Santa Ana Pot Crackdown Begins Anew

pot-dabs-eric-hood
Eric Hood/OC Weekly
Dabz a make her dance

According to a Santa Ana Police Department investigator who spoke with the Weekly, 17 medical marijuana dispensaries were visited by police in the past week. 42 tickets were issued to dispensaries operating in violation of the city's 2007 ban on pot clubs, three of which--Wax City, Emerald, and Wax-R-Us--have now closed. The operation came in the wake of a July 15 city council meeting in which councilmembers voted to appropriate $500,000 for ongoing anti-pot enforcement actions.

During the aforementioned council meeting, Councilwoman Michele Martinez, in a seemingly spur-of-the-moment tirade, lambasted the lack of enforcement of the city's pot ban. She proceeded to call for a vote on a substitute measure which would put $500,000 toward the closure of "illegal dispensaries," which passed.

During public comments, and before Martinez spoke, dozens of Santa Ana citizens opposed to dispensaries voiced complaint after complaint, a diatribe that lasted nearly two hours. (The Voice of OC reported a more detailed coverage of the meeting here).

According to the police investigator who spoke to the Weekly, the ticketed dispensaries were chosen for their proximity to schools and high-density locations, with multiple shops near one another. However, councilman Sal Tinajero acknowledged that, while the targeted shops were closely bunched together, they weren't in fact in close proximity to either schools or residential neighborhoods. He further stated, "I will be looking into those closures. The true intent of what was passed at the Tuesday meeting was that we go after those dab bars that are near schools and begin there. By going after dab bars in an industrial zone, it doesn't increase the quality of life for anyone. In fact, there really is not much of a change. So I will be looking into that and addressing that issue, because we need to go after the dab bars that are within or near the school areas."

Randall Longwith, a lawyer representing several collectives within the city, told the Weekly, "Santa Ana has many options at their disposal...they're spending a lot of money going out there. From what I've heard, five to six or more units were deployed to specific shops, without any other reason or any other threat as it relates to violence or something along those lines. The cost of that, Santa Ana simply can't afford. An absolute waste of money."

The three shops that have shut down were operating within the same business plaza, off Dyer Rd. on the border of Santa Ana and Irvine. Multiple sources have confirmed that the trio all were selling and allowing onsite consumption of "dab" or "wax" concentrates, which are much more potent than normal cannabis. (At the council meeting, Martinez highlighted the need to shut down such clubs).

An dispensary owner who agreed to be identified by "Madi" voiced frustration at what he sees as an inane tactic by Santa Ana politicians. He, along with other sources, expects the owners of the shops that were closed to bounce back swiftly and open new locations. The guerrilla nature of the dispensary industry supports his assertion - without ongoing, diligent regulation, it is likely that this crackdown will not lead to permanent closures. Furthermore, he voiced mutual exhaustion from dealing with this issue along with police. He recounted officers entering his establishment, gung-ho at first, only to see the interior as a neat, tidy shop and being surprised. The officers reportedly relaxed and were almost apologetic. "They can't enforce the law if their heart isn't in it," he said. "It's going to get legalized, they're doing nothing [by shutting down shops]".

Longwith echoed this sentiment, expressing worry that the city that almost went bankrupt three years ago is now splurging on futile, last-minute measures that could be obviated when city voters get a chance to say how pot clubs should be regulated this November.
Both he and Madi expressed confidence that California will legalize recreational use in 2016, in which case, even if neither regulatory measure passes in November, a tidal wave of pot shops would flood the county, including Santa Ana. They, along with Mayor Pro Tem Tinajero, see this November's regulation proposals as a preemptive opportunity to limit the shops in the event legalization occurs.

"Two years ago, Santa Ana was...on the brink of filing bankruptcy," Longwith argued. "Today, Santa Ana has come out of that and they're in a position to have 30 million dollars in reserve fund right now. That could change in an instant . . . To spend... a half a million dollars, which is a drop in the bucket, and is going to end up, if they continue, to be millions and millions of dollars in enforcement efforts. It could very well bankrupt the city."

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109 comments
timo3004
timo3004

im soooo stoned !!!! I haven't been to a clinic in over a year forgot what its like !!!

jturner1113
jturner1113

Today It looked like to police went in to most of the stores and closed them down. We need to recall the city council, They are just using there are acting like uneducated people with out dated ideas.

Kevin J Drake
Kevin J Drake

Fucking get your priorities right. No need for this. A waste of my tax dollars. Shouldn't you cops be out shooting unarmed homeless people instead?

Jeff Byrne
Jeff Byrne

Mean while the crack heads that inhabit the city's bike trails go completely unabated. Good job SA.. way to have your priorities in order.

Brett Dean Bridges
Brett Dean Bridges

Good job Santa Ana, don't choose to tax and regulate, cause your city is real nice and couldn't use some extra revenue or anything Real smart.

sweetliberty17761776
sweetliberty17761776 topcommenter

like the crack laws and the sealing of criminal records and the wiping records clean the plea bargaining down of crimes

etcetcetc


and now pot


these laws are all about the minorities


BLACKS IN PARTICULAR and the leftist governments


"help" in forcing companies to hire blacks


( btw, the obam admin has sued companies and look to the states to stop the practice of criminal background checks)


LOOK IT UP


the welfare state continues to destroy the black family and keep them at odds with the rest of society



just the way lefty wants it


angry and dependent 

OMR1
OMR1

Leagalize it!

John Hald
John Hald

i dont mean all weed james just the cheap unpurged trashy weed these people grow and sell its nasty and doesnt help us patients. im a mmj patient and cant get decent stuff without having to pay almost 100 dollars a clinic run for bunk hese people sell off as medicine

James Creely
James Creely

its not poison! its a drug and like all drugs can be used or misused. Cigarettes and alcohol have been poisoning and killing people forever..that's the real poison!

robincook
robincook

Hey pot heads, just go to HTB or Lake Forest to smoke and get stupid.


I will tell you now, that all those brain cells you are smoking away today, you will wish you had them later in life when you earn your Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia from self abuse.

Elizabeth Candelas
Elizabeth Candelas

Weed addicts? Idiots. Grow up and get educated on the issue. Marijuana has great healing effects. Walk in the shoes of someone with a chronic condition before you assume you know their story. I'm sure you drink, alcoholic.

Ro Ar
Ro Ar

What a waste of taxpayer money.

Don Maclean
Don Maclean

Yeah... like the biggest problems in Santa Ana are pot shops. What local citizenry should be pissed about is their local gov't hacks wasting half a million dollars on non-issues.

Jim Parker
Jim Parker

Nothing better to do I thought califorina would make it legal

John Hald
John Hald

Go smoke your nasty low shelf. You can't handle the good shit bitch

John Hald
John Hald

Learn your facts before trying to act like a smart ass

John Hald
John Hald

Yes gang owned. you've never been in one of the Viet gang owned clinics or else you'd know. I have and know. Just because it's medical doesn't mean there aren't people including gangs making profits off poison.

Sarah A'Court
Sarah A'Court

Janet likes to hashtag. She wants to be with the trendy "in crowd". She reads something and believes it. Or just likes to go with (what she thinks) is the opinion of the masses. #fake. #fickle. I think she should join a book club. :P

Rocky Neidhardt
Rocky Neidhardt

Once the $500k is spent.. They will just reopen. The lame thing is they would rather have delivery services ?

Randall Folkes
Randall Folkes

With the amount of unsolved crimes on the oc u would think they would do better stuff with our tax money

Rocky Neidhardt
Rocky Neidhardt

So stupid.. Orange County just refuses to accept medical marijuana. Patients need safe access. This is horrible, busting volunteers too ?

robincook
robincook

@jturner1113 


For many decades the majority of the people have backed a continued ban on marijuana and other drugs. You are a loser on the losing side of the drug war.

sweetliberty17761776
sweetliberty17761776 topcommenter

even when used "properly"


pot alters the mind


that never leads to anything good


and I am for its medical use

blacklistcomie
blacklistcomie

You drop the pot head slur like it was the N bomb, and that pretty much said it all about you and your argument. But then you go on using Nixons talking points from the nineteen seventies, next thing we know you'll be spinning wild stories about male breast development and baby sitters putting baby's in ovens, niether of witch has happend. The truth is marijuana prohibition is a complete faliure, no one who wants to use the drug is prevented from doing so, even in prison. You see your operating under the false pretence that you can just criminalize something like marijuana and expect it to go away, that's called denial. All your doing is supporting drug war profiteers whose business is kidnapping and piracy. Please stop

blacklistcomie
blacklistcomie

It's not poison, you would die of smoke inhalation or obesity or drowning for that reason before any chemical in marijuana would be powerful enough to destroy you. You Should say bad habit or dysfunctional behavior or whatever poison is just incorrect. On the second half Ive been in places you describe, and I sympathies, its a struggle to legitimize a culture that has been forced into the shadows the last 80 years, but it's good to see your self and so many others trying.

sweetliberty17761776
sweetliberty17761776 topcommenter

@danamej @sweetliberty17761776



"by any means necessary"


is not a limited thought or action


the lefts agenda is clear


it favors a system of elites 



( and many so called conservatives have no problem with this;but philosophically its a product of the Left)



and guess who is in their way?


the middle class


b/c a middle class means you have a chance to advance out of being poor and then you are not as dependent and in fact, hopeful, and a believer in the capitalist system




and capitalism is about freedom



socialism is about regulations and regulators aka elites 



robincook
robincook

@blacklistcomie 


For many decades the majority of the people have backed a continued ban on marijuana and other drugs. You are a loser on the losing side of the drug war.

blacklistcomie
blacklistcomie

We'll gosh robincook it sounds like you don't even know marijuana prohibition is eighty years old. Do you find it difficult to express your misplaced rage robincook because you've been spamming your angry loser post, the "for many decades...." and it's absolutely incorrect. In fact the marijuana stamp act of 1937 was overturned in 1969 for being unconstitutional until congress basically went around a supreme court decision a year later; there was never national vote. Now you can call me a loser all you want, but I walked into Aloha CC around six o'clock this evening, they had been raided August 31, and there shelves were full! No ones running away, no ones afraid. You believe what you want, us POT HEADS don't care anyways!!!

robincook
robincook

@blacklistcomie 



Ya, I used to think the same way you do 40 plus years ago.


But think about it. If it costs too much money to prosecute and enforce the laws and to house the criminals in jails, and people just keep on smoking it. Then why not just make it legal for all? 


What about the people who are raped? What about the children who are molested? What about the people who are murdered? A lot of money is spent to prosecute and jail those criminals, should we save all that money by making those crimes legal too?


blacklistcomie
blacklistcomie

Correction Aloha was raided July 31, not August, meaning a couple days ago.

blacklistcomie
blacklistcomie

You robincook are comparing marijuana to murder, rape and child molestation? That's an insult and a slap in the face to anybody who's been a victim of murder, rape, and or child molestation. Ya you should go back to the way you thought 40 years ago. I don't think it's the same way as I think now but it still sounds like a vast improvement over your current attitude.

robincook
robincook

@blacklistcomie 


No, just the cost.


"criminalize something like marijuana and expect it to go away, that's called denial".


That is my comparison. You subsistue any crime.


If you want to make it legal, write your congress member and federal senators.


blacklistcomie
blacklistcomie

Marijuana itself is not a crime, it's a weed that grows in the ground, so substituting any crime over marijuana in some distorted mad lib would only be an exercise in fiction and evidence of your own denial. Getting stoned is not on any level a criminal act. you robincook want to imprison myself for at worst one would refer to as a bad habit, that's clearly kidnapping and piracy. You want to set a narrative where you never have to give a real reason to call the use of the drug a crime. I know you'll disagree but History has, and is currently now, proving you wrong. Continuing without logical purpose is denial. Now I Have written my perspective representative, I've volunteered making phone calls and walking door to door. I will be at the Santa Ana city council meeting tomorrow night, will you?

robincook
robincook

@blacklistcomie 


I would have thought that marijuana would have been taken off the schedule one drug list and made a legal commodity a long time ago. But it has not.


Good for you to write your federal representatives and give them a piece of your mind.


I usually sit in the front roll of seats at council meeting. I say my piece and either leave (if I have children with me) or stay to listen to some other points of view.

chriselettro
chriselettro

@robincook  You are possibly the most ignorant misinformed person I have ever encountered when it comes to this subject.  Your illogical rantings hurt the heads of anyone who has ever taken a basic logic class in college.  Stop now, you are either insane or seriously wasting the money of the person paying you to post such dribble.  Go now, be gone with you ridiculous troll.

robincook
robincook

@chriselettro 


You have a problem with others opinions?


Name calling makes it clear you are the ignorant one.  

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