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California Takes a Hit

LdyLunatic

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California -- For some San Diegans, legally obtaining marijuana was easy in the last three years - until San Diego's Drug Enforcement Administration raided and shut down all marijuana dispensaries in July.
Senate Bill 420 was passed in 2003 as an amendment to the 1996 Proposition 215, which allowed California doctors to write medical marijuana recommendations. SB 420 also allowed patients and their caregivers the right to grow marijuana for medicinal, non-profit uses, as long as they had an identification card.

Some San Diegans interpreted the law differently, growing supplies for many patients. More than 30 "medical marijuana" dispensaries opened in San Diego County since the law was passed.

The laws were written for patients who suffer from illnesses such as cancers, HIV and AIDS.

However, Damon Mosler, division chief of the San Diego County district attorney's Major Narcotics Unit, said his department and the DEA, through research involving undercover police buying marijuana, discovered that the bulk of the dispensaries' customers were people between 20 and 30 years old, or even younger, who were having prescriptions written out for them for excuses such as minor pain and surfing injuries.

Mosler is currently suing four doctors for allegedly issuing questionable marijuana recommendations.

"We were seeing many students from San Diego State and other schools getting recommendations for minor headaches or minor pain," Mosler said. "It's hard to believe that people are so sick at 20 years old that they need medicinal marijuana."

The dispensaries have been under the scrutiny of the DEA and Narcotics Unit since last July, when the departments began raiding stores and warning the owners to shut them down.

This July, the DEA raided and shut down all of the dispensaries in San Diego County, he said.

San Diego County does not support marijuana use, as it is illegal under federal law, and is suing the state of California for trying to impose the identification card requirement on San Diego County.

County officials said they feel that requiring an identification card to buy the drug is a step toward legalizing marijuana, Mosler said.

Medical marijuana patients have now joined the lawsuit - as their supply will be more difficult to obtain.

"Nowhere in this lawsuit were the patients represented," said Margaret Dooley, coordinator for the San Diego Drug Policy Alliance. "So three organizations - the DPA (which co-wrote Proposition 215), Americans for Safe Access and the American Civil Liberties Union - filed a motion to intervene.

"We wanted to add defendants to the existing lawsuit. We won the motion, so we asked for the county to also sue us so that patients, providers and co-operatives (several patients who grow and share marijuana together) could also be represented."

Mosler argues that only 3 percent of the dispensaries' customers have illnesses stated in Proposition 215, and the rest are not legitimate medical marijuana patients.

The next hearing for the county's case against the state and advocate groups will be heard by Superior Court Judge William R. Nevitt Jr. in a San Diego civil court and is scheduled for Nov. 16, according to: http://www.medicalmj.org/

Note: San Diego County brings state to court.

Source: Daily Aztec, The (San Diego State, CA Edu)
Author: Stephanie Nehmens, Assistant City Editor
Published: September 5, 2006
Copyright: 2006 The Daily Aztec
 

W ï l l

hash for humanity
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Hmmm...so people can't interpret the law to mean one thing....but the DEA can conclude that people do not have legitimate temporary need for a Rx of MJ...

Well isn't that just shocking!
 

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