Medical Marijuana and Associated Issues by xiangpeng

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									                       Medical Marijuana and Associated Issues
                          Presented to the California Chiefs of Police Association
                                          July to September 2010
                                            Captain M. Regan

Criminal activity continues to be closely tied to marijuana. As the business of selling marijuana grows,
so does the violent crime that follows its cultivation and sales. A disturbing and continuing trend is the
increasing number of home invasion robberies and associated violence resulting in the victimization of
those cultivating and possessing marijuana. Dispensaries also continue to be targeted based upon the
availability of larger quantities of drugs and cash.

Man shot, killed during marijuana investigation
By Denise Rockenstein -- Staff reporter / 08/04/2010
LAKE COUNTY -- An early morning investigation into an illegal marijuana cultivation operation
resulted in the shooting death of a man on Wednesday. A Lake County Sheriff's deputy shot and killed
the man after he allegedly raised a rifle toward law enforcement officials…..The illegal garden allegedly
contained several hundred marijuana plants. Sgt. Martin said just before 6:30 a.m., deputies
encountered a male subject who was armed with a rifle. "Deputies ordered the man to put down the
firearm," Sgt. Martin said. "The man instead raised his riffle towards the law enforcement officials."
Sgt. Martin said that a deputy discharged his firearm and fatally wounded the man…..

One dead in officer-involved shooting during marijuana bust operation
By Sophia Kazmi / Contra Costa Times / 07/21/2010
SANTA CLARA COUNTY — One person is dead after an officer-involved shooting during a
marijuana field bust this morning on the Santa Clara-Alameda county border, deputies said. Deputies
from Alameda and Santa Clara counties were in the hills near Mines Road at about 10 a.m. to break up a
pot farm operation when the shooting took place, said Sgt. Rick Sung, Santa Clara County Sheriff's
spokesman. "Shots were fired," Sung said. "One suspect is confirmed dead." No officers were injured.
Sung said his agency is still confirming information about the incident and could not release any more
details at this time.

More violence during N. California pot raids
The Associated Press / 08/22/2010
SANTA ROSA, Calif.—Authorities are trying to determine what's causing an increase in violence that
has left five suspects dead during raids of marijuana gardens across Northern California during the past
several weeks. Most recently, one suspect was fatally shot in a gun battle Wednesday when more than
60 law enforcement officers raided a marijuana garden in a remote area of Mendocino County. Drug
agents have been raiding marijuana grows across the region for years, but the raids this summer have
turned increasingly violent….Two of the fatal pot field shootings involved deputies from his
department. Sonoma County officials have begun treating marijuana eradication efforts like SWAT
operations, Sonoma County Sheriff's Capt. Matt McCaffrey said. "These aren't the same marijuana
gardens as 20 years ago," McCaffrey said……With marijuana growing suspects becoming more
aggressive, members of the public are being warned to stay away from marijuana gardens in remote
areas. At a church camp west of Lake Sonoma, staff members have begun warning campers to stay
close to the buildings and off the trails that wind through the area. In Mendocino County, the public
was warned to stay away from a popular mountain trail after a group of hunters was confronted by
armed men and told to leave the area. Before the confrontation, the hunters had noticed drip
irrigation lines nearby.

Marijuana grow operation shooting leaves one dead, one wounded
By John Driscoll, Thadeus Greenson and Allison White / The Eureka Times-Standard / 08/26/2010
28-year-old Ukiah man held on suspicion of murder, investigation remains ongoing
A shooting at a large-scale marijuana growing operation near Kneeland Wednesday night left one man
dead, another wounded and a third in custody on suspicion of murder…..The shooting is believed to be
marijuana-related and apparently occurred Wednesday night……The undersheriff said the scene of the
shooting contained a large outdoor marijuana grow, consisting of four garden sites that he estimated had
a combined 1,500 to 2,000 plants. "I've worked marijuana in this area for 25 years, and I would put that
(operation) on a very large scale," Downey said. He went on to say that some physicians' medical
marijuana recommendations were posted at the gardens and that it would be "speculative" this early
in the investigation to say whether the grow was illegal……As of Thursday evening, personnel from
the Sheriff's Office, the District Attorney's Office, the California Highway Patrol, the U.S. Marshals
Office and the California Department of Justice remained on scene. The investigation remains ongoing.

LA man arrested in West Hollywood triple homicide
By RAQUEL MARIA DILLON / Associated Press Writer / Aug 31, 2010
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A man found with "multiple pounds" of marijuana has been arrested in the
shooting deaths of three men in a West Hollywood apartment……Investigators believe Park stole the
marijuana from the victims, who may have been buying the drug from recognized marijuana
collectives, then reselling it, sheriff's Lt. Pat Nelson told The Associated Press in an e-mail. Nelson
declined to elaborate on how they identified Park as a suspect….."Any time a significant amount of
drugs and/or money are involved, then the likelihood for robberies and related crime are going to
increase," Nelson said……Neighbors heard shots and the apartment manager found the apartment door
open and a body inside. Park was first booked for possessing marijuana for sale. After detectives
interviewed him, he was booked for murder. He is being held without bail…...

Deputies ask for help in East Bay pot killing
Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer / San Francisco Chronicle September 3, 2010
HAYWARD -- Alameda County sheriff's investigators are asking for the public's help in locating two
men charged with murdering a man they apparently suspected of plotting to steal their
marijuana…..Lopez disappeared Feb. 26 after he and an older brother went to a five-bedroom home
filled with marijuana plants on the 19000 block of Standish Avenue in an unincorporated area near
Hayward, authorities said. Lopez and his brother apparently hoped to buy marijuana, Dudek said. But
the sellers were suspicious of the brothers because there had been no previous plan for any marijuana
transaction and thought the two were trying to steal the plants, Dudek said. The brothers were "severely
beaten" and tied up, Dudek said. The older brother escaped, but Lopez was put into the back of a black
sport utility vehicle, Dudek said. His body was found six months later in a ravine off Niles Canyon
Road in Fremont…..

Medical Marijuana Linked to Deadly Motorcycle Accident
A deadly crash is linked to medical marijuana, according to the Pueblo Police Department.
Reporter: Jason Aubry / Sep 13, 2010
A deadly crash is linked to medical marijuana, according to the Pueblo Police Department. The wreck
occurred at the intersection of Mesa and Prairie Avenue Saturday evening. Police say, 44-year-old
Abran Marquez turned in front of Steven Trujillo, 41. According to court documents, Marquez told
police he was a medical marijuana patient and admitted to smoking marijuana prior to the accident.
He is suspected of vehicular homicide and driving under the influence….."A lot of people think that
it's a perfectly safe thing, and that they're more in tune to what's going on and more aware of everything
and more cautious, but that isn't the case," said Melissa Trujillo, Steven's sister. Doctor Divakara
Kedlaya, a pain management specialist at St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center, agrees. "They may feel that
they have more concentration, more abilities, because of marijuana, but there is no scientific evidence to
prove it," said Dr. Kedlaya. According to Dr. Kedlaya, studies are being conducted in an attempt to
determine to what extent medical marijuana impairs driving. He says, by its nature marijuana slows
reaction time. As a policy, his office does not prescribe medical marijuana…..

Jogger hit and killed near Chico; driver suspected of being stoned
By Bill Lindelof / July 23, 2010
An elementary school teacher jogging along a road near Chico was hit and killed by an SUV driven by a
motorist police suspect was stoned……The California Highway Patrol arrested Jimmy Candido Flores,
25, of Chico on suspicion of driving under the influence causing injury and gross vehicular
manslaughter…..Flores was driving west when he allowed his 2001 BMW X5 sports utility vehicle to
drift off the road and hit Holiman, throwing the woman about 100 feet and killing her instantly, Nunes
said. Nunes said Candido claimed that one of two dogs in his SUV jumped on him while he was
driving, causing him to veer off the road and hit Holiman. Nunes said Flores has a medical marijuana
garden in Butte County and that the suspect exhibited symptoms of intoxication in a field sobriety test.

Calif. Police Attack Suspect Tried to Derail Case
By THOMAS WATKINS / Associated Press Writer / Wednesday, July 7, 2010
LOS ANGELES -- A man suspected of carrying out a string of booby trap attacks against the small
Hemet Police Department was initially targeting an officer who arrested him last year for
investigation of growing marijuana, a law enforcement official said Tuesday. The suspect, Nicholas
Smit, naively believed the pot case would go away if he killed or injured the officer, who also is a
witness, said Karl Anglin, assistant special agent in charge of the Los Angeles division of the Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives…..The first attack came in early December, when someone
left a crude device known as a punji trap at the officer's home. The weapon was made from a series of
wooden boards pierced by dozens of upward-pointing nails. "They were left at the officer's house, at his
front porch, with a trip line so he would fall on those," Anglin said. In another attack, a natural gas pipe
was pushed into a hole drilled through the roof of the gang enforcement unit's headquarters. The
building filled with flammable vapor, but the gas was detected before anyone was hurt. The officer was
again targeted March 5 when an explosive device that did not detonate was left on his car. The ATF got
involved in the case on Feb. 23, after a handmade gun was attached to a sliding gate at the Police
Department's gang enforcement building. An officer opening the gate escaped unharmed when the
mechanism sent a bullet whizzing past his face. It was not clear if the officer was the same one
allegedly being targeted by Smit. Hansen, a convicted arsonist, was being investigated for his ties to
Smit. Investigators believe he may have been involved in some of the Hemet attacks. "The arson fires
didn't start until he got out," Anglin said. On March 23, a structure at a police shooting range was
burned, and in a June 30 attack a fire was lit at a police evidence building. Among the items destroyed
were some pieces of evidence from the Smit marijuana case, though it was not expected that would
impact the case. In all, there have been at least eight attacks. On Tuesday, police found a hazardous
device stuck to the bottom of a police car. The device is believed to have been there for up to 60 days.
Other attacks included an attempted assault with a bazooka round that failed to properly detonate, and an
arson fire in which several city vehicles were set ablaze…..

Gunmen Rob a Little Italy Medical Marijuana Dispensary
July 22, 2010
SAN DIEGO - Two thieves armed with guns held up a Little Italy marijuana dispensary Wednesday,
getting into a scuffle with a clerk before fleeing with cash and marijuana. The robbery at Tri-City
Holistic, 915 W. Grape St., was reported shortly after 12:30 p.m., according to San Diego police. The
bandits…..fought with an employee, then ordered the victim to fill duffel bags with marijuana and
money, San Diego Police Department Officer Frank Cali said. The pair fled to the south on California
Street on foot, got into a charcoal-colored Chevrolet Camaro and drove out of the area.

Medical-marijuana dispensary robbed in North Park
By Susan Shroder / UNION-TRIBUNE / Thursday, August 26, 2010
A medical-marijuana dispensary was robbed Thursday night in North Park, the fourth armed robbery at
a cannabis dispensary in San Diego since early July….. A man displayed a handgun and took cash from
the dispensary and from two customers who were in the dispensary…..A week ago, two masked armed
men robbed San Diego Medical Collective on Camino del Rio South in Mission Valley of cash and
marijuana. On July 21, two armed men robbed Tri City Holistic, a medical-marijuana dispensary in
Little Italy. On July 6, five men armed with handguns stole about $20,000 worth of pot from the
SuperCanna dispensary in Normal Heights. Police said last week that the first three cases did not appear
to be related or part of a series.

San Diego Collective robbed today
by Green Thumb / August 26, 2010
Robbery of marijuana dispensary in North Park. The police put out this report:
Incident # 55289 / Date: 08/26/10 Time: 6:48 PM Beat: 625 / Location: 4535 30th St
Synopsis: A BMA in his 20’s entered the San Diego Holistic Center (marijuana dispensary). He
displayed a handgun and demanded cash. He also robbed two customers. He fled on foot with cash. The
suspect was described as being 6’1” and 180 lbs. He was wearing a blue hoodie, jeans and was carrying
a back pack. There were no injuries. Robbery is handling the investigation.

Mission Valley medical-marijuana dispensary robbed
By Pauline Repard and Susan Shroder /UNION-TRIBUNE /August 19, 2010
Two masked men robbed a Mission Valley medical-marijuana dispensary of cash and marijuana
Thursday night, San Diego police said. It was the third robbery at a cannabis dispensary in the city
since early July, but police said the cases do not appear related or part of a series. The Thursday holdup
was reported about 9:45 p.m. at San Diego Medical Collective on Camino del Rio South, near Mission
Center Road. The robbers forced the receptionist at gunpoint to open a locked room for marijuana buds,
police Lt. Andra Brown said. The employee and a customer were ordered to the floor while one robber
scooped up containers of pot and edible products. The employee then had to open a cash register for the
robbers before they left…..On July 21, two armed men robbed Tri City Holistic, a medical-marijuana
dispensary in Little Italy…..On July 6, five men armed with handguns stole about $20,000 worth of
marijuana from the SuperCanna dispensary in Normal Heights…..

Shots fired during attempted robbery at Santa Fe Springs medical marijuana dispensary
Posted: 08/11/2010 07:57:35 PM PDT
SANTA FE SPRINGS - Two men stole a security guards gun and fired shots late Tuesday in a failed
robbery at a Santa Fe Springs medical marijuana dispensary, authorities said….."Two male suspects
posed as customers and when admitted inside the dispensary, robbed the uniformed security guard of his
pistol," according to the police statement. "Both suspects fought the security guard while inside the
location……One of the would-be robbers fired a shot into a metal security door in an unsuccessful
attempt to get it to open, police said. "Both suspects threatened the security guard and forced him to
unlock the steel security door," according to the police statement. The robbers fled with only the
security guard's .45-caliber pistol, Dekowski said. No cash or marijuana was stolen…...

Armed Robbers Hold Up Vallejo Pot Dispensary After Pursuit
Suspects, one from Richmond, arrested; guns seized
Author: Sarah Rohrs / Fri, 09 Jul 2010
Two men robbed a medical marijuana dispensary on Marin Street at gunpoint Friday morning, resulting
in a widespread chase for them in downtown streets and alleys. Both suspects have been
arrested……The business, in the 700 block of Marin, is called Greenwell Cooperative and has a large
sign in the window saying it was "Voted Best Alternative Medicine Dispensary in Solano County"
through the Times-Herald's Best of 2010 contest. Dispensary employees and volunteers on scene during
the armed robbery declined to talk to reporters. Apparently the business had not yet opened when the
robbery occurred. "We have no comment about anything," one man said. O'Connell said the two
suspects were after cash and marijuana, but they fled the business without taking anything "because they
were advised the police were present or nearby. They fled in an effort to escape." Police recovered two
handguns, plus two black hooded sweatshirts, also known as hoodies……
Medicinal marijuana stolen at gunpoint from Santa Cruz home
By Jennifer Squires - Santa Cruz Sentinel / 08/27/2010
SANTA CRUZ - Armed men stole marijuana and $4,000 cash during what may have been a planned
drug deal at a home near downtown Santa Cruz on Friday afternoon, authorities reported. No one was
hurt in what became an armed home-invasion robbery. The robbers stole the cash and a Tupperware-
type container with several ounces of marijuana from the house......The robbery victim, a 19-year-old
Santa Cruz man, is a medicinal marijuana user. He had met one of the robbers about a month ago and
the two had talked about marijuana supplies, Clark said. "We're investigating whether or not there was a
prearranged sale (that was) meant to occur," Clark said. No arrests have been made…..

Robbers Target Apartment Residents Near Santa Rosa Police Station
Created by Brian Shields on 9/13/2010 12:08:00 PM
SANTA ROSA (BCN) -- Two armed men robbed the residents of an apartment not far from the Santa
Rosa Police Department on Sunday night, police said. The suspects followed two residents and their
guest into the apartment…..The robbers then unbound the guest and had him help carry stolen
electronic devices and marijuana plants to an SUV outside the apartment, Fraga said. The two
residents managed to free themselves and called police, but their guest never returned to the apartment,
Fraga said. Police are searching for the two suspects and the guest, Fraga said.

Pot plants stolen in La Grange home-invasion robbery
September 4, 2010
Authorities arrested four people who they suspect broke into a La Grange home while heavily armed
early Thursday, beating the resident and stealing marijuana plants, cash and other items….Daniel Carter
Lutes, 42, was seriously injured by the robbers and was being treated at a Modesto hospital. Wilson said
Lutes is expected to survive his injuries. The officer did not say how Lutes was beaten. About an hour
later, a sheriff’s deputy arrived at the La Grange home about 30 miles east of Modesto and found it
empty, but he noticed signs of a struggle. Sheriff’s detectives obtained a search warrant and found
evidence of the robbery and a large indoor marijuana garden at the home. Wilson said about 1,000
marijuana plants were being grown inside the home, which had equipment to maintain a hydroponic
marijuana garden…..Investigators believe the suspects entered the home armed with handguns and
shotguns and wearing masks. Wilson said the suspects then tied up Lutes and stole the marijuana plants,
cash and the other items. He said the suspects took about 700 marijuana plants from La Grange and
returned to a Modesto home. Lutes knew some of the people who robbed him and helped investigators
identify the suspects. Modesto police conducted surveillance at the home for several hours until the
suspects tried to leave in a car. Police stopped the car and took the suspects into custody……Lutes had
a recommendation from a doctor to grow about 60 marijuana plants for medical purposes. Wilson
said Lutes is expected to be charged with illegal marijuana cultivation once he is released from the

Tempting backyard pot garden leads to shooting
The Associated Press / 09/09/2010
FRESNO, Calif.—Police say a huge marijuana crop in a Fresno backyard with plants reaching 10 feet
high was apparently irresistible to a man critically wounded while trying to steal a personal stash. The
40-year-old man was shot Wednesday morning at the home across the street from Roeding Park. He's in
critical condition at Community Regional Medical Center. The Fresno Bee says 47-year-old Phayvanh
Dydouangphan, who lives in the home where the pot crop is tended and has a medical marijuana card, is
being questioned by police but he still hadn't been charged late Wednesday. It's unclear if the pot is a
legal medical marijuana grow. The 3,750-square-foot marijuana garden is easily seen from the

Four arrested for alleged marijuana robbery
Written by Lake County News reports / Tuesday, 13 July 2010
FORT BRAGG – Four young people – including two juveniles – were arrested Saturday for allegedly
breaking into a Fort Bragg home in search of marijuana…..On arrival deputies contacted the victim, who
Smallcomb said advised them that at 1:45 a.m. he was asleep inside his residence when three subjects
wearing dark clothing forcibly entered into his residence and struck the victim with an iron pipe.
Smallcomb said the victim reported that the suspects tied his hands behind his back at gunpoint and
threatened to kill him if he yelled for help. The suspects then demanded his marijuana. The victim
reportedly told the suspects where his approximate 8 pounds of processed marijuana was at,
Smallcomb said. The suspects retrieved the marijuana from inside the residence and then fled the
location in a vehicle. Deputies continued their investigation into the incident and received information
that Apodaca may have had knowledge that the victim was in possession of large amounts of marijuana,
Smallcomb said…..

Pot plants stolen in home invasion robbery
--Richard Brooks / Thursday July 8, 2010
Three gunmen who burst into a Twenty-nine Palms home, robbed the residents and fled, grabbed two
pot plants on their way out, say San Bernardino County sheriff's officials. The home invasion holdup
was reported at 3:23 p.m. Tuesday along the 74700 block of Diamond Bar Road.

Robbery victim arrested for growing marijuana
By COLBY FRAZIER — July 17, 2010
An 18-year-old Goleta man, who called police Thursday to report a home-invasion robbery, ended up in
handcuffs after officers discovered 443 marijuana plants growing inside his home, authorities said. The
incident began around 10 p.m. when the man, Jackson Burns, was approached by an unknown number
of people wearing masks and gloves. “The suspects chased Burns and entered his residence,” said Drew
Sugars…..While doing so, Sugars said they discovered a “sophisticated multi-stage” marijuana growing
operation. Narcotics detectives were notified, and a short time later a search warrant was served at the
residence. Investigators found marijuana growing in four separate rooms, along with an array of high-
end growing equipment that authorities valued at $15,000. Scales, packaging and shipping equipment
and a loaded shotgun were also found. Investigators say Burns, originally from Georgia, was selling
the marijuana for $3.200 a pound and shipping hit back to his home state, a method that does not fall
in line with California’s Proposition 215. Authorities estimated the street value of the marijuana at
$1.1 million…...

Medical marijuana patients targeted, but many people are reluctant to report thefts due to
conflicting laws
By DAN JOHNSON / ARGUS-COURIER STAFF / Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Some medical marijuana patients are feeling anxious after recent incidents in which other patients have
been targeted by thieves. “I think some are cautious, because they’re aware of potential problems. I
wouldn’t call it an environment of fear, but there’s some degree of risk involved for them,” said Lt.
Mike Cook of the Petaluma Police Department. One medical marijuana victim, a resident in the area of
Olive and I streets, had marijuana stolen from him by a man armed with a handgun on May 10. The
incident prompted a lock-down of nearly McNear Elementary School as about a dozen police cars raced
to the scene, and officers pointed rifles at the home……Also, on June 29, 2007, two Petaluma residents
stole three pounds of marijuana and electronics equipment from the Crinella Drive home of a medical
marijuana patient……Marijuana thefts generally have risen in Petaluma as cultivation and usage of
the drug have become more widespread, but it’s difficult to determine the number of thefts that are
occurring, says a lieutenant with the Petaluma Police Department. “California has passed laws
allowing marijuana use for medical purposes, but marijuana is still illegal by federal law, so I think that
some people are cautious about reporting thefts,” Cook said. Marijuana-related reports taken by the
police department increased from 224 in 2008 to 257 in 2009, but with 2010 more than half over,
have slipped to 107, from Jan. 1 through this past Sunday. Marijuana-related arrests increased from
181 in 2008 to 230 in 2009, and have fallen to 77 so far in 2010. No totals are available specifically
for the marijuana-related theft incidents and theft arrests that have taken place. Some of these
incidents and arrests involve situations in which marijuana was taken from medical marijuana patients,
who are allowed by local laws to grow and use it. Besides sometimes being the targets of thieves,
medical-marijuana patients also have concerns about violating regulations, including the federal ban on
marijuana use for medicinal and recreational purposes……

Oakland crime dip continues, but grow houses still targets
By Ali Winston August 16, 2010 | 5:42 PM |
Oakland’s drop in violent crime, which we pointed out a few weeks back, shows no sign of letting
up…..One notable crime trend is an increase in residential robberies (107 this year, up 45 percent) and
burglaries (2,074 in 2010 up 14 percent from 2009). In a conversation earlier this afternoon, Deputy
Chief Jeff Israel attributed this uptick to people raiding marijuana grow houses for product. This is a
problem for indoor grows – legal or illegal – around the Bay Area, and can occasionally turn deadly.
On a positive note, Israel attributes the general dip in crime to the outreach and intervention programs
Oakland has pioneered, including the imperiled Measure Y program and Operation Ceasefire……These
days, Oakland is looking like a polite version of Hamsterdam, sans quasi-legal heroin or crack. Too bad
we don’t have a sick Nina Simone song like Baltimore does…

Students sickened by drug-laced brownie in Danville
DANVILLE -- Three 12th-grade girls were sickened -- one hospitalized as a precaution -- after
apparently eating chocolate laced with marijuana, the San Ramon Valley Unified School District
reported today. The girls went to the school office of Del Amigo High School about noon showing
signs of nausea, said district spokesman Terry Koehne. School staff called 911, and one of the girls was
taken to the hospital. The other two girls were sent home. Koehne said the girls said they had eaten a
laced piece of chocolate -- likely a brownie -- before going to school today. They told school officials
they had gotten the chocolate from a male student. It was unclear whether the girls knew that it
contained marijuana. School administrators are investigating the incident, including the suspected
source of the drugs, Koehne said. "There will be consequences," he said.;jsessionid=4968B771F9633F73

Dyer reports more Fresno pot farm confrontations
By Jim Guy / The Fresno Bee / Saturday, Sep. 11, 2010
Two days after a man was shot in the head apparently trying to rob a marijuana garden, Fresno
Police Chief Jerry Dyer recounted two other violent confrontations in the past week involving pot
gardens. In the first, on Sept. 4 in central Fresno, a woman in her 70s used a machete to ward off the
would-be thieves. The woman confronted two people in her marijuana garden at 4:15 a.m. and may have
struck one of them, Dyer said. One of the thieves fired a round that struck another resident of the home,
an 82-year-old man. His condition was not disclosed. In the second incident, residents of a home in
southeast Fresno woke up as thieves were leaving their garden with plants. One of the bandits fired a
weapon on the way out. No one was hit. The three incidents prompted Dyer to issue a warning for
marijuana growers: If people find out about your garden, they will try to take it, and things are likely
to get violent if you resist. Meanwhile, Fresno County Supervisor Henry Perea said he plans to
introduce at Tuesday's board meeting a moratorium on outdoor cultivation of medical marijuana in
unincorporated areas of the county until regulations can be established. He said the ordinance is in
reaction to the shooting Wednesday at Belmont and Tielman avenues across from Roeding Park. Dyer
said police are looking for three "persons of interest" in connection with the shooting that took place
about 6:40 a.m. Wednesday…..Dyer described what happened at the garden. He said one of the
residents, Phayvahn Dydouangphan, 47, was awakened at 6:30 a.m. by his dogs barking and saw five
people in the garden. He fired a shotgun at them, and the five tried to flee in at least one vehicle.
Dydouangphan then fired a second shot, which hit the man in the head. The driver of the pickup drove
into Roeding Park and sought help……Dyer said the operators of the Belmont garden were a four-
person collective. In addition to Dydouangphan, two men in their 20s and another man in his 70s are
involved. All are medical marijuana patients and their collective is allowed to grow 230 plants, he
said. Police counted 188 plants after the violence. Police had gone to the garden twice before. In
response to a complaint about the plants, officers on Aug. 26 verified the four men had doctors'
authorizations for the garden. On Sept. 4, one of the four reported that someone had tried to kill the
garden's guard dogs with poisoned food. Through collectives, people with medical authorization can
join together to grow plants, although they are not allowed to sell marijuana, Dyer said. He called the
increase in collectives a worrisome trend because of the likelihood for more violence. "What we are
facing is the beginning of something that could be very, very bad ... for our city," he said. "We do not
have the ability at the local level to address it." Dyer added that growing marijuana remains against
federal law and that the Drug Enforcement Agency will continue to prosecute growers. In addition,
police are working with city attorneys to refine their ordinances concerning marijuana gardens.
Feds arrest pot suspect on eve on Marin trial
By Gary Klien / Marin Independent Journal / 08/05/2010
SAN RAFAEL -- A Petaluma stuntman on the brink of a drug trafficking trial in Marin was arrested on
federal charges when he arrived for court Wednesday…..On Aug. 28, the California Highway Patrol
stopped a vehicle that was speeding on Interstate 580 in San Rafael. Police found Badenhop at the wheel
and the strong smell of fresh marijuana emanating from the car. Badenhop's hands were shaking, and he
was smoking several cigarettes simultaneously in an apparent effort to mask the marijuana odor,
according to an affidavit by Special Agent Todd Enger of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.
The CHP detained Badenhop and called the Marin County Major Crimes Task Force to examine the
contents of the car. The task force found 20 pounds of processed marijuana in the vehicle plus half a
pound of hashish and four ounces of hash oil. Investigators then obtained a search warrant for
Badenhop's home, where they found another 32 pounds of processed marijuana, $750,000 in cash, a
stash of handguns, and evidence leading them to several other residences and five additional suspects
in Petaluma. In all, the task force confiscated $804,000 in cash, 62 pounds of processed marijuana,
and a trove of hash oil, concentrated cannabis, marijuana plants and handguns. All six suspects were
booked into Marin County Jail on drug and conspiracy allegations. In the end, only Badenhop was
charged in Marin Superior Court. The task force vigorously sought charges in Sonoma County, where
much of the investigation was focused, but none were filed there……

        The proliferation of Indoor Grows continues to be a hidden hazard within our communities. Not
only are they a target for home invasion robberies, but they also present a significant fire hazard as well
as the potential to leave the dwelling uninhabitable.

Thousands of pot plants seized in Northern California sweep
By Cecily Burt / Oakland Tribune / 07/04/2010
More than 150 law enforcement agents fanned out across Northern California last week to shut down a
crime ring police say is responsible for running a network of marijuana grow operations potentially
worth millions of dollars. Nine people were arrested and about 2,500 pot plants were seized from seven
indoor grow houses in Sacramento, Elk Grove, San Jose, Milpitas and Oakland. With the exception of
the Oakland residence in the 6600 block of Foothill Boulevard, all of the grows were pirating electricity
by bypassing the utility meters and installing separate circuits, said Gordon Taylor, assistant special
agent in charge at the Drug Enforcement Agency's Sacramento district office…..Taylor said the grow
operations had the capacity to produce more than a ton of pot a year with an estimated street value of
nearly $10 million. During the months-long investigation, law enforcement officers observed the
growers coming and going with bags they suspected were used for holding pounds of marijuana and
bags of growing equipment. All of the grow houses were within residential neighborhoods, and could
have placed other residents at risk. "In six of the grows, the electrical meter had been bypassed and they
created their own circuit," he said. "It's very dangerous, obviously from the perspective of potential fire
hazard, but there's also extreme danger from home-invasion robberies. We've seen that going on
throughout the state with the increase of indoor grows." Elk Grove police initiated the investigation and
sought assistance from the DEA; Immigrations, Customs and Enforcement; and the IRS-Criminal
Investigation Division. Several federal, state and local law enforcement agencies also worked on the
investigation. The number of plants recovered at each grow operation varied, with the largest haul of
1,097 plants coming from a home on the 9200 block of Balboa Park in Elk Grove, followed by 493
plants from a home in the 800 block of Stickroth Drive in Milpitas, and 359 plants from a home on the
2700 block of Rainfield Drive in San Jose. Only 10 plants were recovered from the Oakland residence,
but agents did seize 15 pounds of processed pot…..

Warehouse fire turns up medical marijuana grower
Sharon Ito / July 28, 2010
SACRAMENTO, CA - Firefighters battling a 2-alarm fire at a Sacramento warehouse Tuesday morning
stumbled on a marijuana-growing operation that initially raised suspicions, but was later determined to
be a supplier of medical marijuana. Crews found smoke pouring through the roll-up doors of a
warehouse on the 1900 block of Railroad Avenue near Northgate Boulevard just after 5 a.m. Once the
fire was out, they started to canvass the warehouse and found "multiple marijuana plants growing in
different locations of the building…..Leong said they need to track down the building's owners to
determine whether they had the proper license to operate and whether the electrical wiring was up to
code. But he said the collective appears to be a supplier for legal marijuana dispensaries. Leong said
the fire started in an area filled with electrical outlets and growing equipment, but the cause has yet to be

Investigation is ongoing after Soquel house fire; Central Fire says marijuana seedlings had
nothing to do with start of fire
By Jennifer Squires - Santa Cruz Sentinel / 09/01/2010
SOQUEL - Sheriff's detectives found 1,000 marijuana plants growing in the labyrinth-like basement of a
Soquel Hills house that caught fire Tuesday evening, authorities reported……"They're trying to
determine if it's a legitimate marijuana grow or not," he said. The Sheriff's Office had yet to determine
who was responsible for the marijuana plants. No one had been arrested, Lansdowne said Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Central Fire investigators on Wednesday determined the fire sparked near the rear of the
multi-level house but ruled the cause unknown…..The 6 p.m. blaze caused massive damage to the home,
which is a rental, but no one was hurt. The woman renting the home was walking her dog when the fire
broke out. A friend who was at her house taking a nap had smoked a cigarette on the deck but told
firefighters he put the cigarette out before going to sleep. Fire crews were at the scene until after
midnight to make sure the fire was out. A fire investigator was back at the charred home Wednesday

At fire in East San Jose home, police find marijuana growing operation
By: Pete Carey / 08/10/2010
Firemen responding to reports of smoke coming from a home in East San Jose Tuesday evening found
an unattended marijuana growing operation inside. There were no injuries, no arrests and no residents at
the scene. San Jose police detectives were trying to locate the owners of the three bedroom, two bath
home at 1548 Lochner Drive in East San Jose. The cause of the fire is under investigation by the fire
department, said police spokesman Officer Jose Garcia, and police are investigating the marijuana
cultivation. A San Jose Fire Department dispatcher said a possible cause of the fire was illegal wiring.
Most of the structure was saved.
S.F. pot bust results in 222 plants seized
Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer / San Francisco Chronicle July 13, 2010
San Francisco police have recovered more than 200 marijuana plants at homes in Laurel Heights and the
Outer Richmond neighborhoods, authorities said Tuesday. More than 175 pounds of dried marijuana
were also found at the two locations, which were searched as part of a three-week investigation, police
said……Both locations had "bypassed power wiring," in which the growers had diverted electricity into
the buildings to grow marijuana, Dangerfield said. A total of 222 plants were seized at the locations,
police said.

SFPD talks medical marijuana enforcement
By: Brent Begin / Examiner Staff Writer / 07/31/10
While growing and selling marijuana for medical purposes may be legal in California, that hasn’t
stopped San Francisco police from busting more than 70 grow houses in the past year. Police and fire
officials say they have concentrated their efforts on illegal grow houses where they say amateurish
electrical wiring creates a fire hazard for neighboring buildings. Sometimes, medical marijuana
advocates say police go too far. Police are expected to give a presentation regarding the “SFPD
Medicinal Marijuana Policy” to the Police Commission. The meeting is at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at City

Pair arrested in connection with indoor marijuana grow in Livermore
By Sophia Kazmi / Contra Costa Times / 08/09/2010
LIVERMORE -- Livermore police arrested two Dublin men Tuesday in connection with a marijuana
growing operation of about 600 plants concealed inside a warehouse……The men are accused of
running the growing operation inside a rented space at a business park on Preston Court. About 600
plants in various stages of growth were recovered, Conley said. Police also removed 20 transformers and
high-powered light bulbs that served as sunlight for the plants. The operation included a nursery area for
seedlings; and pots, soil, chemicals and fans were also found inside. Conley said what police found was
"no way a legal grow." "This grow was occurring for profit," he said, adding that it appeared the
operation had been in existence for some time. Police estimated the street value of the plants to be
$200,000…..One of the neighboring business owners, who asked that his name not be published, said he
and another man called police a couple months ago after they heard vibrations through the walls of the
unit. And there were other indicators that something was not right: "We could smell it," he said. "(And)
the guys were never here."

Two San Jose men arrested in raids on large pot growing operation
By Jennifer Squires / 07/22/2010
Sheriff's deputies seized 25 pounds of processed marijuana, hundreds of pot plants, five guns and nearly
$2,000 cash when they raided four locations in Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties, the Santa Cruz
County Sheriff's Office reported. Two San Jose men were arrested Wednesday and a third is wanted in
connection with the large-scale commercial growing and selling operation, according to Sgt. Mark
Yanez, who headed the investigation. The probe began when a deputy on a routine alarm call at a Live
Oak warehouse smelled marijuana and reported the odor to the sheriff's drug unit, which Yanez
oversees……Detectives suspect the men were selling the marijuana to pot clubs and dispensaries,
which cater to those with medical marijuana recommendations. Yanez said that violates state law.
"Medical marijuana was created to be medicine for people. It wasn't created to be a means of profit,"
Yanez said, adding he doubts the men had altruistic intentions. "It wasn't really about medicine. It was
about making money," Yanez said……Deputies reported finding about 600 plants in the warehouse.
Yanez said it's becoming more common to find large grows in densely populated areas. "I think they're
popping up more and more in city areas just because the business is good," Yanez said. The men
allegedly posted medicinal marijuana recommendations at the site, but some prescriptions were expired.
When deputies contacted the people listed on the valid doctors' orders, they told deputies they were not
affiliated with the marijuana grow, Yanez said. Yanez said deputies also found suspected LSD, a
motorcycle possible purchased with drug-sales proceeds, the guns and cash at the men's homes…….

Santa Barbara County greenhouse marijuana bust near Highway 101 leads to two arrests; pot
value as high as $80 million
By JOSHUA MOLINA -- AUG. 13, 2010
Santa Barbara County narcotics detectives on Thursday busted a huge marijuana growing
factory….found the greenhouse garden on a 50-acre site that once was part of the Dos Pueblos Ranch
property. The estimated value of the plants is between $40 million and $80 million, authorities
said……The illegal plants were discovered growing in nine large greenhouses that were once part of the
Dos Pueblos Orchid Company……“The indoor grow also featured a sophisticated heat and ventilation
control system that allowed the growers to harvest year round,” said Sheriff’s spokesman Drew Sugars,
in a news release. The raid comes after sheriff’s detectives concluded a weeklong effort to destroy
illegal marijuana gardens in the hills above Santa Barbara last month. Authorities seized and destroyed
91,000 plants in the backcountry. The street value of those destroyed plants is estimated at $182 million.
More than two dozen sheriff’s officials served the warrant just before 8 a.m. on Thursday. In addition to
the plants seized, detectives also uncovered several hundred pounds of processed marijuana. Its street
value is estimated at $1 million…..

Major marijuana grow operation busted in SoCal
The Associated Press / 08/17/2010
SAN GABRIEL, Calif.—Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies have seized about $4.5 million in
marijuana and arrested nine Chinese immigrants during raids at four sites in the San Gabriel Valley.
Capt. Mike Parker says 2,000 plants were seized Tuesday at five single-family homes in Temple City,
San Gabriel and Rosemead……Parker says the suspects lived in the single-story, 2,000-square-foot
homes, where almost every room was filled with marijuana plants. He says seven handguns, three
assault weapons, a rifle and a shotgun were also seized.

Officials: Men arrested with pot plants said it was medicinal
LAGUNA HILLS – More than 150 marijuana plants growing inside a home, discovered after a six-hour
standoff with police, are part of a medical marijuana collective in South County, two people told
authorities Wednesday. But narcotics investigators with the Orange County Sheriff's Department said
the sophisticated operation, found inside of a condominium after U.S. marshals attempted to serve an
arrest warrant, is functioning outside state laws governing medical marijuana. In the South County
condominium, investigators found 171 marijuana plants growing with indoor irrigation and
lighting……A system to augment the home's electricity was also found inside the home. Deputies also
found two semi-automatic handguns and one shotgun, he said…….officials found several marijuana
plants and 1.5 pounds of dried marijuana. Powell said the men told investigators they were growing the
marijuana as part of a collective, but that the operation was "way outside the medical marijuana program
and compassionate-use law."…..

Marijuana growing creates hazards for homes, neighbors
By: Mike Aldax / July 13, 2010
SAN FRANCISCO — Pot growers who bypass electrical metering devices are creating massive fire
hazards across The City that could damage buildings and cost lives. More than 70 grow houses have
been busted citywide in the past year……..“involved electrical wiring that bypassed the meters and
breaker boxes, which means that you have heavy draws of electricity running through lines that can heat
up and cause fires,” Richmond Police Station Capt. Richard Correia said. Growing marijuana indoors
requires “a huge amount of power” for lighting and cooling fans, Sgt. Troy Dangerfield said. Growers
will bypass the system in order to avoid being hit with heavy electric bills, and also because the utility
company investigates unusual spikes in power usage…….Several neighbors didn’t suspect an operation
existed, describing the building and its occupants as “nondescript” and “nice people.” Two males were
arrested in the raids, police said. No matter what people’s positions are on legalizing pot, they should
know these grow houses are ripe for catastrophes, Correia said. “I have seen some things that you
wouldn’t sleep at night if it were your own home,” he said. Also, the houses attract crime. “In the last
30 days in the Richmond, we’ve had one burglary and one robbery at grow houses,” he said. A citizen
reported the marijuana operations. More citizens are stepping forward and are encouraged to do the
same, Correia said.

Pot houses linked to gangs, marijuana dispensaries
By Bethania Palma Markus, Staff Writer / 09/04/2010
Houses used solely to grow marijuana have been springing up around the San Gabriel Valley and
investigators said they're supplying the drug to pot dispensaries. Since 2004 the number of indoor grows
seized by authorities has doubled statewide as the number of marijuana dispensaries has shot up
exponentially. While the dispensaries were originally set up as collectives for sick people to get
medicinal marijuana, most now simply deal drugs illegally, detectives said. Many of the dispensaries
and grow houses have ties to organized crime and sell to street dealers as well, detectives said. "Most of
the dispensaries are getting pot from these indoor grows," said L.A. County Sheriff's Detective David
Mertens, who specializes in narcotics investigations. "It's not just the dispensaries they're growing for.
They're also selling to street dealers." Statewide, grow-house investigations increased from 428 in 2004
to 850 in 2009, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. A house fire this week led
authorities to an indoor grow at 1939 Potrero Grande in South San Gabriel. The entire house was
used for cultivating an estimated 1,000 marijuana plants. Detectives said the operation was linked to
Asian gangs……Marijuana production and sales is big business. Equipment to set up a grow house can
cost $120 for a single 1,000-watt light bulb, or more. Everything from air vents and electric ballasts to
fertilizer and pots can be purchased in the open at hydroponics stores. "(The equipment) is not illegal to
sell," Mertens said. It costs about $100,000 to start an indoor cultivation, but the profits can be huge,
said Jameson Pon, a well-known gang investigator for the San Francisco police. "Every three to four
months (the plants) get cultivated. So if you do like three grows a year you can probably make about a
million bucks, tax free," Pon said. Grow houses are often rented out and the owners are usually
involved, authorities said. Often they're paid to look the other way. Workers, most of whom are not gang
members, are paid to monitor the plants. The homes can create fire hazards because they use enormous
amounts of power for lighting, humidity and temperature control, officials said. Operators wire the
homes to bypass Southern California Edison meters, stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars-worth of
electricity. "In some cases they bypass even the house wiring and lay down their own wiring," said
Steve Conroy, a spokesman for Edison. "It does create safety problems in a big way." The house on
Potrero Grande caught fire Tuesday morning due to the improvised wiring. The grow houses also play a
role in day-to-day violence, investigators said. "Violent crimes normally stem from bad narcotics
deals," Yu said. "It's a very vicious circle that they are involved in."

Marijuana Opponents Reveal New Report
by Personal Liberty News Desk / August 11, 2010
A new report from the Opposition to the California Marijuana Legalization Initiative has found that
cultivating cannabis indoors may have serious health and economic impacts…..the organization’s
representative Alexandra Datig said research has found that indoor marijuana cultivation creates ideal
conditions for the growth of black mold, which can have devastating consequences for the home, its
ventilation system, walls, floors and building materials. Moreover, she said that “the campaign’s
investigation findings have confirmed that the three most dangerous strains of Aspergillus fungus
naturally exist in marijuana plants,” and that they produce a deadly afla-toxin. According to the
organization, in addition to health hazards, the passing of Proposition 19 would have serious economic
consequences as it would force homeowners’ insurance rates to escalate due to the risk of

Grow houses gobble energy
Power usage in Humboldt and Mendocino skyrocketed after Prop. 215
Energy use in Mendocino County has risen 27 percent — more than three times the state's average —
since medical marijuana was legalized in 1996. Humboldt County's usage has risen 51 percent, more
than six times the state's average, according to PG&E. Growers and law enforcement officials attribute
the spike to indoor pot growing, which requires energy-sucking fans, air filters and high-intensity lights.
Indoor pot gardens can use as much as 20 times the electricity as the average household, said Peter
Lehman, director of Schatz Energy Research Center at Humboldt State University. Statewide, energy
consumption per household has increased 8 percent since 1996. Sonoma County's energy use rose by 9
percent, while Lake County's rose by 14 percent. Indoor marijuana gardens have come under fire as
wasteful, hypocritical and unnecessary, since marijuana already grows like a weed in the North Coast's
Emerald Triangle. “Plants are the original solar collectors,” Lehman said. “They're very good at it.”
Lehman said the problem is “particularly egregious here. It's expensive, it's bad for the environment, and
it's wasteful. It's a misuse of a precious energy resource.” “It's amazing,” said Matthew Cohen,
executive director of Northstone Organics Cooperative Inc. in Mendocino County, a medical marijuana
collective. “You have these progressive liberal folks who eat organic and maybe even drive a Prius but
continuously burn 8,000 watts.” Northstone grows its plants outdoors and in greenhouses. The average
California household used 561 kilowatt hours in 2009, according to PG&E. In Humboldt County, the
average was 673 kilowatt hours, and among PG&E's Mendocino County customers, it averaged 768
kilowatt hours. Mendocino County's figures could be even higher because they don't include the city of
Ukiah. It prohibits outdoor marijuana growing, forcing pot cultivators to move indoors. Ukiah has its
own electric utility, and usage figures were not available. Law enforcement officials see unusually high
energy consumption as a way to demonstrate probable cause when it comes time to obtain search
warrants, said Bob Nishiyama, head of the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force. Indoor growers can
spend as much as $4,000 a month on electricity, he said. Cohen is part of a growing movement that
promotes sustainable pot production, which means outdoor cultivation. He said there's no difference
between indoor and outdoor pot if both are tended in the same, careful manner. But Mendocino growers
say pot dispensaries overwhelmingly want marijuana grown indoors, claiming it's of higher quality.
They complain that Bay Area dispensaries won't even consider buying marijuana grown outdoors. The
National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws has not taken a position on the issue, said state
coordinator Dale Gieringer. The energy use debate may be heating up. Oakland officials are already
thinking about it as they make plans to permit large, industrial marijuana growing operations. “They're
talking about doing carbon offsets,” Cohen said…….

        The growing of Marijuana on public lands has been proven to be associated with foreign drug
trafficking organizations and cost tax payers millions of dollars in “clean-up” costs. As enforcement is
stepped up, more and more confrontations between armed growers and law enforcement officer are
occurring. The danger to unarmed citizens attempting to use public lands has also increased as growers
are willing to go to greater lengths to protect their drugs.

Marijuana bust near Lake Berryessa leaves 1 dead
Kris Vera-Phillips / July 1, 2010
NAPA COUNTY, CA - One person was killed Wednesday afternoon when shots were fired at a
marijuana-growing operation in the Lake Berryessa area, a Napa County sheriff's captain said. A
member of the Napa Special Investigations Bureau fired the shots, killing one person, at about 12:50
p.m., sheriff's Capt. Tracey Stuart said. The drug enforcement team was hiking into the growing
operation when the shooting occurred, Stuart said. SWAT teams from the sheriff's office and Napa
Police Department were securing the area, Stuart said.

Eradication effort in California County yields 223,555 marijuana plants
By BRIAN CLARK / McClatchy Newspapers / Fri, Jul. 02, 2010
A record 223,555 marijuana plants worth nearly a half-billion dollars were pulled from 20 remote
Tuolumne County locations in the past two weeks by a team of local, state and federal officers. The
street value is estimated at $447 million on the assumption that each plant could yield a pound of
marijuana worth $2,000, according to Sgt. Jeff Wilson of the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Department.
Wilson said it was by far the largest haul in the northern California County’s history……Over the past
few years, reported marijuana plant eradications in Tuolumne County generally have ranged from 5,000
to 15,000 plants. According to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, California's top five
counties in 2008 for marijuana discoveries were Lake (499,508 plants), Tulare (395,489), Shasta
(394,375), Mendocino (231,802) and Humboldt (145,762). That the recent operation in Tuolumne
County would have ranked fourth overall for that entire year makes the recent find even more startling.
No arrests were made and no officers were injured during the operation, which wrapped up this week,
Wilson said. Officers from the Tuolumne Narcotics Team, the U.S. Forest Service, the state department
of Fish and Game, the Department of Justice Campaign Against Marijuana Planting and the U.S. Bureau
of Land Management took part in the operation. One of the "gardens" discovered outside of Columbia
yielded 66,000 plants, Wilson said. Some of the plants were fairly young, others were mature. The
eradication season generally begins in late June and can extend into October, according to the DEA.
Wilson said growers usually come into the area in the early spring, with the harvest season starting
around now. Officers combed hillsides through deep underbrush, where most of the plants were found.
To find the plants, Wilson said officers flew over forests around the county looking for sources of water,
natural drainage points and the "different type of green" that often marks marijuana gardens. He said the
gardens range in shapes and sizes, from 50 yards wide to narrow ones a mile long. He said those on the
ground caring for the plants generally run off at the sound of the helicopter. Sometimes they're found,
other times they're not. Once officers spot the garden, Wilson said, they return to base to land the
helicopter and then head out on foot. Wilson said once officers arrive they start pulling the plants,
putting stacks of 50 - counted and recorded by an officer - into a net to be hauled away by helicopter.
They're put in a wood chipper and buried at an undisclosed location. While no suspects were caught,
officers found ammunition, food and reading material, some that led them to believe the workers are
from Mexico, Wilson said. He said the areas where plants were discovered wouldn't be a likely spot for
hikers or campers. "This is so deep in the underbrush, even if you were an avid hiker, you wouldn't go
there because there's nothing to see," Wilson said.

Santa Cruz County officials find 11,000 pot plants
The Associated Press / 07/02/2010
SANTA CRUZ, Calif.—Santa Cruz County authorities say members of a narcotics enforcement team
have destroyed nearly 11,000 marijuana plants found at separate growing operations this week. Sheriff's
Sgt. Mark Yanez says deputies cut down about 3,000 plants on Friday…..Deputies also destroyed about
8,000 plants found at three marijuana grows near a ranch outside of Watsonville on
Wednesday…..Investigators say the plants uprooted in the four raids would have been worth more than
$11 million if they had been harvested.

Officers burn $9.4M worth of marijuana near Merced
The Associated Press / 07/06/2010
STEVINSON, Calif.—Merced County authorities say they have uprooted more than 9,000 marijuana
plants from a remote garden growing on an island in a San Joaquin River tributary…..MacKenzie says it
took 13 officers eight hours to uproot and burn the 9,353 plants, which had an estimated street value of
$9.4 million. The raid followed a tip about a marijuana garden near Stevinson, an unincorporated
community 29 miles west of Merced. Once the garden was located from the air, deputies had to use
boats to reach the garden and camp site.

5000 marijuana plants found in found in drug investigation
Marijuana news headline from the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department:
On Thursday, July 8, deputies eradicated 2 outdoor marijuana grows in San Bernardino County.
Investigators found approximately 3,000 marijuana plants growing in Little Kimbark Canyon.
Investigators located a second grow next to Little Kimbark Canyon containing approximately 2,000
marijuana plants……Investigators recovered approximately 5,000 marijuana plants between the two
locations, worth several million dollars

2 juveniles arrested for tending pot plantations
By THOMAS WATKINS (AP) – Aug 2, 2010
LOS ANGELES — A juvenile arrested for tending marijuana crops in California told investigators he
had been forced to work for illegal pot growers to pay off his debt to an immigrant smuggler, authorities
said Monday…..Marijuana growers tend to be in their 20s, he said. Michelle Gregory, a spokeswoman
for the California Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, was not aware of her agency ever arresting juvenile
immigrants for tending marijuana crops. "Hopefully, it's not an upcoming trend," she said. A
marijuana eradication task force in California has chopped down more than two million plants this
year, a number likely to increase more than threefold by the end of the growing season next month,
Gregory said. In Los Angeles County, narcotics Detective Robert Wagner could only recall one case
two years ago when a juvenile grower was arrested…..Wagner said suspected growers often tell him
they were picked up outside a day labor center or from a street corner and whisked into the forest with
no idea where they were headed. When they get to the grow site, usually in a remote location, they are
unable to make their way back into town and have little choice except to look after the crop in hopes of
getting paid at the end of the season, Wagner said. "They are kind of stuck," he said. "They kind of are
just dumped out there."

Deputies discover marijuana gardens
Monday, Aug. 02, 2010
SNELLING -- A 30-year-old man was taken into custody Saturday after deputies discovered five
marijuana gardens near Snelling…..A total of 8,034 plants were destroyed as a result of the bust, with a
street value of $8 million. It took 11 deputies eight hours to eradicate all of the plants. The marijuana
gardens were discovered by the sheriff's helicopter and airplane. After the gardens were spotted, ground
units moved in. MacKenzie said the bust was the third set of marijuana gardens the sheriff's department
has eradicated this year. The department has already destroyed more than 20,000 plants with a street
value more than $20 million…..

Nearly $2 billion worth of marijuana seized in California's Sierra Nevada range
BY Aliyah Shahid / DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER / Friday, July 30th 2010
California cops said they seized and destroyed $1.7 billion worth of marijuana during a three-week
sweep in the Sierra Nevada range, according to the BBC. In addition, 97 people – mostly Mexican
nationals who authorities believe are involved in a drug ring – were arrested. President Obama's drug
czar, Gil Kerlikowske, said industrial-sized plantations of marijuana that was being illegally grown were
discovered in the mountains. Dubbed "Operation Trident," about 450 agents destroyed more than
432,000 marijuana plants and confiscated nearly 500 pounds of processed cannabis. Margaret Mims,
Fresno County sheriff, said the fields jeopardized the safety of local residents. "They continue their
criminal conduct during their off-season with other illegal drug and violent activities in our local
communities," Mims said, referring to organized crime gangs.
30_nearly_2_billion_worth_of_marijuana_seized_in_californias_sierra_nevada_range.html With News
Wire Services

Santa Barbara County pot farm uprooted
The Associated Press / 07/23/2010
SANTA BARBARA, Calif.—Nearly 6,000 marijuana plants growing in a remote coastal canyon have
been uprooted by Santa Barbara County authorities. Sheriff's spokesman Drew Sugars says a
department helicopter airlifted the pot out of the Gaviota coastal canyon on Thursday. The marijuana
grow was on private property, but the landowner wasn't involved. Sugars says there's evidence of an
encampment, but no one was there and there are no arrests. He says the 5,800 plants, if fully grown,
could have been worth an estimated $5.7 million.

Thousands of pot plants seized in Humboldt County
The Associated Press / 08/14/2010
EUREKA, Calif.—Authorities in Humboldt County have been especially busy this week in finding
marijuana gardens. Sheriff's officials say during a series of raids between Monday and Thursday,
deputies and officers from other agencies discovered more than 60,000 marijuana plants. The biggest
find of the week came on Wednesday when authorities seized a little more than 30,000 marijuana plants
on U.S. Forest Service land near the community of Orleans. More than 20,000 plants were seized
during a raid Monday in the Redwood Valley, while another 7,500 marijuana plants were found on
Bureau of Land Management and State Parks property Tuesday. Officials wrapped up their raids for the
week by seizing about 6,400 plants on Bureau of Land Management property near Garbeville on
Thursday. No arrests were made in any of the raids.

Thousands of pot plants seized in Madera County
The Associated Press / 08/18/2010
MADERA, Calif.—Two men are in custody and thousands of marijuana plants have been seized during
a raid of a massive marijuana garden in Madera County. Madera County sheriff's spokesman Erica
Stuart says about 45,000 marijuana plants were discovered Wednesday morning in a cornfield near a
home in a rural area of the county. Stuart says the home and an adjoining barn were being used to
process the marijuana. Authorities estimate the plants, if fully grown, would have been worth about
$135 million. Two men were arrested in the raid……

Thousands of marijuana plants found in Granada Hills park
August 19, 2010 |
For weeks, LAPD narcotics officers kept watch over hundreds of marijuana plants they had discovered
in O’Melveny Park in Granada Hills, hoping to catch the person cultivating them. They would hike the
mile and a half from the parking lot and wait in the bushes. A man showed up Aug. 12 and began
tending the plants and the extensive irrigation system. The officers followed the man to his car, where
they arrested him……There were 2,700 plants growing in the park, some more than 10 feet high, Det.
Robert Holcomb of the LAPD’s narcotics enforcement unit said Thursday. Their street value was
estimated at more than $24 million. “In my 22 years of being a narcotics officer,” he said, “this is the
largest narcotics growth I have ever heard of…..Holcomb said the officers were lucky to arrest the
alleged culprit. “We don’t have the manpower or time to sit up there and wait for that long,” he said.
“And if they run and take off, good luck catching them.”

Lake County officials find 10,000 marijuana plants
Kris Vera-Phillips / 08-12-2010
CLEAR LAKE, Calif. (AP) -- Lake County authorities are warning anyone heading into remote areas to
be wary of possible marijuana growing operations after 10,000 plants were found alongside a cache of
weapons. The pot garden found Tuesday was less than a mile from a similar operation where a Lake
County deputy fatally shot an armed suspect last week. Lake County Sheriff's deputies and state anti-
drug officers confiscated an assault rifle with a scope, a night vision scope with an infrared beam,
ammunition and several loaded firearms……

Officials raid marijuana gardens in Tehama County
The Associated Press / 08/21/2010
TEHAMA, Calif.—Law enforcement officials have been busy this week raiding marijuana gardens on
U.S. Forest Service lands in a remote area of Tehama County……More than 166,000 marijuana plants
were seized during the raids, while agents also found about 100 pounds of processed marijuana. Three
people were arrested. Agents also found a number of campsites that indicated that several people had
been living at the sites.

Pot plants worth $100 million seized in Calif.
(AP) – August 24, 2010
SAN DIEGO — Authorities say narcotics task force agents have seized an estimated 25,000 marijuana
plants worth up to $100 million on a Southern California farm believed to be run by Mexican drug
traffickers…..Drug Enforcement Administration spokeswoman Amy Roderick says agents believe the
grow was run by Mexican drug traffickers. She says agents loaded the plants onto trucks, which were
driven to an undisclosed federally operated facility to be destroyed. Roderick says no one was found on
the farm and there were no arrests.

Yosemite National Park: Marijuana farm raided, thousands of plants seized
Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger / Thursday, August 26, 2010
…..Park rangers and other law enforcement officials raided an illegal marijuana farm inside the
California park and nearby forest land Tuesday and seized thousands of plants and processed marijuana
valued at $14.6 million, park officials said Thursday. Two men, identified only as Mexican nationals,
who were guarding the site were arrested but not charged in federal court as of Thursday, Yosemite
spokeswoman Kari Cobb said. One of the men was armed with a pistol, officials said……The 3,657
plants they found ranged in size from young plants a foot high to mature 10- to 15-foot plants ready for
harvesting……This isn’t the first time that an illegal marijuana farm was found at Yosemite. In August
2009, rangers and law enforcement officials destroyed 4,735 marijuana plants valued at nearly $19
million. —

$8 Million Worth of Uncultivated Marijuana Plants
Aug 27, 2010
Authorities in Humboldt County are looking for any suspects after they recovered a significant amount
of uncultivated marijuana plants in the Santa Rosa Range, near the town of Orovada, Friday.
Authorities say exactly 4,020 plants were seized by law enforcement. The estimated street value of
these plants if they would have been produced was $8 million. On August 23rd, 2010, The Humboldt
County Sheriff's Office say a resident from Reno and his son were on a hunting trip on the west side of
the Santa Rosa range when they were confronted by three Hispanic males. It appeared to the man and
his son that these three did not want them to go any further into the canyon that they were currently
hiking in. The man says the three also began to circle around him and his son aggressively. Eventually,
the man and his son were able to leave the location and contacted a Forest Service employee. Sheriff's
say this is very similar to an incident back on October of 2008. Three BLM employees were held at
gunpoint in the area of Greely Crossing in northern Humboldt County……

Nearly Half a Billion Dollars of Marijuana Seized in Atwater
By Winston Whitehurst / Aug 29, 2010
Sheriff’s deputies made their largest bust of the year in Merced County: nearly half a billion dollars
worth of pot. The grow was found in Atwater. More than 47,000 plants were growing in the corn field,
between the stalks, so they couldn't be seen from the air. It took 25 officers an entire eight–hour shift to
destroy the plants, the street value of which was $478 million. Two men, Juvenal Sanchez and Jose
Lizarraga, were arrested. They are being held without bail on an immigration hold.

Busted pot growers mistake wardens for suppliers
(AP) – September 1, 2010
RED BLUFF, Calif. — California wildlife officials say two men are in custody after a group of
marijuana growers started to toss bags full of pot into a pickup truck belonging to game wardens they
mistook for their suppliers. State Department of Fish and Game spokesman Pat Foy says two wardens
in Tehama County were looking for deer poachers Monday night in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest
when they heard footsteps behind them. They turned and saw five men hauling large military-style
duffel bags and sleeping bags. Foy said the men approached the wardens' truck as if to toss the bags in
the bed. The wardens began shouting commands at the group and managed to handcuff two, one of
whom was carrying a shotgun. Three others escaped into the forest. The wardens recovered 127 pounds
of processed marijuana.

1,800 pot plants seized in Calif. Canyon
In a rugged, remote part of the Las Trampas Regional Wilderness Area, cops arrested one man at camp
which included a generator and tents but no weapons
By Carolyn Jones / The San Francisco Chronicle / September 12, 2010
SAN RAMON, Calif. — Police seized 1,800 marijuana plants early Wednesday growing in a remote
canyon near San Ramon. In a sunrise raid in the Las Trampas Regional Wilderness, police tore out the
plants and arrested one of two men who were camping at the site. Policarpio Gallegos, 63, of Pittsburg
was taken into custody but another man remains at large, said Shelly Lewis, spokeswoman for the East
Bay Regional Park District. The plants are worth about $225,000, she said. Park district police
patrolling in a helicopter located the plants about 3 1/2 weeks ago and waited for cooler weather to stage
the raid, she said. The camp included a generator and tents but no weapons, dogs, or fences, she said.

Fresno County passes temporary ban on outdoor marijuana gardens
Gene Haagenson / Tuesday, September 14, 2010
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Outdoor marijuana gardens are now illegal in Fresno County. The county
supervisors took emergency action to place a moratorium, in effect, a ban on outdoor gardens of
medicinal marijuana. Supervisor Henry Perea questioned the medicinal need for the gardens that have
appeared throughout the county. "This is a racket it's not people using marijuana for medicinal purposes.
They have figured out a way to abuse a well intended law." he said. There have been four reports of
gunfire at medicinal marijuana gardens in recent weeks. One man was shot and killed while allegedly
stealing pot from a garden in Central Fresno…..Sheriff Mims says she supports the supervisor's actions,
but says too many cities and counties have been sued and forced to compensate marijuana growers for
confiscated plants. "A lawsuit could be financially severe in Fresno County so before we take any action
we will be sure we're on solid legal ground." she said. Well known marijuana defense attorney Bill
McPike believes the county is on shaky legal ground. He thinks the county's action is just for show. He
says the moratorium is unenforceable, and will be challenged in court. "It's so blatantly unconstitutional.
I don't care what the county counsel said, I wasn't there, I disagree and we're willing to fight for patient
rights." McPike said. "The city of Fresno is expected to consider a similar moratorium this week…..

        Despite media assertions to the contrary, Law Enforcement agencies continue to take action
against those who are selling marijuana in violation of the spirit of medical use. Cities and Counties are
also beginning to close dispensaries via land and licensing use violations. Several Cities and Counties
have also established moratoriums or enacted bans on the establishment of dispensaries within their

Clearing away the pot stores, one raid at a time
Responding to citizen complaints, a plainclothes team of narcotics officers makes Eagle Rock a focal
By Joel Rubin and John Hoeffel, Los Angeles Times / July 5, 2010
As dusk settled on busy Colorado Boulevard, a squad of minivans and SUVs pulled to the curb outside a
drab stucco rental that houses one of Eagle Rock's medical marijuana dispensaries. Plainclothes
narcotics officers fanned out. One disarmed a startled security guard, another covered the door through
the sights of a rifle and a third phoned the shop to announce the raid. A second guard, three employees
and a dozen grim-faced customers filed out, hands in the air. By the end of the operation, the officers
had arrested the Colorado Collective's owner and an employee and hauled away 40 pounds of marijuana
and $17,000 in cash in large evidence bags. The raid was the fourth by a new Los Angeles Police
Department team that is spearheading an aggressive push to shut down dispensaries that are illegal under
a city ordinance that took effect four weeks ago. "This is a high priority for the City Council and a high
priority for the city attorney, so it's a high priority for us," said Capt. Kevin McCarthy, head of the Gang
and Narcotics Division. The ordinance allowed dispensaries that registered with the city in 2007, when
it adopted a moratorium on new pot shops, to remain open. The rest, which opened in defiance of that
ban, had to close by June 7. City officials say there were more than 400 illegal dispensaries, but they
think most have since closed. Asha Greenberg, an assistant city attorney who is overseeing the
enforcement efforts, said she believes that as few as 20 to 30 illegal stores may still be defying the
ordinance…..To coordinate the raids, LAPD officials have assembled a team of eight narcotics officers.
The team conducted three busts before the one at Colorado Collective, making a half-dozen arrests,
seizing $7,265 in cash and 43 pounds of marijuana at Kush Korner II in Wilmington, Nirvana Pharmacy
in Westwood and Kind for Cures in a former Kentucky Fried Chicken store in Palms. The city is
primarily targeting dispensaries fingered by residents who have been e-mailing between five and 10
complaints a day to "They are our best source because they are
frequently in the neighborhood," Greenberg said. "Some of these places, if the LAPD drives up in a
marked car, they will close the door and pretend to be closed." The afternoon before the raid at
Colorado Collective, two undercover officers walked into the dispensary posing as prospective clients.
They filled out the required paperwork and were allowed to enter an inner room where the shelves of a
long glass cabinet were lined with two dozen jars filled with pungent buds. The officers bought about
$30 worth of pot and, because it was their first purchase, the "budtender" threw in a free joint. Within a
few hours, the officers had obtained a search warrant from a judge and convened with the rest of the task

Defendants charged in marijuana ring arraigned
By Greg Moran / UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER / July 12, 2010
FEDERAL COURT — Eleven defendants arrested on Friday as part of a large marijuana selling ring
that used a medical marijuana collective in Pacific Beach…..They face charges of conspiracy to
distribute and manufacture marijuana and money laundering. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sherri Walker
Hobson outlined the role each defendant played. Some were runners for drug shipments, while some
were involved in money laundering, she said. One defendant, Marco Luis, is a real estate agent and
mortgage broker. He is accused of helping fraudulently purchase properties with the drug sales money,
including a $2 million home in Rancho Santa Fe and 37 acres near Palomar Mountain. The alleged
leader of the network, Joshua John Hester, was not among the 11 in court. He was arrested by federal
agents in Los Angeles on Friday morning. He appeared in court there in the afternoon and was ordered
to be detained and no bond was set. He is expected to be sent to San Diego this week. Hobson said that
Hester orchestrated sales through the Green Kross Collective and Downtown Kush Lounge, both of
which were operating as medical marijuana dispensaries in San Diego under state law. Prosecutors
allege that Hester has used California’s medical marijuana law as a shield to facilitate illegal drug sales
since 2009.

Ex-operator of Corona and Perris medical marijuana dispensary to be sentenced
Ronald Bradley Naulls, 31, who operated Healing Nations Collective, was arrested in July 2007 during a
region- wide crackdown on cannabis stores by Internal Revenue Service and Drug Enforcement
Administration agents.
By Staff / City News Service / Thursday, August 5, 2010
The ex-operator of Corona and Perris medical marijuana dispensaries that took in more than $1 million
is slated to be sentenced later this month to home detention and several years probation for tax evasion.
Ronald Bradley Naulls, 31, was arrested in July 2007 during a region- wide crackdown on cannabis
stores by Internal Revenue Service and Drug Enforcement Administration agents. He was charged with
conspiracy to possess, with the intent to distribute, marijuana; maintaining a drug establishment;
distribution of a controlled substance; and willful filing of a false income tax return. According to court
documents, Naulls used “substantial amounts of cash” received from the business for personal
expenditures, including paying the mortgage payments on his house. Despite earning more than
$165,000 from his Healing Nations Collective, Naulls reported gross income of less than $30,000 — for
2006 and 2007 combined — according to federal prosecutors. The property seized from the defendant’s
Corona home included a Lexus, a Mercedes-Benz, $75,000 cash and 15 pounds of marijuana, according
to the DEA……Naulls’ operations grossed an estimated $1.2 million in less than a year, selling
cannabis-laced products, including cakes and other edibles, on a cash-only basis, according to the DEA.
“The defendant and his employees would purchase marijuana, hashish and other controlled substances
for cash from growers and vendors……

LAPD Raids Venice Medical Marijuana Dispensary
By Dennis Romero / Friday September 10, 2010
A Venice medical marijuana dispensary was raided by police Thursday, a Los Angeles Police
Department official confirmed to the Weekly…..It was a surprising move because the city had
previously announced it would not enforce its new law prohibiting most pot shops, at least until court
challenges to the ordinance work their way through court this month. However, that doesn't mean the
dispensary wasn't targeted for other possible allegations.

Dispensary Owner to Face Trial
Jeff Restivo Accused of Running Illegal Pot Shop; Represented by ‘L.A.’s Dopest Attorney’
By John Mardiat / Monday, September 13, 2010
A Santa Barbara County Superior Court judge ruled last week that enough evidence exists for Charles
Jeff Restivo — part owner and operator of a medical marijuana dispensary called Pacific Coast
Collective (PCC) — to be tried on felony charges of cannabis cultivation and possession with intent to
sell……As evidence, Cota pointed to PCC’s alleged willingness to buy from “anyone who came
through the door with a backpack full of marijuana” — potentially violating the state’s prescribed
member-as-supplier model — and Restivo’s alleged failure to keep accurate and verifiable records
detailing where his supply was coming from. Cota also took issue with PCC’s inability to ensure that its
suppliers were not profiting from the sales, or potentially providing marijuana that had been procured on
the black market to its members……The impetus for the raid on Pacific Coast Collective, as well as a
number of other local medical marijuana dispensaries, stemmed from an investigation following the
February arrest of Santa Barbara local, Glen Mowrer III. Mowrer, previously an operator of his own
marijuana dispensary, was arrested during a traffic stop when police discovered he was carrying more
than 20 pounds of the drug in the trunk of his car. When asked to explain the stash, Mowrer allegedly
indicated that he grew marijuana for a number of local collectives, and when pressed, admitted in some
way that he was profiting from it…….When challenged on his questionable record keeping — in which
his employees identified suppliers with a first name or nickname only — he pointed to the fact that
medical marijuana dispensaries remain illegal according to federal law, and that he had a duty to protect
his members’ privacy in light of the ever-present threat of prosecution from federal authorities…….

OC judge tosses suit to prevent pot clinic closure
The Associated Press / 07/14/2010
DANA POINT, Calif.—An Orange County judge has thrown out a lawsuit filed by a blind woman with
cerebral palsy who claimed the city of Dana Point violated her right to medical marijuana by trying to
close down dispensaries. A Superior Court Judge on Tuesday dismissed Malinda Traudt's suit on
grounds that there is no state constitutional right to obtain medical pot and the 1996 voter-approved
initiative that permitted use of the drug for medical reasons doesn't pre-empt Dana Point's zoning
laws. Her attorney says the San Clemente woman plans to appeal. Traudt, who's 30, also has epilepsy
and osteoporosis and says she needs marijuana to control her pain.

Embattled Vallejo medical marijuana clinic faces eviction
By Jessica A. York / Times-Herald / 07/30/2010
In the midst of a court battle with the city of Vallejo over alleged illegal operations, a local medical
marijuana dispensary has been evicted by its landlord, the landlord's attorney said Thursday. Stan the
Man Collective founder Ken Estes, who was recently named in the city lawsuit against the dispensary,
said he will wait out the eviction, attorney Tom Porta told a Solano County Superior Court judge. The
group is required to depart Aug. 13. "We have other locations we can move to ... and other cooperatives
we can send people to, if we have to," said Estes, who estimated it will take only a day to pack up the
dispensary. Estes alleges the dispensary's landlord seemed happy to have the collective paying regular
rent for an out-of-the-way Warren Avenue site, which is across the street from a cemetery. He hopes she
will reconsider the eviction, if his efforts to bring the Vallejo City Council on board are successful. To
this end, Estes said he recently distributed copies of a medical marijuana dispensary ordinance still
pending before the Richmond City Council to Vallejo council members. He claimed involvement in the
ordinance's development, although the Richmond city attorney's office could not immediately confirm
this Thursday. Solano Judge Ramona Garrett was set Thursday afternoon to consider closing down the
Stan the Man dispensary for the length of the city's lawsuit, but delayed a decision after the city added
new defendants to its lawsuit…..

Gustine adopts moratorium on marijuana dispensaries
Written by News Staff / Saturday, August 14, 2010
Inquiries led to council decision, which buys time for further review of issue
GUSTINE - Local leaders last week adopted an urgency ordinance imposing a temporary moratorium
on establishing medical marijuana dispensaries in the city while officials gather further information on
the topic, which could lead to longer-term decisions on whether such businesses would be welcome in
Gustine……The marijuana issue came to the forefront after City Hall received inquiries into its policies
regarding dispensaries and realized that nothing was on the books either allowing or prohibiting such
businesses. No formal applications have been received. Marijuana dispensaries are not technically a
“permitted” use, Greeson told Mattos Newspapers, so the city likely would have grounds for denying an
application to open one. But at the same time, he said, the city will be in a stronger position if it has an
ordinance clearly stating its position on the issue. “I think the city needs to look at this issue and decide
what it wants to do,” he commented. “This gives the council a chance to look more closely before they
decide if they want to allow them or not.”….

Injunction closes Upland medical marijuana co-ops
Sandra Emerson, Staff Writer / 08/17/2010
UPLAND - Three Upland medical marijuana cooperatives as of Tuesday cannot provide marijuana to
their members. G3 Holistic, Upland Herbal Patient Co-op and Old World Solutions were forced to close
Tuesday due to a preliminary injunction granted to the city on Friday by a West Valley Superior Court
judge. The city is attempting to close down the shops permanently, claiming that the city's zoning
ordinances do not allow for medical marijuana cooperatives to operate. The injunction was filed to shut
them down prior to the trial……Upland Councilman Ken Willis is satisfied with the judge's ruling for
the injunction. "I just don't believe for a minute that it's all about medical marijuana," he said. "It's about
pushing marijuana, and the kids in our society today have enough trouble without getting mixed signals
from parents and the community."…..

Concord sends cease-and-desist letter to marijuana dispensary
By Paul Thissen / Contra Costa Times / 08/24/2010
CONCORD -- The city sent a cease-and-desist letter to a new medical marijuana dispensary Tuesday
afternoon, saying it violates the city's ban on dispensaries and misrepresented itself on its business
license application. In 10 days the city will file a lawsuit and seek an immediate injunction against
Herbal Essence, at 5065 Clayton Road, if it does not prove that it is not a medical marijuana dispensary,
according to the letter sent by City Attorney Craig Labadie. Herbal Essence listed itself as a "Holistic
Healing Services" business on its application for a business license and cannot provide marijuana, the
letter says. Medical marijuana dispensaries are banned in Concord's city code. Citywide bans like
Concord's have been challenged in court; a case challenging Anaheim's ban is still pending. Labadie's
letter notes that Concord's ban survived a court challenge in 2005.

Council passes 45-day moratorium on medical marijuana facilities
Other actions include consideration of ban on smoking, presentation from school superintendent.
By Michael Rock / September 2, 2010
After considerable discussion and public testimony, the town council heard a first reading on an
ordinance yesterday that places a moratorium on any new applications for a marijuana dispensary in
Fairfax for a minimum of forty-five days. The town council can extend the moratorium for a period of
forty-five days. Mayor Lew Tremaine explained the reason for the moratorium, "If the ballot measure
legalizing and taxing marijuana passes statewide, the entire terrain is going to shift. We are going to
have a whole lot to deal with in terms of how the new law is implemented in town and how it impacts
the existing medical marijuana facility. So it doesn't make sense to me to be entertaining any more of
them until we know what things will look like if it comes to pass."……

Elk Grove Says No To Pot Shops
Ban Takes Effect in 30 Days
September 9, 2010
ELK GROVE, Calif. -- Medical marijuana dispensaries will soon be a thing of the past in Elk Grove.
The city on Wednesday banned pot clinics within the city limits. But the ban does not stop of the use or
cultivation of medical pot in the city. The ban takes effect in 30 days. Voters will decide Nov. 2 on
Proposition 19, a statewide measure that would allow local governments to regulate and even tax
marijuana sales. Galt is considering a similar ban on dispensaries.

Wildomar won't allow medical marijuana dispensaries
Wednesday, September 8, 2010 / By JEFF HORSEMAN / The Press-Enterprise
Wildomar's City Council late Tuesday rejected an ordinance that would have made the city the second in
Riverside County to allow medical marijuana dispensaries. The council voted 3-1, with Councilwoman
Sheryl Ade in the minority and Marsha Swanson absent, to retain the city's ban…….The majority of the
29 people who signed up to speak during the public comments period opposed the ordinance…...

Fresno Supervisors Agree To Moratorium on Marijuana Dispensaries
Posted: Jul 13, 2010
There could soon be a lot less medicinal marijuana available in Fresno County. On Tuesday, Fresno
County Supervisors agreed to a 45 day moratorium, which will prevent new marijuana dispensaries from
setting up shop in the county. The decision does however allow for current dispensaries to remain open.
The moratorium marks the first step in the process to prohibit marijuana dispensaries in unincorporated
Fresno County. Earlier this year the City of Fresno made a similar move, preventing medical marijuana
dispensaries from operating within the city. The city based its decision on the fact that an earlier
ordinance, which allowed the dispensaries, was based on compliance with state and federal law…..

Ventura rejects medical marijuana cooperatives
By Joshua Molina Correspondent / Ventura County Star / July 13, 2010
A proposal to allow medical marijuana cooperatives in the city of Ventura went up in smoke Monday
night. The Ventura City Council rejected the idea and instead extended an existing moratorium on such
establishments pending the outcome of a November ballot initiative to legalize marijuana in California.
The vote was 5-2, with Deputy Mayor Mike Tracy and Councilman Jim Monahan opposing. They
wanted a permanent ban on marijuana cooperatives. The council, along with the city attorney and city
manager, said approving medical marijuana cooperatives would open the floodgates for illegal resale of
the drug, increase crime and become a costly financial burden on the city……Several officials pointed
to the city of Santa Barbara, which has approved three cooperatives within the city limits, as a model for
what to avoid. “Their narcotics division spends a majority of their time dealing with illegal
dispensaries,” Ventura Police Chief Ken Corney told the council. He said one Santa Barbara dispensary
has more than 13,000 clients……city officials said pursuing medical marijuana cooperatives was an idea
full of pitfalls. Cole called the proposal “extraordinarily thorny” and “land mine-ridden,” coming at a
time of severe budget cuts. “It’s not impossible, but I can’t imagine us doing it well,” Cole said. Other
members of the council were flat out against marijuana cooperatives, now or in the future. “Selling
marijuana in storefronts is not in the best interests of Ventura County residents,” said Councilwoman
Christy Weir.

La Puente City Council votes to ban medical marijuana dispensaries
Juliette Funes, Staff Writer / 07/28/2010
LA PUENTE - After several months of public hearings and debate, the City Council on Tuesday night
voted 4-1 to prohibit the establishment and operation of medical marijuana facilities in the city. Mayor
David Argudo was the lone dissenter in banning the 10 marijuana dispensaries in La
Puente……Dispensaries will have to close by Feb. 2. However, owners can apply for extensions. La
Puente, a city of 41,000 residents, has the most marijuana clinics in the eastern San Gabriel Valley. That
has increased public outcry among residents, who said their presence would jeopardize children's
safety…..The city's Planning Commission recommended the ordinance banning the shops at its June 1
meeting, citing detrimental impacts, such as increased crime, loitering and street dealing. "Based on my
expert opinion ... it will only enhance the continuance of criminal activity," said sheriff's Lt. Pete
Cacheiro, who serves as La Puente's chief of police. From 2007 to 2009, 404 people were arrested
near a dispensary while carrying under an ounce of marijuana, Cacheiro said. Since January of this
year, 46 arrests were made near dispensaries, he said.

Medical marijuana pioneer protests cash cow pot stores
August 12, 2010
One of protagonists of the modern marijuana movement in California charges that the burgeoning
dispensary trade has become a cash cow aloof from the people it is meant to serve…..But these days, she
is fed up with the growth of California's contemporary marijuana "collectives" - namely pot-distributing
dispensaries with thousands of registered members and millions of dollars in annual marijuana
transactions. "Something has happened to our movement, something that is dark and denigrates the
issue," Corral said recently at the HempCon medical marijuana convention in San Jose. "It (the
movement) did not happen so people can get rich." Dispensaries under California law must operate as
non-profits. But Corral decried an evolution of a massive medical marijuana industry she says is
characterized by generous salaries and an entrepreneurial spirit that overshadows the core purpose of
helping and comforting people in need. WAMM members, including AIDS and cancer patients, directly
cultivate and share medical marijuana rather than ringing up cash register transactions at a pot shop.
Members hold Tuesday night meetings to distribute the marijuana based on medical needs and ability to

        An examination of events occurring in other states provides us an opportunity to look at the
depth of the problem. Not only are other states experiencing some of the same drug related issues, but
also residents of California are being arrested across the nation with marijuana grown in California, no
doubt under the guise of “compassionate use”.
Authorities name suspect in "Air Marijuana"
By Morgan Chesky – Jul 20, 2010
HUNT COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - On July 19, 2010 at 5:22 am the Hunt County Sheriff's Office received
a teletype to be on the lookout for a low flying aircraft that was involved in an incident with federal
authorities…..Deputies arrived on the scene and found a single engine aircraft that appeared to have
landed near the runway…..The manager of the convenience store reported that there were two subjects
at his store when he opened at 6 am seeking information on the location of the nearest bus station. After
determining the bus schedule, Investigators with the Sheriff's Office and the Greenville Police
Department set up undercover surveillance at the bus station. Shortly thereafter a person matching the
description of one of the suspects was taken into custody for questioning. It was later discovered that he
was in violation of his Parole from California……The duffle bags contained what is believed to be 71
pounds of hydroponic marijuana. The Hunt County Sheriff's Office K9 also alerted on the aircraft
indicating the presence of contraband. A warrant was issued to search the aircraft shortly before 4 PM.
The subsequent search yielded and additional 89 pounds of what is also believed to be hydroponic
marijuana as well as additional evidence…….

Medical marijuana: Missoula man pleads guilty to selling black market pot
By TRISTAN SCOTT of the Missoulian | Wednesday, August 4, 2010
A Missoula man whose black market drug connections in Northern California allegedly furnished local
medical marijuana dispensaries with pot pleaded guilty this week to a federal offense. Richard James
Biggs, 31, was arrested May 12 after a months long investigation by drug task force officers in Missoula
and Great Falls……Authorities arrested Biggs on Interstate 90 while he was returning from a four-day
trip to Humboldt County, Calif. - sometimes called the Emerald Triangle because of its reputation as a
center for marijuana cultivation. During a roadside search of Biggs' Chevy Avalanche, detectives found
72 pounds of marijuana and $39,500 in hundred-dollar bills. A confidential informant in Missoula told
investigators that Biggs had supplied him with more than 100 kilograms of marijuana between July 2007
and May 2010……"It is believed that several local dispensaries have been supplied with marijuana by
Biggs through his black market deals originating in Northern California." Investigators believe Biggs
had a business relationship with Hernandez, the caregiver, and was illegally supplying pound quantities
of marijuana to his dispensary and others…….

Package for 'grandma' contains 6 lbs. of drugs
(AP) – Jul 29, 2010
TALLADEGA, Ala. — A package addressed from "Grandpa Henderson" in San Diego to "Grandma
Henderson" in Talladega, Ala., wasn't ordinary mail, and it wasn't picked up by any grandmother. The
package aroused suspicions among Talladega postal inspectors, who contacted the Talladega County
drug task force. Task force commander Jason Murray said a trained drug-detection dog singled out the
package, and law enforcement officers waited for someone to pick it up. Three men did that Saturday.
They were stopped after they left the post office, and officers found more than 6 pounds of marijuana in
the package. Murray said the three have been charged with trafficking in marijuana.

Calif. man pleads not guilty to pot charge in Neb.
The Associated Press / 07/26/2010
YORK, Neb.—Nebraska authorities say a 61-year-old California man has pleaded not guilty to a felony
marijuana charge. Another hearing is set next week for John Dixon, of Davis, Calif. The Nebraska
State Patrol says Dixon was arrested after nearly 64 pounds of marijuana was found in his car trunk on
May 23. He had been stopped along Interstate 80 in York County. Dixon has been charged with
delivery of a controlled substance. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison. Dixon told troopers he
also lives part time in Cottage Grove, Wis.

Ore. traffic stop leads to 100 pounds of marijuana
The Associated Press / Tuesday, July 20, 2010
MEDFORD, Ore. — Oregon State Police say a trooper in the Medford area who stopped a northbound
pickup truck on Interstate 5 for speeding found more than 100 pounds of marijuana in the back seat.
Sgt. Tanya Henderson says the value of the marijuana seized early Tuesday is more than $250,000. The
truck's occupants, a 25-year-old Tacoma, Wash., man and a 23-year-old Brentwood, Calif., man were
arrested for investigation of unlawful possession, distribution and manufacture of a controlled substance.
The Jackson County sheriff's office jail website indicates there are immigration holds on both men.

Two from Va. Beach plead guilty in marijuana case
By Lauren King / The Virginian-Pilot / August 4, 2010
NORFOLK: Two people pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to conspiring to grow and sell
marijuana as part of an operation in the Alanton neighborhood of Virginia Beach…..The two also had
exotic and mid-grade marijuana shipped to them from California and Arizona through a common carrier
and in cars by couriers recruited by the organization to sell locally, according to court documents cited
in the news release. They also packaged and sold large amounts of cocaine from various locations in
Virginia Beach and Norfolk. Both pleaded guilty to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 1,000
or more kilograms of marijuana, 5 kilograms or more of cocaine, 100 or more marijuana plants and
maintaining a drug-involved premise. They were believed to have been involved in the drug conspiracy
for nearly five years.

Forged Marijuana Cards Flood Colorado
July 9th, 2010
A two-month investigation undertaken in Denver has revealed a number of fraudulent operations
allowing the purchase of medical marijuana with ‘no questions asked.’ This unsatisfactory state of
affairs exists due to the enormous backlog of medical marijuana card applications; officials just cannot
examine the documents produced in sufficient depth because they have so many to get through. There
are 5,000 new applications for a medical marijuana card each week in Colorado and it takes six months
or more for these applications to be processed……In an attempt to improve the situation, a new
computer system is being developed and 25 new workers are to be employed but even then one official
estimates that it’s likely to be a full twelve months before the applications office is up-to-date.

Mont. advocacy group shuts down cannabis caravans
By MATT VOLZ (AP) – July 10, 2010
HELENA, Mont. — A Montana advocacy group is shutting down its traveling medical marijuana clinics
amid criticism that the so-called cannabis caravans have added thousands of people to the state registry
without conducting thorough patient screenings. The Montana Caregviers Network has hosted the one-
day clinics in hotels and conference centers across Montana for more than a year. For a $150 fee, the
group brought together those seeking to become medical marijuana patients with doctors willing to
prescribe pot……The clinics were a major factor in Montana's medical marijuana patient registry
jumping from 842 people at the end of 2008 to just about 20,000 at the end of June. The clinics have
also helped the Montana Caregivers Network make more than $1 million in the past year, according
to founder Jason Christ. The clinics often had lines stretching out the door, with hopefuls waiting
hours for the chance to see a doctor for a recommendation. But over the past few months, the clinics
have come under criticism as being assembly lines that sees hundreds of people at a time, but at the
expense of proper medical examinations……Meanwhile, the state medical board tried to curtail the
mass screenings with a position paper released at the end of May saying that doctors who recommend
medical marijuana must follow the same standards as doctors prescribing other medicine. The board
fined a physician who had seen about 150 people in 14 1/2 hours at one of those clinics last
year……The group is also anticipating more than 10,000 current patients will be seeking renewals to
their one-year registration cards this fall…..When there aren't any patients to see, the doctor will consult
with would-be patients in other parts of the state through "teleclinics" conducted over the Internet via
Skype, Arneson said……The Montana Caregivers Network will still handle the records and still charge
$150 per recommendation. The teleclinics also have been criticized by medical board members as
possibly violating a bona fide doctor-patient relationship. But the Montana Caregivers Network has said
they are necessary because there aren't enough doctors willing to recommend medical marijuana to meet
the demand, and some patients are too ill to travel to the doctor…..

Colorado medical marijuana surplus leaks to black market
Growers have more pot than patients need; new state law unclear
By Jordan Wirfs-Brock, Lauren Seaton and Andrea Sutherland I-News Network
A loophole in Colorado's medical marijuana rules means thousands of pounds of surplus marijuana are
left to feed the black market here and in neighboring states, an I-News Network investigation has found.
A new state law, which took effect July 1, doesn't clear up the legal haze surrounding this
surplus……For now, local governments and law enforcement agencies will determine how to enforce
the law. That won't be easy, police officials said. The new law allows city and county governments to
pass their own medical marijuana ordinances, posing challenges for both law enforcement and marijuana
growers who will have to navigate the discrepancies between state and local laws. "(The state law) will
maybe regulate a bit more, but it's so vague. It's so gray," said Sgt. Jason Anderson of the South Metro
Drug Task Force. "We're going to come across many grows that are probably in violation of municipal
or county ordinances." But the nature of the law makes it easy for lawbreakers to plead ignorance, he
said. "It's truly hard to say whether or not they're trying to (grow) professionally or not." In the
meantime, some law enforcement officials say the shades of gray in Colorado's medical marijuana laws
mean its black market past will not soon be left behind. Peters, the North Metro Drug Task Force
commander, says because marijuana is easy to grow, laws may never close all the loopholes: "Even if
you legalize it, there will always be a black market."
Lawsuit says pot business faked patient forms
MIKE DENNISON Gazette State Bureau The Billings Gazette / Thursday, August 26, 2010
HELENA — Three former employees of a Missoula medical marijuana business that has helped
thousands of patients get their state marijuana card sued its owner Thursday, alleging that he ordered
hundreds of card applications to be falsified. The wrongful-discharge lawsuit filed in state District
Court in Missoula also accused Jason Christ of the Montana Caregivers Network of verbally abusing its
employees, using company funds for personal expenses, driving a company van while smoking
marijuana and creating a “hostile work environment” that essentially forced the three workers to quit
June 18. “(The employees) were exposed to unbearable working conditions, they were directed to
participate in actions that were unlawful and they were directed to engage in unethical business practices
directed against physicians and others,” the suit said. Christ, contacted late Thursday, said he hadn’t had
a chance to review the suit or its allegations and declined to comment. He said he expects to respond
later. Christ and his Montana Caregivers Network have been two of the most visible figures in the
explosion of medical marijuana use and businesses in Montana within the past year. The network has
held traveling “medical screening clinics” across the state where prospective patients line up to see
physicians who can consult with them and approve them for a medical marijuana card. The network
also has arranged video conferencing between physicians and patients. Christ is a medical marijuana
patient himself, often seen in public smoking the drug in a long pipe — most notably outside the state
Capitol, after testifying at recent legislative hearings on proposals to tighten regulation of the state’s
medical marijuana program. The lawsuit, filed by Tiffany Klang, John Phillips and Nicole Harrington
of Missoula, seeks back wages and punitive damages from Christ for his “malicious conduct.” Chris
Lindsey, a Helena attorney representing the three employees, said they joined the business because they
cared about helping medical marijuana patients, but when Christ began going against his own
physicians’ recommendations, “it was really too much for them,” and they quit. Lindsey is a partner in
Montana Cannabis, a medical marijuana caregiver business in Helena that indirectly competes with
Christ. However, Lindsey said he’s ending that partnership because he’s spending more time doing legal
work for medical marijuana caregivers, patients and physicians from all over the state. The suit said that
in January, Christ developed a new procedure that required physicians working with the Caregivers
Network to submit thousands of signed certifications for marijuana cards that were blank. A doctor
outside the state would meet with a patient by video conference and make an assessment. If the patient
had a debilitating disease that qualified for marijuana, the physician made a note in the company
database and another employee would fill out the certification and submit it to the state with the
patient’s application, the suit said. Yet in March, Christ ordered employees to take all pending and
denied patient applications and submit them to the state, along with the signed, blank certificates —
whether the patients qualified or not, or had even seen a physician, the lawsuit alleged. The suit said
Christ ordered employees to fill in the certificates and say all of these patients suffered from “chronic
pain,” which is one of the conditions that can qualify a patient for medical marijuana. Nearly 70 percent
of the almost 23,000 Montanans with a marijuana card have “chronic pain” as a diagnosis. Christ
falsely told staffers that his actions were the result of negotiations with state health officials, the suit
said. The day before they quit in June, the three employees said they ran a report showing that 84
patients had been rejected for a card after seeing physicians at Caregiver Network events in Kalispell,
Helena and Missoula. Christ ordered them to fill out the blank, pre-approved certifications as approved,
using the signatures of the very doctors who had rejected the patients as unqualified, the lawsuit said.
Lindsey said the three employees gave their information to law enforcement officials soon after they
quit. Harrington was an executive assistance to Christ; Phillips was a call center manager and Klang
worked as office manager. They each had been working at the Caregivers Network for several months
before quitting.

Unusual Punishment for Marijuana Arrest
Preston Ayres Reporting / Posted: Saturday, 21 August 2010
A Nevada judge has an unusual sentence for a 25-year-old Sacramento man who sold marijuana to a
police informant in a casino parking lot at Lake Tahoe. District Judge Dave Gamble ordered Matthew
Palazzolo to write a report on what the judge called the "nonsensical character" of California's medical
marijuana law. Gamble gave Palazzolo 90 days to complete the paper discussing his realization that
marijuana led him to use more powerful narcotics. Palazzolo, who works for a Sacramento law firm,
was arrested outside a Stateline casino in February after selling the informant a quarter-pound of pot for
$1,060. Palazzolo said he grew it after using complaints of a sore back to get a California medical
marijuana card. But he said the pot was for recreational use.

Other news

Marijuana, Ecstasy, Methamphetamine Use Climbing In US
Aaron M. | Sep 17, 2010
Marijuana, Ecstasy, Methamphetamine Use Climbing in US – Drug use in America has risen over the
past year, and has reached its highest level of usage in decades. The drugs which are causing the most
concern are marijuana, ecstasy and methamphetamine. The cause of this, according to the study, was
the accepted use of marijuana and ecstasy by society, which was brought on by the media with its more
liberal reports on legalizing marijuana and medicinal marijuana. Marijuana use in those aged 12 and
over grew to about 8.7 in 2009, after being 7.3% the year before, according to the Substance Abuse and
Mental Health Services Administration, who made the report. “The results of the survey, to say the
least, are very troubling,” Gil Kerlikowske, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control
Policy, said during a morning news conference Thursday. Many younger people do not view drugs such
as marijuana as anything too harmful, and worth experimenting with. When people do not view
something as harmful, such as a drug, then its use is more likely to be raised in line with this belief.
Monthly use of ecstasy climbed from 555,000 in 2008 to 760,000 in 2009. The number of
methamphetamine users shot up, too, from 314,000 to 502,000 over the year, according to the report.

WORLD Nertherlands struggles with legal pot.
Alice Smeets for the New York Times.
Many of the customers for legal drugs in Maastricht, the Netherlands, are young people, and most of
them are foreigners.
By SUZANNE DALEY Published / August 18, 2010
MAASTRICHT, the Netherlands - On a recent summer night, Marc Josemans's Easy Going Coffee
Shop was packed. The lines to buy marijuana and hashish stretched to the reception area where
customers waited behind glass barriers. Most were young. Few were Dutch. Thousands of "drug
tourists" sweep into this small, picturesque city in the southeastern part of the Netherlands every day - as
many as two million a year, city officials say. Their sole purpose is to visit the city's 13 "coffee shops,"
where they can buy varieties of marijuana with names like Big Bud, Amnesia and Gold Palm without
fear of prosecution. It is an attraction Maastricht and other Dutch border cities would now gladly do
without. Struggling to reduce traffic jams and a high crime rate, the city is pushing to make its legalized
use of recreational drugs a Dutch-only policy, banning sales to foreigners who cross the border to
indulge. But whether the European Union's free trade laws will allow that is another matter. The case,
now winding its way through the courts, is being closely watched by legal scholars as a test of whether
the European Court of Justice will carve out an exception to trade rules - allowing one country's security
concerns to override the European Union's guarantee of a unified and unfettered market for goods and
City officials say they have watched with horror as a drug tolerance policy intended to keep Dutch youth
safe - and established long before Europe's borders became so porous - has morphed into something else
entirely. Municipalities like Maastricht, in easy driving distance from Belgium, France and Germany,
have become regional drug supply hubs. Maastricht now has a crime rate three times that of similar-size
Dutch cities farther from the border. "They come with their cars and they make a lot of noise and so on,"
said Gerd Leers, who was mayor of Maastricht for eight years. "But the worst part is that this group, this
enormous group, is such an attractive target for criminals who want to sell their own stuff, hard stuff,
and they are here too now." In recent years, crime in Maastricht, a city of cobblestone lanes and
medieval structures, has included a shootout on the highway, involving a Bulgarian assassin hired to kill
a rival drug producer. Mr. Leers used to call the possibility of banning sales to foreigners a long shot.
But last month, Maastricht won an early round.
The advocate general for the European Court of Justice, Yves Bot, issued a finding that "narcotics,
including cannabis, are not goods like others and their sale does not benefit from the freedoms of
movement guaranteed by European law." Mr. Leers called the ruling "very encouraging." Coffee shop
owners saw it differently. "There is no way this will hold up," said John Deckers, a spokesman for the
Maastricht coffee shop owners' association. "It is discrimination against other European Union citizens."
If Maastricht gets its way, many other Dutch municipalities will doubtless follow. Last year, two small
Dutch towns, Rosendal and Bergen op Zoom, decided to close all their coffee shops after surveys
showed that most of their customers were foreigners. The situation has not made for good neighborly
feelings. Many residents of border towns criticize Belgium, France and Germany for tolerating
recreational drug use but banning the sale of drugs. "They don't punish small buyers," said Cyrille
Fijnaut, a professor at the University of Tilburg law school. "But they also don't have their own coffee
shops, so that leaves us as the suppliers. Our policy has been abused, misused, totally perverted."
As business has boomed, many of the Dutch coffee shops - dingy, hippie establishments in the '80s and
'90s with a few plastic tubs of marijuana on the shelves - have become slick shops serving freshly
squeezed orange juice and coffee in fine china. The Easy Going Coffee Shop has a computer console at
the door where identification documents proving that customers are 18 or older are scanned and
recorded. Tiny pictures on driver's licenses are blown up to life-size on a screen, so guards can get a
good look at them. Behind the teller windows, workers still cut the hashish with a big kitchen knife, but
all sales are recorded on computerized cash registers. Mr. Bot's ruling last month is only an early step in
determining whether Maastricht can enforce a Dutch-only policy. A final ruling by the full court is
expected by the end of the year. But Mr. Bot's finding, a veritable tirade on the evils of drugs, surprised
many legal scholars, who expected the European Union's open market rules to trump any public order
arguments, as they have in other cases. Sweden, for instance, which has a long history of struggling with
alcohol abuse, was obliged to take down most of its anti-alcohol laws restricting store hours and sales, as
they were seen as impinging on free trade. Polls show that a majority of the Dutch still believe that the
coffee shops should exist.
But the Netherlands once had 1,500 of them; now, there are about 700. And every year, the numbers
decline, according to Nicole Maalste, a professor at the University of Tilburg who has written a book on
the subject. "Slowly, slowly they are being closed down by inventing new rules, and new rules," Ms.
Maalste said. Much of the criminality associated with the coffee shops, experts say, revolves around
what people here call the "back door" problem. The government regulates what goes on in coffee shops.
But it has never legalized or regulated how the stores get the drugs they sell - an issue that states in the
United States that have legalized medical marijuana are just beginning to grapple with. In recent years,
the tremendous volume of sales created by foreigners has prompted an industry of cultivating cannabis
and other drugs within the Netherlands - some estimate that it is now a $2 billion a year business - much
of it tangled in organized crime and money laundering operations, experts say. Advocates for legalized
sales and coffee shop owners argue that trying to restrict foreigners will only encourage them to buy
illegally in the streets. They also say that coffee shops have other selling points: they pay 450 million
Euros a year in taxes and provide thousands of jobs. Mr. Deckers, the shop association spokesman, said
coffee shop owners were so skeptical that the European Union would allow restrictions on sales based
on nationality that they encouraged the city to get a ruling on the subject. They doubt Mr. Bot's
arguments will stand. "We know he is wrong," Mr. Deckers said.;jsessionid=BF99E41CFD1E78ABBBDCF3741F7C3B13.w5?a=64536

Medical Marijuana Food Items Go Unregulated in Los Angeles
By: Dennis Romero / Thursday July 1, 2010
In Los Angeles County, why can one store sell prepared food without a county health inspection and
another can't? Because if that first store is a medical marijuana dispensary, and that food happens to
contain marijuana, then it's medicine, which isn't subject to county health rules governing restaurants
and other spots that sell prepared food. Who's making those brownies, lollipops and cookies? And are
they cooked up in a clean environment? Who knows. The California Department of Public Health tells
the Weekly it also stays away from places that produce marijuana edibles because they would be
considered "drug manufacturing facilities" -- and thus would be outside its jurisdiction……So pot shops
that sell food don't have to have those letter grades in their windows? Nope. So long as the edibles they
sell contain dope. "It's considered to be a drug or medicine because it has the marijuana in it," Brakband
said. "If they did have legitimate food items they would fall under our normal inspections."…...

Medical-marijuana delivery services complicate legal picture in California
By ALEXANDRA BAUM, Yahoo! News / Fri Aug 27, 2010
From his apartment building in San Francisco’s bustling Fisherman’s Wharf neighborhood, Kevin Reed,
owner of The Green Cross, goes about the daily business of running a medical-marijuana delivery
service. Reed, an Alabama native with a warm Southern accent, oversees the baking of pot brownies and
cookies, prepares bags for delivery, and, beginning at 8 a.m., takes phone orders from registered
members of his collective. According to Reed, his enterprise isn't so different from any other operation.
“It really is just like running a pizza service.” The emergence of door-to-door pot delivery services is at
least one unintended consequence of the cat-and-mouse game between law enforcement and suppliers
that's been going on in California in recent years, in the wake of a boom in the industry — particularly
since 2009, when the Obama administration announced a shift in federal policy, saying it would no
longer target operators or customers of medical marijuana dispensaries who abide by state laws. As
officials have tried to get a handle on the proliferation with stricter regulations and forced closures,
many dispensaries have found a way to remain in operation by replacing their traditional storefront with
a courier service. Uniting under the slogan “We Deliver,” hundreds of mobile dispensaries now
advertise their services on the Internet, offering a variety of strains of cannabis and cannabis-based
products, such as brownies and cookies, to legally certified patients. These outfits may or may not be
legal — since few current laws directly address their existence — but they are almost as common as dry
cleaners in California now, with customer reviews available on popular Websites like ("Best
service ever," says one Green Cross patron. "Seriously, so amazing. Great staff. Great people. Very
knowledgeable. Gotta love the specials too!") The rapid growth of California’s pot industry into
uncharted legal territory has only heightened the stakes for Proposition 19, a monumental initiative on
the November ballot that could make California the first state in the nation to legalize marijuana for
recreational purposes. Thirteen other states followed suit after Californians passed Proposition 215 in
1996, enabling patients with a valid doctor's recommendation to possess and cultivate marijuana for
personal medical use, so activists on both sides of the issue will be watching closely, looking to gauge
the national mood. While advocates have mounted a strong push for legalization (a June survey by
Public Policy Polling showed 52 percent support for Prop. 19), elected officials have been just as
committed in their attempts to crack down on the so-called Green Rush in the state. According to
Americans for Safe Access, a total of 129 cities and nine counties across California have banned
medical marijuana dispensaries. However, as more dispensaries are forced to shut down, a growing
number of pot delivery services are avoiding such restrictions and thriving as a result. Nowhere is this
more evident than in Southern California, where estimates on the number of dispensaries in Los Angeles
have ranged from 500 to 1,000. In an attempt to control the marijuana industry in the area, the L.A. City
Council passed an ordinance in January of this year requiring all marijuana dispensaries that violated the
city's 2007 moratorium on new collectives to shut down their physical locations. As a result, the 439
dispensaries that ignored the initial moratorium were forced to close, and even tighter restrictions were
placed on the remaining dispensaries. Under the ordinance, which went into effect June 7, only 41 are
now technically eligible to stay open. Kevin Reed's Green Cross was the first medical marijuana
dispensary to obtain a permit for delivery in San Francisco four years ago, after being forced by the city
council there to shut down and move locations. Since then, he has run a successful medical-marijuana
delivery service that is in compliance with all city regulations. "There is a Wild West atmosphere right
now in California and especially in L.A.," Reed says. Reed relates the situation to his own experience
with San Francisco’s city council. “I think the rise of delivery services in L.A. has a tremendous amount
to do with the ordinance and forced closures. It was big news when San Francisco closed us down, and I
think a lot of dispensaries in L.A. saw the success we had, and are now trying to emulate our delivery
business model.” City officials in Los Angeles are struggling to contain the growth of such delivery
services, and maintain that their existence is in violation of the ordinance passed in January. According
to Monica Valencia, press deputy for L.A. city councilman Ed Reyes, “[the medical-marijuana delivery
services] are prohibited per our city ordinance. Unless the collectives are registered, they are in violation
of the city’s ordinance.” A real estate developer who uses the name Matt Lawrence for his business is
the director of C420, an online medical-marijuana dispensary service that ships to more than 1,000 legal
customers across the state. The nonprofit collective, which opened in April 2010, has hubs in both
Northern and Southern California, and uses an unnamed third-party carrier to deliver the product.
Lawrence emphasized the importance of following state and national guidelines, saying, “All of our
customers are pre-verified with the appropriate documents and doctor’s notes. Additionally, all of our
products are produced within the state. We also do not ship marijuana products out of the state, because
that is against federal law.” A longtime advocate of medical cannabis, Lawrence says, “I am actually in
favor of the L.A. ordinance. The situation is out of control in California, and without proper regulation,
there is a lot of opportunity for fraud and unhealthy, low-grade marijuana to be sold.” On the other
hand, Dann Halem, owner of Artists Collective, has a less favorable opinion of the crackdown in L.A.
Prior to the city council vote in January, Halem moved his base of operations out of Los Angeles to
West Hollywood, and set up a mobile dispensary that is now doing quite well. “The L.A. City Council
has consistently been behind on this issue. I think they are making a big mistake by forcing over 400
dispensaries to close down. Rather than regulating it and seeing the positive outcomes, they have taken
the approach of containment and control. This really doesn’t benefit anyone. This industry has the
potential to raise a huge amount of money for good initiatives through proper regulation.” Councilman
Reyes, who has overseen most of the consideration of the medical-marijuana-dispensaries issue, claims
that the city council “has implemented a medical-marijuana ordinance that we believe is both prudent
and fair. My goal has been and continues to be, implementing an ordinance that secures access for those
who need access to dispensaries for medical purposes, while at the same time protecting the health and
safety of our communities.” Among other attempts to control the growth of the industry overall, the
state passed a law in 2003 authorizing marijuana collectives to operate strictly on a nonprofit basis.
Halem, the owner of what he calls a “social business,” has capitalized on the booming medical-
marijuana industry to do public good, by using medical marijuana profits to fund a social initiative.
Halem accomplished this by donating his profits toward funding grants for emerging artists, writers,
performers, and musicians. Halem said this is one of the most rewarding aspects of his job, as he has
been able to inspire people in the art world, an industry that is consistently underfunded. “I think
marijuana should be legalized, but in a way that requires the company’s association with a federal
nonprofit organization. I am against Proposition 19, because it appears to eliminate the nonprofit factor.
It is hard enough to be a medical marijuana nonprofit dispensary, and Proposition 19 would make it even
more difficult because we’d have to compete with big corporations. In short, we are in favor of
legalization, but not corporatization.” Reed feels differently about the proposition, fearing that full
legalization of marijuana would benefit only recreational users, and not his patients. He adds that since
becoming a delivery service, he has come to greatly appreciate the direct contact with his customers and
the more welcoming response from the surrounding San Francisco neighborhood, claiming, “When we
switched to delivery, suddenly people loved us because we were no longer a visible presence in the
neighborhood.” But a substantial number remain opposed to legalization under any scenario, delivery
service or not. Roger Morgan, for instance, executive director of the spearheading anti-drug organization
Coalition for a Drug-Free California, voices the group's outrage in no uncertain terms: “We are against
Proposition 19. It would be a legal nightmare. The proposition itself is so ridiculous; I think whoever
wrote it must have been smoking pot at the time. Marijuana is a dangerous substance that causes
irreversible harm to developing brains, and if it is legalized, there is no way to guarantee it wouldn’t get
into the hands of kids who would be severely hurt by the drug.” Halem acknowledged that while many
people can get a recommendation for medical marijuana today and his customers certainly “run the
gamut,” many of his patients are clearly physically ill and need their medication delivered. “The most
rewarding part of the job is to have the ability to help someone who is really sick. When you help
someone who is in a lot of pain, it is a great feeling. Frankly, it is these moments that keep us going, and
I hope we will continue to be successful.”

Medical Marijuana Too Easy?
July 11, 2010
In between Jay-Z and Lady Gaga songs on Redding’s hip-hop and pop music station, an advertisement
proclaims that for just $149, a new doctor in town will evaluate a patient for medical marijuana. Dr.
Ahimsa Porter Sumchai’s advertisement would have been unthinkable until nine months ago, when
President Barack Obama directed federal authorities not to prosecute people if they’re complying with
states’ medical marijuana laws. Ever since, what were once quiet medicinal marijuana clinics working
on the fringes of medical communities up and down the state have rapidly become more mainstream.
They’ve also become more common locally. In the past year, two clinics, including Sumchai’s on
Bechelli Lane, have opened in Redding, bringing to five the total number of doctors who regularly travel
to Redding to see patients seeking medical marijuana recommendations. Only one of the doctors
practicing at the clinics actually lives in the north state. Police, members of the local medical
community, advocates for the legalization of marijuana and the doctors at Redding’s longest-running
cannabis clinic say they have doubts about the legitimacy of some of the new traveling medical cannabis
doctors. Critics say California’s voter-approved medical marijuana laws give doctors broad discretion
as to whom they can recommend marijuana, making it easy for an unscrupulous physician to make huge
profits giving marijuana recommendations to anyone willing to hand over enough cash. “I would guess
if they had $150, they would come away from there with a recommendation for medical marijuana,”
said John Thulin, who heads the Shasta County Interagency Narcotics Task Force. New cannabis
doctors in town. The new cannabis doctors who recently have arrived in Redding aren’t talking. A
woman behind the counter Thursday at Sumchai’s clinic in the Mission Square shopping center said
Sumchai doesn’t give interviews, but the clinic’s manager would respond to questions by e-mail. E-
mailed questions weren’t answered. Green Relief Management Services, a San Francisco-based
company, manages Sumchai’s other two medical marijuana clinics in San Francisco and in Sacramento.
Sumchai, one of at least 13 people to run against San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom in 2007, is a
general practice physician who also specializes in sports medicine, according to the Medical Board of
California. For 20 years, Sumchai had practiced emergency medicine, general surgery and neurosurgery
at San Francisco Bay Area hospitals. At one time, she also was the emergency physician for the San
Francisco Giants, according to medical board enforcement documents. Sumchai surrendered her license
in 2001, and it was revoked outright in 2004, after a bout of post-traumatic stress disorder and three
criminal convictions left her unfit to care for patients, according to the documents. Her license was fully
reinstated in 2009 under the condition that she continue to a see a psychiatrist. The other newcomer to
open a clinic in town in the last year is Dr. Cristal Speller, a Glendale-based physician who holds clinics
in Redding, Chico, Santa Barbara, Palmdale and Northridge, according to her website, She didn’t respond to an e-mail request for an interview. Efforts to reach her
by phone this week and at her practice on Friday, the only day she’s in Redding each week, were
unsuccessful. Speller, whose medical board license says she specializes in pediatric medicine, told the
Record Searchlight last fall that she abides by all California laws. All of her patients must bring a note
from a doctor, medical records or a radiology report before she will write a 12-month recommendation.
Just minutes after the clinic opened Friday, there were about 10 people hunched over clipboards filling
out paperwork inside her office in the Market Street Promenade, formerly called the Downtown Mall.
While Sumchai charges $149 for an initial consultation, Speller charges $170. A follow-up visit is $150,
she said in September. Speller said in the earlier interview that she has written thousands of
recommendations since 2005.
‘They don’t have our standards’
Dr. Michael Gitter, the 66-year-old owner of Redding’s longest-running medical cannabis clinic, on
Charles Drive in north Redding, said he has his doubts about some of the traveling physicians working
out of multiple clinics around the state. “They don’t have our standards,” Gitter said without naming
whom he was criticizing. Two years ago, Gitter, who is based in the Los Angeles area where he runs a
traditional medical clinic serving poor, inner-city residents, bought the Redding practice from his
business partner, Dr. Philip Denney, an iconic figure in the medical cannabis community. Gitter shares
the practice with two doctors, Dr. Terrence Malee, a retired emergency room and urgent care physician
from Junction City, and Dr. Gary Taff, a doctor and health care system administrator who’s based in
Mendocino County. When a patient comes in, they must have an appointment and documentation from
their physicians before receiving a recommendation, Gitter said. They also must undergo a complete
physical examination. The cost for an exam is $200. Most exams last around 15 minutes. Malee, a spry
70-year-old physician of 43 years, ran St. Joseph General Hospital’s emergency room in Eureka for five
years. He said Thursday that in his exams, he’s found undiagnosed physical problems like tumors that
his patient’s regular doctor had missed. He said the doctors at his clinic strive to winnow out those
looking to abuse the system. He gave the example of a cage fighter who came in to his office trying to
intimidate him into getting a recommendation that allowed him to have 7 ounces of marijuana in a week,
when most patients are only recommended 2. “I said, ‘Look, bud, the last time you went to the doctor
and asked him for 1,000 Vicodin, did he give it to you? No. Well, I’m not going to give you 7 ounces
either,” Malee said, laughing. Indeed, later on Thursday a man entered the clinic carrying a doctor’s
recommendation a friend had let him borrow. The recommendation from a Southern California
physician said the patient could legally grow 100 plants. The man was hoping Malee would recommend
he could grow the same amount. Malee quickly denied his request for so many plants. Gitter said his
office staff takes further efforts to stop people looking to abuse California’s “wonderful” medical
marijuana laws. In the history of the clinic, only about three people under 18 have ever been given a
doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana. Each of them was “very sick kids,” and they were
directed not to use cannabis without a parent present, he said. Gitter said patients between 18 and 21
years old who still live with their parents also must bring their parents with them. Malee said he’ll see
30 patients a day. He works four days a week every other week.
Huge financial incentives
Critics say the financial incentive is clearly there for an unscrupulous doctor to abuse the system. If a
doctor sees 30 patients a day at a minimum of $150 a patient, that’s $4,500 per day, or more than $1
million a doctor can make in a normal working year. “It’s easy money,” said Dr. Craig Kraffert, a
Redding dermatologist and real estate developer, noting that the physicians running these clinics face
very small overhead costs and don’t actually have to perform procedures on patients. Kraffert said that
as an entrepreneur, he could see the appeal of starting such a moneymaking practice, but he decided it
would be unethical to do so. He said he believes the majority of patients seen by the doctors are those
hoping merely to legalize their recreational marijuana use. Redding Police Chief Peter Hansen agreed.
He said the cannabis doctors are practicing what he believes amounts to medical fraud. He contends that
when his officer conducted an undercover sting on Denney’s practice in Redding, he was given a
recommendation for medical marijuana for a vague complaint of insomnia. He said that doctors will
give marijuana for any malady, however imagined. In fact, a Redding teenager obtained a marijuana
recommendation after complaining that her braces hurt her mouth, he said. “‘You have a hangnail. Does
smoking marijuana help you with your hangnail?’ ‘Well, yes it does.’ ‘Here’s a recommendation.’”
Hansen said. “It’s fraud. It’s a scam.” Dr. Dan Lensink, immediate past president of the North Valley
Medical Association, said doctors in his medical association haven’t taken an official position on
marijuana clinics. Although they appreciate the will of the voters in passing the state’s medical
marijuana laws, they, too, have their doubts about the cannabis clinics. “It’s my anecdotal experience
that there is a rather freewheeling willingness by doctors not part of our established medical community
to swoop in and prescribe marijuana in an environment where ‘medical purposes’ appears to be
interpreted very liberally, well beyond the best interest of the patient without appropriate medical work-
up for underlying conditions, and without due consideration for other medications with a better side-
effect profile,” Lensink said Thursday in an e-mail. He said he has concerns that there are no real
standards of care by which cannabis doctor must abide.
‘Harm reduction clinic’
Malee, Gitter and Denney, who still runs a medical cannabis clinic in Carmichael, countered that their
clinics are filling a much-needed void in the local medical community. Gitter said he and his two fellow
physicians in Redding have around 130 years of medical experience between them. They’re
legitimately giving medicine to patients who need it, they say. Too many doctors, they say, are
unwilling to provide or have outright shunned cannabis as medicine. Malee calls his practice a “harm
reduction clinic,” geared toward weaning patients off much more dangerous pharmaceutical drugs.
Malee said he’s being smoking recreational marijuana since he was an air combat surgeon and
helicopter door gunner in Vietnam. It was only in the past three or four years that he came to realize how
beneficial cannabis is medically, he said. He rapidly listed a broad array of maladies cannabis treats,
ranging from cancer to back pain to nausea to restless leg syndrome. “Most doctors think it’s a
recreational drug with few or any medicinal properties,” Malee said. “What I’ve found since I’ve been
doing this is that cannabis has more medicinal properties than any other drug I’ve ever prescribed in
over 43 years of medicine.” Malee, Gitter and Denney say they’re worried that unscrupulous doctors
might harm the medical cannabis movement they’ve worked so hard to further. “These sort of traveling
road shows don’t really help us,” Denney said. “This just plays right into the hands of those who oppose
us. They say, ‘See, I told you it’s a sham.’”

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