Marijuana To Remain A Schedule One Narcotic, Court Rules

Categories: Bong Blotter

Chris Victorio/OC Weekly

If that sounds like a familiar headline, it is. Back in 2013, Bong Blotter reported that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Washington D.C. Circuit had ruled that there were no "adequate and well-controlled" studies documenting any medical benefits of pot-smoking.

Today, to the great dismay of medical marijuana activists everywhere, it's deja vu all over again. Specifically, U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller, who had made history by actually agreeing to hear the case in the first place, has ruled that the U.S. Congress did not violate the Constitution in 1970 when it ruled that pot is as harmful as heroin or LSD.

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Dana Rohrabacher to Feds: Stop Prosecuting Medicinal Marijuana Cases

Categories: Bong Blotter

Dana  Rohrabacher .JPG
OC Weekly archives
Rohrabacher, in one of the few photos where he doesn't look blotto or like a slob

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-Once Employed A Pedophile) is all sorts of wrong, but about the only thing he's ever gotten right is his support for medicinal marijuana, which unfortunately leads to blowjob coverage by the national media. That's what's happening right now, as Rohrabacher, along with his congressional colleague Sam Farr (D-Santa Cruz), have written an open letter to the Department of Justice asking that Attorney General Eric Holder not prosecute medicinal marijuana patients or dispensaries.

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B-Real of Cypress Hill Wants to Bring Dr. Greenthumb to Santa Ana

Willie T/OC Weekly

"Hello, My Name is Dr. Greenthumb. Have you ever had the problem of running out of weed and just can't find some anywhere?"

--B-Real, Cypress Hill, 1998

At about 7 a.m. on March 20, a fire alarm went off inside a nondescript warehouse in the 1100 block of East 17th Street in Santa Ana, near the 5 freeway. It's unclear if someone pulled the alarm or if something else triggered the device, but there was apparently no fire inside the building.

When Orange County Fire Authority units rolled up to the location, sirens blaring, they saw no flames or smoke, just five men jumping into separate vehicles and racing away from the scene. By 10:45 a.m., police had obtained a warrant to search the building, which was locked--even the fire-escape doors had been secured with 3-inch chains. "Had there been an actual fire, nobody would have made it out," remarked police spokesman Corporal Anthony Bertagna. "Those chains were huge."

The mystery of the disappearing men was quickly explained by what police discovered inside the warehouse: more than 1,600 marijuana plants divided into various rooms for different stages of development. The sophisticated grow operation had its own intricate lighting and irrigation systems and was still under construction, although, for obvious reasons, nobody had applied for city permits to do the work. The total worth of the haul, according to a state marijuana-street-value formula cited by Bertagna, was $2.9 million.

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Marla James, OC's Matriarch of Medicinal Marijuana

Photo by John Gilhooley
Trying to keep patients away from crappy Anaheim motels

When somebody writes the book on how Orange County became the biggest battleground in the war on medical marijuana in California, there should be an entire chapter on just one person: Marla James. She may no longer lead the Orange County chapter of Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the largest national group advocating for the rights of medical-marijuana smokers--she left that position after refusing to increase membership dues--but James remains one of the most passionate and articulate agitators in the movement.

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Tony Jalali Accused of Contempt of Court in Anaheim Pot Case

Categories: Bong Blotter

Tony Jalali has already sent a 30-day eviction notice to the cannabis dispensary operating in his building--the one that Anaheim city officials had unsuccessfully tried to confiscate under federal asset forfeiture guidelines. But perhaps because Jalali has been fighting the city's efforts to intimidate landlords into obeying Anaheim's zero tolerance policy on pot clubs, the eviction notice wasn't good enough.

Now, city officials--acting through their high-price law firm, Best, Best & Krieger (BBK)--are seeking to have Jalali fined and possibly thrown in jail for not immediately changing the locks on his building. Specifically, on Feb. 25, Jalali will have to appear in court to answer a contempt of court complaint filed just days after the Weekly highlighted his battle with Anaheim city officials.

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Gustavo's Latest KCRW "OC Line": On Anaheim, Santa Ana's Different Approaches to Pot Dispensaries!

Thumbnail image for kush-expo-illo.jpg
Illustration by Jeff Drew
You must be Ana-High!

This infernal rag has long documented the fight for medicinal marijuana, going back to the heady Prop. 215 days (when publishing a photo of a guy smoking a reefer still offended folks) to today, when Anaheim hosts the Kush Expo while cracking down on small dispensaries while SanTana instituted raids...until they didn't, and instead issued a lottery so only a couple of people could sell in the city. The double approaches is the topic of my KCRW "Orange County Line" this week.

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Anaheim Ups the Ante in Anti-Landlord Marijuana War

Categories: Bong Blotter

Jeff Drew/OC Weekly
In a surprise move last night, Anaheim's city council passed a revised ordinance strengthening its already strict prohibition on medical marijuana dispensaries. With only Mayor Tom Tait opposing the move, the council threatened landlords who knowingly rent to pot clubs with up to a year in jail and fines of up to $2500 per day that they don't comply with the law.

The new ordinance comes just a few weeks after the city--represented by California's most powerful anti-marijuana law firm, Best, Best & Krieger (BBK)--won its lawsuit against Tony Jalali, whose building the city had hoped to confiscate until the federal government backed out of that effort following critical news reports originating in this paper.

Just days after the Weekly published a feature story on Anaheim's fruitless attempt to seize Jalali's building, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that it was restricting the government's use of asset forfeiture against property owners. With its new ordinance, Anaheim seems to be switching tactics. Instead of threatening to seize property, which it can't do, the city is now simply threatening landlords with hefty fines and possible jail time.

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Obama Administration Repeals Drug Seizure Laws--Oh Really?

Categories: Bong Blotter

Anaheim's Kush Expo: What war on drugs?
On Jan. 16, just a day after the Weekly published a story on the City of Anaheim's failed attempt to use federal asset forfeiture law to seize a privately-owned building over a $37 pot sale, the >Washington Post reported that the feds were repealing key aspects of that law.

"[Attorney General Eric] Holder limits seized-asset sharing process that split billions with local, state police," the article stated. "Holder's action represents the most sweeping check on police power to confiscate personal property since the seizures began three decades ago as part of the war on drugs," the article claimed, adding that in the past six years, "thousands of local and state police agencies have made more than 55,000 seizures of cash and property worth $3 billion." Those seizures fell under an asset forfeiture program administered by Holder's Justice Department known as "Equitable Sharing."

So does Holder's announcement really spell the end of the federal government's right to seize drug-tied private property without winning a conviction or even filing charges against a suspect?

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Anaheim Officials Welcome the Kush Expo--While Suing Small Pot Shops and Their Landlords

Jeff Drew/OC Weekly

Every summer for the past five years, the Anaheim Convention Center, a swirly tower of concrete and blue-tinted glass, transforms itself into a mecca of marijuana. This magical event, the world's largest of its kind, lasts exactly two days and happens just across the street from the Disneyland Resort. It's called the Kush Expo.

On display inside the four-hall, football field-sized facility are dozens of vendors hawking products ranging from the latest vaporizers to bongs, soil nutrients and hydroponic growing equipment. There's the annual Kush Cup Awards, offering recognition for best indica, sativa and hybrid strains; oil; wax; hash; edible chocolate; vape pen; and tube bong--to name but a few categories. Then there's the Hot Kush Girl Contest, in which bikini-clad lasses with green numbers spray-painted on their thighs compete for up to $500 and a gift bag.

If all the bare flesh and bong raffles aren't enough to keep you entertained, you can step inside an open-air white tent out back, where folks with a doctor's recommendation for medical marijuana can smoke pot while guarded by Anaheim police officers. Doctors are on-site and available to help out the poor souls who forgot their cards. For a small fee, they can figure out what ails you, and presto change-o, you're a certified medicinal-marijuana patient.

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Dear Santa: Please Get My Congressman to Vote for Reclassifying Marijuana

Categories: Bong Blotter

Photo by Jorge Negreros/OC Weekly
Breakfast of champions
All Jacqueline Patterson wants for Christmas is for you to sign her petition aimed at getting the federal government to finally reclassify marijuana, which is currently a Schedule 1 drug that the Drug Enforcement Agency considers of no medical value and as dangerous as heroin.

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