Keeping on Top of It All

There has been a lot of activity in Los Angeles the last three months.
The raids of January, the follow-up raids and more raids and arrests have
put the LA medical cannabis community on high alert. Some patients fear
the worst.

On the other side the City of Los Angeles is moving forward with
implementing a moratorium and drafting what may prove to be model
regulations. Discussion and activity on this matter have been reasonable
and inclusive, so far. Patients are hoping the best.

The following is a brief of the medical cannabis dichotomy that is
currently Los Angeles:

January 16th – LAPD Chief Bratton makes statements to the media that he
intends to shut down medical cannabis dispensaries in Los Angeles.

January 17th – Media and DEA report 11 medical cannabis collectives
raided, advocates count 14, most in West Hollywood and San Fernando
Valley. Two protests organize in each community. No one is arrested.
All medicine and money is stolen. Days later DEA revisits LA and re-raids
those collectives that tried to reopen. Community is stunned. No one has
yet been charged.

January 22nd – LA medical cannabis community organizes large protest.
Nearly 500 march to city hall.

February 6th – Los Angeles holds first medical marijuana working group
meeting. City officials and advocates discuss appropriate dispensary
documentation and the usefulness of the current Los Angeles County
ordinance.

March 6th – West Hollywood Caregivers Group is forcefully raided by DEA.
Twenty or more protesters block DEA vehicles from leaving. Collective has
not reopened.

March 8th – Trichome Healing Caregivers is forcefully raided by LAPD.
Cops tell protesters that collective is being charged with running an
establishment for the manufacture and distribution of a controlled
substance. Staff is arrested and held overnight. Collective partially
reopens as an education and resource center only. Reopens completely
after Planning Commission hearing.

March 22nd – Los Angeles City Planning Commission holds public hearing on
the medical cannabis dispensary interim control ordinance. Nearly 30
advocates and patients are present and pleased with the outcome.
Commission announces one of the proposed provisions by the LAPD will be
considered as part of the interim control ordinance. LAPD withdraws its
original request to be the city office to register all dispensaries.

April 4th – Staff of Trichome Healing Caregivers has arraignment, is
charged in state court with possession and distribution of marijuana.
Counsel for collective, patients and advocates are puzzled but poised.

It’s been quiet for about a month now – at least in Los Angeles. San
Diego and San Francisco have had political and police activity as well,
however. I hope to have advocates in those communities post their updates
on this site soon.

On a positive note, Patient Advocacy Network is setting up classrooms and
resources centers all over Los Angeles. More workshops and opportunities
for community will be available soon.

Stay in touch and stay involved.

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