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Central Valley | Drug War | Front Page

Tue Feb 9 2010 (Updated 02/10/10)
Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Shut Down in Fresno
Tue Feb 9 2010 (Updated 02/10/10)
Owner of MedMar Rick Morse Arrested
On Tuesday, February 9, police arrested Rick Morse, the owner of Med Mar, the last medical marijuana dispensary in the City of Fresno. Morse was arrested for violating a court order which closed about one dozen dispensaries in January.

The City of Fresno's ordinance on medical marijuana dispensaries severely restricts their ability to operate legally. The ordinance says that dispensaries must comply with both state and federal law. Medical marijuana is legal under state law, but illegal under federal statutes. In January a judge issued a preliminary injunction, closing the dispensaries until the issue could be heard in court.

All but one dispensary, Med Mar, shut down. Med Mar owner Rick Morse explained why: "it appears there is some confusion in the ordinance. It says medical marijuana dispensaries are allowed as long as they comply with state and federal law. I assert that we are complying with state and federal law."

Morse's son Brandon spoke to the media about his fathers arrest. He said "This morning my father was illegally arrested by the City of Fresno. They executed an unconstitutionally void warrant for his arrest. Today, my father peacefully went with the authorities and as of 12 Noon he has started a fast for justice. I have joined him in this fast and we are asking people from across the city to pray for him."

Indymedia journalist Mike Rhodes spoke with several medical marijuana patients outside Med Mar who talked about the arrest. The first person, who preferred to remain anonymous said “this makes it to where people that are sick, that have been proven to be sick by their doctors, they can’t get their medicine. So, how does that help the City of Fresno, keeping people that are sick and that are in pain from getting their medicine?”

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