By Marcia E. Gawecki
The “medical” marijuana dispensary operating across from the Shell Station in Hemet/Valle Vista is on Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone’s hit list.
It’s one of 36 pot dispensaries illegally operating in unincorporated areas of Riverside County, which have been banned since 2006.
According to the Dec. 14th issue of The Californian, this move from the County Supervisors comes one month after a state appellate court upheld the city of Riverside’s ban on medical marijuana dispensaries.
“That gave us the legal comfort to aggressively pursue what we have always thought was an illegal operation,” said Supervisor Stone to The Californian. “This is going to put people on notice. They had better cease and desist.”
According to Corinne Daly, one of Supervisor Stone’s legislative assistants, the property located at 44518 Florida Avenue in Hemet/Valle Vista, is on their current list of closures.
“Our office is working closely with Code Enforcement and our legal and law enforcement team in having those activities come to a halt,” Corinne wrote to us in a recent email.
“I think most people believe that dispensaries really cater to the recreational user of marijuana,” Supervisor Stone said in the Dec. 14th article.
The county intends to invoke code enforcement powers and lawsuits to pursue dispensaries unless operators voluntarily shut down. The county also plans to seek recovery for all legal costs associated with its efforts.
For weeks, Idyllwild Me has been rallying to close that dispensary down. It has a tremendous amount of activity at all hours of the day and night.
Cars drive up and park and within 30 seconds, they take off again. It happens at 6 a.m. as well as 8 p.m. on Sundays and holidays. Is all this activity legal? Are all of these people terminally sick with legitimate green cards? We hardly think so.
However, after reporting the activity, the Hemet police said there was little that could be done. (See Idyllwild Me blog post, “Little Recourse for Hemet/Valle Vista Marijuana Dispensary,” dated Nov. 28)
“The only way an officer could investigate that medical marijuana dispensary is if someone said they were able to buy marijuana there without a green card,” the officer said. “We would need actual information.”
However, according to the Dec. 14th article in The Californian, police officers have been lobbying elected officials to find a way to close pot dispensaries down for years.
Now they have Supervisor Stone’s bite and the state’s legal backing, it’s time to “Get Er Done.”
They could start by looking at the dispensary’s books. Bet the hundreds of customers the Valle Vista pot dispensary sees each day only pay quick cash, and there’s no credit card and check receipts. Perhaps the IRS would like to see the books too, and get their fair share.
Corinne Daly said Supervisor Stone’s office would keep us apprised of their progress.
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