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[DEA] DEA raids pot dispensary in SF--3-25-09 Business as Usual?


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#1 stanley

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 03:34 AM

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DEA raids pot dispensary in SF

Rachel Gordon, Chronicle Staff Writer

Thursday, March 26, 2009
    

(03-25) 22:05 PDT San Francisco -- Federal agents raided a medical marijuana dispensary in San Francisco Wednesday, a week after U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder signaled that the Obama administration would not prosecute distributors of pot used for medicinal purposes that operate under sanction of state law.

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents raided Emmalyn's California Cannabis Clinic at 1597 Howard St. in San Francisco's South of Market district mid-afternoon.

They hauled out large plastic bins overflowing with marijuana plants and loaded several pickup trucks parked out front with grow lights and related equipment used to farm the plants indoors.

The dispensary had been operating with a temporary permit issued by the Department of Public Health.

"Based on our investigation, we believe there are not only violations of federal law, but state law as well," DEA Special Agent in Charge Anthony Williams said in a prepared statement.

Williams, who runs the San Francisco field office that covers a territory stretching from Bakersfield to Redding, would not specify the alleged violations. The information was under court seal.

"As of now, we are prohibited from releasing further details of the case. Items of evidentiary value were seized and no arrests have been made," Williams said.

A source in San Francisco city government who was informed about the raid said the DEA's action appeared to be prompted by alleged financial improprieties related to the payment of sales taxes. DEA Special Agent Casey McEnry, spokeswoman for the local office, would not comment on that information.

Representatives from Emmalyn's could not be reached for comment. It was not clear whether they were on the premises when authorities arrived.

Word of the raid spread quickly in the medical marijuana advocacy community via text-message. About a dozen people, many with cameras in hand, gathered in front of Emmalyn's as federal agents guarded the front entrance. The scent of marijuana wafted through the crowd and several bystanders shouted epithets at the agents as they walked by.

Emmalyn's provides marijuana for free to poor people on Wednesdays.

"It's awful that raids like this are still happening. Public opinion favors medicinal marijuana," said Troy Dayton, senior development officer for the Marijuana Policy Project, a national organization that advocates for the decriminalization of marijuana, particularly for medicinal purposes.

Thirteen years ago, California became the first of more than a dozen states to legalize medical marijuana, although federal law still prohibits its use.

In a marked shift from Bush administration policy, Holder said last month that dispensaries only would be prosecuted if both state and federal drug laws were thought to be violated.
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#2 whapsdownunder

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 05:01 AM

that didn't take long for the DEA to take action

#3 yesyestheoneandonly

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 05:10 AM

O M G!!! it is SOOOO obvious, it's the oldest trick in the book.  It's how they got Capone.  Tax evasion. !!!

If i read that right, they are claiming they evaded certain state taxes.  Well of course the Feds with find a way to take people to court, and of course we should have expected this.
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#4 mace_elk

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 07:20 AM

sickening.

#5 silvercloud

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 07:42 AM

mace_elk said:

sickening.


What adds fuel to the fire:flame: ,the smash/grab occurred on 'free meds for the needy day':sad: (wed) > poor:frown: karma across -the- board DEA > that is all
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#6 stealthviper

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 09:36 AM

Here's the fly in the ointment.  I know some of my WT family will not want to read this.

This should serve as a heads-up to all dispensaries to consult their attorneys, and get their s&*t bullet proof together.  If LEOs of any stripe can build a case against a co-op, they will, at least in a lot of places, the City being obviously one.  It seems not to matter how compassionate the dispensary is, any irregularity will seemingly not be tolerated.

The big problem here is that neither Prop 215 nor SB420 allow for the SALE of medical cannabis (at least the way I read it, and I have read it many times, looking for clarification of certain things).  SB420 allows for groups that grow together for each other in a true collective, but the dispensary system is in sort of a gray area.  This really is in some ways similar to the Netherlands, where small-scale use is officially ignored.  As I understand SB420, a true collective only distributes meds grown by members, and does not purchase meds from outside.  The only financial arrangement allowable is reimbursment to the collective for the cost of meds, in the form of donation.  The collective is also able to solicit donations from the public, but may or may not be tax deductible (that issue is in the courts right now).  If this sounds different than the typical dispensary/co-op/collective, it's because it is.

I should state here that I am seriously in favor of the dispensary system in Cali, and don't want to lose even one.  Whatever it takes for a given co-op to be in compliance, they should do it, and we patients should help them as much as possible.  I do not pretend to know exactly what that might be, but that is why every dispensary I know of has at least one attorney on retainer.

Yesyes has a very good point with the Capone thing.  Tax irregularities were indeed what the Feds got him on, because he did not understand the tax laws, and left himself vulnerable in that area.  Even though Al was reprehensible, he should be an example.  He also was very generous to the poor and the folks in his neighborhood.  Just play it by the rules (this is kind of sticky, since nobody seems to know exactly what they are, and it varies from city to city), whatever they end up being, and no worries.  

What worries me is the uncertainty of what is and is not allowable under state law.  There are obviously nuances of regulations from the AG's office, and I for one, would like to know them.....:confused:

Edited by stealthviper, 26 March 2009 - 09:38 AM.

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#7 silvercloud

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 09:56 AM

Cali legislature will hav to get a move on , 'revise/clarify' SB420 once and for all ,alleviating the fog that hinders MMJ's positive efforts > that is all
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#8 Guest_darkintheglow_*

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 02:19 PM

Quoting an ASA email for anyone who's still interested in what they can do to help:

Quote

We never expected that the DEA would defy the public statements of both the U.S. President and the Attorney General in such an arrogant and brazen way.

And yet yesterday, the Drug Enforcement Administration raided a legal, permitted San Francisco medical cannabis dispensing collective against the will of the President and the Department of Justice... and we need you to respond RIGHT NOW!

In early February national media attention exploded around statements from a White House spokesperson and from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, telling the press that DEA raids would no longer continue, and that an end to such raids, according to Holder, was now U.S. policy.

And DEA's response?

They thumbed their noses at the President and immediately raided a legal dispensing collective and, according to the San Francisco Police, did not even inform local cops! DEA claimed that the permit-holding dispensary was "violating state law," but went on to say that evidence was "under seal" and could not be shared with the public.

The DEA is out of line and out of control, and this raid is nothing if not vindictive. Even if there was a violation of state law:

1. Why where there no arrests?
2. Why were local cops not involved?
3. Why are United States Federal Agents interpreting and enforcing California state law without consulting California officials?
4. Why was the collective not given due process through the proper authorities, but rather ransacked with a "smash and grab" raid?

DEA has twisted the words of the U.S. Attorney General, and thought that by saying publicly "they violated state law" that they could continue raiding whenever they want. Well that doesnt fly. We DEMAND that the DEA stop immediately, and that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder reprimand DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart for her blatant insubordination and violation of the new American policy.

Now it's up to you, and all it takes is two phone calls, one to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, and the other straight to the DEA.

Please call the U.S. Attorney General at (202) 353-1555 and say:

Hi, my name is _____________. First I want to thank you for your numerous public statements verifying the end of DEA raids on legal medical marijuana dispensaries in California. But on Wednesday the DEA went against your word and the word of the President of the United States by raiding a permitted dispensary in San Francisco. We respectfully demand that you issue a statement condemning and officially ending these raids until the Obama Administration has had a chance to review the new policy.
When youre done, call the DEA at (202) 307-8000, ask for Administrator Michele Leonhart, and say:

Hi, my name is ___________. The U.S. Attorney General and the President of the United States have both made high-profile public statements, saying DEA raids on legal medical marijuana dispensaries is no longer U.S. policy. Yet your DEA raided a legal, permit-holding San Francisco dispensary yesterday, in conflict with these statements. This disgraceful and anti-democratic. Why is your agency not listening to the policy statements of our elected leaders and your boss? Is this how you'll run DEA if you are appointed in the Obama Administration? We demand that you STOP it immediately!
Sincerely,

George Pappas
Field Coordinator
Americans for Safe Access
P.S. Please forward this message to all your friends and family so that we can generate a response big enough to get officials to act!


#9 Hashish23

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 06:52 PM

Let's wait and see what happens in the next weeks, if any more raids occur. Then we'll know if this case was because of "sales tax" issues..

#10 Seaman

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 05:33 AM

They want the land & equipment for the time when they can say you can have it now. So now they'll beable to keep up with the supply and demand of the people with there legaly stolen property(when they legalize it to save use from a total economic collapes they created).

What do you expect we got it legalized on the state level because it's suppose to be medican,has anyone seen a perscription that say's share with a group of people inside a bar(cafe,smoke shop,ect...).

Any one been to a legal Vicoden Bar?:nono:

#11 codeman420

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 09:10 AM

:rapture: DEA lets make this clear

If they violate state law, OUR state police will handle the situation.  You are not needed in California for medical marijuana. You are not wanted.  We want cocain, meth, crack off our streets, these offenders cause much more harm, then a club that might need to be paying STATE tax.  

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#12 DankJews

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 08:30 AM

codeman420 said:

:rapture: DEA lets make this clear

If they violate state law, OUR state police will handle the situation.  You are not needed in California for medical marijuana. You are not wanted.  We want cocain, meth, crack off our streets, these offenders cause much more harm, then a club that might need to be paying STATE tax.  

:violin2:


Couldn't agree more!

#13 Juba

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 09:09 AM

darkintheglow said:

Quoting an ASA email for anyone who's still interested in what they can do to help:
"Now it's up to you, and all it takes is two phone calls, one to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, and the other straight to the DEA."

If this is the best that ASA can come up with in response to this latest outrage, it's no wonder that ASA is so ineffective and the drug warriors are winning this battle.

Do you (ASA) think Holder's office or the DEA is going to care about a few whiny calls? Or even a lot of calls -- especially if they're all reading from the same script? Both will write it off as few stoners complaining about the cops cutting off their source of weed.

Handwritten letters, not copied from a script are far more effective.

ASA needs to hire a professional lobbying firm to represent us with public officials and the media. An outfit with some real clout in both Washington and Sacramento. That's the only way this battle can be won.

:smokin:

#14 puffinpapa

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 09:13 AM

Sickening isnt it

#15 codeman420

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 02:56 PM

Juba said:

If this is the best that ASA can come up with in response to this latest outrage, it's no wonder that ASA is so ineffective and the drug warriors are winning this battle.

Do you (ASA) think Holder's office or the DEA is going to care about a few whiny calls? Or even a lot of calls -- especially if they're all reading from the same script? Both will write it off as few stoners complaining about the cops cutting off their source of weed.

Handwritten letters, not copied from a script are far more effective.

ASA needs to hire a professional lobbying firm to represent us with public officials and the media. An outfit with some real clout in both Washington and Sacramento. That's the only way this battle can be won.

:smokin:

True my friend.

But MPP is here to help us also.



EVERYONE please see this thread I made

http://www.weedtrack...why-103167.html

It links to MPP's secure site to send letters to state senators questioning this exact raid.  MAKE THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION enforce what they say. Please go, we cant let this go unnoticed.   :partysmile:
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#16 CannaHealthCaregivers

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 05:16 PM

This is what i hate to here. Its sad when a place tries to help those who are sick and do not have very much money. I hope this all stop's very soon.:Afro-Cow:
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#17 kgbud1

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 09:33 AM

yesyestheoneandonly said:

O M G!!! it is SOOOO obvious, it's the oldest trick in the book.  It's how they got Capone.  Tax evasion. !!!

If i read that right, they are claiming they evaded certain state taxes.  Well of course the Feds with find a way to take people to court, and of course we should have expected this.

I think first they will start looking at clubs that don't have a resale licence and are not paying sales tax. At the same time the feds are going to want there taxes too on income coming in. Add the two figures together and if they don't match "TAX EVASION" Al Capone style like you said. The state is going to want there tax $$$ and the feds will be glad to help them get it.

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#18 ScrewyLewy

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 11:38 AM

The dispensaries don't need lawyers on retainer they need some adult supervision. Please, I have at one time or another sold some personal overgrow to a co=op, dispensary what ever. Got the same receipt I get when I go a purchase an 1/8 somewhere. NADA
The dispensaries need to follow the letter of the law. Get a cash register and an accounting book and do it at the sale or buy. Go to a 99 cent store they keep better records.
The shops should have a CPA on retainer. Growers are not above the law they need to pay taxes!!! On any and all scale(size). If we all want Regulation leading to Legalazation then we need to follow the law. There is no data base that I know of that tracks how much every patient is buying per month and untill there is we wont get any justice. I know I hate big brother too. BUT if we want the city, state and the feds(DEA) off our back then we need to be squeaky clean. We are not even close. A DEA agent can still make fake medical records got to a MMJ doc get a rec then get some evidence and sell it to a shop get cash then buy a gram get no reciept for either transaction come back and bust that shop.
We are making way to easy for the other side. We need to change the way we are doing business. I know a LOT of folks are going to come on here and say "You don't know how I run my business" that's the problem, walk into any other business and you can see how that business is run. Go to the hardware store and buy some screens you leave with a receipt. Sell your hand make goods to a gift shop you will leave with a record of the transaction and you will need to pay taxes!! If some store sells you some organic juice you can bet it has no melamine in it. Where are the consumer protections making sure no impurities are mixed in the products. We have a ways to go. We need to do all that can be done so the shop are not caught in fixed books, lies and tax evasion.

I am trully sorry bout the lengh and some asumptions here but I don't medicate this early in the day.

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#19 Nailhead

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 08:49 PM

Juba said:

If this is the best that ASA can come up with in response to this latest outrage, it's no wonder that ASA is so ineffective and the drug warriors are winning this battle.

Do you (ASA) think Holder's office or the DEA is going to care about a few whiny calls? Or even a lot of calls -- especially if they're all reading from the same script? Both will write it off as few stoners complaining about the cops cutting off their source of weed.

Handwritten letters, not copied from a script are far more effective.

ASA needs to hire a professional lobbying firm to represent us with public officials and the media. An outfit with some real clout in both Washington and Sacramento. That's the only way this battle can be won.

:smokin:
How much money have you donated to ASA so they can meet your demands of hiring a professional lobbying firm?  I was pretty shocked recently when I read how little NORML typically gets from donations, and they are much more well known than ASA is so I'd be surprised if their donations are enough to keep the office lights on during the day, let alone hire the professional talent we all would love to see them hire.

This would be a good time for everybody to donate to groups like ASA, MPP, NORML, etc.  Change costs money, so break out those credit cards before sending off your letters! :smokin:
It's not a war on drugs, it's a war on personal freedom. - Bill Hicks

#20 ScrewyLewy

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 01:03 AM

Sorry about raggin on the folks who provide my medicine. Just my .02. I am not saying the shop in SF did anything wrong. I am not privy to what happened. I hope they didn't do anything wrong and the DEA rots in hell.
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#21 cdrepoman

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 10:26 AM

dam right pay your taxes! or get shut down just like any other store.

#22 Nailhead

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 11:01 AM

cdrepoman said:

dam right pay your taxes! or get shut down just like any other store.

Since when does the Drug Enforcement Agency enforce the tax code?  Idiotic comments like this defending "smash and grab" operations are not helpful.  Who's side are you on anyway?
It's not a war on drugs, it's a war on personal freedom. - Bill Hicks

#23 Juba

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 11:23 AM

Nailhead said:

How much money have you donated to ASA so they can meet your demands of hiring a professional lobbying firm?

A. More than my share
B. I'm not demanding. I'm suggesting.

:smokin:

#24 Nailhead

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 01:34 PM

^And a good suggestion it is, but I don't think they get enough donations to afford a lobbying firm.  Also, since MPP already has lobbyists in DC, it might be more efficient to let them do the lobbying and let other groups tackle other areas that could use help.  It might be more wasteful if every group had their own lobbying firm, if not confusing for politicians because different messages on the same topic would be going around.  That's just my opinion though.

If I had one immediate request from ASA it would be for a state wide protest over these raids.  I think I share your annoyance that it seems like our letters and e-mails do nothing, so perhaps we need an organized protest to show our dissatisfaction over these raids conducted under the new administrations watch?

Edited by Nailhead, 03 April 2009 - 01:47 PM.

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