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Police confiscate pot club owner's marijuana


i wanna be cool too!
Oct 22, 2005
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Performing what they characterized as a routine traffic stop, Richmond police Tuesday arrested a man and impounded his truck, which they said carried some 30 pounds of high-quality marijuana.
The owner of Richmond's lone openly operating medical marijuana dispensary, where the truck was headed, immediately denounced the police's action as "harassment," part of a "mean-spirited" effort to interfere with his business and deny patients their medicine.
"It just shakes up everybody; that's why they're doing it," said Ken Estes, owner of Holistic Solutions on Hilltop Mall Road, about a half-mile from the intersection of Blume Drive and Klose Way, where police stopped the truck around 10:15 a.m.
In May, the Richmond city attorney's office issued "cease-and-desist" orders to Holistic Solutions and another dispensary, which promptly closed. But Estes, challenging the legality of the city's order, kept Holistic Solutions open.
Popularly known as cannabis clubs, dispensaries are legal under state law but are not addressed in the Richmond city code.
Holistic Solutions remained open Tuesday until mid-afternoon, when lack of supply related to the truck bust forced it to close, Estes said. The store likely will remain closed today, as will three other dispensaries he owns, he said.
"We're going to regroup," Estes said.
Holistic Solutions was supposed to be the first stop Tuesday in a round of deliveries to Estes' four similarly-named cannabis clubs in Richmond, San Francisco, Clear Lake and South Lake Tahoe, he said.
Police said the nature of the cargo and its destination was not the reason for Tuesday's traffic stop.
The truck ran a stop sign, said Richmond Police Sgt. Allwyn Brown. After the truck pulled over, "as soon as the officer reached the (driver's) window, he recognized the unique smell of cannabis."
Police found about 30 pounds of marijuana inside the truck and arrested the driver, Richard Barrett, 57, on suspicion of possessing illegal drugs for sale and confiscated the truck with its cargo.
Estes said the dispensary's legal representatives got Barrett released from the Richmond City Jail later Tuesday on $15,000 bail. Police could not verify that Barrett had been released. He has not been charged.
Various Richmond administrative officials have made it clear they do not want cannabis clubs in their city. They say such clubs are illegal because the city code does not explicitly permit them. Other cities contend that without regulations there is no legal basis to control or ban cannabis clubs, and they have enacted moratoriums as temporary solutions.
But Richmond officials have not agreed on a draft ordinance to present to the City Council and have not enforced the cease-and-desist order against Holistic Solutions.
Police chief Chris Magnus has said cannabis clubs are a drain on police resources and that officers have observed a steady stream of young people entering and leaving Holistic Solutions, causing him to doubt they were there for medical reasons.
Estes said many younger people use medical marijuana for pain resulting from injuries and that his dispensary rigorously complies with state law.
The Compassionate Use Act, passed by the state's voters in 1996, allows people to cultivate, buy and possess marijuana for medicinal use on the recommendation of a doctor. State Senate Bill 420 set guidelines in 2003 for distribution of the drug.
The federal government, however, considers marijuana an illegal drug with no medical application.
Richmond administrative officials have also taken the stand that cannabis clubs are illegal under a section of the city's zoning ordinance that rules out unlawful activities in general.


Sounds like the US. So what about all those people with cancer and such being in pain? Now they can't get their medicine? No medical application, all I have to say is what about what Dr. Jack Herrer says, along with Popular Mechanics Democracy my ass...

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