In my dead-tree edition of the Bong Blotter this week, about the ongoing potpocalypse in Orange County, I quoted the wheelchair-bound medical marijuana activist Marla James about her difficulties in finding a location for her cannabis collective, Patient Med-Aid. Patient Med-Aid is a group of severely-ill patients I profiled last November in my story, “Sick Enough to Smoke.”
After the feds targeted the club and others in Anaheim, James was able to re-open Patient Med-Aid in Sunset Beach. Then, the cops effectively shut it down by parking a police car in front of the club. James reopened the club but is already shutting it down again. “”We're working with the city to find a location in an industrial zone,” James told me this week. “But I have to say it's a bitch to find a landlord who will rent to us.”
Now I know why James is having such a hard time finding a landlord.
Yesterday, James' attorney, Matthew Pappas, provided me with an email exchange between him and U.S. attorney Greg Parham in which Parham states that he had contacted Patient Med-Aid's most recent landlord in Sunset Beach and threatened to seize the building. That threat came in the form of a March 13 letter.
Parham then followed up this month and demanded to know when the collective would be evicted. “She [the landlord] said that she had received our warning letter and had asked the tenant to leave,” Parham says his the email. “I asked if she had any timeframe when the tenants were expected to be gone. She added that they were supposed to be gone by May 7, 2013, but have not vacated yet.”
In response to Parham's email, Pappas congratulated Parham in his efforts to stymie a group of sick California residents from exercising their rights under state law. “Patient Med-Aid and Marla James are not the people you want to be targeting, Greg,” he added.
In all fairness, though, it's no surprise Parham is going after Patient Med-Aid. After all, he's the same attorney who is going after Tony Jalali and his dentist wife, the couple that owns the building the DEA targeted over $37 in medical marijuana sales, causing even the judge in that case to question Parham's judgment.