Pubdate: Wed, 19 Oct 2011 Source: Record, The (Stockton, CA) Copyright: 2011 The Record Contact: http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?Category=A_OPINION05 Website: http://www.recordnet.com/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/428 Author: William Van Amber Fields POT SHOPS WILL TRIGGER CRIME Out from underground and out of the shadows, the dope dealer is now a "bud tender" and wears a suit as he sells his wares in a mahogany paneled waiting room with mood music wafting through the air conditioned, nicely appointed office protected by two security guards in case the environment turns rowdy. Stockton has reached her milestone of attaining her first "cannabis canteen" or "medical pot dispensary" and with more franchises on the way. This "wellness facility" ain't no candy store, man. It's a dope score sure as shootin'. Speaking of shooting, on Sept. 27 in Ione, five gang members robbed a medical pot farm and murdered the operator. The gangsters were arrested upon leaving the shooting. Also, police discovered an east Stockton warehouse in the 1800 block of Vicki Lane full of marijuana plants at various stages of growth and with 15 employees. Is this growing operation legal, and is it part of a local dispensary? Stockton's new, upscale dope stores might soon want to expand to accommodate the "cottage industry" of all the usual suspects: "massage" therapy, liquor and hard drugs, gambling and money laundering, pornography and topless bud tenders. The federal government has found a new weapon in its war on marijuana: the tax man. Certainly, Stockton's new dope outlets will be open to the scrutiny of, and watched closely by, the city auditors and the IRS. William Van Amber Fields Morada - --- MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.