DEA agents busted one of California’s oldest medical marijuana cooperatives on October 25, signaling that candidate George W Bush’s promise to allow states to determine their medical marijuana policies has become a sham now that Bush is in the White House.
30 agents invaded the Los Angeles Cannabis Resource Center (LACRC) during the raid. According to Scott Imler, a medical cannabis patient who founded and opened the center on the day that California’s landmark med-pot law, Prop 215, passed in 1996, agents were “polite, but they seized all our patients’ medicine, our records, several hundred plants, and all our grow equipment.”
The LACRC was known for strict patient guidelines and a “transparent” relationship with police. Imler has sometimes been criticized for putting too much trust in government officials. He says that local police objected to the DEA’s actions and refused to assist the feds’ raid.
Imler and other California marijuana activists suspect that the timing of the raid was related to the government’s belief that Americans and the media are paying attention only to terrorism and the Afghan war, and that there will be less public sympathy for dissent.
“We did everything we could to prove to officials that we were totally legit,” Imler lamented. “We had nothing to hide. All of our patients were totally authentic. No cop had ever been able to come in here and fake his way into buying medicine. Now the 960 patients who counted on us are without medicine, and some are already beginning to suffer severe health problems because of the government’s actions.”
Cannabis Culture will run a major article about Imler’s club and other California marijuana news in our next issue, but in the short term, Imler says he’s worried that the LACRC and other California med-pot centers might not survive what appears to be a renewed federal push to destroy the medical marijuana movement in states where voters have approved cannabis as medicine.
“We’d appreciate help with our building fund, and with legal defense,” he said. “We don’t want to lose the building, and we don’t want our patients to have to go back to buying low quality black market marijuana on the street.”
? Contributions can be sent care of Duran and Thomas Legal Trust, 9200 Sunset Blvd., Suite 1212, West Hollywood, Ca. 90069. Checks should be made out to “LACRC building fund.”
? LACRC: tel 323-874-0811; email [email protected]; web www.lacbc.org.