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Maven's Morning Coffee: medical marijuana dispute, busy month at Port of LA

Controversial FDA Report Says No Medical Benefit From Marijuana

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The Los Angeles City Council is in a dispute over whether to ban medical marijuana clinics in the city.

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Today is Thursday, May 17, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


The Los Angeles City Council is divided over how to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries, with Councilman Jose Huizar calling for a complete ban and Councilman Paul Koretz asking that some shops remain operational, reports the Daily News. Koretz called Huizar's proposal, "a vicious, heartless ban," according to the newspaper.

Seven deputies with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department were placed on leave on suspicion they belong to a group that celebrates shootings, reports the Los Angeles Times. Internal affairs is looking into whether the deputies violated the Sheriff's Department's rules.


Authorities raid medical marijuana dispensary in Fontana, seize pot smorgasbord


Photo by Dank Depot via Flickr Creative Commons

The latest battle in the medical marijuana wars occurred in Fontana yesterday, when federal and local authorities raided a local pot dispensary in one of several planned busts in the city.

The San Bernardino Sun reports that 50 varieties of marijuana in a large display case, along with pot-laced drinks, brownies and crackers, were seized during the Tuesday morning raid at Holistic Meds RX, located on the 15000 block of Baseline Avenue.

Fontana police, sheriff’s deputies and DEA agents entered the dispensary at about 9 a.m. with their guns drawn, the Sun reports. One customer -- an elderly San Bernardino man who said he’s a Vietnam War veteran suffering from rheumatoid arthritis -- told reporters he was pushed to the ground and handcuffed. No arrests were made Tuesday, however.

Fontana does not allow medical marijuana dispensaries within its borders, and police say Holistic Meds RX, which opened seven months ago, has been operating without a license.


Federal agents bring crackdown on ‘illegal’ medical marijuana dispensaries to Santa Barbara County

Medical Marijuana Club Seeks Site In Fisherman's Wharf

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Product at a typical marijuana dispensary.

The statewide crackdown on medical marijuana -- initiated late last year by the federal government -- moved north to Santa Barbara County this week, as U.S. attorneys announced they are suing, threatening and searching businesses they believe are conducting illegal pot sales.

“Federal authorities this week filed three asset forfeiture lawsuits against properties housing marijuana operations in Santa Barbara County, executed search warrants at four locations, and have sent warning letters to people associated with 10 other illegal marijuana stores in the county,” the Department of Justice said in a statement released today out of its Los Angeles office.

According to the statement, the three forfeiture lawsuits were aimed at a pot collective in Summerland which made around $840,000 in profits in 2009, a pot collective in Santa Barbara which failed to obtain its claimed nonprofit tax status, and an indoor pot farm in Santa Barbara “where substandard and unpermitted electrical equipment has been used.”


Former Orange official moonlights as landlord to Anaheim medical marijuana dispensary

A screenshot of David Rudat from his page

A former city manager for the city of Orange, who has since moved on to become Stockton’s fire chief, is still keeping the flame alive in Southern California -- as a landlord and supplier in the medical marijuana business.

David Rudat, who once served as Orange’s top executive, was made Stockton’s interim fire chief last year. Around that time he also became CFO of GreenGro Technologies, a Westminster company that sells hydroponic growing equipment commonly used to grow marijuana, the Orange County Register discovered earlier this month.

Today the Register took the story up a notch, reporting that Rudat also leases warehouse space at 1100 Orangefair Lane in Anaheim to a medical pot dispensary called the Anaheim Medical Co-op. There card-carrying members can buy “Poison Bubba,” “Dutch Treat” or “LA Confidential” for $55 an eighth.


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


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.