Medical Marijuana

L.A. Declares War on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries


Bad news from the L.A. Times:

Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley said today that all the medical marijuana dispensaries in the county are operating illegally, and that "they are going to be prosecuted."

There are hundreds of dispensaries throughout the county, including as many as 800 in the city of Los Angeles, according to the city attorney's office. They operate under a 1996 voter initiative that allowed marijuana to be used for medicinal purposes, and a subsequent state law that provided for collective cultivation.

Based on a state Supreme Court decision last year, Cooley and City Attorney Carmen Trutanich have concluded that over-the-counter sales are illegal. Most if not all of the dispensaries in the state operate on that basis.

I 've blogged a couple weeks ago about some of the background leading up to this bad decision at my California news and politics blog "City of Angles" here and here.

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  1. Cooley is trying to override the decision of the voters. He shouldn’t be on our payroll.


  2. If all the medical marijuana patients in LA showed up at Cooley’s office for a protest, how big a crowd would that be?


  3. changeSAME!

  4. I think it’s possible there just might be backlash to this.

  5. This just goes to show you how much the drug war is based on government power. Californians have shown through referendums that they want to have the dispensaries, yet the government consistently defies that. They’ve had such tremendous power via the drug war for so long that they can’t conceive of giving it up. This particularly applies to law enforcement/prosecutors.

    1. The really insidious thing about the war on drugs is that it’s a convenient pretext for universal criminalization. I’m a teetotaler myself, and I’ve never used any illegal drug, but if a cop decided that he didn’t like my attitude at a traffic stop, he could easily trump up a charge and far too many people would believe it.


  6. Looks like the Obama DOJ finally has the fig leaf it wanted. If all the dispensaries are violating state law, then DEA raids won’t violate Obama’s pledge to stop interfering with med MJ clinics.

    1. But Obama is The Peace President!
      Me very confused.

  7. I read earlier today that there will be a number of new initiatives on the ballot to make pot legal in California for all uses.

    I don’t think it said, though, when they’ll be on the ballot.

  8. Oh a war golly that’ll be fun. Bring the noise, bitches.

  9. I wonder how much a hit costs in LA.

    If each dispensary came up with $50, that’s $40,000.

    Don’t they have fiduciary duty to their shareholders?

  10. Whoa, Pot is illegal? Since when? I been smokin the stuff for 30+ years now and had no idea!


  11. Yeah, I heard on the radio that there is an initiative to make MJ legal for all uses not just medicinal.

    I hope that passes. I was hoping my state of Nevada would be the one that passes that, but too many of the socialists from CA came here.

    1. Wow, I’d figure Nevada of all places would be the first to legalize it.

  12. Just got back from Austin City Limits Festival. There was so much weed smoked with no law enforcement in sight in fucking Texas. Good God this is seriously fucked.

    1. Don’t ruin a good thing, brother.

      1. not ruinin’ nothin’. jes addin’ perspective.

  13. how can we help to promote the leglization????? what can one person do???

  14. What? How can anon bot smoke pot? It’s like he’s become self aware or something. Not good for humanity . . .

    *shakes in sadness*

    1. “Do you ever look at your programming, dude, like REALLY look at it?”

  15. So a question for the pigs; Are the sales supposed to be under the counter? So they’ve been operating for years and all the sudden..”Holy shit, they are illegal!!” Cooley, what kind of stupid idiot are you?

    Oh, and what Tulpa said. I wonder if the DEA sucked Cooley’s cock to get him to do this so that they can just run amok? Because I know these brownshirts must just be salivating at the mouth to put their knees in the back of some skinny emo.

  16. This is what big government does. Wait till you see what these dopes do to us when they control health care.

  17. Let’s just say I wouldn’t be upset if this guy found himself on the wrong end of the Mexican Cartel. Seriously, fuck big government. It’s perfectly alright to have thousands of people open up these clinics, invest millions of dollars in rent, equipment, product and employment, and then turn around and fuck all of them when you don’t like it.

  18. Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley said today that all the medical marijuana dispensaries in the county are operating illegally…

    Except for the small, inconvenient, fact that they aren’t, as Episiarch pointed out.

    But it’s a good thing to know that LA cops are trustworthy when it comes to drug cases.

    Let’s just say I wouldn’t be upset if this guy found himself on the wrong end of the Mexican Cartel.

    I agree with the sentiment, but it would only be spun by the drug Stasi as an example of “the violence teh drugs promote”.

  19. Mexican drug cartels would probably support this measure. People getting pot legally from other sources cuts into their profits.

  20. Maybe we should start a rumor that Cooley was paid off by the cartels to do this.

  21. My prediction is that they are going to put forth a proposition that will tax the hell out of the dispensaries in exchange for cessation of the raids. November is right around the corner. Of course this will come after a mess of asset seizures.

  22. Some friends and I wanted to open a dispensary a month or so ago, right before the San Diego raids. I did some research and, while the laws aren’t very clear, the current interpretation seems to be that you can’t just buy marijuana like any other prescription medication.

    The law allows you, or your ‘caregiver’ to cultivate, possess and consume a proscribed amount of marijuana. The state supreme court ruled that ‘caregiver’ means someone who actually provides for the majority of your care – i.e. you are their dependent.

    They left open the possibility that you could join a collective or co-op where you could assign the ability to produce your marijuana over to a third party, and you could pay them, so long as it only covered for their expenses and no profit was generated.

    Now you probably think this is bullshit, and it is, but it’s the current law in California. Are most dispensaries in violation? Probably, but the two I’ve been to make you sign up and join the collective. There isn’t a procedure to verify that you only belong to one collective – it’s left to the honor system.

    The current situation sucks, since nice friendly folks who own houses(and therefore could lose them) don’t want to enter the market. There are a lot of shops now run by some seedy motherfuckers because they’re the ones willing to flout the law and reap the gains.

    1. But their expenses should include paying for the labor of the farmer and for that of the manager. Non-profit doesn’t mean volunteer in the sense of unpaid.

  23. California Med MJ Laws are in no way written for anyone to comply with. This gives Gov. the ability to sway whatever way they want to go. Yes you have heard CA is moving to Legilize MJ, in fact MJ will be legal durning the Obama admin. but,, best bet, it will be controlled by Gov. or a major Company. To do this, small business or(dispensiries) need to be closed, and the laws rewritten, without a vote, because we already voted.
    Good luck to all,

  24. How long will we allow this to go on ? What can one person do ? Stand up ! with the rest of us ! Congress & the Senate serve 1 term & get the same pay for the rest of their days ! Who the hell let them have it ? We do not need to be regulated,ruled & taxed to death to be listened to. This will go on as long as we let it happen. We are being screwed ! Revolution ! To hell with them,march on Washington !

  25. This is a bit confusing to me. Doesn’t this run afoul of ex-post facto? How can they be prosecuted for something that’s (apparently) been legal for the past 13 years?

  26. Listen I am aware there are alot of loose ends on this subject however I believe That all the work done in california above all the other 14 states in tottal is revolutionary for the marijuana laws. Furthure more The inch provided by obama (someone whom i respect dearly) should be taken advantage of to take the whole mile. Since The DEA is under orders to let the state handle their state law compliances this could be the best time for marijuana Lobbysts to expand the law to recreation. Until Marijuana is as common as ciggarets we all know how much healthier marijuana is compared to tobbacoo even in their natural or altered forms.

  27. Cooley can suck a big cock. He needs to smoke a joint & then make that decision.

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