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New Medical Marijuana Dispensary in Murrieta Under Scrutiny

The cooperative opened nine days ago in Murrieta, its owners said.

A medical marijuana cooperative and dispensary that opened in Murrieta nine days ago has come under scrutiny.

The city of Murrieta has called a special meeting Tuesday, in which Police Chief Mike Baray will ask Council to adopt a resolution declaring the operation a "public nuisance."

Owners Beth Burns and Charles Thompson of Azusa opened the cooperative at 26690 Madison Ave., Suite 103, and said they have 200 patients, mostly gained through word of mouth.

The name of the cooperative is CMG Outreach, or Cooperative Medical Group. The owners say they were issued a permit by the State Board of Equalization to sell medical marijuana.

On their fifth day of business, Burns' daughter, Lena Burns, also a partner in the co-op, was present when she said Murrieta police officers searched the facility. They said they have received several citations since then, ranging from $500 to $2,500.

Notice of the special meeting was posted by the city late Monday afternoon. Murrieta police could not be reached for comment as of publication time.

Medical marijuana cardholders are screened as they enter the door of the business, Burns said. Their cards are then checked against the Medical Board of California, as are the doctors who issued them, she said.

"This is safe access and if they are going to let one in the city, why not let one who is doing it right 150 percent," Burns said.

She said many of their patients are used to driving to San Diego or Los Angeles, but have expressed their gratitude for the closer, clean facility.

It has been a rocky opening for the dispensary, as the owners say it was burglarized late Friday night. The front door of the business is boarded up until it can be replaced, and is being monitored by two security guards employed by the co-op. The burglars were caught on camera, the owners said.

In 2005, the city of Murrieta adopted an ordinance prohibiting the operation of medical marijuana dispensaries. Excluded were clinics, treatment facilities and residential treatment centers.

The special meeting is set for 7 p.m. during the Council's regularly scheduled meeting at One Town Square, 24601 Jefferson Ave.

The meeting notice did not go into detail, and CMG's owners said they were not aware a meeting had been called.

"The state is granting us these licenses but we can't go anywhere," Burns said. "And I chose Murrieta because it is a safe place, with beautiful surroundings. I like the people and I want to operate safely here."

Frederick July 19, 2011 at 10:36 AM
The yuppies need to leave these folks alone. They are running a legitimate, state sanctioned business, and from what I've read, they're following the law to the letter. These people are providing legal medication for people who really need it. Before you decide to call this business a 'public nuisance' think about this: What if it was you, or someone you loved who needed this medicine and couldn't get it just because someone else thought a medical marijuana dispensary was 'a nuisance'? People have to be in pain and suffer, because it's 'not right' to have a dispensary in town? Have some compassion for your fellow human being.
Conservative Christian July 19, 2011 at 01:58 PM
Jesus said to do unto others as we would have them to do unto us. None of us would want our child thrown in jail with the sexual predators over marijuana. None of us would want to see an older family member’s home confiscated and sold by the police for growing a couple of marijuana plants for their aches and pains. It’s time to stop putting our own family members in jail over marijuana. The current proposal before Congress, bill HR 2306, will allow states to decide how they will regulate marijuana. Email your Congressperson and Senators at http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml and ask them to sign on as a CO-SPONSOR of HR 2306. For more info, here’s the USA Today article http://content.usatoday.com/communities/onpolitics/post/2011/06/ron-paul-barney-frank-marijuana-/1 And a big THANK YOU to the courageous, freedom-loving legislators, governors, and countless others who are working so hard to bring this through! You’re doing a great patriotic service for all of America!
Diane July 19, 2011 at 03:40 PM
Leave them alone!
Marlene July 19, 2011 at 03:58 PM
The city should leave this business alone. This is a prescription medication that some people need to function. The police should stop harassing this dispensary.
geri July 19, 2011 at 09:29 PM
People are up in arms about this, but not pain Managment clinics that issue people prescription for opiates that are highly addictive??!! I was one of those people, it destroyed my life I went from a mom in chronic pain to being a addict! I went to rehab and am now clean from all drugs but it is proven that marijuana is safer then what "legit" doctors are prescribe! So I say leave them alone as long as they are only dispensing to people that truly need it! Why not check out pain clinics they are making people into addicts and keeping them that way for money!!and the kind of addicts that end up committing crimes to get their fix! And this is coming from someone that's been there and now clean for 1 year and in 12 step program!
Andy July 19, 2011 at 10:16 PM
Leave them alone! They are legal under state law, this was voted on 15 years ago. They're legitimate.
Andy July 19, 2011 at 10:41 PM
I guess police are one of the tons of fully licensed and trained doctors who have recommended the medical use of marijuana for tons of ailments. I guess the police would rather the patients get their marijuana from illegal drug dealers, instead of a licensed establishment. I hate constantly reading about this. What is the big deal about marijuana dispensaries? They've been legal under state law for years. People with doctors recommendations walk in, get their medical marijuana, and go home. I recently read in SF Weekly that San Francisco's marijuana dispensaries generated only 11 complaints in 5 years (the complaints were also for small issues). That's less than almost any other business in the area. So it is now known that dispensaries make crime go down, not up. No illegal unregulated sales. Look how many people use marijuana and medical marijuana. Read Proposition 215 and Senate Bill 420, City of Murrieta.
LBV Collins July 19, 2011 at 11:41 PM
I empathize with your experience, Geri. I’m sorry it happened, but I’m glad you survived and overcame your addiction. My wife also sees a pain management specialist. His professional focus is specific: he helps people manage their chronic pain with medications. The meds are taken orally, or can be injected directly into the site where the pain occurs. My wife requires both oral meds and injections to manage her chronic pain. What concerns us both about these medications are the potential side effects she may suffer. To manage her pain, her doctor has prescribed Hydrocodone, Methadone, and Lidocaine. She also gets steroid injections. These are potent meds, and their long-term use can cause other physical problems, including addiction. From what I have learned about medical marijuana, it has shown efficacy as a pain-management alternative to these other drugs[1], is significantly less harmful physically[2], and is virtually non-addictive.[3] I, too, encourage our city to leave this business alone and allow it to provide a safe alternative to the more dangerous and highly addictive drugs currently prescribed to those in chronic pain. 1. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi= 2. http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/hemp/marieff.htm 3. http://norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=3418#question8
Gina July 20, 2011 at 01:17 AM
I agree with everyone else and I hope the dipwads who are holding this city meeting take a moment to read what the people in this city seem to believe.
dg July 20, 2011 at 12:57 PM
it is a known fact that legalization takes the criminal element out, and compared to alcohol, please, give it a rest. Don't we all have a lot bigger things to worry about????
End of the Rope July 25, 2011 at 07:22 PM
Thanks for posting the address. I will remind nearby Autohaus to lock up my car when it is in for servicing. Druggies will steal ANYTHING to get their dope. Even if it is "legalized". The burglars who stole from me and pawned $15,000 worth of watches for $100 admitted to simply wanting $$ "for weed".


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