Somewhere, Harry Anslinger is smiling.
Back in 1930, Anslinger became commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. In large measure, he was responsible for the nation's war on marijuana — reefer madness, if you will — that still exists today.
Harry obviously would like what's going on in Yuba County, where proponents of a medical cannabis co-op have found it impossible to open, for one reason or another, or another, or another.
Down in Los Angeles, there are about 800 dispensaries, according to a recent Associated Press story. Sacramento has 39.
Litigation about the pot dispensaries has moved at a quick pace.
The Orange County Register noted in a recent story that pot patients sued Anaheim over its ban on dispensaries The case — now in appellate court — could determine whether cities can legally outlaw dispensaries or whether they need to regulate them instead, the paper said.
So maybe the folks in Yuba County can wait for that court case to be decided. Depending on the ruling, they may get their local dispensary. Or not.
The local angle
With all those trials going on involving the financial hot shots on the East Coast, you have to wonder what does it have to do with the good people of Yuba-Sutter.
Well, in one recent case, a Yuba City man had an intense interest in a trial involving two Bear Stearns executives who ran hedge funds that collapsed after betting heavily on the shaky subprime mortgage market.
That man is Terence Keeley. You may remember him. He was a Sutter County judge. His daughter, Margaret, is a New York lawyer.
She represented one of those Bear Stearns guys, Ralph Cioffi, who along with co-defendant Matthew Tannin were found not guilty of conspiracy and other charges in an alleged scheme that cost 300 investors about $1.6 billion and nearly caused the demise of Bear Stearns itself, according to an Associated Press recap of the case.
The jury in New York returned its verdict earlier this month.
Margaret Keeley got a few mentions in the press coverage of the case. The verdict rated front-page coverage in the New York Times, which didn't mention her.
Margaret, or Meg, as she's called, "concentrates on criminal and civil trials. She has represented clients in a broad range of complex criminal defense, arbitration and general civil litigation matters, including cases involving allegations of professional malpractice, accounting fraud, securities fraud, tax evasion, intellectual property violations, and breach of noncompetition agreements," according to her profile on the Web site of her firm, Williams & Connolly LLP.
The firm apparently is a big player on the East Coast. It represented President Bill Clinton during his impeachment trial.
November 22, 2009