Medical Marijuana: Five Arrested, 13 Dispensaries Raided by DEA in San Diego 7/7/06

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Just a week after the US House of Representatives voted to continue funding Justice Department raids on medical marijuana patients and providers in states where it is legal, the feds struck again. Five people have been arrested in a series of DEA and local police raids Thursday hitting 13 medical marijuana dispensaries in San Diego County. Some people are being charged under state marijuana distribution laws in the cooperative federal-local effort. More arrests are expected, local law enforcement officials said.

demonstration honoring Steve McWilliams, San Diego medical
marijuana provider who took his own life while facing federal prosecution
The raids and arrests came as federal officials unsealed two indictments, one charging the Purple Bud Room and Tender Holistics Care dispensaries with illegally distributing marijuana, the other laying similar charges against five people who owned and operated Co-op San Diego.

The feds also went after four doctors on suspicion of providing medical marijuana recommendations for people the officials claimed did not legitimately need marijuana. State and federal officials have filed complaints with the state Medical Board against the doctors.

The San Diego District Attorney's Office announced it was filing marijuana distribution charges against five dispensaries: Ocean Beach Dispensary and Utopia, both on Voltaire Street in Ocean Beach; Native Sun Dispensary on Rosecrans Street, in the Midway District; THC Dispensary, no longer in business, in Pacific Beach; and the California Medical Center, on La Jolla Boulevard in La Jolla.

In a statement announcing the busts, the DA's Office said it was not aiming at medical marijuana patients, but at retail pot outlets disguised as dispensaries. "Our office has no intention of stopping those who are chronically ill with AIDS, glaucoma and cancer from obtaining any legally prescribed drug, including medical marijuana, to help them ease their pain," said DA Bonnie Dumanis said. But the state's medical marijuana law is "being severely abused and it has led to the neighborhood pot dealer opening up storefronts from La Jolla to Ocean Beach to North Park," she said.

Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the medical marijuana defense group, announced in an e-mail Thursday afternoon it was holding an emergency meeting in San Diego that evening to craft a response.

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Issue #443 -- 7/7/06

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Editorial: Is Ecstasy a Dangerous Drug? | Medical Marijuana: Five Arrested, 13 Dispensaries Raided by DEA in San Diego | Feature: Battle Over California's Proposition 36 to Head to Court | Feature: Wisconsin Drug Reform Activist and Senate Candidate Ben Masel Assaulted, Arrested By Campus Cops, Plans to Sue | Sad News: Drug Policy Scholar Lynn Zimmer Dead at 59 | Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories | Vote Hemp Alert: Proposed North Dakota Hemp Rules | Australia: Member of South Australia Parliament Says Raves Safer Than Hotel Bars, Urges Testing Programs for Ecstasy and Other Pills | Europe: Russian Official Calls for Ban on Magazines Over Drug, Sex Content | Harm Reduction: Delaware Needle Exchange Bill Passes House, Awaits Governor's Signature | Harm Reduction: Massachusetts Governor Vetoes Needle Sales Bill | Canadian Senator and Former Mayor Roasts UN Anti-Drug Chief in E-Mail over "World Drug Report" | Web Scan: Politicians Who Have Used Marijuana Radio Ad, Tony Papa on Dwight Gooden, VICS Cannabinoid Chronicles | Weekly: This Week in History | Weekly: The Reformer's Calendar

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