War on Medical Cannabis Continues: Feds Target LA Dispensaries for Closure

Federal authorities with the US Attorney’s Los Angeles office issued official warning letters to 68 Los Angeles medical cannabis dispensaries today, initiated forfeiture lawsuits against three properties that did business with dispensaries, and served search warrants on three further locations.

In an official statement on today’s action, US Attorney André Birotte Jr.stated:

“Over the past several years, we have seen an explosion of commercial marijuana stores -– an explosion that is being driven by the massive profits associated with marijuana distribution. As today’s operations make clear, the sale and distribution of marijuana violates federal law, and we intend to enforce the law. Even those stores not targeted today should understand that they cannot continue to profit in violation of the law.”

The LA Weekly is reporting that the list of targets included every single dispensary in the Downtown, Huntington, and Eagle Rock areas of the city. You can read more media coverage here and here. We will keep you updated as the situation develops.

75 thoughts

  1. Makes all you guys want to keep Obama in the Wh huh!?

    The Quote of the Decade

    “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America ‘s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government can not pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America ‘s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that, “the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”

    — Senator Barack H. Obama, March 2006

    And I completely agree! I will not vote for this man again, Sadly now my vote goes to Romney, who will do no better…

  2. Considering the costs involved with policing the issue and it’s lack of relative success I think it’s pretty important the country start to have a serious discussion about the merits of continuing the policy as is.

  3. We have several hurdles to overcome here.

    1~ Only congress can move cannabis from being a schedule one narcotic (along with heroin) to schedule 2 and the DEA takes it’s cue from congress. Schedule 2 would allow unobstructed studies to be carried out and than the fed’s would have to pay attention and they know it too.
    2~ Congressional leaders (I laugh….leaders?…I wish) receive hundreds of thousands of dollars from pharmaceutical companies, alcohol purveyors, private prison owners, paper/lumber companies and big oil as well as other industries that wish to keep cannabis illegal. If you have questions regarding what each of these companies gain from prohibition you need to do better research.
    3~ If cannabis is legalized at the state level it will set up a showdown between the fed’s and the states leading to constitutional rights and who has the final say. We are a republic with fifty seperate states with fifty seperate governing bodies and different sets of laws, many of which wildly vary. The fed’s are technically a secondary governing body, it’s just that they’ve forgotten this little known fact. How convenient.

    This is not going to be a walk n the park. We have to start somewhere and until we have set some legal precedent at the state level nothing will change. The fed’s hope against hope that no state will legalize cannabis for the simple reason that there will have to be a showdown and a lengthy legal battle. Without a team of very talented lawyers ready to take on this battle for the state(s) nothing will change.

    As for the conspiracy theorists who think we’re headed for some kind of police state I suggest you take a few deep breaths, cut back on your cannabis intake (or switch to a nice mild indica in the evening) and read up on cannabis laws. Here in California, anything less than 28.5 grams is an infraction with a $100 fine, no lawyers or judges intro’s and no jail time. Not perfect but a step in the right direction and a states rights that the fed’s cannot touch. Write letters to your state representative’s if you want to see similar laws in your state. Yes, you’ll have to actually do something. Oh well.

    Legalize cannabis? Absolutely! Soon? The sooner the better. Do we have a long way to go? Probably, yes.
    What can we do? Plow ahead.

    Meanwhile, use cannabis responsibly. Don’t flaunt your use, have some class for god’s sake. If you use it don’t hide in the shadows either, let people know that you can hold down your job, pay your bills, raise your family and have an otherwise healthy lifestyle. Take care of yourself. Don’t do stupid stoner shit and act like this is normal cannabis behavior, it isn’t, it’s just the normal stupid shit you would have done
    anyway whether you used cannabis or not. And as for you documentary makers, stop interviewing very stoned party-animals and interview some citizens that look like average business types with average lives for a change…y’know…the vast majority of people that actually use cannabis regularly. After all, whom do you all think is using the ten’s of thousand’s of pounds of cannabis that is grown here in the states, that never leaves the states? EVERYONE! Get a friggin clue! Educate yourself and sound like you know what you’re talking about when discussing the issue so you can educate others. Shut down bullshit when someone opens their mouth and spreads it concerning cannabis.

    We’re in this together. Be a positive influence. Knowledge is Power.

    Keep the faith.


  4. @Ray DiPasquale,

    I don’t agree his having a microbrewery is hypocritical, it’s not the same as having a relationship with some big corporate brewery (John McCain’s wife/Coors). An argument can be made that the dispensaries were too greedy (their pricing wasn’t any more generous than the black market, right?), they were “exploiting” the “recreational users” they sold too etc. whereas the “microgrowhouse” user who raises a couple of plants indoors will gain points for emulating the President.

    Disappointment with Obama– lest we forget that the first Chicago President was disappointing many as he dawdled over the Emancipation Proclamation (finally issued, histoerians say, when he felt some battlefield victories had solidified his position)– the question might be what victory does Obama need to issue a cannabis emancipation proclamation? (In fact, it might result in suddenly freeing millions of nicotine slaves so Barry will have to get together with “Low Tar Smokin'” Johnny and BAIL OUT PHILIP MORRIS.)

    1. Get a modest amount of lighting and rise one or two high-thc indoor plants. Use a 5.5-mm diameter screened crater Choomette to serve 25-mg sifted-herb vapetokes for utmost efficiency.

    2. Do a favor for the pro-hemp movement by using the Brownspliff method to plant hempseeds around town. Roll up high quality POTting soil in a sycamore leaf or brown paper towel, use a dibble stick to make a deep hole among the roots of some bush or hedgerow, stand the brownspliff in it, then bike down the road and plant another one. Those plants will grow next year in protective shade, receive water drippings, hidden by the shrubbery until they go to seed– the second year weed is everywhere and the prohibs are swamped and give up.

  5. OMG!!! Why the hell do people keep saying the police need to be locking up potheads in order to justify having them on the payroll. This is crazy talk folks. The police’s job has nothing to do with marijuana and our system is overburdened with false arrests for pot. That means arresting potheads is wasting the police officers’ time and our court systems–we paying for something (protection from criminals) and getting abused by heavy handed law enforcement instead. However we pay the police to do their jobs, which is go after criminals? We don’t have to let them go, they just get directed to go after real criminals, not scape goats. I bet plenty of police want to smoke.

  6. Robert, I like your post, but I do believe we are headed straight for a police state. The government has two goals for us.
    #1) Institutionalize everyone. Some would argue that we’re already there.
    #2) RFID CHIP IMPLANTS for everyone.

    They are using narcotic substance abuse (AKA smoking marijuana) as a form of terrorism. Yes, if you smoke cannabis, or grow this plant, you are now a terrorist in the eyes of the feds. They want that nice list of medical marijuana users the states have and to start rounding up innocent people. They want any excuse they can to lock people away. Their reasons are becoming more and more ridiculous (some people are being arrested for collecting small amounts of rain water), but the American people don’t seem to mind that much. But I think all laws are stupid, we don’t need them, never have, that’s why we made the constitution, to give we the people rights. The police are nothing more than really good janitors. They don’t prevent ANY crimes, they come and mop up after the damage is done. Laws don’t prevent anyone from doing anything. If Laws worked, crime would not exist.

  7. I was playing poker at a casino recently and the topic of police officers came up. I blurted out straight away “every cop is a criminal”. Seated to my left was a cop. They other players started saying Uh oh and I said “I realy dont give a fuck. Every cop is a criminal.” The cop called me ignorant and asked me why I felt that way. I said “if you knew where I came from, you’de know where I’m coming from.” The black guy at the table nodded in agreement. “I continued: every cop takes an unwritten oath to never rat out another cop. Thats ‘conspiracy to with hold info’, a crime.”

  8. So they make a lot of money. Isin’t that the american dream? This country loves to shoot itself in the foot!

  9. Hey III%, if you’re serious about voting for Romney on this basis, then Thurston Howell has a sign for you: “useful idiot.” Do no better? Need I ask if you’re high? He would be infinitely worse, but yeah, let’s all vote for the Romney-bot. The guy actually appears more clueless than Dubya, M.D., and those of us who actually do pay attention know what a catastrophe that amoral shape-shifting plutocrat would be in the white house. So the Republicans would control the house, the White House, the Supreme Court, and they’ll use the arcane rules in the Senate to steamroll the largely spineless Democrats, so yeah, let’s put Republican at the head of the executive branch. What’s the worst thing that could happen? Catastrophic slashing of the social safety net, slashing of taxes on the wealthiest, another period of ballooning of the debt, and a war with Iran, and who knows where the Tea Party will steer the clowns from there. Get a clue, please.

  10. Felix its comments like yours that hurt the cause.shhhh..

    I really wish Obama would step up and be a leader already.I feel like he could be such a great president, but he is just to much of a puppet.

  11. “Even those stores not targeted today should understand that they cannot continue to profit in violation of the law.”

    Funny, that’s exactly what the government does.

  12. Money is no problem when it is all done by the federal government.
    Right now, LA is just a federal experiment on how the pubic would react and how a federal government can change a major city?
    There is still plenty of evil magic in the Federal Reserve to be able to destroy the United States and the U.S. Consitution.

    Save the United States
    Audit the Feds!

  13. Medical pot is out. Decriminalization and treatment is in. Smoking pot isn’t inherently medicinal, but marijuana could be one key to understanding our endocannabinoid system; eventually leading to new medicines. But people still should have the right to defend their health.

  14. Robert M, New Jersey *is* a police state. No conspiracy theory needed, just facts: Medical Marijuana has been legal here for about 30 months, yet not a single qualified patient can legally buy or even possess any marijuana, they will be arrested! What does this sound like to you, but a corrupted police state? California might have some better laws, but many were enacted via Initiative and Referendum which is non-binding in New Jersey–there isn’t anything we can do as they already walled off the laws from the people. Every law they write for us screws us in some other way. 65 MPH is now legal in some areas, but the fines had to be doubled. People in jail over bullshit firearms violations–situations that never put anyone is danger or harms ways are given felony convictions. Notice how we’re leading the nation in unemployment and super-fund sites? Our “leadership” in Trenton hates us and surely is looking to victimize folks and/or pass the buck.

    Chris Christie says we should expect him to lie, but it is so much worse when Democrats point out his short comings… So while they focus on lying to us, people continue to get fined and sent to jail for an endless list of frivolously “offenses”. Industries continue to poison us–this ain’t California folks. 🙁

  15. “Even those stores not targeted today should understand that they cannot continue to profit in violation of the law.”

    Stop opening small businesses! You’re ruining your economy and your country!


  16. By raising taxes on the rich we are not raising taxes on the rich. The rich can not be taxed because they do not have jobs. See Mitt Romney. So let raise taxes of the so called rich and wipe out the backbone of the economy. That is right! Wipe out small business. It is already a pain in the ass to run a small business with all of the red tape and tax. Let us make it impossible for small business to survive. somebody has to pay for washingtons lack of fiscal responsibility. I already pay 40% in taxes. Lets make it 50%.

  17. Felix, its not so much they want a “police state”, the two parties just cannot write good laws, and so these crap laws violation the Constitution. It is the Constitution that places limits on the government’s authority. Then weak willed, bought out weasels write and pass an endless list of poorly engineered laws, designed to appear to be ineffectively fixing some problem but creating further problems down the line. Which is why laws need to bases on our Constitution; not the Bible, not the Koran, or some other liberal or conservative bullshit!

    Hello??? Stop stepping all over the USA you fucking Romney/Obamas–they are all robots working against our common good.

    Mitt Romney is one of the 47% percent he mocks. He’s never paid his fair share of taxes and so he has received millions in the form of a discounted tax rate. Basically, he’s stolen a large chunk of his wealth and he’s using it to put himself in an even higher position where he’ll do even more damage to the country with his utter lack of leadership and know how. Do we really want to put a welfare recipient in the White house? ‘Cause that is what Romney is.

  18. Vote Gary Johnson!!! He is the only candidate on the ballot who would legalize marijuana, and end the wars!!!

  19. Robert M. is on the right track. If you sound like you’re smart…. then people will think you are. All you need to do as a stoner is look sharp and be sharp.
    The worst advertising pot can have is to depict the MJ user as a Jeff Spicoli character from Fast Times @ Ridgemont High.

    And before you vote in November, wait until the last week before the Mail In Ballot deadline.
    Sometimes big changes happen late. As close as this presidential race is going to be….. look for Obama to make a last-minute indication of Marijuana Support to gain another chunk of the undecided-as-to-whether-they’re-even-going-to-waste-their-time-voting… block of people sitting on the fence. And a LOT of us are.
    It’s a sure bet Romney will decimate every year of work that’s gone into airing the truth about Marijuana. He told us so…. “that he will fight any laxity in the current Marijuana Laws, tooth and nail”.

    No my friends, if Obama doesn’t offer us support, then don’t vote at all. The country won’t suffer any worse under either, so why participate at all?

  20. Now and again “We The People” are put in a situation that dictates to all free men that their Government has gotten to big. We wrote it into the most sacred documents that we posses, and put on display for all to see. The Founders of our Country fought and died to create a government away from the tyranny of the over taxing King. We must now come together and use LAW to fight this battle again. I love my country, its people and what it could stand for. Its only the those who have more that wish to keep what they have and lengths they will go to in order to keep it. This is about the loss of FREEDOM not Legalization of Marijuana. The Legalization of Marijuana is but one of the problems we face. Even George Washington enjoyed growing it and smoking it.

  21. Sadly, no president can stop the war on marijuana. If it were done by presidential fiat, Jimmy Carter would have done it. Am I angry that Barack Obama is prosecuting the war on drugs with such vigor? Yes and no. I am so disappointed with him, and I am so angry that we are still at this ugly war as a Nation. But I believe Obama’s strategy is this: firm persecution of the war on marijuana forces us to step up the fight. And as the societal costs of the war go up and the evidence and recognition of marijuana’s benefit and relative lack of harm increase, so too do people’s willingness to “cross the line” to our side. So, my vote goes to Obama and (yuck) Biden, as the lesser evils. Romney and Ryan, regardless of their views personally (and don’t be surprised if Romney suddenly claims to support legalization just to get a vote) will have to work with their party, wherein the truest drug warriors (read racists, prison owners and guards, substance “abuse” providers, religious zealots,etc.) dwell. No, Obama will have a Damascus (you know, conversion) moment when the polls tip, and will lead the way, as he has on immigration and gay rights.

    We all SHOULD pay for the world we live in, and the poor always pay the most–not absolutely, but relative to need and income. If the rich want to pay less than is right, let them earn it with job creation credits, that are directly tied to the total hours worked, not some idiot job creation metric that can be gamed. No, the wealth is OVERWHELMINGLY at the top, and so too MUST be the taxes. IS $250,000 the right cutoff? We should use a mathematical function to assign taxes, not artificial cutoffs, but such is the way of things. Small business won’t be wiped out! If raised to Obama’s proposal, taxes would be historically low compared to the greatest wealth generating times in our history. Spit out the kool-aid, think!

    And to corporations holding cash overseas I say: Treason! We have 40+% of the world’s defense spending. Is it to protect your mother travelling in Europe that we have troops in 130+ countries? No! Its to protect corporate interests, largely multi-nationals. Let there be a progressive time-based tax put in place such that corporations pay more the longer they withhold payment.

    I am not a single issue voter, and marijuana is one or two or three for me, but for almost all reasons, Obama is better, even–especially–the economy. Romney is the flip-floppingest father of lies, and promises no more or less than to bring us Bush 2.0. The wealthy get more, the rest gets less; pollution and corporate crime are unleashed while institutions of government that are our commons are destroyed. Remember that many republicans including Ryan have signed allegiance to the man who states he wishes to DESTROY the federal government (see Nordquist). No, it is sad, but Obama is better.

    Its time to take it to the streets. This time, we need to occupy the courthouse, city hall, the statehouse and DC.

  22. Yeah, I’m voting Obama again. Romney would be George W. Bush x 250 million and he WOULD’NT legalize. Best bet is Obama in second term. You’d have to be an idiot to vote for romney if you don’t make $1 million a year. Vote for need before greed like in World of Warcraft. I say, a vote for republicants is like a vote for destroying the country! Like treason.

  23. Vote third party! There are more than just two parties and the two puppets to vote for. The 3rd parties had a debate, with two top people, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein; who will debate each other on Oct. 30. Online on CNN.. just not prime time against the other two. They debate our problems. vote

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