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  1. Alfa
    FEDS SAY POT SHOPS ILLEGAL

    Colfax Store Owner 'Ashamed' Of House Vote

    If it were up to the federal government, marijuana distribution stores
    such as the one operated by Jim Henry in Colfax would be shut down
    permanently.

    Actually, it is up to the feds, according to a vote by the U.S. House
    of Representatives on Wednesday. The vote sent a resounding message to
    California and eight other states that allow medical marijuana: Our
    laws trump yours.

    The house voted to let the federal government continue prosecuting
    people who use marijuana for medical reasons in those states. The
    268-148 vote turned aside an amendment by Democrats and some
    Republicans that would have barred the federal government from
    preventing states from implementing their own medical marijuana laws.

    "I will be damned if I stop selling medicine," said Henry, owner of
    Golden State Patient Care Collective. "I am ashamed of (the
    government) for that. We help sick people. Some of these people will
    be dead in six months. They would be dead in three months if it wasn't
    for medical marijuana."

    California is one of nine states that have passed laws allowing people
    to use marijuana if recommended by a doctor. The others are Alaska,
    Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.

    Supporters of the federal restrictions said that constitutionally,
    federal statutes override state laws.

    U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration special agent Richard Meyer,
    based in San Francisco, told The Union his department does not alter
    its approach to suit state and local laws.

    California's Proposition 215 allows medical marijuana to be grown and
    possessed, but not sold. Meyer said that although using marijuana is
    illegal under federal law, the DEA only actively pursues dealers, not
    users.

    Stores such as Henry's shop in Colfax are "a blatant violation of the
    law," Meyer said.

    Last year, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco
    ruled the federal law outlawing marijuana should not apply to people
    using the drug on a doctor's recommendation. The Bush administration
    appealed that decision - which only covers the western states in the
    9th Circuit - saying federal anti-drug laws supersede state laws.

    "What a waste of money going after these shops," Henry said. "Not one
    person in this community has said anything negative (about the store)."

    Henry said his store has about 250 active members and that the numbers
    grow every month. He said about half of his clients come from Nevada
    County. He said he worries about losing the store and facing
    prosecution every day, but that he continues on because it is the
    right thing to do.

    "Yes, there is risk," he said. "But the benefits of helping (clients)
    outweighs the risks."

Comments

  1. Pot Head
    why trhe hell are they doing that. let those people not feel pain. just goes to shoe how stupid our government is.
  2. Alfa
    CITIES UNEASY WITH POT SHOPS

    But Two Law Officers In Placer County Report Few Problems.

    A burly man stands in front of a small house in Colfax and keeps watch
    over a nearly empty parking lot. He has one charge: to ward off the
    gawkers, the gazers, the dealers, the ill-intended.

    With its wraparound porch and small-town location, the quaint building
    belies the controversy surrounding the business taking place inside.

    This is a medicinal marijuana dispensary, the result of a vague state
    law that allows such stores to operate but lacks clear guidelines on
    how local officials can regulate them.

    The tightly run Golden State Patient Care Collective in Colfax is
    hardly the image conjured up by Rocklin officials last month when they
    responded to an inquiry about opening a store there.

    They considered adopting operating rules similar to those enacted
    recently in Roseville, Citrus Heights, Elk Grove and Auburn, but
    ultimately decided in an emergency meeting to prohibit the
    dispensaries altogether.

    Medical marijuana experts believe Rocklin's action is unprecedented in
    California.

    City officials said they fear a so-called pot shop would attract crime
    and blight and run counter to Rocklin's image as a family-friendly
    suburb.

    Police Chief Mark Siemens told the City Council members that Roseville
    has had problems with its store and discouraged them from allowing one
    in Rocklin. He warned that residents might see street dealers
    loitering outside, thieves attacking patients leaving the store, and
    illegal sales or marijuana use nearby - predictions the Roseville and
    Colfax store owners and police say are not coming true.

    Siemens acknowledged Proposition 215, passed in 1996, protects from
    criminal prosecution patients whose doctors recommend marijuana use.
    But Siemens said voters were misled about medicinal marijuana.

    "They were kind of hoodwinked into this whole scheme, which is a front
    for illegitimate use of illegal drugs," he said.

    The council took Siemens' advice, enacting a 45-day emergency
    ordinance barring marijuana dispensaries.

    The Planning Commission will consider a permanent ordinance at 7:30
    p.m. Tuesday. The City Council will revisit the issue July 13.

    Medicinal marijuana supporters say the council's action was a hasty
    one based on incomplete information. Advocates said they recognize the
    potential for illegal activity, but many business operators are
    committed to helping patients in safe and legal ways.

    For example, the Colfax store, which opened in April, has a clinical
    atmosphere. Employees wear medical scrubs. Decorations are few and
    only loosely reflect the nature of the business, like the artistic
    marijuana leaf prints framed above the door.

    Admission procedures are strict. The store and parking lot are
    monitored by cameras and a security guard.

    "There have been no problems, no reports of crime," Placer County
    Undersheriff Steve D'Arcy said of the store. "It's been very quiet."

    In Roseville, a marijuana dispensary called Capital Compassionate Care
    opened in January. Roseville Police Capt. Dave Braafladt said the
    store has prompted some calls but "nothing of major
    significance."

    Two calls resulted in a written report, one related to narcotics and
    another to fraud, he said. Neither led to an arrest, though one
    investigation is pending.

    "It's obviously drawn attention," Braafladt said of the store in
    historic Roseville. "Is it anything way out of whack? No. Is it more
    than just a bicycle shop? Yes."

    The Colfax and Roseville stores are the only ones in the Sacramento
    area, although many cities have reported inquires from potential
    dispensaries.

    Marijuana stores are more prevalent in the Bay Area. Hayward, for
    example, has two dispensaries.

    Hayward Police Lt. Larry Bird said some dealers have congregated
    outside the stores and some buyers have been hit by thieves. But the
    department has not compiled any definitive crime statistics, he said.

    Hayward Mayor Roberta Cooper said that although the City Council
    supports the shop owners' goal of helping people and recognizes few
    serious problems have arisen, officials have decided not to allow the
    shops to operate after 2006.

    She said the conflict between state law and federal law, which says
    any sale or use of marijuana is illegal, puts cities in an awkward
    position.

    In Roseville, officials also are uncomfortable with a store in their
    city. Mayor F.C. "Rocky" Rockholm said in an interview that he would
    like to see his town's marijuana dispensary "go away, but it's not
    going to."

    Store owner Richard Marino said the opposition is unfounded. In seven
    months in business, he has served almost 2,000 patients and called
    police twice - to chase away some loitering dealers he said never
    returned and to deal with someone who submitted a false doctor's
    recommendation.

    "I don't think (dispensaries) bring crime, because we haven't had any
    crime," Marino said.

    Jim Henry, co-owner of the Colfax store, said he also feels frustrated
    by assumptions about pot shops. He said that when word of his store
    got out, some teenagers stopped by thinking they could score marijuana.

    "This is for sick people," he told them. They have not returned.
  3. davidBuster23
    God fucking dammit! I'm going to do something about this, mark my words! fuckers
  4. Alfa
    What would you do?
  5. davidBuster23
    Just blowing off steam by posting here -- sorry if I was not constructive. I don't think you'd want me posting how I plan to carry out my intentions of making drugs available to all. hypothetically situation of course :)
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