This week has been full of crappy news for advocates of medical marijuana here in Orange County. First, there was the failed effort by U.S. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) to amend the Justice Department's spending bill by preventing funding for the federal crackdown of medical marijuana dispensaries in California and other states that allow medical pot. Rohrabacher won no less than 163 of his colleagues to vote in favor of the measure, but 262 voted to continue the crackdown, including 19 mostly Republican legislators from California.
It's not just the feds that are pushing ahead with their misguided attempts to circumvent state law, though. Here in Orange County, the number of cities cracking down all by their lonesomes–Lake Forest, Dana Point, Costa Mesa, what's up!–is growing every week. The latest: Santa Ana. The city has had a medical pot ban for five years and has so far shut down dozens of dispensaries, but since not all cannabis clubs have fled yet, the city is ramping up the crackdown with frequent code enforcement fines.
Award-winning investigative journalist Nick Schou is managing editor of OC Weekly. He is the author of Kill the Messenger: How the CIA’s Crack Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb (Nation Books 2006), which provided the basis for the 2014 Focus Features release starring Jeremy Renner and the L.A. Times-bestseller Orange Sunshine: The Brotherhood of Eternal Love’s Quest to bring Peace, Love and Acid to the World, (Thomas Dunne 2009). He is also the author of The Weed Runners (2013) and Spooked: How the CIA Manipulates the Media and Hoodwinks Hollywood (2016).