Southern California breaking news and trends

Marijuana dispensary near school for 'at risk' teens sparks outrage

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Photo by Dank Depot via Flickr Creative Commons

A medical marijuana dispensary has opened less than 50 feet from an Anaheim continuation high school for "at risk" teens, and fired-up administrators say the proximity violates state law.

Currently, the city is in a high-profile court case over its moratorium banning all pot dispensaries, but under the existing law, no outlet can operate within 600 feet of a school.

Officials say that while the continuation high school -- part of the OC Department of Education's ACCESS program for "at risk" students ages 13 to 18 -- is located in the untraditional setting of a strip mall, the same distance laws should apply.

Open for about six weeks, the dispensary, located at 1877 W. Katella Ave., promotes its services with a green cross and "a cartoon logo of a smiling house with a smoking chimney," notes the Orange County Register.

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In Long Beach, exotic animals, pot, a drug lab and then a fire

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The 1900 block of Caspian Ave., Long Beach, Calif., where the police raid and fire took place.

Authorities said that a fire broke out at a Long Beach home early Friday after sheriffs served a warrant there for marijuana farming.

Police raiding the house Thursday night at 10:30 p.m. after spotting marijuana plants growing in the backyard. ABC 7 reports that law enforcement discovered 22 marijuana plants, as well as sophisticated drug-making setups and several exotic animals. The fire started soon after authorities finished their investigation.

"We had several different rooms that had clandestine labs for hallucinogens -- mushrooms, peyote, things of that nature — and a separate lab also with the cultivation of marijuana," Long Beach police Sgt. Timothy Long told KTLA. "So we had a total of about three separate labs inside the house."

KTLA said that animal control officers confiscated four boa constrictors, three tarantulas and one scorpion. Three men were arrested in connection with marijuana possession. Arson investigators found that an accelerant was used to ignite the blaze.

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Sativex lights up marijuana debate with FDA

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Photo by Alexodus via Flickr Creative Commons

Sativex, a pot-based prescription drug spray derived not from a synthetic equivalent but from the cannabis plant itself, is jonesing for U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval more than 25 years after the first synthetic THC capsules were swallowed.

Should the medicinal mouth spray get the green light, the world's first pharmaceutical developed from raw marijuana, and similar medicines, could soon find their way to pharmacy shelves, say drug companies, biotech firms and university scientists.

GW Pharma in advanced clinical trials for the drug. The British company wants to push it to the U.S. market as a treatment for cancer pain, and is hoping for FDA approval by the end of 2013.

Containing marijuana's two best known components — delta 9-THC and cannabidiol — Sativex is already approved in Canada, New Zealand and eight European countries in relieving muscle spasms associated with multiple sclerosis.

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