The organizers of a Wildomar medical marijuana collective are asking
for the court's help in their fight to stay open.
Wildomar Patients Compassionate Group is seeking an order to stop the
city Planning Director Matthew Bassi from enforcing the city's ban on
medical marijuana dispensaries.
In legal papers filed Monday in Riverside County Superior Court,
lawyers for the collective argued that Bassi's legal authority to
enforce the ban conflicts with state law that allows for the medicinal
use of marijuana. The petition also alleges that Bassi's actions "are
motivated exclusively by a desire" to eliminate collectives.
[continues 250 words]
RIVERSIDE - While acknowledging that this was "a troubling case for
the court," a judge nevertheless ruled Wednesday that the city of
Riverside is within its rights to use zoning laws to ban medical
"The city has acted within their authority," Superior Court Judge John
Molloy said at the end of the hour-long hearing that pitted attorneys
for the city of Riverside against medical marijuana activists.
Supporters of medical marijuana -- some of whom identified themselves
as cancer patients -- filled the courtroom seats. Others were not
allowed in because all seats were taken.
[continues 402 words]
Despite warnings from the city, a medical marijuana activist said a
co-op created to help patients get their medicine will open its doors
in Temecula on Monday.
Douglas Lanphere said Cooperative Patients' Services will provide a
secure venue for legitimate medical marijuana patients to exchange the
drug with each other. The establishment, in a leased storefront on the
southern end of Old Town Front Street past First Street, will allow
members to bring marijuana in for processing, he said.
California voters legalized marijuana use for medicinal purposes in
1996. While several Temecula businesses offer medical marijuana
referrals, the city has banned dispensaries since 2004.
[continues 371 words]
SACRAMENTO - California voters likely have not seen the last of
efforts to legalize marijuana despite last week's defeat of Prop. 19.
Legalization advocates are weighing a return to the ballot in 2012.
And the author of an unsuccessful Assembly bill to legalize pot
intends to introduce similar legislation early next year.
"We had a debate that was just heard around the world. The
conversation has only begun," Dale Jones, a yes-on-Prop. 19
spokeswoman, said after Tuesday's election.
[continues 559 words]
Prop. 19 was a dubious proposition even before the federal government
snuffed out one of the biggest arguments in the measure's favor last
week. Comments from the Justice Department are yet more evidence that
Prop. 19's promises are largely smoke -- and that voters should not inhale.
Prop. 19 on the Nov. 2 ballot proposes to legalize marijuana in
California for those 21 years and older, and would let state and
local governments regulate and tax the drug. Proponents say this step
would save taxpayers money now spent policing marijuana, and would
generate revenue for public services.
[continues 377 words]
The Cypress Hill Smokeout music festival Saturday at the National
Orange Show in San Bernardino was as much about marijuana as it was
Hip-hop and Latin groups shared the stage with DJs, while advocates of
medical marijuana and Prop.19, the California ballot measure to
legalize marijuana for adults, extolled the virtues of pot while also
registering new voters.
K.T. Howard of Oceanside, a supporter of Prop. 19, said she attended
the festival to support the ballot measure as much as to hear the music.
[continues 347 words]
For most California ballot measures over the years, the debate has
been about whether the initiative is good or bad for the state.
But what if supporters and opponents don't agree about what the
That's the case with Prop. 19. The measure, on next month's ballot,
would make California the first state in the country to legalize marijuana.
The measure would let people possess and cultivate pot for personal
use. It also would allow, but not require, local and state
governments to regulate and tax the commercial production,
distribution and sale of marijuana.
[continues 1030 words]
Buoyed by a recent court ruling, the organizers of a medical marijuana
patients' cooperative in Temecula plan to allow members to bring in
and process marijuana by the end of this month.
The announcement this week by Cooperative Patients' Services, formerly
Qualified Patients Resource Center, marks a new chapter in the group's
quest to help medical marijuana users in Temecula, which bans
dispensaries. A number of Temecula businesses are licensed to offer
medical marijuana referrals.
Cooperative organizer Douglas Lanphere insisted Cooperative Patients'
Services is not a dispensary. Rather, it is as a nonprofit
agricultural cooperative akin to grain farmers who pool their
resources to harvest and distribute their crops.
[continues 343 words]
Prop. 19 on the November ballot clouds complex policy issues in a
smoky haze of uncertainty. The measure's vague language would result
in endless litigation, and put state and federal drug laws in
confusing conflict. Voters should say no to a proposition that would
cause unnecessary turmoil for the state.
Prop. 19 proposes to legalize marijuana in California. State law
would allow the possession, cultivation and use of marijuana by those
21 years and older. The measure would also let state and local
governments regulate and tax marijuana.
[continues 390 words]
Riverside medical marijuana clinic operator Lanny Swerdlow continues
to maintain that the city made a mistake when it sought a court
injunction against him in May.
Not only did the city's filing name a business entity that doesn't
exist, but the city's use of the zoning code to ban all medical
marijuana facilities is unlawful, Swerdlow said Tuesday. His attorney,
Richard Ackerman, made similar arguments in a response to the city's
suit that was filed last week.
[continues 275 words]
Wildomar planning commissioners voted Wednesday to recommend that the
City Council continue to ban medical marijuana dispensaries.
Commissioners said they had uncertainty about the results of a
statewide proposition that would make marijuana legal for people older
The commission voted 3-2, with Harv Dykstra and Michael Kazmier
dissenting, to recommend the council vote down a proposed law allowing
The commission has the power only to suggest whether the city should
lift its 2-year-old ban on storefront marijuana facilities. It is now
left to the City Council to decide whether to allow nonprofit
[continues 310 words]
Think Wildomar and concepts such as a feisty spirit (it says so right
on the city website) and anti-government bent (one of the reasons it
took the community so long to incorporate) might come to mind.
Reefer madness probably isn't one of them.
Yet which southwest Riverside County city is on the verge of allowing
retail outlets to sell medical marijuana to patients?
That would be wacky Wildomar at the forefront of distributing the
Or so go the fears of critics who envision the community turning into
the cannabis capital of the area, hippies on the street corner doling
out joints, political types toking at City Council meetings and the
dawning of the Age of Aquarius near.
[continues 395 words]
Lake Elsinore voters won't decide whether they want medical marijuana
dispensaries in the city because backers of the proposal didn't gather
enough valid signatures to put the measure on the ballot, election
officials said Tuesday.
The group We the People gathered 870 valid signatures of registered
voters, about half the 1,623 needed to qualify the measure for the
Nov. 2 general election, according to the Riverside County registrar
The group gathered a total of 2,678 signatures, which were sent to the
registrar's office on June 17 for verification. The Lake Elsinore city
clerk's office received the results Tuesday.
[continues 331 words]
Wildomar could start on a path this week toward becoming the second
Riverside County city to allow medical marijuana dispensaries.
The city's Planning Commission on Wednesday will consider a new law
that would regulate the dispensaries, lifting a ban in place since
Wildomar became a city in 2008.
First, the commission must decide if dispensaries are appropriate for
the city. If so, it must decide how and where they can operate.
City Attorney Julie Hayward-Biggs drafted regulations based on a law
passed by the city of Laguna Woods, an Orange County retirement community.
[continues 342 words]
I read in this week's newspaper that the use of Ecstasy among
adolescents is increasing.
A 15-year-old girl who attended a rave in Los Angeles last week was
found dead from what appears to be a drug overdose. For those who are
not aware, Ecstasy is a combination of amphetamines and hallucinogens.
Imagine taking speed and LSD and you have a glimpse of what Ecstasy is
According to the article, the amount of Ecstasy seized by drug agents
in LA County has doubled in the past five years.
[continues 545 words]
Hemet city officials are keeping a close eye on a hydroponics store
out of concern that it attracts customers who illegally grow marijuana.
Steve's Hydroponics at 106 E. Florida Ave. opened Feb. 1. It sells
indoor irrigation systems, growing lights and pesticides. Co-owner
Steve McCann said his products are popular among growers of fruits and
vegetables because the soil-less systems do a better job of delivering
nutrients than outdoor gardens, and because the plants can be grown
indoors -- away from extreme weather -- year-round.
[continues 431 words]
The operator of an unlicensed medical-marijuana dispensary in Lake
Elsinore vowed to keep his business open despite a decision by the
City Council to uphold the revocation of his business license.
"We're going to do everything we can to remain open," Carlos Stahl,
operator of R Side Medical, said Wednesday.
The Lake Elsinore City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to deny the
appeal by Stahl to keep his business open. On Wednesday, Stahl said
he believes he is operating within state medical marijuana laws.
[continues 277 words]
The medical marijuana mobile that recently rolled out of Norco and
into unincorporated Riverside County to sell its wares illustrates
the latest in legal entanglements between federal, state and local laws.
Stewart Hauptman said he and his 1985 Pace Arrow motor home are gone
for good from Norco after police cited him for possessing drug
paraphernalia and operating a dispensary. He has since moved to
unincorporated Riverside County, where he says he feels safer because
state law applies.
But Hauptman and his roving pot-mobile may not be driving on any more
solid legal ground.
[continues 644 words]
As Riverside tries to shut one medical marijuana dispensary within
city limits, another is seeking to open with the city's approval.
But city officials said they don't intend to allow the Greenhouse
Care Group, a collective of about 25 Riverside patients, to run a
dispensary on the east side.
The group has taken a unique tack. The city has said its zoning code
forbids any marijuana dispensaries, so Greenhouse Care Group applied
to change the code, said Katherine Clifton, a San Diego attorney
representing the not-for-profit group.
[continues 335 words]
Local law enforcement agencies, similar to many across the state, are
treading a more careful path with medical marijuana users since an
appellate court decision this year struck down a state law that set
specific limits on the amount of marijuana patients can possess.
This month, Murrieta code enforcement and police officers shut down
what they described as an illegal medical marijuana dispensary and
warehouse growing facility. They did not arrest the operator or seize
any marijuana. Instead, they cited him for code enforcement violations.
[continues 783 words]