Two Southern California Medical Marijuana Clubs Targeted by Law Enforcement 1/23/98

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items


recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed


Marvin Chavez, founder of the Orange County Cannabis Co-op, was arrested in his home last Thursday night and has been charged with eight felony counts of conspiracy and marijuana sales. Chavez, who has operated the co-op out of his home since the passage of proposition 215 in November of 1996, was released Friday on his own recognizance. In order to comply with a recent court decision which declared sales of medicinal marijuana, the co-op has been accepting donations from patients rather than charging for their services.

In Thousand Oaks, California, Mayor Mike Markey and City councilman Andy Fox sent a letter requesting that federal prosecutors investigate the Ventura County Medical Cannabis Center. "Since our society has spent considerable time and effort to teach children to 'Just Say No' to these drugs, we fear the impact that these unregulated facilities will have on our local children" the letter said.

Advocates note that the only reason "unregulated" medical marijuana outlets exist in the first place is that despite the passage of the initiative, there has been no regulated distribution scheme put into place by state or local officials in California. The recent federal court decision, which has led to a civil lawsuit against six currently operating outlets, makes it illegal for patients to procure marijuana by any means outside of growing their own, or having a friend grow it for them. This, according to medical marijuana patients and activists, constitutes an unreasonable burden on an affected population which includes many seriously and terminally ill people.

Supporters of Chavez insist that the Orange County Co-op provided marijuana only to those with a demonstrated medical need. Chavez, through his attorney, Bob Kennedy, said that "the club will continue to meet its obligation for those unfortunate individuals who are in need of medicinal marijuana." Prosecuting Deputy D.A. Carl Armbrust, however, seemed determined to make sure that everyone involved would face criminal penalties. "We know that Chavez has some volunteers" he told the Orange County Register, "we're trying to figure out where they are and if they're going to continue this co-op."

Dave Fratello, spokesman for Americans for Medical Rights, told The Week Online, "For the police, shutting down these distribution facilities is like shooting fish in a barrel. They have been operating openly and counting on the good will of local officials to work with them in finding the most appropriate ways to implement the law. Obviously, that faith is not being rewarded. The truth is, however, that even if federal and local authorities are successful in shutting down every one of these outlets, the need for, and the procurement of marijuana for medicinal use is not going to disappear, it will simply recede back underground, which will, of course, have serious consequences for a lot of seriously and terminally ill people. What will disappear is the opportunity to regulate distribution, and thus to insure that medicinal marijuana stays out of the hands that the government claims to be so concerned with."

-- END --
Link to Drug War Facts
Please make a generous donation to support Drug War Chronicle in 2007!          

PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of Drug War Chronicle (formerly The Week Online with DRCNet is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: the Drug Reform Coordination Network, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail [email protected]. Thank you.

Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

Issue #26, 1/23/98 New York City Mayor Giuliani is Caught Suppressing Report Of His Own Aids Commission On Needle Exchange | ...But Gets $120 Million from Clinton For More Cops For His New Zero Tolerance Drug War | Justice Department Report: 100,000 More Americans Behind Bars | Two Southern California Medical Marijuana Clubs Targeted by Law Enforcement | 17 Year-Old First Time Offender Faces 10 Years for Role in $20 Marijuana Sale: Excerpt from the Norml Weekly News Bulletin | HHS to Conduct Binding Review of Marijuana's Prohibitive Status: Excerpt from the Norml Weekly News Bulletin | Legal Marijuana Smokers Testify at Institute of Medicine's Public Hearing on Medicinal Marijuana | Forums: Boston 1/29, Minneapolis 2/5, San Francisco 5-Feb | New Hampshire Man Kept Behind Bars for Refusing to Acknowledge God in his Recovery | Penn State Professor Protests Pot Laws with One-Man Smoke-in | Miami School Drug Test Plan Altered | Editorial: From Dr. King's Dream to Drug War Nightmare
Mail this article to a friend
Send us feedback on this article
This issue -- main page
This issue -- single-file printer version
Drug War Chronicle -- main page
Chronicle archives
Subscribe now!
Out from the Shadows HEA Drug Provision Drug War Chronicle Perry Fund DRCNet en EspaŮol Speakeasy Blogs About Us Home
Why Legalization? NJ Racial Profiling Archive Subscribe Donate DRCNet em PortuguÍs Latest News Drug Library Search
special friends links: SSDP - Flex Your Rights - IAL - Drug War Facts the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)
1623 Connecticut Ave., NW, 3rd Floor, Washington DC 20009 Phone (202) 293-8340 Fax (202) 293-8344 [email protected]