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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 13, 2010 | By John Hoeffel
Filling in the last blank in the city's medical marijuana ordinance, Los Angeles officials Friday recommended a number of fees dispensaries would have to pay to operate. Although the City Council passed the law in January, it cannot take effect until the council approves the fees. In addition to standard charges for inspections and research, officials have proposed special fees that would total about $1,200 for a manager registering an existing dispensary. Councilman Ed Reyes said he hopes to send the proposal straight to the council to speed up the process.
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WORLD
February 25, 2010 | By Robyn Dixon
Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua flew home to Abuja early Wednesday after three months in a Saudi hospital, but his secretive return raised concerns about a deepening power struggle in the ruling party as well as his long-term health. Two weeks ago Yar'Adua's deputy, Goodluck Jonathan, was appointed acting president by the legislature in a move many called unconstitutional. Yar'Adua's return came one day after Jonathan sent a series of official appointments to the Senate.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 24, 2010 | By John Hoeffel
The nation's main advocacy group for medical marijuana threatened Tuesday to challenge Los Angeles City Atty. Carmen Trutanich's legal assault on dispensaries, saying it is "unlawful, unconstitutional, and contravenes the spirit and letter of the governing laws." The city prosecutor's office filed three lawsuits last week seeking court injunctions to force Organica in the Venice area and two Holistic Caregivers stores in South Los Angeles to stop all sales. Trutanich maintains that state law authorizes collectives only to grow marijuana and recover their actual costs, not to sell it. Americans for Safe Access, which advocates for the use of medical marijuana and has defended dispensaries in court, has tried repeatedly to persuade the city prosecutor that he is misreading the law and recent court decisions, but he has not budged.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 30, 2010 | By John Hoeffel
A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge Friday ordered an Eagle Rock dispensary to stop selling medical marijuana in a decision city prosecutors believe is the first to conclude that state law does not allow collectives to sell the drug. Judge James C. Chalfant's preliminary injunction applies only to Hemp Factory V, a small outlet on Colorado Boulevard near the Glendale border, but would have a dramatic impact on how medical marijuana is distributed if a higher court upholds it. The decision came in the pretrial phase of the city's lawsuit against the dispensary.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 27, 2010 | By John Hoeffel
The Los Angeles City Council, without debate, gave final approval Tuesday to a medical marijuana ordinance that will impose some of the toughest rules in the state but was assailed by advocates who said the law will drastically restrict access to the drug. The measure, which was finally passed more than 4 1/2 years after the council started to discuss the issue, will do little to calm the contentious debate over how Los Angeles should restrain a dispensary boom that has seen hundreds of pot stores cluster on the city's major boulevards.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 21, 2010 | By John Hoeffel
In a unanimous decision filed Thursday, the California Supreme Court struck down the state's specific limits on how much medical marijuana a patient can possess, concluding that restrictions imposed by the Legislature were an unconstitutional amendment of a voter-approved initiative. The decision, which affirmed an appellate decision, means people who have a doctor's recommendation to use marijuana can possess and cultivate as much as is "reasonably necessary." The court invalidated a provision of a 2003 state law passed to clarify the initiative.
WORLD
January 17, 2010 | By Tracy Wilkinson
In a small stucco pavilion built as a urology clinic -- one of the few buildings in the hospital complex deemed structurally sound -- patient after patient was wheeled into the makeshift operating room on an old bed Saturday. Workers doused the walls with disinfectant as a couple of nurses prepped the wounded and gave them a bit of anesthesia. Then out came the saws. The work was amputations. On the grounds of the heavily damaged General Hospital, a mass of injured people, some with crudely severed limbs, moaned or stared vacantly as they waited for care by a team of Haitian and foreign doctors.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 9, 2010 | By Gerrick Kennedy
With the debate on medical marijuana still at a full boil in Los Angeles, a judge Friday ordered the return of 60 pounds of pot to a man after his attorneys successfully argued that a state law gave him the right to transport it. Saguro Doven, 33, was initially charged with possession of marijuana for sale and transportation of the drug, a violation of the state's health and safety code. The marijuana was bundled in individual bags that were tucked inside a larger duffel bag when Doven was pulled over on the 101 Freeway by a California Highway Patrol officer, according to court records.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 6, 2010 | By John Hoeffel
Prosecutors in Los Angeles insist that collectives cannot sell medical marijuana at their stores and can provide it only to members who actively cultivate it together. Dispensary operators, on the other hand, argue that it is absurd to expect them to run Soviet-style collective farms and to rule out cash payments for pot. When the Los Angeles City Council finishes its marijuana ordinance, which may finally happen this month, it is likely to inflame this increasingly contentious debate over how the drug can be distributed.
SCIENCE
January 3, 2010 | By Shari Roan
After spending the majority of her 48 years trying, and failing, to slim down, Veronica Mahaffey was still 50 pounds overweight -- not morbidly obese by a long shot, but still far from the size she wanted. Worried about her health, she called a San Diego weight-loss surgery clinic last spring and asked for help. She was told no. At 185 pounds and with a body mass index of 28, the Ramona mother of four was not heavy enough to meet medical guidelines or insurance company qualifications for weight-loss surgery.
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