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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Three people held in raids at marijuana dispensaries

Narcotics agents raided four San Diego marijuana dispensaries, made three arrests at the locations and seized about 20 pounds of pot yesterday.
Federal authorities said the businesses were not selling the drug within the limits of state Proposition 215, a 1996 initiative legalizing the sale of marijuana by prescription to seriously ill patients.

Drug Enforcement Administration and county Narcotics Task Force agents served search warrants at Answerdam on Convoy Court, Plan B Coastal Care Group on Adams Avenue, Chronic Care Providers on Daggett Street and Safe California Access on Murphy Canyon Road. Three men, ages 59, 35 and 26, were arrested at three of the businesses on suspicion of marijuana sales and possession for sale, DEA spokeswoman Eileen Zeidler said.

A home on Marlborough Avenue in City Heights also was searched, and a 30-year-old resident was arrested on suspicion of the same marijuana charges and suspicion of possessing Ecstasy.

Zeidler said marijuana and pot-laced brownies, ice cream, chocolate and fruit bars were seized at the businesses, along with a loaded handgun and thousands of dollars. She said the investigation took several months, and continues, to trace where the pot came from.

Meanwhile, the county Board of Supervisors is continuing its court battle against the state's medical marijuana laws.

The board voted 4-1 yesterday, with Ron Roberts opposing, to ask the state Supreme Court to review its lawsuit challenging the state requirement that counties issue government identification to qualified medical marijuana patients.

The county contends the requirement conflicts with federal drug statutes that categorize marijuana as a dangerous drug with no medical benefits.

A Superior Court judge rejected the county's case in 2006, and an appellate court backed that decision Thursday. The state Supreme Court will be asked to review last week's ruling, said Tom Bunton, senior deputy county counsel.

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