Mother Earth lives to dispense another day

July 24, 2012

Hutton Marshall, San Diego City Beat

The only medical-marijuana collective operating with the county’s approval says it will reopen tomorrow for normal dispensing hours.

Mother Earth’s Alternative Healing Cooperative had emptied out its stock in anticipation of a visit from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, says Eugene Davidovich, a representative from Americans for Safe Access.

The collective, however, was able to temporarily stave off eviction by filing for bankruptcy.

Sheriff’s spokesperson Jan Caldwell confirmed in an email what went down:

The only medical marijuana collective licensed by the County of San Diego "Mother Earth Alternative Healing," in unincorporated El Cajon was to be officially been closed today after a year of operation. The closure was the result of the action taken by the U.S. Attorney to go after property owners who were renting/leasing to dispensary operators. The eviction was a ten-month process that included an unlawful detainer filing and many requests for a stay of execution by Mother Earth operators.

As we arrived to serve the eviction notice, Mother Earth advised they have filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11. This is a civil matter between the business and the landlord. If/when their doors open, their permit – issued by the Sheriff's Department – is valid.
Advocates for Mother Earth also went to the San Diego Federal Courthouse where members of Americans for Safe Access and Canvass for a Cause protested U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy’s campaign to shut down collectives by threatening to seize the buildings in which they operate.

Anti-pot activists Scott Chipman (right) and John Redman (left)
Anti-pot activist Scott Chipman of San Diegans United for Safe Neighborhoods also attended the rally with John Redman, the executive director of California Alliance for Drug Free Youth.

Redman says the dispensaries are misinterpreting and exploiting Prop. 215 and SB420, the California laws intended to govern how sick people can access marijuana.

“If a guy is in pain and medical marijuana makes him feel better, that’s fine. I don’t care about that,” Redman says. “But these dispensaries are operating illegally, and now they’re getting shut down.”

The pro-dispensary crowd began chanting “Shame!” shortly after spotting Chipman and Redman.



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