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Old 03-19-2012, 04:20 PM
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Post Medical Marijuana Crackdown Explained: Feds Are Saving the Children

By Chris Roberts Mon., Mar. 19 2012 at 7:45 AM Comments (25)
Categories: Marijuana



Is it safe?
​Melinda Haag finally gave us a reason. The United States Attorney for Northern California broke her media near-silence last week week, granting an extensive, exclusive interview to KQED in which Haag sought to explain the Justice Department's crackdown on medical marijuana.

The reasons why Haag's Justice Department has shut down five licensed, taxpaying San Francisco medical cannabis dispensaries and moved to shut down at least four more on Feb. 21 are simple: Pot clubs cause crime, and pot clubs threaten kids.

"Many" people across the state have complained to Haag about this, she told California Watch's Michael Montgomery. "When a dispensary comes to my attention that is close to a school, a park, a playground or children, that's a line I've decided to draw," she said.

Yet this explanation rings a bit hollow in the Bay Area, where concerned citizens like the mayor of Berkeley "lamented" the shutdown of dispensaries in that city. Haag has also picked on neighborhoods such as the Tenderloin -- where strip clubs, liquor stores, and porn shops remain open near clubs shuttered by Haag -- to wage her war on the state's marijuana industry.

In the East Bay, Haag, a Berkeley resident herself, is shutting down Berkeley Patients Group, a large dispensary operating in an old car dealership on San Pablo Avenue. "There have been no complaints [about BPG]," said Mayor Tom Bates. "We get compliments from neighbors."

"There were no instances of violence, they were excellent neighbors, they had good security, they contributed to the economy and helped local nonprofits by making contributions," Bates said. "The voters of this city voted unanimously that they wanted to have four dispensaries in Berkeley and that was it. We grandfathered them in. But evidently we get trumped by the federal government."

Bates's protests are not falling on deaf ears -- and are in fact making their way to Haag. "I hear them," Haag said, "but I have a hard time making that distinction [between good and bad dispensaries]. I've already drawn a line."

"When a dispensary comes to my attention that is close to a school, a park, a playground or children, that's a line I've decided to draw."

"There is a belief, backed by facts, that marijuana operations are often times the victims of criminal activity," she added. "Armed robberies at dispensaries, armed robberies at grow operations, and people who are nearby are at risk [to wit: school children] as a result of that."

Haag described a dispensary in Santa Cruz that operated near a preschool, which generated numerous citizen complaints from neighbors. There's a high school somewhere in her district, she added, that suffered an explosion in marijuana use following the opening of a nearby dispensary.

When we asked Haag spokesman Jack Gillund to tell us what dispensaries these were and where, as well as to share the citizen complaints, he was was succinct in his response: "We have no comment," Gillund wrote in an e-mail.

Haag is correct in saying that crime has happened around pot dispensaries: A man was robbed of a pound and some cash out front of Divinity Tree in 2011, and several years ago, a man was murdered outside of Mr. Nice Guy on Valencia Street. Both dispensaries were shut down by Justice Department letters from Haag.

But the theory that "pot clubs equal crime," however, has been exploded by San Francisco's Planning Commission, whose members have been staunchly anti-pot -- had it been at their disposal.

"No one, including the police department, has ever brought before this commission any factual evidence of that statement [that crime and blight accompany dispensaries]," Planning Commissioner Ron Miguel said. "It has not been proven."

"We have not had direct testimony of law enforcement that they believe there is an increase in crime in areas because there is medical marijuana dispensaries," added Planning Commissioner Michael Antonini, who consistently votes against permitting new dispensaries (and did so March 1, when he made the statement).

So the feds won't name the schools, won't name the complainants, and won't provide the statistics used to justify the crackdown. But trust them, they, like the moon-landing, are real.

On the ground in San Francisco, however, the crackdown's led to some head-scratching situations: Two of the clubs closed by Haag were in the Tenderloin, where medical pot surely ranks somewhere below open-air heroin and crack dealing, open-air heroin and crack use, and prostitution as threats to children.

"The Divinity Tree is two blocks away and around the corner from the [Tenderloin Children's] playground," the reason why that dispensary was closed, said David Goldman, core member of San Francisco's chapter of Americans for Safe Access. "In the intervening space are several massage parlors, bars, and liquor stores. Across the street from the playground stands an adult theater with a marquee blatantly advertising an 'erotic circus.'"

"All of this makes nonsense of Haag's and the DOJ's pretense to be protecting children," Goldman said.

Follow us on Twitter @TheSnitchSF, and @SFWeekly and follow Chris Roberts at at @cbloggy

Medical Marijuana Crackdown Explained: Feds Are Saving the Children - San Francisco News - The Snitch
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Old 03-19-2012, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
There's a high school somewhere in her district, she added, that suffered an explosion in marijuana use following the opening of a nearby dispensary
Were they doing science experiments? How did it explode? Was it really expando weed - "..Whoa, that hit made my lungs explode.."


Yeah if it weren't for dispensaries, high schools in hippieland would have no idea about herb Makes me think of the Rev's wife from the Simpsons - "Won't someone PLEASE think of the children!!"
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Old 03-19-2012, 06:15 PM
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LOL, this is some of the biggest load of bullshit I've ever read. There isn't a dispensary within 500-600 square miles of the high school I attended. It has a 60% graduation rate, and 80% drug use rate.
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Old 03-19-2012, 06:17 PM
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I think any politician who goes on a crusade against our freedoms, and the freedom of our beloved plant, should have a crusade started in their cause. I'm sure we can dig up quite a bit of dirt on these assholes. While we're at it, I think we should push for other plant life indigenous to Northern America (specifically The United States of America) to have it's rights reinstated. IE; Lyotta Williamsii, Lophophora williamsii (Peyote) for starters.
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“Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday.” -John Wayne

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” - Dr. Seuss

Last edited by Ouchie; 03-19-2012 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 03-19-2012, 07:27 PM
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how the fuck should kids learn responsibilty, if they dont have a chance oO ???

reminds me of those drug awareness lessons in school, were teachers learned more from kids about drugs, than the other way round ... lol
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