SF's Hemp Center Is the Latest Target in Federal Marijuana Crackdown

Categories: Marijuana

hempcenterlogo.jpg
The Hemp Center
The crackdown is back.

A Richmond District medical cannabis dispensary is the latest local law-abiding marijuana provider to be put on notice by the federal Justice Department.

The Hemp Center
, on Geary Boulevard near Park Presidio, has been in business for nearly 14 years and has been in its current location for 11. Its landlords recently received a letter from U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag. The letter warned of property seizures and prison sentences if the dispensary was not shut down, according to dispensary operator Kathleen Capetti.

Similar letters, which claim the clubs are too close to parks or schools, have been responsible for the closure of eight San Francisco dispensaries since Oct. 2011 -- many of them longstanding, respected operations with one other thing in common.

The Hemp Center is in a unique position: it's the only dispensary in the Richmond or Sunset Districts, and is only one of two dispensaries left in San Francisco -- that we can think of -- that allows on-site smoking or vaporizing.

Other dispensaries that allowed on-site lounging, like Lower Haight's Vapor Room and SOMA's HopeNet, were both shut down following receipt of letters from Haag last year.

Cannabis users say that the social activity of sitting and smoking with other users provides significant therapeutic benefit.

The letters are what the Obama Administration's Justice Department has done to "crack down" on California's burgeoning but federally illegal medical cannabis industry. In Oct. 2011, the four United States Attorneys for the state announced a coordinated effort that led to the closure of "hundreds" of dispensaries across the state, according to an estimate by Americans for Safe Access, a medical marijuana patients' advocacy group.

Haag's office has since Oct. 11. offered no comment on the letters. Her position on the issue evolved slightly before her office instituted a silence policy: First, she said her office would only go after dispensaries that violated state law. Then she said that only dispensaries near parks or schools would be targeted.

Capetti, whose dispensary is licensed by the city's Department of Public Health, found out about the letter from her landlord on Monday. The letter cites a park, 900 feet away, as the reason why the dispensary is targeted for closure, she said.

"This is a very small park -- I haven't even seen it," she said via telephone on Tuesday. "I think it's just any excuse they can find."

State law says that dispensaries cannot be within 600 feet of schools or recreation centers which serve youth. City law puts a 1,000-foot barrier between those uses but does not address city parks.

Capetti says she isn't yet sure exactly what action the dispensary will take, but that "we're going to fight it."

"I don't understand why bars are in every hotel, and up and down every street of every town are liquor stores and bars where people can drink themselves into oblivion -- and that's okay, that's a good, social time," she said. "Obama promised they wouldn't go after the clubs that are in compliance... now they're just going after people willy-nilly."




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36 comments
jose257
jose257

The crackdown is orchestrated to put another Democrat in the Whitehouse in 2016 when the GOP predictably nominates another Romney who will vow to be worse than the Democrats.

ararat53
ararat53

If dope fiends would just say "we like to get high (often) and think MJ is as good or bad as ETOH", i would respect their honesty, if not their conclusions. But the pseudo medical charade is Orwellian.

I have albeit anecdotally seen lives made worse by addiction to MJ. In fact, dopers were the dirtiest, most illogical of all addicts. Give me violent crackheads any time.

Your honor roll of dope users carries you no place. Hitler was a vegetarian, maybe a vegan. Shall we all now eat just steak tartare?

ararat53
ararat53

I hypothesize that MJ advocates can find as many reported uses for their favorite houseplant as Billy May claimed for Oxyclean. That there might be a use for persons in extremis for MJ is not the issue before the House.

The issue is whether unrestrained access to MJ by anyone, especially the young, conscious enough to slip on his PJs and flip flops for a short waddle to the drug den is being helped or harmed by the promiscuous availability of this seldom useful but often harmful intoxicant.

Arguing against your orthodoxy is much like insisting upon women's rights in Salem.

ararat53
ararat53

On behalf of the "fucking idiot deserve to be publicly buggered" Prohibitionist community, let me say: some can handle it and many can't. Prop 215 was and is a scam. Addicts and dealers aren't patients. The medical analogy is a fraud, very few buyers have problems helped by MJ. I've been to dispensaries. I saw able bodied, normal weight, smiling, young dopers. I see them napping on benches ifo the dispensaries. I know adults capable of work who have become MJ disabled through lethargy, inabity to organize and finally paranoia.

ararat53
ararat53

I doubt you want Rick as your exemplar. I doubt he stands on line in his soiled bib overalls jonesing to smoke, snack and sleep. Hardly an addict.

ararat53
ararat53

Your wishful thinking is not logical. Are the high achieving students also (a) smoking incessantly or (b) the offspring of lifetime drug addicts , err "patients?"

I thought not. Glad to see you're up so early, though.

ararat53
ararat53

Great idea. Then I can gain weight, lose job, giggle, and have cornrows.

chris665
chris665

ararat53, you talk kind of a lot. Maybe take a puff and slow yer roll a little?

ararat53
ararat53

Tony, Eric, et al:

Weed got your tongue?

ararat53
ararat53

Yes Tony, you've stumbled onto a secret of getting into Harvard and getting a Rhodes: be stoned.

I know you all walk the MJ orthodoxy, you know: drug addicts are all patients, laziness is non existent among "patients," and drug dealers are compassionate community caregivers.

As for a supposed correlation between liberal laws and high education, lets remember stat 1: correlation does not mean causation. If the compassionate if clueless residents of some states fell for prop 215 agitprop, it just means what every command knows: easier to deceive educated people.

ararat53
ararat53

Yes Chaki, you've got me. I'm both sober and unfunny.

ararat53
ararat53

This is worrisome. We need more potheads. Our science and math school test scores otherwise might zoom past Somalia and Sudan's.

ararat53
ararat53

We desperately need more potheads. For a while it looked like our school science test scores were going to zoom by Somalia's.

mrericsir
mrericsir topcommenter

@ararat53 I've seen at least one life ruined by spending countless hours trolling SFWeekly with hilariously misinformed comments.

kevin_hunt
kevin_hunt topcommenter

@ararat53 You say you can diagnose someone's medical condition by simply looking at them?  Consider yourself a 'publicly buggered' quack.

A non-psychoactive component of marijuana, CBD, may be useful in preventing or treating alzheimer's. Anyone caught with this lifesaving chemical contained in a marijuana plant faces jail time by the feds  (except for a handful of federal medical marijuana patients). Is the government trying to kill us by denying us this plant?  Perhaps it is sweet justice that anti-marijuana crusader Ronald Reagan would have been helped by this plant, but instead died in an alzheimer’s induced stupor?


Source: “Alzheimer's disease; taking the edge off with cannabinoids? “ 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2190031/

kevin_hunt
kevin_hunt topcommenter

@ararat53 "Hardly an addict."... More moronic bullshit from ara-rat's ass, the pillhead drunk.

Famous Marijuana Consumers:

Carl Sagan, Willie Nelson, Sir Paul McCartney, Newt Gingrich, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Sir Richard Branson, Rick Steves, Michael Phelps, Michael Bloomberg, Ted Turner, Montel Williams, Stephen King, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Prime Minister Trudeau, Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Jon Stewart, George Soros, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Paul Allen, George Clooney, Gary Johnson, Sarah Palin, Woody Harrelson, Harrison Ford, David Letterman, Jack Nicholson, Jeff Bridges, Johnny Depp, Morgan Freeman, Hugh Hefner, Robin Williams, Jesse Ventura, Bruce Willis





kevin_hunt
kevin_hunt topcommenter

@ararat53 (a) Yes (b) Yes.  

Pillheads like you are 'patients', too.

kevin_hunt
kevin_hunt topcommenter

@ararat53“Well, yeah, I admitted you know, back when I was running for the Senate, that when I was in college that I smoked pot and that was something that I did when I was in college.” 

August 31, 2011, Rick Santorum appearing on “Piers Morgan Tonight”

Tony444
Tony444

@ararat53 So you're saying if we would only needlessly throw more people in jail our math and science skills would improve? Then why are all of the good science jobs in states with more liberal laws on the matter?

mrericsir
mrericsir topcommenter

@ararat53 Your comment proves that one does no have to be a pothead to be an idiot.

ararat53
ararat53

Witty, if mechanical. Amongst true believer dopers, you're a regular Goethe.

ararat53
ararat53

Impressive that a doper stmpathizer can assemble this list.

And the point is ?

That children should model a bunch of nitwit celebrities, and a woman unable to finish her term as Aladka Governor or CNN talking head?

ararat53
ararat53

Use is not addiction. Glad Bill and Barack did not live next to dispensaries while young.

ararat53
ararat53

If stressed or annoyed, you surely can get a "prescription" for your "medicine" at your "dispensary."

You people lack for cleverness and adroitness. Since these words are unknown to you, you will also lack self esteem, another debilitating condition dope can address.

Why do you think it's called "dope?"

webmistress0
webmistress0

@ararat53 Let me start with: I don't smoke "dope". Not because it's wrong but because I don't like it. Still, I have *first hand* - nothing anecdotal about it - seen and known many people who do (heck, in California, that's pretty much everybody), and no one who ended up incapacitated or "dirty". 

If you thought for a moment (trust me, it doesn't hurt), you'd realize that the medical marijuana bandwagon was created not as a self-delusion, but as a way to deal with outdated, dumb laws the majority of Americans, including a good part of medical establishment, sees as obsolete. Alas, the minority against it is in power, and refuses (at this time) to listen to the will of the people.

By all means, you're welcome to all the violent crackheads. I'm keeping the dope fiends :-).

mikee
mikee

@ararat53 And you would rather hang out with crack heads... ???

ararat53
ararat53

Is the argument now that MJ is a vital step in achieving things?

Try this: climbed out of poverty, an Ivy League education, retired after careers in both law and law enforcement, good neighbor, happy family man, regular communicant, supports elderly parents, all sober.

kevin_hunt
kevin_hunt topcommenter

@ararat53 

What have you ever accomplished that is on par with anyone that I have mentioned?

You were governor of what state?


kevin_hunt
kevin_hunt topcommenter

@ararat53 You are right that use of marijuana is not addiction, because marijuana is not physically addictive.

Obama had no trouble getting marijuana from the dealer that he gave a shout out to in his high school yearbook.  

Dispensaries or no dispensaries, marijuana is easily available to anyone that wants it.  The dug war is a failure and a scam. The drug Tsar claims that industrial hemp is more harmful than crack and meth.  If you can back that statement up with facts,  I'd like to see them.

Only an illegal drug dealer or crooked drug war cop  would rather that people obtain marijuana illegally from the Mexican Cartels than buy it from an American-grown, legal source.

Prohibitionists are fucking idiots and deserve to be publicly buggered.




mrericsir
mrericsir topcommenter

@kevin_hunt If he can't be bothered to read an article, I don't think a book is in the realm of possibility.

kevin_hunt
kevin_hunt topcommenter

@ararat53 Dope is a slang term for opiates.  Learn your history.  Read a book.

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