Pubdate: Fri, 18 Jun 2010
Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA)
Copyright: 2010 San Francisco Examiner
Author: Brent Begin


After police confiscated 162 marijuana  plants from a Taraval
neighborhood home last week, a  registry of certified medical cannabis
growers in San  Francisco will be put together by the Police
Department  and health officials.

The arrest has caused an uproar among medical marijuana  advocates
because the suspect provided pot to a  dispensary and had papers that
allowed him to grow the  plants, according to members of Axis of Love,
a  collective of medicinal marijuana providers.

On June 10, police raided a home at 215 Crestmont Drive  about 1:30
p.m., according to police. Officers arrested  Cody Phillips, 28, and
took the 162 plants, several  bags of marijuana, cash and growing equipment.

Prosecutors charged the case and there was some  confusion about the
legitimacy of the grower's papers,  according to police Cmdr. John
Loftus. The home also  had problems with its electrical wiring, and
PG&E was  called to the house at one point.

There's currently a citywide permitting process for  medical
dispensaries that includes hearings in front of  city planners, but
there's no local registry for the  growers who supply medical marijuana.

"We are hoping for some kind of guidelines so that they  can register
with the Department of Public Health,"  Loftus said. "There is a large
criminal element that  grows marijuana illegally and does it for
profit. We're  having problems distinguishing between the two."

The Police Department has not been able to provide  consistent numbers
on marijuana arrests despite  repeated requests from media
organizations and an  oversight committee formed in 2006 after The
City  passed legislation making marijuana offenses the lowest
priority for police.

One member of the Marijuana Offenses Oversight  Committee, Catherine
Smith, said there have been 71  raids on grow houses in the past year.
Many of those  have come in the Taraval police district, which
includes the Sunset district.

"That's a lot of home invasions," Smith told the Police  Commission on
Wednesday. "Some of them were warranted.  Most of them were not."

Police commissioners Petra DeJesus and Jim Hammer  agreed with the
idea, saying there should be a way to  separate legitimate medical
cannabis growers from  illegal ones. 
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