Dana Point Shuts Down Three Pot Clubs

It's getting harder to find legal marijuana in Dana Point. In March 2010, city officials sued half a dozen cannabis collectives in an effort to shut them down, demanding access to patient lists and other records. The next month, sheriff's officials raided the Safe Harbor Collective as well as homes connected to the club. And on Monday, officials cut the power and closed the doors of a trio of clubs: the Beach Cities Collective, Holistic Health and the Point Alternative Care.

The Orange County Register's Vik Jolly, who has been covering the city's war on weed, broke the news of the raids here. Orange County city governments doing everything they can to subvert state law and prevent citizens from smoking legal cannabis isn't exactly surprising, although it does still qualify as news. But what's remarkable about this particular raid, as Jolly notes, is that city officials are actually trying to pretend the raids had nothing to do with pot.

“Laws that were enforced today had nothing to do with marijuana,” Dana Point city attorney Patrick Munoz told Jolly. “These are standard municipal codes that are adopted by every city in the state. . . . If they were selling shoes or stationary [sic] without a certificate of occupancy, they'd be subject to the same laws that we utilized today.”

An attorney for one of the clubs, Alison James, doesn't buy that. “This is an illegal action by the city and an attempt to deprive the people of Dana Point the benefits that the voters of the state of California and the Legislature intended them to have,” she argued.

Jolly concludes by noting that Dana Point has already wasted 18 months in court harassing pot clubs, racking up a legal bill of $370,000 so far, with no resolution in sight. Apparently, they finally figured out that turning off electricity and locking doors is cheaper than filing specious lawsuits. 

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