Saturday, November 14, 2009

Big Brother Watching? Pot Dispensaries Appeal Court Order To Turn Over Client Names

Watching you? (Photo by LiveBloid, Wikimedia Commons)

By Steve Elliott in Chronic City

Five medical marijuana dispensaries in Dana Point, Calif., are appealing an Orange County Superior Court ruling ordering them to turn over records -- including client lists -- to the city as part of an investigation into dispensary operations.

"I think everyone kind of had the same idea about appealing the order for the reason of protecting third-party names and some of the privileged items that we believe shouldn't be disclosed," attorney Lee Petros, representing the Point Alternative Care dispensary, told the Orange County Register.

All five pot dispensaries in Dana Point must hand over their records to the city by Dec. 7, according to a ruling by Judge Glenda Sanders. Sanders also ordered the disclosure of member names to be limited to city attorneys, a financial consultant retained for advice in the investigation, and the assistant city manager, "who will oversee and assist the consultant in his analysis," according to the Register.

Bruce Mirken of the Marijuana Policy Project hopes the appeal succeeds. "For city officials to be allowed to receive confidential medical information for what appears to be a fishing expedition would be an extremely dangerous precedent," Mirken told me. "It would be nice if patients could have complete trust in their local officials, but they don't, and for good reason."

Read the rest at Chronic City in the SF Weekly blog, "The Snitch": Chronic City: Pot Dispensaries Appeal Order To Turn Over Client Names

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