City plans crackdown on pot providers
July 4, 2009
South Lake Tahoe city attorneys Jacqueline Mittelstadt and Patrick Enright have signaled police will begin enforcement against three medical marijuana providers who have opened in South Lake Tahoe over the past year.
“Possession of amounts of marijuana in excess of the allowable state law amounts is a violation of both state and federal law,” the attorneys wrote in a memorandum to the City Council dated July 7. “(South Lake Tahoe police) will soon commence pursuit of such illegal conduct.”
Whether the city will give marijuana providers advance notice of police enforcement is an item on the agenda for the City Council’s meeting on Tuesday.
“Notice need not be given to the dispensaries prior to enforcement action (beginning); however, to ensure fairness the city may wish to provide prior written notice of commencement of enforcement,” the memo states.
The city attorneys refer to the Police Officer’s Association White Paper in contending that most storefront dispensaries fail to meet the requirements of California law.
But Cody Bass, a spokesman for Tahoe Wellness Collective, said the medical marijuana provider is operating in accordance with California law. He questioned whether the city could legally bust the collective.
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“South Lake Tahoe Police Department has to follow the state constitution,” Bass said. “I’m personally not too worried about it.”
Tahoe Wellness Collective became the second medical marijuana provider in South Lake Tahoe when it opened in January in the Bijou Shopping Center, and has more than 700 patients, Bass says.
If police did raid the collective, Tahoe Wellness Collective would reopen “within 20 minutes,” Bass said Friday.
Members of the collective are expected to speak at Tuesday’s meeting, Bass added.
The meeting starts at 9 a.m. in council chambers at the Lake Tahoe Airport. A full agenda and staff reports are available on the city’s Web site, http://www.cityofslt.us.