Will The Real Med-Aid Collective Please Stand Up?

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Jay Brockman
Every once in awhile you write a story that needs updating. More rare is the story whose updates become so convoluted that you're not really updating anymore, but essentially rewriting. Such is the case with Patient Med-Aid, the collective whose efforts to distribute cannabis to sick Orange County residents I first profiled in a cover story that ran last November titled "Sick Enough to Smoke."

As I reported in August, Patient Med-Aid fled Anaheim thanks to that city's hypocritical efforts (because it hosts the Kush Expo each year) to work with the DEA in forcing out all cannabis collectives. It resurfaced in Sunset Beach under a new name--Med-Aid--but moved again after cops began parking a cruiser out front, ending up in an industrial neighborhood of Huntington Beach. There, the DEA caught up with the collective and threatened activist Marla James with criminal prosecution if she didn't shut down.

Here's where the story gets confusing.

At first, James told me that the collective was going to fight the DEA and remain open. A few hours after I published that story, however, she called back--apparently after speaking to her lawyer--and stated that Med-Aid would in fact shut down. Not everyone at the collective agreed with that move, however, and since I published the post, James left Med-Aid and the collective reopened, despite the DEA's threats.

Now that she's gone, James adds, the Med-Aid collective in Huntington Beach is no longer affiliated with the Patient Med-Aid I originally wrote about. Unlike that collective, which limited its membership to severely ill patients, she claims, this group is much less discriminating. James wants everyone--especially the city of Huntington Beach and the DEA--to know that she and Patient Med-Aid have absolutely no relationship with Med-Aid.

Separately, an individual claiming to be in charge of Med-Aid confirmed to me that James is no longer with with the collective, and she also requested that we update our coverage to indicate that Med-Aid is in fact still open for business.

Got that straight, everybody?

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