Whittier Daily News _CA_ 1/1/1997 - 31/12/2017
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1US CA: Former Santa Fe Springs Councilman Pleads Guilty To BriberyTue, 31 Jul 2012
Source:Whittier Daily News (CA) Author:Molina, Sandra T. Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:08/04/2012

LOS ANGELES - Former Santa Fe Springs Councilman Joseph Serrano pleaded guilty Monday to a federal bribery charge for soliciting money from an owner of a medical marijuana dispensary.

"He pleaded guilty pursuant to the plea agreement he made with the U.S. Attorney a few weeks ago," Justice Department Spokesman Thom Mrozek said.

Serrano, 62, will be sentenced before the same judge, Stephen V. Wilson, on Oct. 15. in U.S. District Court.

Serrano admitted to soliciting $11,500 in bribes from the onetime owner of a medical marijuana dispensary, according to court documents.

[continues 281 words]

2US CA: Editorial: Fixing State's Marijuana LawsMon, 15 Nov 2010
Source:Whittier Daily News (CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:11/16/2010

California has two minds on marijuana. Voters in 1996 thought it was OK for medicinal use, and just about any adult can get a "recommendation" to legally consume medical marijuana. But on Nov. 2, voters just said no to fully legalizing pot for recreational use and sale.

It's technically illegal to sell medical marijuana in California (it's supposed to be shared among collective members), yet several cities have enacted gross receipt taxes to raise revenue off the sale of medicinal pot. The city of Los Angeles is currently considering taxing medical marijuana. And voters from La Puente just approved a measure to tax medical marijuana sales in the city.

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3US CA: Marijuana Legalization Issue Hits Whittier City CouncilSat, 16 Oct 2010
Source:Whittier Daily News (CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:10/16/2010

The marijuana legalization issue hit the Whittier City Council this week.

And there was a 3-2 vote in essence to come out against Prop. 19. However, four votes were needed to put it on the agenda so it fell one short.

Councilman Joe Vinatieri asked to put it on the agenda so the council could take a position on it.

"Proposition 19 would legalize marijuana although it's illegal under federal law," Vinatieri said. "There's a very good chance the feds will come and sue to enjoin it. There's also a good chance that (federal) money given to cities, such as Whittier, would be in jeopardy."

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4US CA: Editorial: Where Do You Stand on Legalization of Marijuana?Sat, 07 Aug 2010
Source:Whittier Daily News (CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:08/09/2010

Of the 10 statewide ballot measures facing voters on Nov. 2, the most controversial is Proposition 19, which asks voters to decide whether the sale of marijuana should be legalized for general use. Prop. 19 would go beyond the current law that legalizes marijuana for medical use.

Prop. 19 would allow people who are at least 21 years old to "possess, cultivate or transport marijuana for personal use."

It would permit local governments to regulate and tax commercial production, distribution and sales of marijuana for people 21 and older.

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5US CA: Legal Medical Marijuana Dispensary Opens In WhittierFri, 30 Jul 2010
Source:Whittier Daily News (CA) Author:Sprague, Mike Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:07/31/2010

WHITTIER - Dolores Enriquez and Robert Ortiz of Pico Rivera and Sandra Newby of Whittier opened up the city's newest business this week.

Like most new enterprises, customers are slow to come in but they still came up with the money to join the Whittier Area Chamber of Commerce.

But the three merchants have had to go through more than most to open their business because they operate the city's first legal medical marijuana dispensary.

It took them 15 months before getting the necessary permits and then another three months to open.

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6US CA: Whittier Residents Aren't Giving Up On Dream Of OpeningSun, 06 Jun 2010
Source:Whittier Daily News (CA) Author:Sprague, Mike Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:06/08/2010

SOUTH WHITTIER - Two brothers and a cousin who were forced to shut down their medical marijuana dispensary last week, say they aren't giving up on their plans.

The dispensary, 3P Wellness Center, 11331 La Mirada Blvd., in unincorporated South Whittier, had been open only a month when brothers Victor, 34, and Steven Munoz, 22, of Whittier and their cousin, Alex Hernandez, 34, of Pomona voluntarily shut it down after Los Angeles County officials told them they didn't have the necessary permits.

[continues 739 words]

7US CA: Political Observers Believe Marijuana Initiative Probably Won't Pass in NTue, 13 Apr 2010
Source:Whittier Daily News (CA) Author:Woods, Wes Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:04/13/2010

Local political pundits say the chances of success for a ballot initiative to legalize the possession and sale of marijuana appear to be - at best - hard to gauge.

Few gave the medical marijuana initiative much chance, says one observer, but it passed. Now, few give this initiative much chance, but California voters can be surprising.

There are still seven months of campaigning ahead, and experts say they find it difficult to believe the initiative could succeed in November's midterm elections.

[continues 426 words]

8US CA: Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Rushing To Get In La PuenteSun, 07 Feb 2010
Source:Whittier Daily News (CA) Author:Wagner, James Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:02/07/2010

LA PUENTE - With a new law regulating medical marijuana dispensaries set to take effect this week, potential owners are rushing to get in before it's too late.

If their applications are approved before Friday's deadline, the number of dispensaries in La Puente would nearly double, essentially rendering the city's new cap on them outdated.

"We could have more than six," said assistant city manager Greg Yamachika.

La Puente capped the number of dispensaries at six when it crafted the law in December because five applications had been approved and one was pending.

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9US CA: Column: A Letter To Our PresidentTue, 22 Dec 2009
Source:Whittier Daily News (CA) Author:Girardot, Frank Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:12/23/2009

Dear President Obama:

Over the weekend I think I stumbled on a great plan to put people back to work.

What I need from you is some stimulus money. Think of it as seed money if you will.

I'm going to use it to start a business. And in a matter of months I think the business can be one of the Fortune 500.

Tax money generated by this startup can go to work fixing our health care system, our roads and our schools. By some estimates consumers already spend $110 billion a year on the product I plan to sell.

[continues 448 words]

10US CA: Whittier Councilman Calls UP For Review ProposedThu, 17 Sep 2009
Source:Whittier Daily News (CA) Author:Sprague, Mike Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:09/17/2009

WHITTIER - Councilman Joe Vinatieri has called for the City Council to review the Planning Commission's approval of a medical marijuana dispensary.

The dispensary would be run by a Pico Rivera-based nonprofit group called Seventh and Hope at 8116 Byron Road, Suite D. The clinic's bid for a business permit passed out of the Planning Commission last month and now must go to the council for approval.

It would have been approved without a hearing if one had not been requested by a council member.

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11US CA: Whittier Planning Commission Seeks Limit on Dosage forWed, 05 Aug 2009
Source:Whittier Daily News (CA) Author:Sprague, Mike Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:08/05/2009

WHITTIER - Planning commissioners want to see if they can limit how much marijuana a medical dispensary can sell before giving their approval for one to open.

The commission Monday voted unanimously to continue the hearing until Aug. 17 after asking city planning staff to see if they legally can limit dosages.

"Can we limit the amount?" asked Commissioner Harry Stone.

"Do we have that power?" Stone asked. "If we have some control over the amount, do we have any information on what would be a reasonable amount? Can we have the doctor include the reasonable amount (on the recommendation of medical marijuana for the patient)?"

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12US CA: Whittier City Council Votes 3-2 to Continue to AllowThu, 11 Jun 2009
Source:Whittier Daily News (CA) Author:Sprague, Mike Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:06/10/2009

WHITTIER - Medical marijuana dispensaries will continue to be allowed in Whittier thanks to a 3-2 City Council vote on Tuesday.

The council decided to maintain its current ordinance regulating medical marijuana dispensaries, instead of banning them.

The key vote was Councilman Greg Nordbak, who had voted in April to ask staff to draft an ordinance banning the businesses.

But on Tuesday, Nordbak voted with Mayor Bob Henderson and Councilmen Owen Newcomer in favor of the status quo.

"I made my decision in 2005 based upon compassion," Nordbak said of the then-3-2 vote to pass the ordinance that regulates and restricts dispensaries to a small area near Washington Boulevard.

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13US CA: Whittier Planning Commission Rebuffs City CouncilWed, 03 Jun 2009
Source:Whittier Daily News (CA) Author:Sprague, Mike Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:06/07/2009

WHITTIER - In a decision that directly went against the City Council, Planning Commissioners said they see no reason to ban medical marijuana dispensaries.

The council had requested a city ordinance banning such businesses. But the Commission voted 3-1 Monday to recommend no change in the existing law, which allows dispensaries in limited areas.

"It was a really difficult decision," said Commissioner Wes Murray, who was not on the commission three years ago when it approved the existing law. "From a land-use point of view, the ordinance that is in place is sufficient to protect our city."

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14US CA: Whittier Planning Commission Votes To DelayWed, 20 May 2009
Source:Whittier Daily News (CA) Author:Sprague, Mike Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:05/21/2009

WHITTIER - The City Council's decision to ban medical marijuana dispensaries is running into resistance at the Planning Commission level.

Commissioners at Monday's hearing either wanted to delay the issue in order to get more information - they eventually voted 3-1 to do so - or just vote it down in the first place.

I haven't heard a fundamental issue that would require a change or tip the scale for me," said Fernando Dutra, Planning Commission chairman. "I'd like to bring it back with more information."

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15US CA: Governor Schwarzenegger Fires Up Pot DebateMon, 11 May 2009
Source:Whittier Daily News (CA) Author:Abendschein, Dan Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:05/11/2009

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger tried to spark up a little debate this week when he suggested the state should discuss reforming marijuana laws.

But most area legislators opted not to partake.

Schwarzenegger said Wednesday in a public appearance that he would not necessarily support legalization, but rather that the state "ought to study very carefully what other countries are doing that have legalized marijuana and other drugs."

California legislators may end up being forced to do just that. A bill introduced by state Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, calls for marijuana to be legalized and taxed. Ammiano estimates it could gain the state $1.3 billion in revenue, based on taxing pot at $50 an ounce.

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16US CA: Whittier May Ban Medical Marijuana DispensariesFri, 01 May 2009
Source:Whittier Daily News (CA) Author:Sprague, Mike Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:05/01/2009

WHITTIER - City officials here appear poised to reverse ground and ban medical marijuana dispensaries.

The action could come after nearly 2 1/2 years ago when the Whittier City Council voted 3-2 to allow such businesses with a limited area in the city.

But the council voted 3-2 earlier this week to direct staff to draft an ordinance prohibiting them.

"I went for it the last time because they were proposing an honest legitimate business," said Councilman Greg Nordbak who in 2006 had voted for the ordinance restricting, but allowing the dispensaries.

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17US CA: Pico Rivera Woman Wants to Open Medical MarijuanaSat, 04 Apr 2009
Source:Whittier Daily News (CA) Author:Sprague, Mike Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:04/08/2009

WHITTIER - A Pico Rivera woman wants to open a medical marijuana dispensary here and has applied to the city for a conditional-use permit.

Dolores Enriquez wants to open the dispensary at 8116 Byron Road, No. D. City planning staff has 30 days to determine if her application is complete and then set it for a hearing.

Enriquez, her son, Robert Ortiz, and friend Sandra Newby formed a nonprofit group, Seventh and Hope, to operate the business.

"They see the need and they want to fill it," said Katherine Clifton, attorney for Enriquez. "They know people with AIDS, cancer and glaucoma."

[continues 396 words]

18US CA: Editorial: Medical Marijuana, Yes Or No?Mon, 09 Mar 2009
Source:Whittier Daily News (CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:03/09/2009

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's recent announcement that the Obama administration will let states enforce their own laws on medical marijuana means Californians can finally buy and sell prescription pot without fear of federal raids.

But tension remains over medical marijuana dispensaries and drug laws. In fact, many local cities have outright banned the dispensaries, wanting no part of the dispute.

Californians in 1996 overwhelmingly supported legalizing marijuana for medical patients, but did voters anticipate toking for headaches or anxiety?

[continues 160 words]

19US CA: PUB LTE: Lying About DrugTue, 17 Feb 2009
Source:Whittier Daily News (CA) Author:Sharpe, Robert Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:02/19/2009

Re Kathleen Parker's Feb. 7 column:

Olympian Michael Phelps is in good company. The list of athletes caught using marijuana is long. Could it be that drug warriors have been lying about marijuana's health impact? They've definitely been lying about the deterrent value of marijuana prohibition.

The United States has higher rates of marijuana use than the Netherlands, where marijuana is legally available to adults over 18.

Robert Sharpe, Policy Analyst Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, D.C.


20US CA: Column: Kellogg's Mixed Messages On Phelps Adds Fuel To Drug Reform DebatFri, 13 Feb 2009
Source:Whittier Daily News (CA) Author:Parker, Kathleen Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:02/15/2009

Drink and drive and it's grrrrrrrr-eat! Smoke pot and your flakes are frosted, dude.

So seems the message from Kellogg, which has decided not to renew its sponsorship contract with Michael Phelps after the Olympian was photographed smoking marijuana at a party in South Carolina.

That's showbiz, of course, but the cereal and munchie company had no problem signing Phelps despite a prior alcohol-related arrest. In 2004, Phelps was fined and sentenced to 18 months probation and community service after pleading guilty to driving while impaired.

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