Colorado's task force has come out with their recommendations and they are not anywhere close to what I thought they might be. 

The recommendations include:
  • Marijuana retailers must have both state and local approval.
  • For the first year, retail licenses are restricted to operators of existing licensed medical marijuana dispensaries.
  • For the first three years, retailers must grow 70% of the marijuana they sell, similar to existing medical marijuana regulations.
  • Enact two taxes — a 15 percent excise tax paid by shops where cannabis is sold, and an additional sales tax for customers.
  • Restrict access to the marijuana by minors.
  • Provide law enforcement officers with new training to catch impaired drivers.
  • Update the state’s Clean Air Act to include the effect of marijuana smoke.
  • Allow employers to prohibit off the job marijuana use by employees.
  • Allow marijuana to be sold to out-of-state visitors who are 21 or older.
  • Limit the amount of marijuana sold to a customer in a single purchase, perhaps to an eighth at a time. Colorado’s law only allows possession of up to an ounce of marijuana by individuals.
  • Limit marijuana advertising, similar to existing alcohol and tobacco advertising regulations.
  • Require marijuana to have child-proof packaging.
  • Emphasize that it’s illegal for marijuana to be given away in exchange for a donation.
  • Make marijuana part of bar and restaurant smoking bans, possibly making so-called “cannabis clubs” or “smoking clubs” illegal.
  • Prohibit growing marijuana outdoors.
  • Create a regulatory system similar to that in medical marijuana dispensaries that follows recreational marijuana from seed to sale.
  • Require that marijuana products have potency labeling, but there should be no restrictions on THC content.

The sales taxes were expected but 15% is a bit high especially when you are double dipping by asking the establishment AND the customer to pay it. Also, limiting the amount sold to a customer in a single purchase is one of those laws set up to fail. There are so many ways around it and no real way to enforce it. STUPID! I have no clue what they mean by "Emphasize that it’s illegal for marijuana to be given away in exchange for a donation." Huh? But two of the recommendations are so bad, it's hard to imagine how they even got from pen to paper. #1 By allowing employers to prohibit off the job marijuana use by employees, you are letting them invade your personal life. What I do on the weekend should be no business of my employer! And last but not least, making it illegal to grow marijuana outdoors is irresponsible. One of the big problems with the prohibition of marijuana was the huge carbon footprint that it made because of the need to hide your grow. Free sunlight is a good thing for everyone. Why do they want it to stay indoors? Is the sight of it so tempting that people would be helpless to resist it's powers? Ridiculous! It's time for regulators to grow up and let us grow out...side. If you think about it for two seconds, it's the only thing that makes sense. What do you think?

Read the full story here:
http://www.thedailychronic.net/2013/15882/colorados-amendment-64-task-force-finishes-recommendations/

 
 
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Supreme Court Hears All Sides of Dispensary Case
Posted February 6th, 2013 
by canorml_admin

February 5 - The California Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Riverside vs. Inland Empire Patients Health and Wellness Center, a case determining whether or not Riverside may ban medical marijuana dispensaries within its borders.

The justices, appearing at a special session at the hundredth anniversary of the UCSF law school, were equally hard on attorneys on both sides of the case.

“The Legislature knows how to say, ‘Thou shalt not ban dispensaries,’ ” Justice Ming W. Chin told IEPHWC's attorney J. David Nick. Answered Nick, “If you were to allow bans, city by city, county by county, that is the opposite of what the Legislature was trying to accomplish.”

In questioning Riverside's attorney Jeffrey V. Dunn (pictured at podium), one of the justices pointed out that if all counties in California banned dispensaries, no one in California could visit a dispensary. Words like "consistent" and "establishment" weighed for their full meaning, and the letter as well as the stated purpose of the law was discussed.

Nick made it clear that locals have a great deal of authority over zoning of dispensaries, but that the Court has never ruled that locals may make illegal anything legal under state law (except perhaps in a single cited case). Much was made of the fact that state law merely offers limited immunity from state law only.

Dunn is a partner at Best, Best and Krieger, an Irvine-based law firm that has promulgated anti-dispensary ordinances throughout California and according to their website, has now been paid to defend those ordinances in 30 municipalities. Dunn assisted in the drafting of a bill last year giving cities more power to regulate dispensaries. A BB&K attorney recently gave a presentation at the California Association of Code Enforcement Officers meeting.

A ruling is expected within 90 days.

This year is also the 100th anniversary of marijuana prohibition in California.



 
 
MEDIA ADVISORY

Americans for Safe Access

For Immediate Release: February 4, 2013

California Supreme Court to Hear Medical Marijuana Dispensary Ban Case Tuesday in San Francisco

Court is expected to weigh in on whether municipalities can ban distribution, deny patients a legal medication

San Francisco, CA -- The California Supreme Court will hear oral arguments tomorrow morning at University of San Francisco in a closely watched case that addresses whether local governments can lawfully ban medical marijuana dispensaries or should instead be compelled to adopt ordinances regulating them. The case, City of Riverside v. Inland Empire Patients Health and Wellness Center, is one of at least six appellate court cases coming down on different sides of the issue. Although multiple appellate rulings have overturned bans on local distribution, the Riverside court upheld that city's ban, claiming that the wellness center violated municipal code and was a "nuisance per se."

What: California Supreme Court oral arguments on the legality of municipal bans against medical marijuana distribution

When: Tuesday, February 5th at 10:15am

Where: University of San Francisco, 2130 Fulton Street, McLaren Conference Center (Rooms 250–251)

"Local dispensary bans thwart the will of the electorate and the State Legislature, and are therefore preempted by state law," said Joe Elford, Chief Counsel with Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the country's largest medical marijuana advocacy group. "Hundreds of thousands of California patients who are too sick or otherwise can't cultivate medical marijuana themselves rely on dispensaries for safe and legal access, a right they should not be denied."

The Riverside case, which is being argued by J. David Nick, is the lead case on this issue currently before the High Court. However, several other appellate decisions from southern California on the same issue were also granted review, including County of Los Angeles v. Alternative Medicinal Cannabis Collective, 420 Caregivers v. City of Los Angeles, City of Lake Forest v. Evergreen Holistic Collective, City of Temecula v. Cooperative Patients Services, Inc., and People v. G3 Holistic. In most of these decisions, the court has sided with municipal governments in their effort to prevent regulated distribution, but two appellate rulings notably hold that local officials may not ban distribution and must develop regulations instead.

Specifically, the County of Los Angeles decision from July 2012 overturned a local ban on dispensaries, reversing the lower court’s preliminary injunction from the previous year. The appellate court in County of Los Angeles held that “medical marijuana collectives…are permitted by state law to perform a dispensary function,” and that “[Los Angeles] County’s total, per se nuisance ban against medical marijuana dispensaries directly contradicts the Legislature’s intent.” The Court further concluded that, a “complete ban” on medical marijuana is “preempted” by state law and, therefore, void.

Last year, ASA filed an amicus 'friend of the court' brief in the Riverside case, arguing that the city's ban ought to be overturned. “While municipalities may pass reasonable regulations over the location and operation of medical marijuana collectives, they cannot ban them absolutely,” read ASA’s amicus brief. “These bans thwart the Legislature’s stated objectives of ensuring access to marijuana for the seriously ill persons who need it in a uniform manner throughout the state.” While more than 50 localities in California have regulated the lawful operation of dispensaries, over 170 cities have questionably banned their operation outright.

Despite some misconceptions, the Riverside case will likely not address the legality of medical marijuana sales and distribution, which has been fully litigated and established as a right under state law. The most recent decision in this regard came from People v. Jackson, a criminal case in which the legal sale of medical marijuana by a storefront dispensary was affirmed and a defense established for Jackson and other future defendants. The California Supreme Court refused to review or depublish the Jackson decision, which now stands as the law of the state.

According to the California Courts, Tuesday's oral arguments are part of a special session, "the latest in a series of student outreach programs to improve public understanding of the state court system, [which] also commemorates the University of San Francisco (USF) School of Law Centennial Celebration." The hearing will be broadcasted by livestream on The California Channel at http://www.calchannel.com.

Further information:

Appellate decision in the Riverside case: http://AmericansForSafeAccess.org/downloads/Riverside_Decision.pdf

ASA amicus brief in the Riverside case: http://AmericansForSafeAccess.org/downloads/Amicus_Riverside.pdf

Links to other appellate decisions on this issue: http://bit.ly/XrfMBB

# # #

 
 
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Posted January 23, 2013 by JEFF PRINCE in News




The bar is well stocked at J.R.’s house, nestled quietly in a well-to-do neighborhood not far from downtown Fort Worth. Booze is in short supply — three dusty wine bottles sit forlornly on a shelf. This bar’s bounty is green, red, and gold flowery buds sprinkled on trays and in baby-food-sized jars. It’s a cornucopia of cannabis, enough to make any connoisseur’s toes curl.


Mexican dirt weed?

Not here.

J.R. doesn’t touch it. He’s a trained budtender with a diploma earned at Oaksterdam University, the pot college in Oakland, Calif.  With a second home in California (and a medicinal marijuana permit in that state), J.R. buys nothing but the best pot, hydroponically grown with precise formulas of water, light, temperature, and nutrition for maximum effect. (Like all the pot aficionados interviewed for this story, he asked that his full name not be used.)

This ain’t your pappy’s weed. “Hydro” is several times stoner, er, stronger.

Domestically produced marijuana has been transformed into a major, sophisticated industry in this country, including in states like Texas, where pot is still illegal. People in the business are perfecting product development and growing techniques, and all over the country there are entrepreneurs like J.R., already clandestinely in business but waiting for the day when pot is legal –– a day they see rapidly approaching.

Five years ago, about 90 percent of the pot sold in North Texas could be categorized as Mexican weed. Now hydro has taken over about half of that market.

American pot farmers produced about 22 million pounds in 2006, worth about $35 billion, according to a report published that year in the Bulletin of Cannabis Reform. Texas didn’t rank among the top 10 states in outdoor marijuana production, but came in at No. 5 for indoor growing (115,000 pounds annually).

The same report listed pot as the country’s No. 1 cash crop. Corn and other crops are grown in greater volume, but, according to the Bulletin, none match weed’s production value — not corn ($23 billion), soybeans ($17 million), or hay ($12 million).

Of course, accurately determining how much pot is grown and smoked is kind of like trying to fence in a butterfly.

“It’s just a wild-ass guess,” said Terry Nelson, who spent three decades in law enforcement, including stints with the U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Customs Service, and the Department of Homeland Security. Now retired, he’s a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), a group of criminal justice professionals who disagree with current drug policies. They say legalization would cripple cartels and street dealers.

“If there is one [grower’s crop] you are stumbling on, there are probably a thousand that you’re not,” he said. “Cops always use the 10 percent rule: You catch 10 percent of people doing something wrong and know about 10 percent of what’s going on.”

Mexican weed still dominates the Texas market, he said, but hydro is making a big impact.

“We need to legalize these drugs so we can regulate and control them,” he said. “That will reduce about 80 percent of your crime and violence related to the drug trade.”



 
 
For Immediate Release: January 17th, 2013

CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT DENIES REVIEW OF LANDMARK MEDICAL MARIJUANA CASE, AFFIRMS LEGALITY OF STOREFRONT DISPENSARIES

High Court also denied depublication of People v. Jackson despite request from League of California Cities
San Diego, CA -- The California Supreme Court denied review yesterday of a landmark medical marijuana dispensary case, which drew widespread attention from prosecutors and policymakers across the state. The Fourth District Court of Appeal for California issued a unanimous published ruling on October 24th in the case ofPeople v. Jackson, reversing the conviction of former San Diego dispensary operator Jovan Jackson and establishing a clear defense for Jackson and other medical marijuana providers similarly prosecuted in state court.

Notably, however, the State Supreme Court took decisive action yesterday in the way that it did, despite requests to depublish the appellate court decision from the League of California Cities and an amicus brief supporting the High Court's review of the case from district attorneys in Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Sonoma Counties, as well as the Los Angeles City Attorney.

"Not only has the California Supreme Court rejected attempts to have it review theJackson case, thereby affirming the legality of medical marijuana sales and distribution in the state, it also chose not to depublish this landmark ruling benefiting thousands of patients," said Joe Elford, Chief Counsel with Americans for Safe Access, who represented Jackson in his appeal. "Even though the appellate court decision garnered significant opposition, patients have prevailed in their struggle to protect safe access to medical marijuana."

Jackson was convicted in September 2010 after being denied a defense in San Diego Superior Court. However, yesterday's decision not to review his case now entitles Jackson -- and, by extension, other California dispensary operators -- to a defense in state court. By rejecting the Attorney General's argument that patients who utilize dispensaries must collaborate, or 'come together' in 'some way' to cultivate the marijuana they purchase, the appellate court ruling provided the elements for a defense in future jury trials across the state.

Specifically, the appellate ruling held that in mounting a defense at trial, "Jackson was only required to produce evidence which would create a reasonable doubt as to whether the defense provided by the [Medical Marijuana Program Act] had been established." The court further held that, "the collective or cooperative association required by the act need not include active participation by all members in the cultivation process but may be limited to financial support by way of marijuana purchases from the organization. Thus, contrary to the trial court's ruling, the large membership of Jackson's collective, very few of whom participated in the actual cultivation process, did not, as a matter of law, prevent Jackson from presenting an MMPA defense."

ASA appealed Jackson's conviction in late 2011, and his case quickly became a symbol of the effort by San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and other prosecutors across the state to criminalize storefront medical marijuana collectives. However, today's decision by the High Court not to review the case deals a significant blow to that effort.

Jackson operated his storefront collective without incident until he was raided by law enforcement in 2008. Jackson was tried for marijuana possession and sales in 2009, but was acquitted by a jury. Dissatisfied with that result, District Attorney Dumanis tried Jackson again on the same charges stemming from a September 2009 law enforcement raid. It was at his second trial that Jackson was denied a defense and ultimately convicted. San Diego Superior Court Judge Howard Shore, who referred to medical marijuana as "dope," and called California's medical marijuana laws "a scam," gave Jackson 180 days in jail, a sentence that was later vacated.

Further information:
Docket sheet for People v. Jacksonhttp://bit.ly/U4Gr7G
Landmark appellate court ruling in People v. Jackson:http://AmericansForSafeAccess.org/downloads/Jackson_Appeal_Ruling.pdf
Jackson appeal brief filed by ASA:http://AmericansForSafeAccess.org/downloads/Jackson_Appeal.pdf



# # #
 
 
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Burning Questions

By VALERIE VANDE PANNE  |  January 15, 2013 






My boyfriend has a medical-marijuana card from California. Will dispensaries in Massachusetts accept that? Can he legally grow his own plants here in Massachusetts now that medical-marijuana legislation has passed?

WESTERN SMOKER, EASTERN LOVER

"At this time, in order to use, possess, and cultivate your own 60-day supply of marijuana, you only need a written certification from your doctor," says Shaleen Title, associate at Vicente Sederberg, a Colorado-based law firm that just opened an office in Boston. "The Massachusetts medical-marijuana law requires that this certification be signed by a licensed physician, but it's silent as to whether that physician needs to be licensed in Massachusetts."

Title also advises that your boyfriend be mindful that his California physician's certification follows all Massachusetts requirements, including specifying the ailment he uses marijuana for, and that the potential benefits of marijuana outweigh its risks.

While his California patient card probably doesn't have that info, his physician could write a certification meeting Massachusetts's requirements.

But before growing, "First you get your certification," says Dick Evans, of Evans Cutler, a Northampton-based law firm specializing in medical marijuana. "Then you can cultivate in an enclosed, locked facility, but you can't cultivate more than a 60-day supply."

"When the regulations are issued and an application process for a patient registration card is put in place, the answer will be clearer," says Title, pointing out that all this can change, once the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has issued its regulations.

For now, following the initiative and being discreet will help avoid unnecessary trouble.

Read more: http://thephoenix.com/boston/news/150225-california-pot-rx-legal-in-ma/#ixzz2IFbfkxAW

 
 
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CONOR FRIEDERSDORF - Conor Friedersdorf is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he focuses on politics and national affairs. He lives in Venice, California, and is the founding editor of The Best of Journalism, a newsletter devoted to exceptional nonfiction.

JAN 14 2013, 7:00 AM ET

A single prosecution can easily run more than $1 million -- all to send an empty message about federal drug laws and hand the market share over to a less savory purveyor.

When Matthew R. Davies was growing and selling medical marijuana in California, the 34-year-old father of two "hired accountants, compliance lawyers, managers, a staff of 75 and a payroll firm. He paid California sales tax and filed for state and local business permits," the New York Times reports. Unfortunately for him, federal agents raided his business, and "the United States attorney for the Eastern District of California, Benjamin B. Wagner, a 2009 Obama appointee, wants Mr. Davies to agree to a plea that includes a mandatory minimum of five years in prison." Let's set the legal questions aside and think through the costs of this course:
  • The opportunity cost of focusing on other crimes
  • $235,000 in incarceration costs
  • Two young girls with an absent father
  • Substantial lost tax revenue from his operation
  • Other marijuana sellers going underground
  • Less savory drug dealers, including violent cartels, getting more business
  • More of a hassle for sick medical marijuana patients to get their prescription filled
Doesn't that seem awfully "expensive" when the only real benefit is sending the message that you can't get away with openly flouting federal drug laws? If that's the biggest benefit you can plausibly claim, isn't that a sign that the law should change? After all, it isn't as if anyone believes that sending Davies to jail is going to make victory in the drug war any more plausible. Or appreciably decrease the number of people smoking marijuana. Or even significantly diminish the supply, since there's always another person growing on the black market.

All casualties are purposeless when you're fighting an unwinnable war. 

Later in the article, we learn that "two of Mr. Davies's co-defendants are pleading guilty, agreeing to five-year minimum terms, to avoid stiffer sentences." Wow. So the federal government thinks it's worth investing more than a million dollars to shut down this particular operation. Maybe you're sympathetic to marijuana legalization, or maybe you're against it. Regardless, could you spend that $1 million-plus better? Could you spend it in a way that saved more lives or created more happiness or resulted in more justice meted out than jailing these three?

I could. 

One of Davies's employees, who met him after seeking marijuana to help her through ovarian and cervical cancer, gave this quote to the reporter: "I totally trusted them. We're not criminals. I've never been arrested my whole life. I need that medication, and so do a whole lot of people."

How many people, on hearing a story like hers, are going to react in a way that weakens rather than strengthens regard for the rule of law? The Times also quotes a former federal drug prosecutor who says, "It's mind-boggling that there were hundreds of attorneys advising their clients that it was O.K. to do this, only to be bushwhacked by a federal system that most people in California are not even paying attention to." But ignorance of the law or getting bad attorney's advice only keeps you out of jail in America if you're apolice officer or elected official.



 
 
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~The Los Angeles City Council has been struggling to regulate medical marijuana for more years than I can remember. Under the "leadership" of Carmen Trutanich the city has spent countless time and money and has yet to come up with a solution while it bleeds $42,000.00 an hour more than it takes in. In utter frustration, two groups collected enough signatures to force the issue by putting initiatives on the ballot in May. 

The  Committee to Protect Patients and Neighborhoods is the group that sponsored the first qualifying initiative. The initiative would permit only the medical marijuana dispensaries that existed before the city’s 2007 moratorium – or about 100 pot shops. Many in the organized medical marijuana community, including the Greater Los Angeles Collective Alliance and Americans for Safe Access, back this measure. Significantly, this measure also has the support of the powerful United Food and Commercial Workers Union, which wants to organize pot shop workers.

The second proposed initiative is called "Regulation of Medical Marijuana for Safe Neighborhoods and Safe Access." It seeks to impose some order where there is none following a recent referendum that essentially overturned the city's pot shop ban. The initiative would bring back rules seeking to ensure that pot is not sold near schools (shops would have to be at least 1,000 feet away) and other areas frequented by children. Shops would have to cease operation from 10 p.m. to 10 a.m. Organizers hope to create "a fair and reasonable registration process" for shops and "provide priority to those registrants who have acted and which continue to act in a responsible and law-abiding manner ... " 

On Friday, a motion was introduced at the Los Angeles City Council to put the limited immunity medical marijuana ordinance which was passed by Planning in November on the May ballot as a voter initiative. The motion is below and attached, along with the recommendation on the agenda item.   

The matter has been scheduled for next Wednesday's City Council Agenda, it is Item 34 on the agenda.  Please try to attend and voice your concerns. Please dress professionally and don't be this guy------------->


The recommendation on the agenda item is
REQUEST the City Attorney to prepare the necessary election ordinance and ballot resolutions to place an ordinance proposition on the May 21, 2013 ballot that would include provisions substantially similar to those of the draft ordinance attached to City Attorney Report No. R12-0364 (Nov. 19, 2012), with additional and/or modified provisions as deemed appropriate, in consultation with the Council President, and including if appropriate an increase in the existing tax on medical marijuana collectives to $60 per each $1,000 of gross receipts.

Here is the actual motion: 

la_motion_for_voter_initative_.jpg
File Size: 388 kb
File Type: jpg
Download File

 
 
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I was going to announce the DEA raids yesterday but you never know what the reason for the raid is until after it's over. How did Sheriff Baca not know about this? ~Susan


January 10, 2013 |  2:22 pm

The development director for the charity run by Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca has been caught up in an investigation by federal authorities over her connection to a marijuana dispensary, a spokesman said Thursday.

Dawn Zamudio’s employment at the nonprofit -- the Sheriff’s Youth Foundation -- ended Wednesday night, though a sheriff's spokesman would not say whether she was fired. 

Spokesman Steve Whitmore called the discovery of the longtime employee's ties to the pot dispensary shocking given Baca's vocal criticism of such businesses.

"This is shocking to the sheriff and the entire department because she was such an outstanding employee.... This is something that was withheld from the department and the sheriff,” Whitmore said.  “We are cooperating fully with this investigation.”

The Times began making inquiries about the Zamudios last month. Public records connect her husband to a marijuana dispensary in Marina del Rey. Court records also show that he had been arrested and charged with two felonies for transportation of marijuana and possession of marijuana for sale, but the case was dismissed in 2009.

Dawn Zamudio had been working for the nonprofit organization, which raises money for youth programs across the county, for the last decade.

Whitmore described Dawn Zamudio as an assistant at the organization. But a 2011 filing listed her as the development director, making $103,700 that year and working 60 hours a week.

“She basically assisted a sergeant,” Whitmore said.

Sarah Pullen, spokeswoman for the Drug Enforcement Administration in Los Angeles, said search warrants were served in connection with the probe Wednesday, but that no arrests have been made.

She said agents would study what was seized at several locations to determine what charges, if any, should be filed. One of the dispensaries searched was Ironworks Collective, the Marina del Rey operation. Ramiro Zamudio’s name is listed on business records for that address. Federal records also describe him as running the operation.

Pullen said DEA agents seized guns at two  other dispensaries, and ammunition and gun magazines at a San Gabriel residence. Federal authorities allege that the residence is connected to the Zamudios.

Pullen would not say whether the Zamudios are suspects in the probe. Federal documents name both but suggest Ramiro Zamudio is a main focus of the investigation.

The Times was not able to reach the Zamudios.

Baca has been a vocal critic of pot dispensaries, saying some have become hubs for crime and have been abused by customers who don’t have a medical need for the drug. Whitmore said Baca did not know until this week that Zamudio and her husband, Ramiro, were connected to the marijuana trade.

Baca said in 2010 that marijuana dispensaries had been hijacked by criminals who see them as an easy way to make money and get drugs.

-- Robert Faturechi and Martha Groves      


 
 
In my personal experience, suing any government agency is an act of futility. Who is doing the oversight? What official is going to sanction one of their own? It's not going to happen. That being said, I'm getting ready to file my own lawsuit against 2 police officers and a city. Someone has to get through............right? ~Susan Soares



Marijuana dispensaries seek injunction against Long Beach for raids
By Tracy Manzer, Staff Writer Press Telegram Long Beach

Posted:   01/04/2013 09:36:12 PM PST
Updated:   01/05/2013 12:03:13 AM PST

LONG BEACH - A group of local marijuana dispensaries is suing the city of Long Beach, alleging it and its police force are using illegal methods to run them them out of business, according to court papers filed Friday.

According to the lawsuit, filed in federal court in downtown Los Angeles, lead plaintiff Green Earth Center claims police are using "warrantless" raids and other federally prohibited tactics to run the collectives out of town. The complaint, which seeks an injunction and damages for alleged civil rights violations, also names five Long Beach police officers in connection with alleged illegal raids in which marijuana, cash, cars and other property were seized.

Long Beach City Attorney Robert Shannon said the city has not yet received a copy of the lawsuit so he could not comment on the matter specifically. Shannon, however, noted that it is not the first time the city has been sued over the issue of medical marijuana. "We've been sued numerous times, over 10 times, and we haven't lost a case yet," Shannon said late Friday. "It's a matter that will have to be decided by the federal courts."

A number of collectives were forcibly shuttered last November after a citywide ban took effect.
More than half a dozen locations were the subject of raids carried out the Long Beach Police Department, the California Franchise Tax Board and the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, and Police Department officials have warned collectives that more raids are likely unless the remaining dispensaries in the city shut down on their own.The citywide ban followed a "gentle ban," enacted in 2010, which followed months of public discussion and saw the City Council set up a lottery system for collectives to win the right to legally operate while they were vetted for a formal permit. More than $700,000 in fees were gathered and 22 collectives were selected.

Then, in October last year - and before the permits were issued - the 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled the city's regulations violated federal law prohibiting the sale and distribution of marijuana. An at-times rowdy public debate ensued, with the council eventually voting for the wholesale ban, which included a six-month exemption for the lottery winners deemed in good standing with the city.

"The council felt that we don't have the ability to regulate, and you can't really have a situation where an industry is completely unregulated," Assistant City Attorney Michael Mais told the Press-Telegram last year.

tracy.manzer@presstelegram.com, 562-714-2150, twitter.com/tmanzer