Medical Marijuana Raids in L.A.

Yesterday local and federal law enforcement agencies raided two medical marijuana dispensaries in the Los Angeles area, Organica Collective in Culver City and Overland Gardens Collective in West L.A., and arrested their owner, Jeffrey Joseph, at his home in Topanga Canyon. The Los Angeles Times reports that "the DEA, FBI, Internal Revenue Service, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Los Angeles Police Department, Torrance Police Department and Culver City Police Department took part in the raids." But local police were serving state warrants, so ostensibly the feds were assisting them, rather than the other way around. In other words, this looks like the sort of case Attorney General Eric Holder had in mind when he said the Justice Department would get involved in medical marijuana cases only if they involved violations of state as well as federal law. The details of the case against Joseph, once they emerge, may show whether this distinction means anything in practice or is merely a ruse for continued federal interference with California's medical marijuana policy.

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  • Tomcat1066||

    OK, show of hands here. Who actually bought Holder's bullshit when he said he wouldn't do this kind of shit?

    If it's a violation of state law, then let the state handle it all on their own. After all, they're big boys and girls at that level too.

  • D.A. Ridgely||

    More change from the Obama Administration, I see.

  • T||

    may show whether this distinction means anything in practice or is merely a ruse for continued federal interference with California's medical marijuana policy.

    No.
    Yes.

    Next question, please.

  • ||

    The one thing, the single solitary thing, I was willing to give the Big O props for, and he craps on it.

    Still, this will make easier to call him The Worst President Evar, without having to add any qualifications.

  • ||

    "the DEA, FBI, Internal Revenue Service, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Los Angeles Police Department, Torrance Police Department and Culver City Police Department took part in the raids."

    Tax evasion. They had no chance.

  • ||

    Still, this will make easier to call him The Worst President Evar, without having to add any qualifications.

    Oh, he's a piker. He's not even close to being as bad as LBJ.

    -jcr

  • ||

    Who actually bought Holder's bullshit when he said he wouldn't do this kind of shit?

    [crickets chirping]

    -jcr

  • ||

    Who actually bought Holder's bullshit when he said he wouldn't do this kind of shit?

    I know I argued with somebody about whether the Big Change in policy was all press release or not, so somebody bought it. Maybe joe? MNG? Its so hard to keep the Obamatrons separate.

  • thoreau||

    joe was insisting that this would never happen again. But I haven't been on H&R much, and he was insisting this on another forum. I don't know who you were arguing with, RC.

  • Tomcat1066||

    OK, a fair number of comments, and no hands? Not real surprising, is it?

  • Xeones||

    Still, this will make easier to call him The Worst President Evar

    He's still not even in my Bottom Five, though he's getting closer.

  • ||

    thoreau, maybe it happened both on H&R and that other forum. Stretch your mind to hold the infinite possibilities, man.

  • ||

    They've used the "irregularities in sales tax reporting" fig leaf to go after MJ dispensaries before, and given the involvement of the IRS it wouldn't surprise me if that's their cover this time too.

    Of course, it brings up (NOT begs!) the question of why other types of businesses who have such irregularities get either an angry letter or a threatening phone call from the state dept of revenue, rather than a SWAT-style raid.

  • Xeones||

    That's really not much of a question, Tulpa. DRUGS R BAD MMKAY full stop.

  • ||

    R C Dean,

    Possible memory jogging threads:
    Heir
    Heir

    Note the statement and date on that last one. I think that's what you are thinking of.

  • Meta4||

    Jeffrey Joseph made two mistakes. He opened the door and he wasn't armed.

  • ||

    Come on, those drug raids the week after his immaculation were enough to not believe Obama or Holder. And of course a dog just had to be shot.
    Kick em, punch em, taze em, don't fucking shoot first.

  • ||

    The one thing, the single solitary thing, I was willing to give the Big O props for, and he craps on it.



    I thought also being against the F-22 was another? (Though for 2008 election purposes that has to still go into the "not better than McCain" category.)

    Oh, I thought of a third. The DOJ does seem like it's less likely to spend resources on going after porn, but hey, that one could always reverse too. (Not like they opposed elevating Reed Hundt at the FCC, and he's a big anti-obscenity guy.)

  • ||

    joe was insisting that this would never happen again.

    joe insisted on a lot of things, most of which turned out to be wrong. That's why he left and has only made one foray back here; Obama, especially at joe's level of partisanship, is indefensible.

    He may have been something of a masochist, but getting stomped like a narc at a biker rally every thread has to hurt too much.

  • becky||

    i dont think obama has anything to do with it. his priorities are lying with the WAR that we're in...not some stupid pot raid. the guy was prolly not running his shit legally

  • ||

    From becky:
    "Obama is not his administration."
    "something something Bush's war."
    "drugs are bad mmm'k?"
    "People who grow pot for the sick must not be jumping through the ridiculous hoops that they must, becasue they grow pot."

    Uhh, thanks for the excuses for Obama.
    He said he would stop the raids. He hasn't, period. All it takes is one 10 second phone call, "Eric, no more California dispensery raids." Any questions?

  • ||

    My question is: Have you hear AG Holder statement on medical marijuana in Ca? AG Holder never said break any STATE law you like. They aided state authorities... therefore the state law enforcement conducted the raids with federal assistance. This is what AG Holder said would be the Federal governments function in regaurds to medical marijuana in Ca.

  • ||

    i wish I knew where joe was posting so that I could go mock him.

  • ||

    He said he would stop the raids. He hasn't, period. All it takes is one 10 second phone call, "Eric, no more California dispensery raids." Any questions?



    In fairness, the government is too damn big for the President to control the entire Executive Branch. He can issue orders, but bureaucrats and lifers have a whole ton of ways to ensure that they don't really get implmented. It depends on how much time and effort he's willing to invest. Yes Minister had a point.

    This goes for both parties, but to me is a sign that the government does too much and is too big.

  • ||

    They aided state authorities.

    Why? Violations of state law are the business of the state authorities.

    The current policy is incoherent gibberish - we won't enforce federal law, except when we will; we won't assist state authorities enforcing state law, except when we will.

  • ||

    He can issue orders, but bureaucrats and lifers have a whole ton of ways to ensure that they don't really get implmented.

    True, in principle. In this case, though, I think a diktat from the White House would be easy to follow up on and enforce down the chain of command.

  • ||

    RC,
    My point exactly. I live in DC (well, suburbs now... wife, dogs, yeard, etc..) I know all too well how nothing ever really happens. Come ON, though. This is a direct about-face from his campaigning. Further, I know that the government is too damn big for the President to control the entire Executive Branch much like a General usually doesn't issue individual orders to Privates. They do however come up with the over all strategy, much like Obama did.**

    ** Yes, I know that generals collaborate just like the DNC party heads will collaborate with Obama and he's the figurehead.

  • hmm||

    You guys missed it. The change was in the paper work, not in the procedure.

  • Paul||

    "the DEA, FBI, Internal Revenue Service, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Los Angeles Police Department, Torrance Police Department and Culver City Police Department took part in the raids."



    Meanwhile, the entire southwestern united states was without law enforcement or tax oversight during this raid.

    Oh wait, that's a good thing...

  • Paul||

    He can issue orders, but bureaucrats and lifers have a whole ton of ways to ensure that they don't really get implmented.

    True, in principle. In this case, though, I think a diktat from the White House would be easy to follow up on and enforce down the chain of command.


    Furthermore, I would think that Obama could simply demand that no federal personnel be involved in any raid. That's why we have police at the state level.

  • Paul||

    Why? Violations of state law are the business of the state authorities.

    One of the perps ordered a book from Amazon, last month. Now it's interstate commerce.

  • ||

    These collectives have to get thier sht together. Dont F with the IRS...this is the lynch-pin for the Feds case. Why dont they ALL jump on the tax remitance program that Medical Marijuana Inc, (MMI)has implimented. A card based system that tracks and auto disperses monies to the various agencies...its a frikin get out of jail card for chrissakes!

  • ||

    My advice for Jeffrey Joseph is plead not guilty and read Hank Rearden's speech to the court from Atlas Shrugged in your defense. The day has passed when twelve of your peers could be found who would be willing to lock you in a cage for decades because you had the courage to grow, trade, or consume the most useful plant on earth. Hand out Fully Informed Jury Association leaflets at the courthouse on the day of jury selection. Jury nullification is bound to play a central role in ending cannabis prohibition!

    Free Marc Emery!
    Install Ron Paul!
    Go Kopbusters!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-WPhkkPkEM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pTIQ0c-K2k

  • </||

    Hand out Fully Informed Jury Association leaflets at the courthouse on the day of jury selection.

    They put you in jail for doing that.

  • </||

    My advice for Jeffrey Joseph is plead not guilty and read Hank Rearden's speech to the court from Atlas Shrugged in your defense.

    Good way to get the statutory maximum sentence.

  • ||

    In this case, though, I think a diktat from the White House would be easy to follow up on and enforce down the chain of command.



    Sure, it's one of the easier ones. (Unlike, say, Bush apparently being surprised that the Passport Card cheaper passport/driver's license substitute for entering Canada by land wasn't working out so well.)

    But it would require him to actually want to spend the political capital and time to get it done. The President can indeed accomplish most things, like any General can, but only by focusing his attention and then losing control of other things.

    In his mind, President Obama has more important things to do, it seems.

    Come ON, though. This is a direct about-face from his campaigning.



    A direct about-face from comments he made to people who cared about the issue, but not campaigning that he did in the debates or in big ad buys. So, a much, much easier thing to volte-face on.

    I admit to being a bit surprised; I thought that quietly calling off raids would be something he might well do.

  • ||

    Why is everyone so quick to jump on the feds and Obama? Thus far, they have done exactly as they've said and ceased harassment of the medical marijuana dispensaries here in California. We don't know what this guy was arrested for or what he was alleged to have done in the affidavit attached to the search warrant. Both are public record, but the author did no research for this story. The feds never made any guarantee that they would not enforce federal laws when state laws were broken, so why shouldn't they be there? If Mr. Joseph was blatantly violating state law (and given that literally thousands of other dispensaries are being left alone tells me that where there's smoke, there's fire) why lets scrutinize Mr. Joseph's activities, rather than the cops? Was he not paying state and federal taxes as you all have to do? Was he diverting medical marijuana to non-medical uses? It is the bad apples in that business that will ultimately ruin it for everyone. Reserve judgment until someone reports the facts of this story.

  • AB390||

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  • Paul||

    Was he diverting medical marijuana to non-medical uses? It is the bad apples in that business that will ultimately ruin it for everyone.

    Undoubtedly he was. Because the medical marijuana angle is a scam. Marijuana should be legalized, period. The whole 'medicalization' of marijuana is bullshit compromise in allowing the state to climb all over your back for an entirely new set of regulatory oversight in exchange for them to loosen the screws in another.

    With medicalization, you're going to end up with THC being ground up into a pill, and prescriptions demanded for it, with fingerprints and ID's being demanded at the pharamacy. Add into that the prospect of physicians being sent to jail for long periods of time when they are found to 'overprescribe' medical marijuana, and effectively you're ending up in the same place we were before. Kids smoking weed on the corner, or a friend selling you half an ounce out of his dorm room? You'll still be looking at the inside of a jail cell if you get caught.

    As for the 'bad apples'? The state is going to do everything it can to narrow the description of 'bad apple' so tightly, that the 'legalization' will essentially be a straight-jacket in an unpadded room. Here's your 'legalization'.. have fun. Don't break the rules!

  • Paul||

    Oh, and they shot the dog. So this raid is already off to a bad start.

  • ||

    Well, more news trickling in... the guy had over $100,000 in cash at home and over 100 pounds of hash. What is wrong with a bank that he has to keep $100,000 plus at home? No crime to have cash, but it looks bad and that is exactly the image the legit dispensaries are trying to shed. He also had over 450 plants and was somehow being investigated for having over 50 pounds of pot. California law says you can have 12 plants unless his doctor authorized some increased amount. The law does not authorize possession of the plant numbers he has, unless he is a designated caregiver for many other people. The role of a caregiver is set forth in the law. I will not state it here. But all of the clinics are on shaky ground when they get a piece of paper signed by someone designating them as "caregiver" when they supply somebody with 1/8 of an ounce and then think that entitles them to grow and possess six pounds on behalf of that patient (768 times the quantity of the sale!!!) just because of that one sale. I believe that if the State cracks down on this angle, it will lead to real cooperatives where the prices charged reflect "reasonable" compensation for services. I don't know what amount that is, but it's probably not $100,000 hidden under a mattress.

  • ||

    Also, before I start being accused of being an apologist for the DEA I should add that I am very pro medical marijuana and all my statements are towards seeing that a public backlash does not put an end to it. I think the law needs to be amended something to the effect that any "caretaker" has to be a natural person and not a business entity and that such person may not possess more than twice the amount that has been dispensed to a designated patient. Thus, if a dispensary has only sold me an 1/8 it could have 1/4 ounce waiting for me on my next visit. If a dispensary wanted to carry and grow six pounds on my behalf then had better have done some serious business with me over the years to use my name to justify such an amount. This would entail the dispensaries keeping real records, which every real pharmacy does. It would ensure the payment of tax and then there would probably be few people toting around large sums of cash. Just ideas, but something has to be done. Perhaps just legalization that anyone can grow and use pot up to certain amounts and no sales at all.

  • ||

    The key here is this guy was breaking state laws regarding medical marijuana as well as State and Federal Tax laws. He was asking for it and law enforcement gave it to him.

    What Attorney General Holder said was "The policy is to go after those people who violate both federal and state law, to the extent that people do that and try to use medical marijuana laws as a shield for activity that is not designed to comport with what the intention was of the state law," Holder also said when asked if the DEA plans to continue raids. "Those are the organizations, the people, that we will target. And that is consistent with what the president said during the campaign." In this case law enforcement was well within their rights.

    Check out www.saveoursociety.org

  • wayne||

    joe insisted on a lot of things, most of which turned out to be wrong.

    Very true. Some years ago Joe said, "Al Gore had ended the business cycle and as a consequence there could be no more recessions". I was so dumb-founded that I could not reply.

    Still, I wish Joe would come back. He was interesting to read and argue with.

  • Paul||

    I knew these guys, was a patient there, and they followed the state laws.
    If there was some reasonable explanation, it should have been given to the press after or during the raid, because given the history, and how it looks, this is almost certainly just another bullshit case with nothing behind it other than abuse of power, harassment, and predjudice. It's really sad to see it happen.

    As for Holder.. I wanted to believe and still wish I could, but I will when I see it actually stop.

  • Paul||

    Here, does this smell like a bunch of old-school anti-drug warriors taking the law into their own hands or what?

    http://www.mercurynews.com/california/ci_13053968

  • ||

    Medical Marijuana Inc. (MJNA) is truly a forward looking company.

    Looking back, it began in 2003 as Berkshire Collection, Inc. (BKCL) of Ontario, Canada. According to a complaint filed 12 Jun 09 by the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) against Blackout Media (BKMP) and its principal Sandy Winick of Toronto, Berkshire Collection was one of 59 subsidiaries spun off from Blackout Media Corporation, formerly known as First Canadian American Holding Corporation, (FCDH).

    The SEC complaint alleges these 59 subsidiaries had no legitimate business purpose and were just "public company shells", and that Winick profited at least $3.2 million from selling shares in these "shells" from 2004 through 2007.

    On 23 May 05 Berkshire Collection changed its jurisdiction to Oregon, at the same time issuing a 1 for 1,000 reverse split.

    I have never before in my life seen a 1 for 1,000 reverse split. A reverse split is typically a last ditch effort to prevent a company from being delisted on an exchange. According to MSN Money, "reverse splits are like a message from management that the underlying business trends are so rotten, they won't be enough to get the stock price up to snuff." Small shareholders, those holding less than 1 share after the reverse split, are cashed out. They're lucky if they get a penny on the dollar.

    On 31 Jan 2007 Berkshire Collection changed its name to My Newpedia Corp (MYNW). This incarnation lasted until June of 2008 when it issued 211,926,840 shares of common stock, realizing $100,000. Then My Newpedia changed it's name to Club Vivanet, exchanging 12 shares of MYNW for 1 share of CVIV. Then the merged entities, now named Club Vivanet (CVIV), "took back" 210,117,998 shares in a 1 for 20 reverse split and posted a stunning net profit of $26,040 for 2008.

    The Statement of Operations found on page 16 of the Annual Report for Club Vivanet for 31 Dec 08 states that it spent $751,359 on sales and marketing in order to post a profit of $26,040 on revenue of $818,992. While this was more than double the net profit of $12,624 for the previous year, it doesn't seem particularly forthcoming to term the growth "meteoric" as Perlowin does repeatedly.

    In April of 2009 Club Vivanet (CVIV) became Medical Marijuana Inc. (MJNA):

    We thought at first we'd call our corporation Marijuana Inc. But when you say to someone ... you're in the Marijuana Business, you do get that weird, kinda strange look. But when you say 'We're in the Medical Marijuana Business' ...I don't care where I am, everyone's interested. Not only are they interested, sometimes they're passionately interested because they've heard the stories and they think people should have the freedom to choose the medicine that really does help them.

    On 25 Mar 09, the day the name change was filed, the stock was worth 4 cents. The name change and 10 for 1 forward split occurred on 28 Apr 09. The day before the split and name change CVIV closed at 22 cents. The day after, MJNA closed at 62 cents. It has trended downward since.

    Perlowin explains it like this, pointing out he got out of prison 19 years ago:

    I was the largest marijuana smuggler in West Coast history. The media dubbed me the King of Pot. As the newspapers said, I had a fleet of boats larger than most country's navies, and that was probably true. Made $100 million bucks by the time I was thirty. And then I went to jail for nine years and got out and made some huge businesses in the phone card and international telecom business. We've always had meteorically growing businesses after I got out of prison. Well, before I got out of prison too...

    Just look at what happened to our stock from day one and you can see we sort of know know what we're doing in this industry.

    He explains that he is "monetizing" the public's desire to legalize marijuana and that buying stock in his company is casting a vote for the legalization of marijuana.

    When Obama and the attorney general Holder said that they'd no longer interfere with state laws on marijuana issues, all of a sudden dispensaries and collectives and co-ops started popping up like weeds all over California ... and, all of a sudden, legitimate business people started getting involved and wanting to get involved. And then "we" come along...

    This is one of those statements were you don't really know where to begin.

    What is this "all of a sudden" legitimate business people are getting involved? Is he saying those dispensaries and co-operatives that have been doing it for years and who built the industry he finds so exciting are not "legitimate business people"? What does this say about The Green Cross - in business in San Francisco for five years and featured in June as an example of how medical marijuana had become mainstream? And, by the way, they've all been using plastic cards of all kinds for years: debit, credit, stored value, ID, and so forth. A manager of one dispensary told me 5 years ago, "Bank of America loves us."

    Are we also supposed to believe that the "legitimate business people" who have been waiting for Obama to start the green rush before they got involved will not have the wherewithal to set up a business account with, oh, Bank of America or Wells Fargo, but instead will be "cash based"?

    While Perlowin wasn't really sure if New Mexico had passed a medical marijuana law or not and was astonished at what he found when he came to California in February and told his doctor he had insomnia so he could get in a dispensary and see what it was like, he assures us he is the one to tell us all how to do it.

    I actually believe New Mexico is one of the places - don't quote me on that because my big focus is on marijuana, on California - but I think New Mexico is one of the places where it's legal. You can look at any of the movement websites like NORML or MPP.org - that's a great one, MPP.org - and they really keep you up-to-date on what's going on in each state. So I think it is. And in some places you can have co-ops, like in Colorado and California, and some places you're allowed to grow your own. There's no standardized laws or rules, which for a public company like us makes it really lucrative, or potentially lucrative. Because we can help come in and standardize the industry and help regulate the industry. Again, from the bottom up. Typically a company like this can move much quicker than the government can.

    It's all a mish-mash. Every county in California is different from every city. And every state has different rules. And if you standardize it - it will take a few years - but that's one of the things that we're here to do, is to help standardize it. And again, starting with the most lucrative of all, the tax remittance.

    And he's going to begin by re-assembling his old organization, from administering taxes paid by the sick and dying for medicine. When asked if he has any plans to own a dispensary:

    "If Nevada ever legalizes it - it'll be on the ballot in 2012, November - I would love to have a dispensary inside a casino, growing the marijuana plants..."

    Obviously, Medical Marijuana Inc. CEO and King of Pot Bruce Perlowin didn't have "medical marijuana" in mind when he said this. When the host points out this has the appearance of exploitation he replies:

    Yeah. So in that case, yeah. In the beginning. no. In the beginning all we want to do is provide all the tools for the dispensaries or the co-ops. In fact, we're going to be doing seminars on how to open up a dispensary and we want management contracts with the dispensaries, not just for the tax card but for inventory control, for grading and standardizing the marijuana for software, for the doctors to use, and evaluating whether sativa or indica should be used for glaucoma vs. cancer vs. MS vs. headaches..."

    In the meantime, he hopes to buy "homesteads" of 1 to 5 thousand acres all over the country and grow vegetables or something on them until hemp is legalized, and then convert them to hemp farms. All this from administering taxes paid by the sick and dying for medicine.

    It's an intriguing business model. He states they've decided 60% of the profit will go to the company, and 40% to charity.

    My job is to empower people, and specifically (because of another model) empower women. 40% of our profits goes to The Global Family and WE (Women Empowerment) because their job is to make sure this wealth goes all over the world to create a thousand millionaire women, who will create a thousand millionaire women each, and then they take over the world in what's known as a global coup, but it's really a coochie coo..

    Again, it's difficult to figure out where to begin. Seems a bit sexist (not to mention boorish) to me, but what do I know? Besides there are more pressing issues. For instance, just ten minutes previously he stated 40% of "revenues" would be going to the local community: 10% to schools and or the women's council (because women won't take bribes and kick-backs, but men will); 10% to another local problem like fire or police (speaking of bribes); 10% to another city in America; and 10% to some international problem.

    Obviously, how much of what goes where isn't really important. All that's important is that 40% of the stockholders earnings from administering taxes paid on medicine by the sick and dying will go to some charity somewhere. No doubt medical marijuana patients will get a warm glow knowing their disability stipend is going to increase the supply of female millionaires in third world countries.

    Among a nebulae of disconnects is that it never occurred to Medical Marijuana Inc. that there are medical marijuana patients that can't afford medicine, that are losing their jobs and their homes, that can't pay lawyers and court costs. And a lot of them are men.

    Perlowin says he doesn't smoke marijuana, except rarely.

    My prescription's for insomnia. And I don't know if I have insomnia, I'm so excited about what we're doing I can't sleep at night so I jump up and email. I go to sleep. I wake up. I email. And so I'm thinking, 'I really want to go see these dispensaries but you can't get in without a medical condition and I don't want to lie about a medical condition. I won't do that. I'm CEO of a public company, I've got to keep everything really straight. So, I'm thinking, 'wait a minute...' and if I don't have my computer I'm sitting there awake all night, just thinking. So that's clinical insomnia. That's insomnia. So I got my medical marijuana card for being too excited. But I haven't used my marijuana medicine yet because if I do I won't answer my emails all night.

    As for the morality of taxing medicine? As for what happens when The Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act (HR 2835) is passed? As for the fact that you don't get a "prescription" for medical marijuana, you get a "recommendation"?

    HR 2835 will move marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act's Schedule I to Schedule II. Among other things this will mean marijuana will meet the legal definition of medicine and that doctors can prescribe it the same as pharmaceuticals. And this means it will not be taxed in states such as California where the people think there's something sleazy and just plain wrong about taxing medicine.

    Well, maybe by then Perlowin will have his upscale pot emporium in some swanky Las Vegas casino.

    Source: http://www.examiner.com/x-1488.....ijuana-Inc

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