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City of West Hollywood Officials Decry DEA Raids on Five Marijuana Dispensaries

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Press Release Source: City of West Hollywood City of West Hollywood Officials Decry DEA Raids on Five Marijuana Dispensaries Wednesday January 17, 9:52 pm ET WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--City of West Hollywood officials reacted swiftly today to news that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) had raided and shut down five medicinal marijuana dispensaries located in West Hollywood. "The City of West Hollywood has had a long-standing commitment to the compassionate use of medical marijuana for those persons who are facing catastrophic illnesses," said City Manager Paul Arevalo. The DEA's enforcement of federal drug laws against the dispensaries conflicts with Proposition 215, a ballot measure approved by the California voters in 1996 decriminalizing the use of medical marijuana. The following five marijuana dispensaries located in West Hollywood were raided by the DEA today: 7828 Santa Monica - Alternative Herbal Health 7825 Santa Monica - Medical Marijuana Pharmacy 7901 Santa Monica - West Hollywood Caregivers 8464 Santa Monica - California Cannabis Pharmacy 8921 Sunset - West Hollywood Center for Compassionate Healing Just last night the West Hollywood City Council introduced an ordinance establishing permanent regulations to mitigate the impacts of medical marijuana dispensaries, following a two-year moratorium. "The DEA raids came as a complete surprise to the City," said Arevalo. "It is regrettable that the federal, state and local governments cannot work together on this issue." The City of West Hollywood has been a long-standing supporter of the use of marijuana that is prescribed, dispensed and used for medicinal purposes. West Hollywood is home to a disproportionately large percentage of seniors afflicted with a variety of chronic illnesses, and people with HIV and AIDS, for which medicinal marijuana diminishes suffering. Here are comments regarding today's DEA action from two West Hollywood City Councilmembers: "The state of California voted to allow marijuana for medical purposes," says West Hollywood City Councilmember Abbe Land. "The City of West Hollywood along with other cities across the state have established regulations to govern the dispensing of medical marijuana, so that people whose lives depend on this drug can be assured of safe access to their medicine. The DEA should spend their time going after dispensaries that are not operating in accordance with local ordinances, as well as unscrupulous doctors who write illegitimate prescriptions," she continued. "Today's actions again demonstrate the skewed priorities of the Bush administration and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration," says West Hollywood City Councilmember Jeffrey Prang. "Providing safe access to medical marijuana for those living with serious and often painful illnesses such as HIV/AIDS, cancer and other terminal diseases is something this City supports. We have worked closely with our community to insure these establishments operate safely and comply with the spirit of Proposition 215 adopted by the voters of California," he continued. Contact: City of West Hollywood 323-848-6431 Fax: 323-848 6561 Tamara White Public Information Officer [email protected] or Helen J. Goss, Esq. Director, Public Information and Prosecution Services [email protected]
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