Long Beach Defies State Law, Shuts Down Pot Clinics

Another nice reminder medical marijuana has yet to be raised as an election topic (outside of the Gary Johnson campaign, of course): While we were wondering how irascible Joe Biden would be and how wonky Paul Ryan would be in the vice-presidential debate, authorities were raiding another group of dispensaries in Long Beach. Details via the Long Beach Post:

In an effort to enforce the August ban on medical marijuana collectives in the City of Long Beach, the Long Beach Police Department—with the assistance of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the State of California Franchise Tax Board (FTB), the Long Beach Fire Department, and the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office—conducted an operation that shut down seven dispensaries throughout the city Wednesday afternoon.

According to police, the nearly simultaneous raids were conducted on locations targeted because they were those that the Police Department had received the highest level of complaints for from the community.

"Effective, August 12, 2012, any dispensary that continues conducting business in the City of Long Beach is operating illegally," said LBPD's Nancy Pratt in a statement.

During the operation, over 40 individuals were taken into custody and marijuana plants, processed marijuana, currency and other evidence were seized. Those arrested were booked for owning and/or operating a marijuana dispensary.

What’s particularly galling about the city’s action here is that it likely knows its own ban on pot dispensaries is  illegal and a violation of California’s medical marijuana laws. From an earlier story:

The City's ban may be on shaky ground to begin with, as since its February passage, two separate appeals courts—including the one with jurisdiction over Long Beach—have ruled similar bans to be in conflict with the Compassionate Use Act and thus violations of state law.

Just last week the City of Los Angeles reluctantly surrendered to the will of its own citizens (and state law) and rescinded its own (unenforced) ban on pot dispensaries. But in Long Beach, they’re shutting down businesses and actually arresting people for engaging in activities the state has determined are legal.

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  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    LBC! Splain!

  • ||

    For what does LAOL stand? Colour me curious, Tulpington.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Law And Order Libertarian

  • Fluffy||

    Lying Authoritarian Onanist Loser

    OK, that's a little harsh. I don't really think that.

    I like the acronym though.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Fake Libertarian Usurper, Fixed For You.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    ...have ruled similar bans to be in conflict with the Compassionate Use Act and thus violations of state law

    I NEVER BROKE THE LAW!! I AM THE LAW!!

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    I await the DOJ raiding the Long Beach PD as a drug related organization not complying with state law.

  • tarran||

    I fucking hate the god-damned Giving Tree. One of the most creepy children's books I ever encountered.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    The tree is the American worker and the boy is the poor, amirite.

  • ||

    They're all creepy. Last night I read again the one about the whore duck who had a bastard child that was shunned by society until it grew up and became America's Top Model (i.e. The Ugly Duckling).

  • LTC(ret) John||

    "the Long Beach Police Department—with the assistance of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the State of California Franchise Tax Board (FTB), the Long Beach Fire Department, and the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office"

    The fire department?

    BTW, alt-text = win.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    In an effort to enforce the August ban on medical marijuana collectives in the City of Long Beach, the Long Beach Police Department—with the assistance of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the State of California Franchise Tax Board (FTB), the Long Beach Fire Department, and the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office—conducted an operation that shut down seven dispensaries throughout the city Wednesday afternoon.

    ROOL UV LAWZ!

    VE VER CHUST FOLLOWINK ZE OHRDURSS!!

  • sarcasmic||

    "Dude! This job is awesome! You get to put on all this military equipment, bust down doors and terrify people as you point full auto guns at their heads! Then you get to totally ransack the place, taking everything of value! It's like being in the mob, except it's legal!"

  • ||

    irksome to me, but wholly unsurprising, the article in the long beach post doesn't link to or even reference by name the appeals court case that
    "two separate appeals courts—including the one with jurisdiction over Long Beach—have ruled similar bans to be in conflict with the Compassionate Use Act and thus violations of state law. The Gazette notes that Berry served as an attorney in both of these cases."

    does anybody know the case name and/or have a link to the case, so i can vet the article and determine myself (vs. relying on media) if in fact these actions within long beach were violative of same?

    i'd LIKE to take the authors at their word, but i'd prefer to go to the source before concluding that " the City of Long Beach, the Long Beach Police Department—with the assistance of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the State of California Franchise Tax Board (FTB), the Long Beach Fire Department, and the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office—" conducted an operation that was both illegal AND that they should have known was illegal due to case law.

    links? case name?

  • Scott S.||

    County of Los Angeles v. Alternative Medicinal Cannabis Collective, et al.,

  • ||

    awesome. thank you. i'm looking it up now. i would LIKE to believe reason's thesis (that these assmunches violated the law) is correct, but i'd like to confirm via source documents iow the case law they are alleged to be breaking

    thanks again. cheers

  • Duncan20903||

    You might find the California State Constitution, Article 3, Section 3.5, Paragraph (c) an interesting read as well if random thoughts of Federal law flitters into your mind.

  • Fluffy||

    Dunphy, you know very well that the cops here don't give a rat's ass what the case law is.

    They know very well they can bust these places up, arrest everybody, and then when they lose in court just say, "Oh well, I guess our officers need more training."

    When Crowley arrested Gates even though there were mountains of MA case law saying it was a bad arrest, he didn't have to give a damn. And people even here will still defend him.

    So please, don't ask me to believe that these guys give one single fuck about the case law. They know that they can get away with making whatever arrests they want and whatever seizures they want and if they're wrong on the case law the DA will just say, "Oopsie!" later and drop the charges.

  • sarcasmic||

    You can bet that they'll never see the confiscated property again, even if the charges are dropped.

  • Duncan20903||

    You might like to read City of Garden Grove v Felix Kha, 157 Cal. App. 4th 355; 68 Cal. Rptr. 3d 656 (2007)
    http://iowamedicalmarijuana.or.....grove.aspx

  • R C Dean||

    "Oh well, I guess our officers need more training."

    With, of course, an increase in the training budget.

  • ||

    no training issue. the LA district attorney's office was involved in this raid. if they did so, in violation of the law, and the LA DA has a duty to know the law, then those who knowingly violated the law SHOULD be punished. i am not sure if the cops did or didn't. assuming the law is as it is claimed to be, and the LA DA operated contrary to it, and knowingly so, they should be punished. certainly, no excuse for it

    rule of law matters

  • ||

    this wasn't just cops, it was the DA, the fire dept, the city, etc. etc.

    that aside, i can't speak for where "here" is.

    i don't live or work in long beach. i can say that HERE where i work, we care very much, as does our prosecutors office, fire dept. etc.

    i'm not asking you to believe anything.

    i'm saying this - IF the cops knowingly violated the law they should be punished.

    considering they acted under a prosecuting attorney, and several other etc. agencies, there is no excuse for not knowing the relevant case law.

    IF they violated it, they should be punished. the attorney's most likely would retain absolute immunity.

    sadly.

  • T||

    the attorney's most likely would retain absolute immunity.

    Laws are written by lawyers. The guild takes care of their own.

  • Fluffy||

    You know what?

    That's fair.

    I guess when the DA says, "Come here and arrest these guys!" you pretty much have to do it.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "What’s particularly galling about the city’s action here is that it likely knows its own ban on pot dispensaries is illegal and a violation of California’s medical marijuana laws."

    It's also galling that...I can hardly imagine a city that could benefit more than Long Beach from starving its street gangs of cash.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Law And Order Libertarian

    That's nice.

    What would Senor Montoya say?

  • N. Conceivable||

    "You killed my father. Prepare to die."

  • R C Dean||

    "Not a libertarian?"

    Law and Order, these days, goes way, way beyond a minarchist night watchman type of deal. So I think you have to choose: am I a law-and-order person, or am I a libertarian?

    In a different time and place, they weren't mutually exclusive. But we aren't in that place, and this isn't that time.

  • sarcasmic||

    It's hard to support "Law and Order" (and those who enforce it) when the majority of the law is immoral and unjust.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    I agree. The panoply of laws that we have now, coupled with the haphazard enforcement thereof, could hardly be called Law And Order.

    I support a small number of laws with ruthless enforcement.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    I'm distinguishing myself from libertarians, such as yourself in the speeding discussion earlier, who conflate freedom with the ability to get away with breaking legitimate laws. Hard to argue for the paramountcy of the rule of law against government abusers, when you skirt the laws in your own life.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    "But we kept the sidewalks clear!"

    *hangman pulls lever*

  • ||

    What’s particularly galling about the city’s action here is that it likely knows its own ban on pot dispensaries is illegal and a violation of California’s medical marijuana laws.

    Technically, if the feds prohibit med marijuana, and CA gives them the middle finger and legalizes it, then cities can give CA the middle finger and adopt federal law.

    Super-technically, none of these levels of government can outlaw weed under the Constitution, since putting substances in your body that harms no one else is not an enumerated power and is one of the unenumerated rights under the Ninth.

  • Duncan20903||

    That's what I meant by thoughts of Federal law flitting through the mind above. No protefeed, these agencies are specifically proscribed from enforcing Federal law by the California State Constitution, Article 3, Section 3.5, Paragraph (c):

    CALIFORNIA CONSTITUTION
    ARTICLE 3 STATE OF CALIFORNIA

    SEC. 3.5. An administrative agency, including an administrative
    agency created by the Constitution or an initiative statute, has no
    power:

    (a) To declare a statute unenforceable, or refuse to enforce a
    statute, on the basis of it being unconstitutional unless an
    appellate court has made a determination that such statute is
    unconstitutional;

    (b) To declare a statute unconstitutional;

    (c) To declare a statute unenforceable, or to refuse to enforce a
    statute on the basis that federal law or federal regulations prohibit
    the enforcement of such statute unless an appellate court has made a
    determination that the enforcement of such statute is prohibited by
    federal law or federal regulations.

    http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/.const/.article_3

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