On Thursday, Drug Enforcement Agents raided two Los Angeles medical marijuana dispensaries. The shops affected, one in LA and another in Westwood, were sister stores both named ‘The Farmacy.’ The store’s manager told the Huffington Post, “We are completely in the dark as to why this happened.” The stores have been in operation for almost 10 years before this sudden raid.
Store employees were handcuffed and detained for more than an hour, but later released. An agent on site told the Huff Post that the raid was, “Less about running the shop and more about running of the business. If this was simply about somebody selling marijuana in West Hollywood, the DEA wouldn’t be here.” The agent went on to say, “I think for those people who champion the cause of marijuana, particularly medical marijuana, I think it’s important that they hold shops to a high standard. What’s going to happen is shops like this are going to ruin it for everyone.”
The Farmacy’s attorney Bill Kroger says the club has done nothing wrong. “I represent a lot of medical marijuana clubs in LA and The Farmacy is the most compliant club in Los Angeles,” Kroger says. An LA Times article from 2007 (when the dispensary was first raided) shares the same sentiment siting that the dispensary uses legitimate doctors and limits customer purchases to less than the legal maximums.
The war on legitimate marijuana establishments has been a mixed bag under the Obama administration. Although the DEA has been more lax in it’s approach to states with their own legislation, under Obama there have been over 270 medical marijuana raids. This, even after he said “I’m not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws,” back in 2008.
If the DEA’s statement is true, and the situation was, “Less about running the shop and more about running of the business,” you might think they would just send in some tax auditors rather than confiscating products and handcuffing employees.
Considering that the some of the last statements from the DEA and Department of Justice call marijuana “A significant source of revenue for large-scale criminal enterprises, gangs, and cartels,” its hard to believe that these are the people posing a threat to our society. Here are a few pictures of the storefront and staff, you tell me: criminal enterprise?
The local police chief has been challenged to a duel at high noon today in Portland, Maine. This duel is not a quick draw pistol showdown. Yet, still in the spirit of the wild west, instead, this is a battle of truth and safety. One opponent will be armed with marijuana flowers ready to be smoked, while the other will be armed with a bottle of booze and a shot glass.
David Boyer (pictured left), Political Director, Marijuana Policy Project Maine, has challenged local Chief of Police, Edward Googins (pictured right), South Portland Police Department, to go hit for shot to determine which is safer, cannabis or alcohol.
This challenge was proposed by marijuana advocate, Boyer, because of some ludicrous statements Chief Googins has made to the press. One such statement made by Googins, has been recorded at least twice,
“Claims that marijuana is safer than alcohol are so bogus it’s not even funny.”
To which Boyer responded,
“It is one thing for Chief Googins to speak out against the initiative, but it’s another for him to speak out against science. It’s on par with a government official announcing broccoli is not healthier than cheeseburgers.”
Boyer chose today for the duel because he and Googins are already scheduled to have a debate this evening at South Portland High School. Chief Googins has not yet agreed to the hit for shot duel, but Boyer will be waiting at the gazebo in Mill Creek Park at noon today, hoping that the chief will rise to the occasion to prove it.
photo credit: Legaljuice, After5Detroit, Facebook/DavidBoyer, Facebook/FBCDN,
Election day, November 4, 2014 may prove to be the biggest day in history, thus far, for marijuana policy reform in America. Therefore, both proponents and opponents of this issue are hitting the streets in a scramble attempt to educate and sway voters. This info-graphic identifies those who scale highest on the list of threats to marijuana policy reform in America.
Michele Leonhart, DEA Administrator, was seeded at the highest threat level. She has consistently refused to license the potential marijuana growers who’s product would supply federally approved marijuana research. Research about the medical and therapeutic uses of marijuana at that level would make a huge difference on the education of American voters on the subject, and it could already be underway if it was not for Leonhart. Also, she publicly agrees that marijuana should stay listed as a Schedule I drug, which is classified as having zero medical uses, in the company of crack and heroin.
One of the most vocal opponents to marijuana legalization who ranks at a high threat level, Kevin Sabet, is staging his attack in Oregon this week. He is scheduled to speak against marijuana legalization in 7 different cities throughout the state. Sabet usually speaks on a platform of fear that the marijuana industry will be the next Big Tobacco out to make everyone an addict. The Oregonian pointed out that originally, Sabet’s “marijuana education” tour consisted of thirteen stops, and was partially funded with federal grant dollars. Once questions were raised at what this federal grant money was funding, Sabet was no longer invited to speak at many of the scheduled seminars. Most of the organizations running these marijuana education seminars chose to invite different speakers over Sabet because they want the seminar to be just that, educational. The purpose of these events is to provide an non-biased learning space, not to have voters be swayed by political influence.
Gil Kerlikowske, former Drug Czar, may no longer hold the position responsible for directing drug control policy, but he and his predecessors have been behind marijuana prohibition from the start. Harry J Anslinger was the first to hold the position, and he was the first major player in the war against marijuana. Harry was responsible for the Reefer Madness campaign, and each person that has held that office since, has blindly supported Anslinger’s war even though there is no supporting evidence.
There is one threat to this historical leap in the fight to end marijuana prohibition, of which many potential voters may not be aware. They are quickly running out of time to register to vote. Voter registration ends in as few as 3 days. Those who want a voice in marijuana policy reform are being urged to register before it is too late.
Two states, Alaska and Oregon, have the opportunity to legalize marijuana for adults twenty-one years of age and older. Alaskan’s will vote on Measure 2, which legalizes the possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana and 6 plants for of-age adults. Oregon will vote on Measure 91, which would legalize the possession of up to 8 ounces of marijuana and 4 plants for of-age adults. In both Alaska and Oregon, if these measures pass, marijuana will be regulated similarly to alcohol. Florida voters will vote on Amendment 2, which legalizes the use of medical marijuana. Washington D.C.’s voters have the opportunity to vote on Initiative 71, which, for adults aged twenty-one years or older, would legalize possession of up to 2 ounces of marijuana and 6 plants for personal use.
If you are a resident of Alaska, Oregon, Florida or Washington D.C. who wants your voice to be heard, no matter which voice that is, register to vote today, before it is too late.