LA District Attorney Targets Cannabis Collectives

LA's District Attorney Steve Cooley is threatening a citywide crackdown on the city's medical cannabis dispensaries. Speaking on Oct 8th, Cooley told reporters that "about 100%" of the
dispensaries are illegal, and that he intends to close them.

Cooley and City Attorney Carmen Trutanich have been erroneously claiming that sales of medical marijuana are illegal, citing the State Supreme Court's Mentch decision that effectively prevents dispensaries from claiming to be primary caregivers.

However, state law SB 420 specifically authorizes sales by non-profit collectives
and coops in Health & Safety Cod 11362.775. The legality of dispensaries has
been sustained in the Attorney General's guidelines, as well as in a California appellate
court decision, People v Urziceanu (2005), which ruled:

" Thus, the Legislature also exempted those qualifying patients and
primary caregivers who collectively or cooperatively cultivate
marijuana for medical purposes from criminal sanctions for
possession for sale, transportation or furnishing marijuana,
maintaining a location for unlawfully selling, giving away, or
using controlled substances, managing a location for the
storage, distribution of any controlled substance for sale, and
the laws declaring the use of property for these purposes a
nuisance."

Many cities have successfully allowed dispensaries to operate under local ordinance, among them San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, and West Hollywood.

Turn up the pressure on the LA DA! Tell him that LA's dispensaries provide a valuable service to the community, and that they should be subject to reasonable city regulations, not arbitrary raids and closures.

CONTACTS:
Cooley email - SCooley@da.lacounty.gov

Office Email - webmail@da.lacounty.gov

website - http://da.lacounty.gov

Regular mail -

District Attorney's Office
County of Los Angeles
210 West Temple Street, Suite 18000
Los Angeles, CA 90012-3210

Telephone (213) 974-3512
Fax (213) 974-1484

TTY (800) 457-7778
(8:30am - 5:00pm M-F)

--
Dale Gieringer - dale@canorml.org
California NORML, 2215-R Market St. #278, San Francisco CA 94114 -(415) 563- 5858 - www.canorml.org

Also See New York Times 10/18
LOS ANGELES PREPARES FOR CLASH OVER MARIJUANA

Today's NY Times reports on the threat by LA DA Steve Cooley and
City Attorney Carmen Trutanich to close LA's medical cannabis
dispensaries. Trutanich is erroneously claiming that state law
forbids sale of marijuana even by non-profit patients' collectives.
This is at odds not only with the Attorney General's guidelines,
but also with a state appellate court decision (People vs Urziceanu,
2005) which found that under Health & Safety Code 11362.775 "the
Legislature also exempted those qualifying patients and
primary caregivers who collectively or cooperatively cultivate
marijuana for medical purposes from criminal sanctions for
possession for sale, transportation or furnishing marijuana,
maintaining a location for unlawfully selling, giving away, or
using controlled substances, managing a location for the
storage, distribution of any controlled substance for sale, and
the laws declaring the use of property for these purposes a
nuisance."
- D. Gieringer, Cal NORML