Los Angeles dispensaries got a reprieve last week -- or did they? The busts there continue, despite the ban on the ban. And there's more news from around the state and the country as well. Let's get to it:
Americans for Safe Access is calling for demonstrations in support of medical marijuana access in front of local Obama campaign headquarters across the country on September 20. The move comes in the face of federal crackdowns and seeks to remind President Obama of the campaign promises he made to the community in 2008.
Last Friday, opponents of the medical marijuana initiative filed suit to block it. The conservative Coalition to Preserve Arkansas Values filed the lawsuit in the state Supreme Court. The suit argues that the measure's ballot title, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act, is misleading and that the act itself is hard to understand. Arkansas initiative experts said the lawsuit didn't have much chance of succeeding.
Last Wednesday, Harborside's San Jose landlord sought a court order to shut it down. Concourse Business Center asked a district court to order the state's largest dispensary to quit growing, possessing, and selling marijuana on its property. The move comes after federal prosecutors sent a threat letter to Concourse, as well as to Harborside and its other landlords. Concourse said it had given Harborside 30 days notice to vacate, that negotiations had taken place to no avail, and that Harborside continued to conduct business there.
Also last Wednesday, the GDP Collective in Richmond announced it had reopened. The dispensary was shut down by the city of Richmond when it purged all dispensaries in 2010. But the city council has since changed its mind and decided earlier this year to permit and tax up to six dispensaries. Another one, Green Remedy, has already opened.
Last Thursday, the ban on LA dispensaries was halted before it went into effect. The ban was blocked after advocates of repeal handed in enough signatures to put the issue to the voters. The ban on the ban will remain in effect until the voters decide. Or the city council could decide within 30 days to repeal the ban.
Also last Thursday, LAPD announced it had raided The Loft Co-op in Woodland Hills. They seized $1,000 in cash and 10 pounds of marijuana and arrested two employees for possession for sales of marijuana. Police said that despite its name, it was acting as an illegal dispensary, not a co-op.
On Monday, San Diego's only licensed dispensary announced it was closing. The Mother Earth Alternative Healing Co-operative is closing after receiving a threat letter from US Attorney Laura Duffy. The closure of Mother Earth means there are no licensed medical marijuana facilities in the county. That leaves an estimated 70,000 patients without a regulated supplier.
On Tuesday, LA city councilman Jose Huizar said the city would continue to bust dispensaries even though the council's ban set to go into effect Friday is now on hold. He said any sales are illegal under state law, and the city would enforce that law.
Last Thursday, Lane County police raided the Kannabosm dispensary in Eugene and several related properties. The owner, Curtis Dean Shimmin, faces felony charges around illegal marijuana sales and money laundering, police said. Police seized 105 plants and pounds of marijuana in what Shimmin said was "a clearly illegal" raid.