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Council Frustrated By DEA Pot Raids

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
Wearing pink arm bands to show their support for the use of medical marijuana, the Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday asked for information on other cities' success in stopping clinic raids by federal agents.

Voicing frustration with city efforts to develop operating guidelines for the clinics and protect them from raids, the council also asked the Los Angeles Police Department to review its policy on cooperating with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

"We know we have no control over the federal government, but I don't think we should play a role in helping them raid clinics we have authorized," Councilwoman Janice Hahn said.

But Cmdr. David Doan said the LAPD is not prepared to make such a pledge, and that it would have to review any regulations developed by the city.

While police Chief William Bratton has said he agrees with allowing medical-marijuana clinics to operate, the LAPD also has a policy of cooperating with other law enforcement agencies.

He also has said the department might be asked to provide backup support for Drug Enforcement Administration operations.

The LAPD has 20 officers with dual local-federal authorization who work with the DEA, Doan said. Only one, however, has been involved in raids at local marijuana clinics.

Councilman Bill Rosendahl said he wanted to know whether any cities with similar measures have been successful in stopping DEA clinic raids.

"Without that information, all we are doing is a sham on the public," Rosendahl said.

The City Council last week adopted a measure placing a moratorium on all new medical-marijuana clinics in the city until it can develop guidelines.

Hahn said she is prepared to call for the LAPD to stop participating in DEA raids or ask the DEA to impose a moratorium on raids.

The debate came as a group of nearly two dozen women and clinic operators rallied at City Hall to thank the council for its efforts to halt the DEA raids and develop regulations.

California cities and the federal government have been at odds ever since the passage of Proposition 215, allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana for medical use. Police officials estimate there are some 200 medicinal-marijuana clinics in Los Angeles.

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Source: LA Daily News
Author: Rick Orlov
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