BREAKING: San Francisco Suspends Medical Marijuana Licensing Program Indefinitely

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San Francisco city officials indefinitely suspended the city's medical marijuana dispensary permitting program on Wednesday, according to the Department of Public Health.

Pending permits had been on hold since December, after a ruling in a state appeals court case halted similar permitting programs across California. That case was appealed to the state Supreme Court, and during the appeal, the city could resume processing permits, a spokesman for the City Attorney told SF Weekly last week.

But the city reversed its decision today. All medical cannabis dispensary permit applications are on hold indefinitely, according to Jim Soos, an assistant director of policy and planning with the S.F. Department of Public Health, until the city can "receive assurance that it is in compliance with state and federal law."

DPH staff made the decision to put all permits on hold in consultation with the City Attorney's Office, which provides legal advice to all city departments, he said.

"We're waiting for more clarity from the state on our ability to issue permits," said Soos, who added that the federal Department of Justice's recent closure of five permitted dispensaries also weighed on the city's decision. "Until the Health Department can sort out the criteria driving the [Justice Department]'s actions, it will not be issuing permits."


A year ago, the city had 27 licensed dispensaries, with up to a dozen more applying for permits. Since then, five permitted San Francisco dispensaries have closed after receiving letters from Melinda Haag, the U.S. Attorney for Northern California. The letters informed the dispensaries' landlords that they were in violation of federal law, and were subject to forfeiture of their property and up to 40 years in prison if the dispensaries didn't close.

Jack Gillund, a spokesman for Haag, said the office had no comment.

The city was among the first in California to begin issuing permits to medical cannabis dispensaries in 2005, after the Board of Supervisors passed the Medical Cannabis Act, legislation authored by then-Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi.

San Francisco's medical cannabis dispensary program had been on hold following a state court of appeals ruling on Pack vs. the City of Long Beach. The court ruling said that a city issuing permits for medical marijuana by itself was a violation of federal law.

The state Supreme Court said Wednesday it would hear an appeal on the case. During the appeal, permits could start being processed again, the City Attorney said last week. A spokesman for the City Attorney's office said earlier on Wednesday that that legal advice offered last week has not changed.

It is not immediately clear what influenced the city's change of heart. Matt Dorsey, a spokesman for City Attorney Dennis Herrera, said the office could not offer further comment, citing attorney-client privilege.

Sources inside the medical marijuana community are speculating that Haag's office may have threatened San Francisco city officials with a lawsuit, in a manner similar to threats of a lawsuit issued to Mendocino County over its permitting process. That permitting process was canceled Tuesday.

It is also unclear who will issue legal advice to San Francisco on its ability to issue permits. In a letter sent to lawmakers last year, Attorney General Kamala Harris said that the Legislature must offer more clarity on what the state's medical marijuana laws allowed. A spokesman for Harris was not able to immediately comment Wednesday when contacted by SF Weekly.

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medical alarm
medical alarm

   “You really know your stuff... Keep up the good work!”

Jer
Jer

I'm not really really positive but, Now, more doctors confess that grass medication and therapy is beneficial in a number of diseases--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Semi di Cannabis

medical alarm
medical alarm

 Nice post. But, your design doesnt render as it should on this system

Lyhyd112
Lyhyd112

 I'm 5'9" girl and I met my boy-friend 6'1" on -- Tal l “HUB” . c0M -- -why not to have a try, find your love here,It can

help you find the other half.....

Fuchtarded
Fuchtarded

Thank you Mr President for allowing the drug cartels here in California to flourish and for forcing me back to the streets to buy my meds illegally.

Mishamean
Mishamean

BREAKING news? How alarming! OMG!!! San Francisco Suspends Medical Marijuana Licensing Program Indefinitely!! REALLY??? Who CARES.This story is a non issue. There are plenty of dispensaries around this area already and frankly could care less about whether new ones are not being issued licenses. Big whoop! SF Weekly risks being even more laughable a rag than it already is... And to call it breaking is reckless if not self indulgent. This is NOT BREAKING news Roberts! Clear your head and ego and  report some more important stories in SF...BREAKING news would be if teh SF Weekly would report on something of import...just once :)

#legalizeitnow
#legalizeitnow

If it just happened, it is "breaking"... And this had just happened. This is a very important issue to many because it is a major step in the wrong direction, for what has been the leading city and state for the entire legalization campaign. If they're not allowing more to open... That may mean the next step is the dispensaries that are open, could be forced to close. Did you read what the Feds were threatening landlords of dispensaries with(forfieture of property and 40 years in prison if they didn't close their doors...) you see, this is actually very important to the people who actually take action and fight back.

Castklearr
Castklearr

I'm a Legend @"the LAW FIRM"..... TONY SERRA...........as he beat up cops in court after the arrest three times and never served a day in court from these pigs that think law is law except when you trample on the Constitution!@27f484bf075a2d981eab810b50adc24b:disqus Thanks Tony......he served time for tax evasion......GREAT GUY!

Castklearr
Castklearr

I been Busted three times and everytime the warrant was bad....I continue to do what I want knowing cops are not lawyers and they make the warrants and then gets a friendly out of town judge to sign it......knowing it will be tossed cuz cops are stupid idiots period!

T
T

Worse was the Divinity Tree. Racist black dudes at the door.

charanda
charanda

when will this war on drugs finally be realized as a complete scam and flagrant violation of individual freedoms? no one has the right to decide how you alter your state of consciousness, and as more and more research comes out that marijuana is not harmful and in fact beneficial for thousands of ailments.  the feds must end the drug war, or they must step down. they are no longer legitimate authorities, because they no longer represent the will of the people.

Bdb1958
Bdb1958

fuck the law i smoke weed anyway

Will Leigh
Will Leigh

Tobacco is a drug ,alcohol is a drug, They both are well known killers. yet you can get them most places. Even if say, people wanted pot for recreation. It's not as harmful as beer.and not as addicting as tobacco. I don't think it deserves its reputation as a harmful drug. It is not a hard drug. Meaning your not going to over dose. They keep putting pot in the same category as heroin and cocaine. We never even considered legalizing heroin or cocaine. People that are addicted need a doctors help to get off. Jail is a good place to learn how to be worse and not get caught. Decriminalize pot to make it less harmful. thank you for your time.

Djmf420
Djmf420

Actually, cocaine is a schedule 2 narcotic while cannabis is a schedule 1.  The absurdity of this fact is maddening.

#thinkforyourself
#thinkforyourself

That's not true. It was true in the 1800's. Cocaine was used as a medication for depression and also as a local anesthetic. However, I assure you that cocaine is shedule 1 now in the US. I know this to be fact. I do agree though that pot should not be shedule 1... It is rediculous to hold it in the same category as any of the other shedule 1 drugs.... While we sale a much more dangerous and harmful substance(alcohol) on every corner.

rsteeb
rsteeb

Cocaine, methamphetamine, and morphine are ALL SCHEDULE II.  Still.

In the 1800's, it was ALL legal.  There were no "schedules" until 1970.

hth

Wizard0f0dd
Wizard0f0dd

Yet again, another example of the Fed. Government overstepping their bounds interferring with something that's completely a losing battle. Amazingly doesn't surprise me in the least. The harder They push, adds more people to our closet full of skeletons thats about to bust the hinges off the frame and all Their dirty secrets are going to come out. I'm sooo sick and tired of knowing the fact that when I work, I'm funding this rediculous, glorified political campaign against my Family, Friends and Extended family around the world. We are all on the same damn planet, sooo WHAT THE HELL IS EVERYONE'S PROBLEM?

Nanci Loveless Burns
Nanci Loveless Burns

Obummer lied to get elected, about this & many other things.....he ordered this crack-down to jail Ron Paul supporters in CA & every other state so they can't vote! Ron Paul 2012!

Smokie DaBear
Smokie DaBear

@b3559c2812cb9aad423f8cdab25ccffd:disqus You mean other then the federal government acting in consistent violation of the 9th and 10th amendments?  Or you actually consider yourself the best judge of who deserves what medicine?  You know there are other treatments for anything that pot can help with so the real issue isn't who deserves it, it's about our right as american citizens to choose which medications we take.  When you point a finger at someone else you point 3 right back at yourself.  

PI_Guy
PI_Guy

My opinion is for those people in Cali to grow their own medicine and they wont have to worry about dispensaries. I grow my own, it's cheaper and I know how it was grown ie; what nutrients were used etc. plus I grown the strain that works best for my chronic pain.

Tigg Er 666
Tigg Er 666

hate to say it but this is wat happends when every jackass who has a headache or a little stress in there life is give a medical lisence  give it to people who relly need it not just people who want to get high THERE IS NO ONE TO BLAME FOR THIS BUT US...............

Duncan20903
Duncan20903

You're right. It's always the victim's fault. The poor perpetrator wouldn't have ever thought of victimizing the victim on his own.

malcolmkyle
malcolmkyle

* In 2010, 52.1% of the 1,638,846 total arrests for prohibition violations were for marijuana -- making a calculated total of 853,839. 

* Of those, an estimated 750,591 people (45.8%) were arrested for marijuana possession alone. 

* By contrast, in 2000, a total of 734,497 Americans were arrested for marijuana "violations", of which 646,042 (40.9%) were for possession alone. 

* From 1996-2010, there were 10.1 million arrests for marijuana possession and 1.4 million arrests for the sales and distribution of marijuana, equaling a total of 11.5 million marijuana arrests during that fifteen year time frame.

* Marijuana "violation" arrests were 39.9% of total prohibition arrests in 1995 increasing to 52.1% of such arrests in 2010. 

* During this same period, arrests for marijuana sales and distribution fluctuated between 5-6% of total prohibition arrests, while those for simple possession increased from 34.1% in 1995 to 45.8% in 2010. 

* Arrests for marijuana possession have risen from about a third to about a half of all prohibition violation arrests over the fifteen year 1995-2010 period.

mcweeed
mcweeed

Please everyone read and reread malcolm's prohibition figures and then THINK about 435,000 DEATHS yearly (US) from hot burning overdose nicotine $igarettes.  Link?  Causation?

Yes, Big pHARMa (100,000 deaths from misdiagnosis, side-effects etc.) gave a ton of money to Obama.  But Big 2WackGo gives a ton of money to Republicans.  HOLD NOSE, VOTE BARRY.

Djmf420
Djmf420

wrong, proudly and defiantly vote Ron Paul

malcolmkyle
malcolmkyle

What makes the War on (unpatentable) Drugs Clock tick?

http://www.drugsense.org/cms/w...

* In 2010, 52.1% of the 1,638,846 total arrests for prohibition violations were for marijuana -- making a calculated total of 853,839. 

* Of those, an estimated 750,591 people (45.8%) were arrested for marijuana possession alone. 

* By contrast, in 2000, a total of 734,497 Americans were arrested for marijuana "violations", of which 646,042 (40.9%) were for possession alone. 

* From 1996-2010, there were 10.1 million arrests for marijuana possession and 1.4 million arrests for the sales and distribution of marijuana, equaling a total of 11.5 million marijuana arrests during that fifteen year time frame.

http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cm...

* Marijuana "violation" arrests were 39.9% of total prohibition arrests in 1995 increasing to 52.1% of such arrests in 2010. 

* During this same period, arrests for marijuana sales and distribution fluctuated between 5-6% of total prohibition arrests, while those for simple possession increased from 34.1% in 1995 to 45.8% in 2010. 

* Arrests for marijuana possession have risen from about a third to about a half of all prohibition violation arrests over the fifteen year 1995-2010 period.

http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cm...

Muzzylu
Muzzylu

Seems like state and local governments are trying to force medical marijuana patients back into the arms of big pharmaceuticals and the liquor industry! How is marijuana worse than opiates or booze? But the government has to protect us from the evil cannabis.

Great e-book on medical marijuana: MARIJUANA - Guide to Buying, Growing, Harvesting, and Making Medical Marijuana Oil and Delicious Candies to Treat Pain and Ailments by Mary Bendis, Second Edition. This book has great recipes for easy marijuana oil, delicious Cannabis Chocolates, and tasty Dragon Teeth Mints!  goo.gl/iYjPn  goo.gl/Jfs61

anechoic
anechoic

and in the news GW Pharma is looking for FDA approval to market their cannabinoid based medicine Sativex in the US

Julian Pursell
Julian Pursell

Yes and CBIS are right behind them. They've just submitted their IND application. Cannabis for cancer itself.

Check out cannabisscience.com - pictures!

Julian Pursell
Julian Pursell

Yes and CBIS are right behind them. They've just submitted their IND application. Cannabis for cancer itself.

Check out cannabisscience.com - pictures!

Julian Pursell
Julian Pursell

Yes and CBIS are right behind them. They've just submitted their IND application. Cannabis for cancer itself.

Check out cannabisscience.com - pictures!

Julian Pursell
Julian Pursell

Yes and CBIS are right behind them. They've just submitted their IND application. Cannabis for cancer itself.

Check out cannabisscience.com - pictures!

Ris
Ris

Blame Obama. He promised to be flower friendly. Now we see he's just a pharmie pawn puppet.

Stab Jackson
Stab Jackson

i doubt medical marijuana supporters are his target demographic. it's a chess game ppl, play the pawn or be a pawn...

Joestella778
Joestella778

He has been a corporate controlled puppet since his inauguration day just like Nixon and all the presidents leading up to Obama  

John Lilly
John Lilly

I think "indefinitely" means "until after the yacht races" ...

NUNYA
NUNYA

Get a spine California...just say "NAY" to the DOJ!

MrEricSir
MrEricSir

Does this mean new dispensaries will not be allowed to open, or just that they can't get a piece of paper from the city?

John Lilly
John Lilly

without the piece of paper from the city, they are illegal. i don't know many people that would knowingly patronize an illegal club when there are legal clubs everywhere. follow me?

MrEricSir
MrEricSir

According to federal law, they're ALL illegal...

MrEricSir
MrEricSir

According to federal law, they're ALL illegal...

A Reader
A Reader

Because:a) the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S... mandates that judges follow Federal law;b) the Supreme Court of the US has already ruled that the Federal government may restrict the sale of marijuana pursuant to its commerce clause power even in states that purport to legalize it for medicinal purposes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G....

The actions of the state and the city to license these establishments clearly violates US law.  As to whether those laws should be enforced (or repealed), that's a political question that will need to be settled at the federal level.

American Debt Project
American Debt Project

I don't get it. State laws says you must act in accordance with state law and you can't refuse to enforce it just because federal law contradicts it. But doesn't federal law say when state laws and federal laws are in disagreement, federal law presides? 

rsteeb
rsteeb

The "Controlled Substances Act" is a thumbed nose at the constitution.  Aside from Schedule I Cannabis being a blatant damned lie.

MrEricSir
MrEricSir

Well if the state authorities thumb their nose at the federal constitution, why shouldn't the local authorities do any differently to the state?

Duncan20903
Duncan20903

We weren't talking about my door. We were talking about public authorities who thumb their noses to the State Constitution.

MrEricSir
MrEricSir

That doesn't do you much good when the feds knock on your door, though.

Sherri
Sherri

Thank you Duncan20903. I am sitting here trying to understand how these people can consistently act in defiance of state laws. This is insane.

Duncan20903
Duncan20903

According to the California State Constitution authorities aren't allowed to consider Federal law.----------CALIFORNIA CONSTITUTIONARTICLE 3 STATE OF CALIFORNIA

SEC. 3.5. An administrative agency, including an administrativeagency created by the Constitution or an initiative statute, has nopower: (a) To declare a statute unenforceable, or refuse to enforce astatute, on the basis of it being unconstitutional unless anappellate court has made a determination that such statute isunconstitutional; (b) To declare a statute unconstitutional; (c) To declare a statute unenforceable, or to refuse to enforce astatute on the basis that federal law or federal regulations prohibitthe enforcement of such statute unless an appellate court has made adetermination that the enforcement of such statute is prohibited byfederal law or federal regulations.----------Where is "the LAW is the LAW, blah, blah, blah" crowd when authorities decide to ignore laws which they don't like? Up in the peanut gallery cheering like the hypocrites that they are is where.

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