Jump to content

Welcome to Grasscity Forums - Register now for FREE
Register now to gain access to all of our features, it's FREE and only takes one minute.
Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. This message will be removed once you have signed in.
Create an Account

CA: Los Angeles: Cannabis Club Raided


  • Please log in to reply
 

#1
IndianaToker

IndianaToker

    Banned

  • Banned by Moderators
  • 8,952 posts
By Rosanna Mah, The Independent Staff Writer
Source: Los Angeles Independent

Calif. -- Medical marijuana activists have denounced a raid on a Los Angeles cannabis clinic where police arrested two workers and seized 200 pounds of packaged marijuana as well as $180,000 in cash. Police said that they entered the United Medical Caregivers Clinic on Tuesday, March 15, at around 3 p.m. after receiving a resident’s complaint about people smoking marijuana joints along Wilshire Boulevard and Muirfield Avenue, not far from the location of the clinic.

According to investigators, police obtained a search warrant and confiscated large amounts of packaged marijuana and currency after discovering that the cannabis club had no legal permit or license to sell the drug.

Two clinic staff members were arrested on felony charges of possession of marijuana for sale and released on a $20,000 bail per person the next day.

“At this given time of our investigation, the clinic was operating an illegal business, engaging in the illegal sale of marijuana,” said Los Angeles Police Department Lt. Eric Davis of the Wilshire Division, who is handling the case.

“If we see a crime being committed, we can’t turn around and walk away from it.”

Citing the case as an ongoing investigation, Davis declined to comment on whether others, such as clinic owner Scott Fiel might face similar felony drug charges.

But supporters of medical marijuana laws have defended the integrity of the clinic and its operators and denounced the raid as a form of police harassment.

“There is nothing that condones this behavior,” said Kris Hermes, legal director of Americans for Safe Access, an Oakland-based group that advocates medical marijuana use. “It is not acceptable for state or local law enforcement to go in and raid dispensaries, let alone arrest its operators and seize their property.”

“According to Fiel, the cannabis clinic, located on 4520 Wilshire Blvd., serves around 15,000 people living with cancer, HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses.

In a Monday phone interview, Councilman Martin Ludlow said he did not know a police raid had taken place and needed to learn more details of the incident.

“This is the first I am hearing of this,” said Ludlow, who oversees the 10th District. “I haven’t made up my mind as to what I am going to do now, but I would like to get a briefing from Wilshire law enforcement and look at the issues they have raised.”

Fiel, who was in Northern California at the time of the raid, flew down to Los Angeles the following day and bailed out his two employees.

Since its closure, the clinic has been operating at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Rossmore Avenue for three months after its relocation from West Hollywood to Los Angeles in early January.

State law allows the distribution and sale of marijuana for medical use since the passage of Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, where California voters overwhelming approved the use of the drug for medical use.

However, clinic employees said their attempts at explaining to police about their right to sell medical marijuana fell on deaf ears.

Two days after the police raid, visitors were surprised to see an empty waiting room which is usually filled to capacity.

“I cannot understand it at all. Who in California wouldn’t know about Prop. 215?” said Michael, a patient who declined to provide his last name for fear of police harassment.

He said he was distressed by the temporary closure of the clinic which has provided him with marijuana as a painkiller ever since he was involved in car accident several years ago.

“It is our medicine,” he said.

Some patients picked up copies of fliers on information about the state’s medical marijuana laws, with one flier asking patients to contact city officials such as Mayor James Hahn and City Councilmen Antonio Villaraigosa and Martin Ludlow about the raid.

Fiel and other medical marijuana activists say they are hopeful that drug charges against the two staffers will be dropped.

Activists added that cities, such as West Hollywood, that are drafting regulations for cannabis clubs, are taking steps in the right direction to protect them from future drug enforcement raids.

“We have nothing to hide,” said Fiel, who also runs a cannabis club in Ukiah, Calif. “Regulations are good.”

Hilary McQuie, spokesperson for Americans for Safe Access, said the recent LAPD raid was an example of how “the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.”

“The police said they were getting them on marijuana sales for not having the right license or permit, but county and cities need to first set up regulations because there are no obvious categories for these dispensaries to operate,” McQuie said. “There is no reason to arrest them for not having a type of permit that doesn’t exist.”

Source: Los Angeles Independent (CA)
Author: Rosanna Mah, The Independent Staff Writer
Published: March 23, 2005
Copyright: 2005 Los Angeles Independent Newspaper Group
Contact: editor@laindependent.com
Website: http://www.laindependent.com/
Link to article: http://www.cannabisn...read20396.shtml


#2
IndianaToker

IndianaToker

    Banned

  • Banned by Moderators
  • 8,952 posts
By Rosanna Mah, The Independent Staff Writer
Source: Los Angeles Independent

California -- When Los Angeles police raided and shut down his Wilshire area cannabis clinic earlier this month, owner Scott Fiel thought he was going to be a lone voice in the uphill battle against local authorities. But when news of the raid and closure of the cannabis clinic hit the Internet and was broadcast from a Christian radio station, his clinic — which serves around 15,000 people living with cancer, HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses — was soon flooded with thousands of calls from concerned patients and medical marijuana activists, Fiel said.

“You know I thought I was alone in this whole thing but there were so many people who stood behind me,” said Fiel during a phone interview on Monday, the day before he re-opened his clinic located on 4520 Wilshire Blvd.

According to investigators, police entered the United Medical Caregivers’ Clinic on March 15 around 3 p.m. after receiving a resident’s complaint about people smoking marijuana joints along Wilshire Boulevard and Muirfield Road, not far from the location of the clinic.

Police said they obtained a search warrant and confiscated 200 pounds of packaged marijuana and $180,000 in cash after discovering that the cannabis club had no legal permit or license to sell the drug.

Two of the clinic’s staff members were arrested on felony charges of illegal possession of marijuana for sale and released on $20,000 bail each the next day.

It has been just over two weeks since the raid but the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office has been reluctant to file charges against the two staff members, citing a lack of evidence.

“We did not make a case against them because there was insufficient evidence,” said Sandi Gibbons, spokesperson for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.

According to Gibbons, the case is still under an ongoing police investigation.

Like other supporters of medical marijuana laws, Fiel has defended the integrity of his clinic and his goals to serve the community — and feels confident that the controversy resulting from the raid will soon blow over.

“There should never have been charges, it is in the books,” he said, referring to Proposition 215, also known as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, a state law which allows the distribution and sale of marijuana for medical use.

Others have also denounced the LAPD raid as a form of police harassment.

“It is not acceptable for state or local law enforcement to go in and raid dispensaries, let alone arrest its operators and seize their property,” said Kris Hermes, legal director of Americans for Safe Access, an Oakland-based group that advocates medical marijuana use.

Fiel, who was in Northern California at the time of the raid, flew down to Los Angeles the following day and bailed out his two employees who claimed their attempts at explaining to police about their right to sell medical marijuana without a permit fell on deaf ears.

Source: Los Angeles Independent (CA)
Author: Rosanna Mah, The Independent Staff Writer
Published: March 30, 2005
Copyright: 2005 Los Angeles Independent Newspaper Group
Contact: editor@laindependent.com
Website: http://www.laindependent.com/
Link to article: http://www.cannabisn...read20428.shtml





1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users