News

City aims to close 'scofflaw' pot club

May 28 hearing could decide if 'Buddy's' violated zoning regulations

The city has filed an injunction to shut down a storefront marijuana dispensary in Mountain View known as Buddy's even as it works to create regulations to allow such businesses.

According to court papers filed April 28 at the City Council's request, the city says it is entitled to $1,000 a day in fines against property owner Mizrahi Building of Mountain View, LLC, named as a defendant along with the dispensary, for the continued operation of Buddy's, which opened on April 20 at 2632 Bayshore Parkway. The injunction request calls Buddy's Cannabis Patient Collective a "scofflaw medical marijuana dispensary" because it violates the city's building code, zoning ordinance, business license ordinance and the city's recently approved temporary ban on marijuana dispensaries.

Buddy's could be ordered to close at a court hearing scheduled for May 28, said interim city attorney Jannie Quinn. She would not comment further on the case, but said it was not going to delay her assignment from the City Council to draft regulations allowing medical marijuana dispensaries in Mountain View.

"We're trying to figure out how to do this as best possible for our residents," said Mayor Ronit Bryant, referring to the possible regulations. "We need the time to do that. It's really disappointing to not have people wait for us to figure this out and do the best job we can."

When asked if the injunction was worth starting a potentially costly legal battle for the city, Bryant said "We made certain decisions and we have to live by them. We decided on a process and we are continuing with that process. We're trying to run a well-regulated city."

Quinn said regulations are being drafted for council review in early June, just after the scheduled May 28 court hearing for Buddy's. Those regulations include possible zoning regulations on the location of pot clubs in the city, a possible limit on the number of pot clubs allowed in Mountain View, building security requirements and rules against using marijuana on the premises, Quinn said.

The city is seeking both a temporary and permanent injunction against Buddy's, which means a judge could decide at the May 28 hearing to shut down Buddy's temporarily before deciding whether to shut it down for good, Quinn said.

In the injunction request the city argues that "California appellate courts have recently upheld injunctions against marijuana dispensary operations on essentially the same grounds as those urged by the city here."

The filing notes two Southern California cases, City of Claremont v. Kruse in 2009 and City of Corona v. Naulls in 2008.

The owner of Buddy's, wealthy corporate lawyer Matt Lucero, hopes that Northern California appellate courts will have a different opinion. He believes state law allows medical marijuana dispensaries despite the city's regulations and he has hired outside legal counsel to handle a fight that he hopes will end up in state Supreme Court. He says he has also promised to reimburse his landlord for any fines the city imposes.

The city says Buddy's failed to apply for building and planning permits and was denied a business license the day before it opened. According to the court filing, a code enforcement officer found several code violations inside Buddy's that would have prevented building permits from being issued. A stairway and mezzanine are identified as "non-compliant with current codes, including the lack of a proper guardrail and/or handrail, and therefore...presenting hazardous life safety concerns."

Lucero said Monday that he is planning to launch a public relations campaign to illustrate how the collective has helped people in the area treat various ailments with marijuana. He says the collective now has over 300 members and has taken in $30,000 in "contributions." Lucero said he is now considering which local non-profits will receive any excess revenue.

Comments

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Posted by Anonymous OG
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 6, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Legalization and free market trade will put an end to all this BS and really help bring affordable marry jane to the masses. I don't really like any of the clubs because they are all charging what amounts to "street prices" all while hiding behind "medical marijuana". I can can get a better deal from my local "dealer" than many of the clubs charge and my local "dealer" is definitely "for profit" so I don't buy into the guise of "compassion" and "not for profit" BS many of these clubs are spewing.

I am also against prohibition of any kind as it dose not work and only helps to further enrich/fund criminal behavior/enterprises. Legalization/taxation strips criminals and bad guys of their main source of funding and filters out all but the actual addict/user, while shifting funding to the tax paying citizenry that inevitability pick's up the tab for social/rehabilitation programs. Legalization/taxation would make it so "addicts/users" directly fund those programs/services which from they drain revenue/resources from; all while providing more than enough for treatment facilities VS. the much more expensive incarceration rates currently negotiated by the CA/SCC DOC prison industry complex (AKA:unions).

Many people have forgotten about the "cause" (legalization), too busy blinded by greed to remember that legalization and low cost were the main goals of the marijuana movement, not simply moving "street" activities and "street" prices into a building and calling it a cause/movement. What we really need to do is get people to the polls in November to legalize marijuana outright and then it can compete in the free market and with that prices will fall in line like any other crop, fruit, or vegetable.

So if your tired of all the BS and just want access to marijuana without dealing with scummy pot clubs and want the prices to drop significantly (and unless your a drug dealer you should) ROCK THE VOTE IN NOVEMBER, VOTE "YES" FOR LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA IN CA!!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by PotHeadsSuck
a resident of Whisman Station
on May 6, 2010 at 2:34 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by B.D.
a resident of North Whisman
on May 6, 2010 at 3:07 pm

OG you have very valid points. Hopefully soon after November and the passage of Web Link Buddy's will no longer be necessary. Neither will the Shoreline Wellness Collective(SWC) for that matter. SWC will be created anyway in light of all the latest developments in the "MMJ" movement. SWC has in its Articles of Incorporation as a Not for Profit Mutual benefit Corporation on file with the Secretary of State and uses as its mission statement is to provide safe and AFFORDABLE access to medicinal cannabis for qualified members of the collective. Seventy Dollars for an eighth is not affordable Buddy.That is like OG put it, taking advantage of a situation. I am glad to hear that compassionate ordinance is on the horizon for Mountain View, and I applaud Jannie Quinn for her diligent actions with no delay to the matter at hand. SWC is in negotiations for a suitable location to handle patients needs as soon as the city says how they would like to see it played out. I know Matt drives by at least 2-5 "clubs" on his way to "work" from his Home in Campbell. Why is he here in Mountain View again? Oh yea, almost forgot, for the patients... Hold tight for another 30 days Mtn. View and we shall seek relief together.
Sincerely Yours,
Brian David
Executive Director
Shoreline Wellness Collective
Mountain View, CA


 +   Like this comment
Posted by jane
a resident of North Whisman
on May 6, 2010 at 3:33 pm

With all the budget problems here in Mountain View, why the heck would any responsible governmental representative even consider wasting money from the City of MV to fight this pot club? It is not like there is a huge line of criminals standing outside this club pounding on the doors and screaming for pot and then running through the streets raping and pillaging with their pot-induced insanities. Just ignore it and let the paperwork be filed and don't waste my money!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hardin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 6, 2010 at 3:57 pm

"Legalization and free market trade will put an end to all this BS..."

------------

That's the same line of reasoning Wall Street and big business have used to prevent effective regulation of their industries, with the eventual results of abuse and mismanagement hurting the general public. In the larger sense, Medicinal Marijuana currently lacks the 2 things that would ensure responsible use: documented scientific proof of its efficacy and medicinal properties, and a reliable structure of regulation.

Advocating for Medicinal Marijuana without proper attention to these 2 factors is no different than allowing drilling offshore without sufficient emergency backup plans, or allowing the creation of questionable financial instruments with no regard for their inherent risks.

It's clear that relying on market forces alone, without effective regulation from third party entities, amounts to a ticking time bomb, that will hurt those most vulnerable and least responsible.

That's why the City's moratorium on dispensaries should be respected. If the rule of law is not going to be followed now, then there's little credibility that it will ever be followed in the future, and the shell game of calling something "medicine", will be exposed for what it really is: a way of bypassing all established systems and controls required for other legal drugs.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 6, 2010 at 4:00 pm

Prop 215 passed in 1996. How much time does Mountain View need to "study" before complying with state law?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous OG
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 6, 2010 at 4:50 pm

Hardin, You sound like a bleeding-heart liberal bureaucrat with your "lets create an agency to watch over another agency" a great example of bureaucratic wastefulness that is so prevalent in today's "big brother/big spending" federal/state/county/city governments. Who's going watch over the watchers? How much dose all that cost and where dose it end? This kind of thinking impeeds progress and removes "the will" of a free-thinking society by catering to a small but vocal minority. I'll make my own decision on what to buy or what to smoke for that matter, thank you very much.

I should also be free to paint my property purple, keep an old beat up classic parked in my driveway, and hang American flags all over my property if I so choose without interference from any kind of bureaucrat/official catering to those with the highest campaign contributions or pandering to groups with special interest in order to get reelected. I say we need to fire all these bureaucrats and those who interfere with progress and free will, we can make a our own decisions. We only need basic laws NO (burglaries, robberies, sexual assaults, domestic violence, stalking, child abuse, workplace and school shootings, drunk driving ect).

Sometimes you can regulate something to death and it ends up not serving "the people" but hindering/enslaving "the people" with red tape and even worse, penalties/fines, for exercising their God given right to freedom and free will because a few people don't like their choices. This is especially egregious when it neither interferes with ones personal enjoyment of life and/or freedoms/liberties yet is met with penalties/fines/sanctions that are inherently unnecessary and act purely as a punitive sanction to promote the agenda of a small minority with political connections (most city/county ordinances fall into this category). We don't need more and more regulation, it's costly and circumvents individuals rights to live free.

Free market marijuana conditions are more conducive to free choice/access, hell I think even prescription medication should be given upon request so long as the patient has been adivized of the risk/benefits, I don't like having to beg/convince any doctor as to what he may "allow" me to have/take, just explain the risk/benefit analysis and I'll make the decision; don't need big brother trying to "parent/control" what I choose to take/do as a free willed person. I'm quite capable of deciding what's best for me and what risk-to-benifit ratio I'm willing to gamble with.

Will regards to wall street, the government sold us down the river long ago when they sold the bank's off and stopped backing currency with something tangible. It's all just feel good paper now anyway and number flipping/changing in a computer somewhere. If everyone were to cash all their money/stocks/bonds/property ect in and demand cash-what do you think would happen? Oh let me guess we need a some agency, oversight committee, fiscal/environmental impact report before we would be "allowed" to do that first......get real! The corporations run the government but there is still hope for the state and local governments to get their act together and restore individual freedoms/free-will before we become a total "military state".


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous OG
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 6, 2010 at 5:11 pm

By the way Hardin, there are so many laws/regulations/ordinances already that it is dam near impossible exist and not break one or more daily. It is also impossible to know all of them as there are so many. They were not designed for you to know all of them as they selectively enforced. We all know the big stuff (murder, rape, kidnapping, sexual assault, battery ect) while the lesser known laws/ordinances/regulations are used primarily to target so call "undesirable" or "nuisance" citizens.

I say again all the BS rules/ordinances/regulations that change constantly (to cater to the will of the elite) are the real nuisance and unconstitutional to say the least. They are used to control/silence those who choose not to go with the "status quo", pit neighbor against neighbor, and allow law enforcement to get away with what would be tantamount to harassment without such laws/ordinances/regulations acting as a permission slip/condoning "selective enforcement" of the citizenry who are often the least able (financially) to fight back and stand up for their rights. It used to be free but now requires an attorney (thanks to all the complication from bureaucrats/law makers).


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hardin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 6, 2010 at 5:38 pm

"Hardin, You sound like a bleeding-heart liberal bureaucrat..."

Nope, and neither would classifying you as a hard nosed anarchist with survivalist tendencies and a cabin in the "woods" might accurately describe you. The prevalence with casting things as polar opposites, right/wrong, good/evil, republican/democrat, etc...suggests a generalization of the facts in order to have it make sense for a simplistic mind. I don't believe most people (and their beliefs) fit into neat categories.

"I should also be free to paint my property purple, keep an old beat up classic parked in my driveway, and hang American flags all over my property if I so choose without interference from any kind of bureaucrat/official catering"

And yet you do need to abide by the uniform building code and any other specific ordinances the city has. That's the responsibility every citizen has when they agree to live in society. What you "want" to do isn't synonymous with what you "have" to do.

"Sometimes you can regulate something to death and it ends up not serving "the people" but hindering/enslaving "the people" "

And sometimes good people do bad things....I agree with you theoretically, but you have yet to prove this general "idea" applies to regulation of Medicinal Marijuana, as it has not yet had a chance to be regulated as a legal drug. How do you know it will be over-regulated?

"Will regards to wall street, the government sold us down the river long ago when they sold the bank's off and stopped backing currency with something tangible. It's all just feel good paper now anyway and number flipping/changing in a computer somewhere....."

...Um

So, to heck with the financial system and corporate governance, let's just sit back and enjoy our God given freedom to self medicate with Medicinal Marijuana?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous OG
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 6, 2010 at 6:21 pm

"And yet you do need to abide by the uniform building code and any other specific ordinances the city has. That's the responsibility every citizen has when they agree to live in society. What you "want" to do isn't synonymous with what you "have" to do."

Hardin, explain to me why this "uniform building code" is so important and why my purple house, old beat up classic, and American flags shouldn't be MY choice on MY property? I'm sure it will have something to do with money (again ordinances for the elite) since there is no reason why what I do on my property infringes upon what you can do on yours, in fact, I would encourage you to freely express yourself on your property while you would limit my enjoyment and/or expression on my property, WHY? Law's like this are what is turning the country into a police state.

"And sometimes good people do bad things....I agree with you theoretically, but you have yet to prove this general "idea" applies to regulation of Medicinal Marijuana, as it has not yet had a chance to be regulated as a legal drug. How do you know it will be over-regulated?"

Again, explain to me why I must convince you or anyone else for that matter why/what I choose to ingest. Prohibition simply doesn't work and minimal government interference, such as requiring purchasers to be above 18 or not driving, is not a problem with me, in fact, I support that. Too much regulation/confusing regulation is currently what we have. The laws are vague and are providing a perfect cesspool for greedy individuals to capitalize on the incompetence. This includes deals and the doctors who recommend patience for absorbent fees for visits/cards/renewing fees. I loath these people but they are the first step to greater acceptance and have established the "medicinal" side of marijuana, it's not great but furthers the cause somewhat.

In trying to tie it to the prescription/Dr. recommendation business side of it, it is currently not serving the general good (prices/availability). Free market will bring down prices, again I believe in marijuana as our God given right and believe in it's healing properties, both medicinal and spiritual, and want to see it in my grocery store with farmers/prices competing like any other crop. I could care less about the business/greed money making side of it. It actually, in my opinion, hurts the cause when these shady individuals misuse/abuse the medical marijuana laws for personal greed instead of promoting low prices and medicinal/spiritual healing. They are trying to squeeze patients from every angle.

"So, to heck with the financial system and corporate governance, let's just sit back and enjoy our God given freedom to self medicate with Medicinal Marijuana?"

Dam skippy on the last part! The financial system and corporate governance issues are so large it would cause me some mental anguish and I might have to light up a fat one to get some relief, so i won't go there. Suffice to say we have been royally screwed and being the Patriot that I am, I see no way to fix it short of a 2nd revolution.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 10, 2010 at 1:50 am

Why doesn't the city shut down the Monte Carlo? Mob money?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by ThatMMAguy
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 13, 2010 at 11:55 am

With all the budget problems here in Mountain View, why the heck would any responsible governmental representative even consider wasting money from the City of MV to fight this pot club? --- With CA being a "blue" state, what then makes you believe there is any chance this is a "responsible representative"? Dems constantly holler about being on the side of the working man but they never hold to it. Dems and Repubs fight in public, then behind closed doors swap hookers and booze and likely weed. It's a (pardon the pun) smokescreen...raise a public righteous indignation to rein in the votes because just saying no is still "cool". Can we guess what the next line will be? There's always the old stand-by: "Think of the children". Once the Dems pull their oft used emo card, you better not disagree or you are a Nazi!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cancer-fighter
a resident of Jackson Park
on May 15, 2010 at 12:58 pm

HARDIN: "Medicinal Marijuana currently lacks the 2 things that would ensure responsible use: documented scientific proof of its efficacy and medicinal properties..."


How many times have I heard that tired argument.


Screw the scientific proof. As a patient personally going through the hell of Chemotherapy and the nausea that comes with it, I'M PROOF ENOUGH that Cannabis does the job.


If it weren't for smoking the stuff, I wouldn't have an appetite and would be wasting away. I know this as fact because when I don't have any and the effects wear off, I just throw up everything I try to eat or drink.


I lost 30 lbs in the hospital, plus many more before then while sick at home before I went in for diagnosis and the resulting treatment, and it's only because of the hunger and anti-nausea effect of pot that I have been able to recover so well.


There's your proof.


.


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