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FOCUS: ORANGE COUNTY COMMUNITY NEWS | GARDEN GROVE

Cannabis Club Founder Will Appeal City's Action

January 15, 1998|CATHY WERBLIN

Medicinal marijuana guru and cannabis club founder Marvin Chavez vowed to appeal a city decision Tuesday that in effect will revoke his group's business license and force it out of the city.

Chavez received a business license for the Orange County Patient, Doctor and Nurses Support Group last year. City officials later learned that it also operated as the Orange County Cannabis Club, a group that distributes marijuana to patients suffering from a variety of illnesses.

In approving an amendment to city business license requirements, officials have opened the door for revocation of the club's permit because some of its operations might violate the law. California voters have approved medicinal use of marijuana, but issues of cultivation and distribution have yet to be resolved.

Chavez said the club is supplied through "compassionate drug dealers" and urges its members to grow the plant for their own medicinal purposes. The club takes donations for the marijuana it offers, but supplies are not sold, he said.

Several marijuana users, including an AIDS patient, asked the council for compassion and understanding of their need to use the drug.

"I appreciate the argument for compassion," said City Councilman Ken Maddox, whose mother and grandmother recently died of cancer. "But currently the organization is operating outside the law, and as a council member I have to uphold the law. I can't turn a blind eye."

An appeal can be filed by the club after the amended ordinance goes into effect late next month.

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