East Bay
East Bay
Indybay Regions North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area California United States International Americas Haiti Iraq Palestine Afghanistan
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature
Related Categories: East Bay | Drug War
LAPD Attacks Berkeley Medical Marijuana Club
Thursday Aug 2nd, 2007 12:36 PM
LAPD Freezes Bank Account of Berkeley Patients' Group in Rogue
Medical Marijuana Bust
Cal NORML Release - Aug 1st

Berkeley: Medical marijuana supporters rallied yesterday
to protest the LAPD's seizure of the bank account of the Berkeley
Patients' Group. The action was a follow-up to the recent DEA raids
in LA, where the BPG's sister facility, California Patients' Group
was raided. The CPG has since closed, but the BPG is remaining in
operation along with another sister facility in West Hollywood, the
Los Angeles Patients' Group, which also had its bank account seized.
Contrary to the report in the Chronicle below, the LAPD
appears to have acted on its own without DEA in seizing the BPG's
The key question now is whether the LAPD turns the assets
over to the state or the feds. Under state law, BPG's assets are
clearly legitimate - they were complying with all business
regulations and paying taxes. If the feds take the case, there is
no defense against forfeiture, even though the BPG's (and CPG's)
assets were legitimately acquired. Ironically, the seizure of their
assets deprives California of $96,000 in sales taxes that they were
going to pay to the state Board of Equalization today. So far, the
DEA's medical marijuana raids have cost California millions of
dollars in tax revenues and hundreds of paying jobs.
The BPG is one of the oldest and most respected patients'
groups in the state, as are its sister clubs in LA and West
Hollywood. In addition to providing cannabis, they provide other
health and social services to their members. They have played a
leadership role in lobbying for safe access to medical marijuana,
working with local officials in support of sensible regulations, and
encouraging and training other providers in responsible dispensary
operation. Four Berkeley city council members were on hand to
express their support for BPG yesterday - Darryl Moore, Maxwell
Anderson, Kriss Worthington and Linda Maio; State Sen. Carole Migden
also communicated her support.
California NORML views the seizure as yet one more
over-the-top outrage by out-of-control elements in the LAPD. The
DEA raids in LA were planned in collaboration with LAPD. Narcotics
agents busted into the California Patients' Group like storm
troopers, breaking through windows in the presence of customers
instead of simply entering through the door. "Los Angeles is 400
miles from Berkeley," said California NORML Dale Gieringer, "The
Bay Area has no use for their dirty cops. The LAPD should mind its
own business and start cleaning house."

- Dale Gieringer

Authorities seize assets of medical marijuana club
Carolyn Jones
SF Chronicle
Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Los Angeles Police Department and the U.S. Drug Enforcement
Agency seized the assets of a Berkeley marijuana club Tuesday,
following a raid of its sister club in Los Angeles.
The Berkeley Patients Group, one of three medical marijuana clubs
in Berkeley, serves about 3,000 people in the East Bay. Medical
marijuana is against federal law but California, under Proposition
215, allows dispensaries to operate.
"It's completely scandalous," said Becky DeKeuster, Berkeley Patients
Group community liaison. "But we're determined to stay open and
assist our patients in any way we can."
The Berkeley club had about $10,000 to $15,000 in its bank account,
DeKeuster said. Employees offered to work without pay until the
matter is resolved.
The Berkeley club's sister organization, California Patients Group,
was raided last week in Los Angeles. Agents seized plants and
handcuffed employees and patients, but no one was arrested, DeKeuster
About 75 backers of the Berkeley club rallied at Tuesday's Berkeley
City Council meeting, asking that the council declare Berkeley a
sanctuary for medical marijuana dispensaries. The council agreed to
hold a hearing on the issue.
"This is really affecting individuals and families who rely on
marijuana to treat diseases and side effects," said Berkeley
spokeswoman Mary Kay Clunies-Ross. "We're definitely going to take a
look at it."
This article appeared on page B - 5 of the San Francisco Chronicle
California NORML, 2215-R Market St. #278, San Francisco CA 94114 -

Come to NORML's 36th Annual National Conference
October 12-13, 2007 - Los Angeles, CA
Act now for discount rooms and reduced registration costs...
Special 'Student' and 'Senior Citizen' discounts available / 888-67-NORML
National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Americans for Safe Access
Thursday Aug 2nd, 2007 12:49 PM
With only a few hours notice, a crowd of at least 65 people gathered in
front of Berkeley City Hall to protest the seizure of assets from
Berkeley Patients Group (BPG), one of the state's flagship medical
cannabis dispensaries. The operators of BPG found out Monday that their
bank accounts had been frozen. In an effort to get those funds released,
and protect against further federal intervention in Berkeley, advocates
called for a rally in front of City Hall. The theme of the rally was to
urge the City Council to adopt a Sanctuary Resolution similar to one
previously adopted in San Francisco.

Speakers at the rally included City Councilmembers Darryl Moore, Maxwell
Anderson, Linda Maio, and Kriss Worthington (that's half of Berkeley's
Councilmembers), Angel Raich, Debby Goldsberry, and myself. BPG
Community Liaison, Becky DeKeuster, did a great job MC'ing the event. We
also obtained and read a statement from State Senator Carole Migden, who
urged the City Council to adopt a Sanctuary Resolution for Berkeley.
Multiple media outlets covered the event.

Because the City Council was conducting an unplanned meeting, it did not
have to allow for public comment. However, the Councilmembers did allow
us five minutes, in which Debby Goldsberry and I spoke about the need to
protect patients and providers from federal interference both in
Berkeley and across the state. Due to public disclosure/notice laws and
the absence of Mayor Tom Bates, a vote to adopt a Sanctuary Resolution
was not possible. This was the last Berkeley City Council meeting until
September, but members assured us that they would take this issue up
upon their return.

Thanks for everyone's help and participation in a hugely successful
event that was pulled off in less than 5 hours. There's much more to do
to ensure that the DEA and the federal government end the war against
patients and providers, but we are moving forward with a show of strength.



Kris Hermes
Media Specialist
Americans for Safe Access
1322 Webster Street, Suite 402
Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: 510-251-1856 x307
Fax: 510-251-2036
Email: kris [at]

Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is the largest
national member-based organization of patients,
medical professionals, scientists and concerned
citizens promoting safe and legal access to
cannabis for therapeutic use and research.
I read some where that the LAPD were responsible for "crack" suddenly apearing to keep the poor and the black communities down and out. Same with AIDS, except the "population control" was started in New York. At one time, AIDS was the number one killer of black men and of let us not forget the Congo in Afrika, where more population control was
clearly started the CIA. I know I sound like some nut case, but my research was well done, and I got parinoid and dumped it all.
It is THE MAN, no matter what uniform he wears, that we should watch for!
We are 100% volunteer and depend on your participation to sustain our efforts!


Donate Now!

$ 202.00 donated
in the past month

Get Involved

If you'd like to help with maintaining or developing the website, contact us.


Publish your stories and upcoming events on Indybay.

IMC Network