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News (Media Awareness Project) - US CA: Feds Close City's Remaining Pot Shop
Title:US CA: Feds Close City's Remaining Pot Shop
Published On:2011-11-22
Source:Orange County Register, The (CA)
Fetched On:2011-11-23 06:02:12

LAKE FOREST - Charles Cafe, the last remaining medical-marijuana
dispensary of nearly 40 that had opened in this city during the past
two years, has been closed by federal agents.

The shop, known to city officials and police as a place that served
pot-infused edibles in a happy hour-type setting after 5 p.m., was
raided Friday, said Orange County Sheriff's Department Lt. Pat Higa,
the city's chief of police services.

Federal agents confiscated the marijuana and marijuana edibles and
arrested the two owners on federal charges, Higa said.

"They were selling edibles, which are in violation of a federal
mandate, Higa said.

Charles Cafe was the last of 38 medical marijuana dispensaries
targeted for closure by city and federal officials. After a two-year
battle and nearly $900,000 in legal fees, city officials on Monday
said they have been successful in shutting down all medical-marijuana
dispensaries in the city.

"Our position from the outset has been that the city's zoning
ordinance and federal narcotics laws shared an important coincidence
of purpose, and that each operated independently to maintain the city
of Lake Forest's quality of life and public safety," City Attorney
Scott Smith said. "We were happy to learn that the Department of
Justice agreed, and that in setting its enforcement priorities, the
department recognized the long-standing and significant commitment of
the City Council to preserve these values through its zoning
enforcement actions."

In the weeks before the raid, repeated attempts to contact owners of
Charles Cafe for comment were unsuccessful.

That closure follows the most recent and probably most-publicized
shutdown of eight dispensaries

On Oct. 6, an effort targeting eight dispensaries on the second floor
of a building in a strip mall on Raymond Way proved to be the final
hurdle in clearing out medical-marijuana dispensaries in the city.

The shops were targeted by federal prosecutors in a massive crackdown
after continued legal wrangling, including multiple appeal efforts.
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