Pubdate: Fri, 05 Jul 2013
Source: Daily Pilot (Costa Mesa, CA)
Copyright: 2013 Daily Pilot
Author: Joyce Weitzberg
Note: Costa Mesa resident JOYCE WEITZBERG is a retired nurse and the former
operator of a marijuana collective.


I was amazed to hear a car recently crashed into a medical marijuana 
dispensary on 19th Street ("Driver held after SUV crashes into 
dispensary," July 4). The amazing part of this story is that in 
October 2011 the City Council of Costa Mesa called in the U.S. 
Department of Justice, resulting in the closing of all collectives in 
the city by Jan. 31, 2012, even though their actions may have been in 
violation of state opening meetings laws known as the Brown Act.

All were closed except for Newport Mesa Health Center on West 19th Street.

Reports about this location have been reported to city officials, as 
well as law enforcement. Many are wondering why this collective 
remains open even after all of the closures in the city, Orange 
County and throughout the state.

Our collective, Nutritional Concepts, was operating in compliance 
with all state laws, and was run by myself, a retired registered 
nurse. We received referrals from Palliative care physicians at Hoag 
Hospital, UC Irvine Medical Center and St. Joseph Hospital, as well 
as other patient care facilities. It was run with the best interests 
of our patients in mind, yet was ordered to close or be subject to 
federal prosecution.

I was told I could not hold grow classes, education classes or have 
anything to do with cannabis or its accessories.

I petitioned the city to allow a limited number of collectives to 
exist in the city to serve its citizens and respect the Compassionate 
Use Act. My letters and requests remain unresolved.

Many city personnel acknowledged that our collective ran properly. I 
was recently told in meetings one of the problems is that if they 
allowed me to open they could be subject to litigation from others 
that might want to follow. They stated at one time they were 
concerned about violating federal law and being subject to federal 
penalties and did not know how to remedy that problem.

Recently, the state courts ruled that cities now have the right to 
outright ban or regulate and control cannabis distribution. Costa 
Mesa has sent out an unclear message. Is there a ban in the city? Why 
is the city not afraid of violating federal law when it comes to this 
collective? Why is the city not fearing litigation from other club 
owners for discriminating against them?

I, and others, would really like to know who has a private interest 
in this collective that has been the only one permitted in Costa Mesa 
for more than one and a half years. So far, no one from the city has 
been able to answer any questions pertaining to the operation of this 
collective. Perhaps now the city will be held accountable, or is all 
they respond to is litigation? The city needs to explain why this 
collective has been allowed to continue when all others have not.

I believe that a conditional use permit should be created in this 
city to allow three or four properly run collectives to operate 
professionally and properly to serve the needs of our residents. We 
should progress in that direction.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom