrabacher of California, gains more votes each year. But without the full support of the House leadership, it may be a few more before this way of stopping federal interference in state efforts to protect the health of their citizens succeeds.

Medical marijuana backers say they'll fight on
by Will Dunham,
Backers of a measure to stop the U.S. government from blocking the use of medical marijuana in states that allow it vowed on Thursday to press on with their fight despite losing another congressional vote.

U.S. House votes down change to end federal raids on medical marijuana
by Jewels Phraner,
Columbia Missourian
The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday night voted down the latest medicinal marijuana bill, which sought to keep residents of states that allow marijuana for medicinal purposes safe from federal raids.

House nixes medical pot amendment
by Josh Richman,
ANG Newspapers
The House again has rejected an amendment to protect medical marijuana patients from federal prosecution, the fifth such vote in as many years.

CALIFORNIA: Kern County Patients Struggle with Access

A crisis of access is developing in Kern County, as two of the three dispensaries there have elected to close their doors out of concern for federal raids and the county’s inability to protect them from DEA interference. By eliminating regulated access that can be monitored by local authorities, the DEA actually bolsters the illegal, underground market in drugs, as more patients are forced to use street dealers to get the medicine their doctors’ recommend.

Medical marijuana users testify of pot's importance
by Brynn Galindo,
KGET TV 17 (Bakersfield)
The owners of two of three marijuana dispensaries in Kern County decided to close their stores, after the Board of Supervisors announced it wouldn't protect the pot shops from federal raids.

Pot-dispensary crackdown activates search for options
by David Olson,
Press-Enterprise (CA)
As the number of medical-marijuana dispensaries in the Inland area dwindles, patients are looking for other options while their advocates try to shield them from arrest.

CALIFORNIA: Claremont Endorses Dispensaries

With a medical marijuana dispensary already serving patients in the community, the city council decided it was time to act on adopting appropriate regulations. They put a hold on the opening of new ones while they work out procedures.

Medical marijuana dispensary opens in Claremont
Claremont Courier (CA)
Tuesday night’s council discussion on placing a moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries was expected to be fairly routine. Several people had approached the city about opening such a business, according to the city staff report, and the city needed a moratorium in place to give time to craft appropriate regulations.

NEW MEXICO: Medical Marijuana Program Gets Started

Getting medical marijuana legislation passed was a big step in New Mexico, and a testament to Governor Bill Richardson’s commonsense leadership, but once passed, the hard work of figuring out the details of implementation begins. New Mexico’s program is an ambitious one, as it directs the state to set up a cultivation and distribution system of its own, similar to Canada’s.

NM medical marijuana applications roll in
Associated Press
Nearly two dozen New Mexicans have applied to use medical marijuana since the state this month began allowing people with certain debilitating conditions to use the drug for nausea.

Local doctors to have say in medical marijuana program
The New Mexican
Two Santa Fe physicians have been appointed to an eight-member medical-advisory committee that will help guide the New Mexico Health Department’s new Medical Cannabis Program.

CANADA: Patients Still Insist on Growing Their Own

Not all patients can grow their own medical marijuana, but many who can prefer to have that control over their medicine, not to mention avoiding the cost of having to buy it. In Canada, the health department has responsibility for providing medical cannabis to patients, but many have challenged that monopoly, complaining about the quality of the cannabis or other problems with the system. Those challenges are working their way through the Canadian courts.

RCMP Seizes Medical Pot User's Plants
by Glenn Kauth,
Edmonton Sun
An Evansburg man who takes pot for his pain fears he's about to get sicker after police seized his weed yesterday.

IN MEMORIAM: Reform Advocate Virginia Resner Dies

A great friend and colleague who was one of the champions of the drug law reform movement has passed away. Virginia Resner was an author and advocate who worked tirelessly on behalf of sentencing reform and medical marijuana. She will be sorely missed by everyone who knew her.

Virginia Resner -- strong advocate for reform of national drug policy
San Francisco Chronicle
Virginia Resner, a longtime advocate for drug policy reform and the families of imprisoned drug offenders, died July 18 after a lengthy battle with breast cancer. She was 60.


Find out more about ASA at ASA : Advancing Legal Medical Marijuana Therapeutics and Research. More medical marijuana news summaries can be seen at ASA : Medical Marijuana News Summaries.
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