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"It was a splendid population - for all the slow, sleepy, sluggish-brained sloths stayed at home - you never find that sort of people among pioneers - you cannot build pioneers out of that sort of material. It was that population that gave to California a name for getting up astounding enterprises and rushing them through with a magnificent dash and daring and a recklessness of cost or consequences, which she bears unto this day - and when she projects a new surprise the grave world smiles as usual and says, "Well, that is California all over."

- - - - Mark Twain (Roughing It)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Democrats crack down on Medical Marijuana

Democrat officials are using $1,000 a day fines to close down medical marijuana stores.

In the almost totally Democratic city of Sacramento Democrat officials are working overtime to close down every possible medical marijuana store.  It would appear that personal freedom and property rights have no meaning to the Democratic Party.

Eight marijuana stores – from as many as 99 dispensaries that opened – are left. Dozens have closed in recent weeks amid fears of federal prosecution and aggressive actions by the county that include litigation and fines for building code violations.

The city of Sacramento has frozen permit applications for existing dispensaries, but has allowed most to stay. Sacramento County's crackdown in the unincorporated areas, by contrast, is having a dramatic effect on California's quickly shrinking medical marijuana industry, reports the Sacramento Bee.

"There is a high rate of people closing voluntarily," Rush said. "They didn't want to cause trouble for their landlords or they're closing to get a chance to figure out how to come back in compliance."

The Green Temple Cannabis Collective in south Sacramento is among stores selling medical marijuana that are closing. The United Food and Commercial Workers union, which sought to organize medical pot employees, estimates that California has lost up to 5,000 jobs as dispensaries have closed.

In San Diego, nearly two-thirds of some 220 dispensaries have shut down amid threatened federal property seizures and city lawsuits.

Three well-known San Francisco dispensaries closed after receiving warning letters from U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag. California's oldest dispensary, the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana, is fighting to stay in business and preparing to pull its cannabis products after a federal suit to seize the property. The dispensary offers other services, including magnetic massage therapy, physician evaluations and counseling.

"We need to move the marijuana very shortly. I don't want to get the landlord in any more trouble," said operator Lynette Shaw.

In Sacramento County, many marijuana stores had stayed open even as the county collected $91,000 in fines against businesses operating in violation of zoning codes. Two months ago, the county began threatening $1,000 daily fines against property owners for building code violations for unpermitted work that converted rental space to dispensaries.

Faced with monthly penalties of $30,000, "the property owners all of a sudden got interested in evicting their tenants," said Steve Pedretti, the county's director of building and code enforcement.

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