Roseville Medical Marijuana Dispensary Closes for Good

September 30, 2004

, KXTV - Sacramento

The owner of a medical marijuana dispensary in Roseville has shut down his business in the aftermath of a federal raid earlier this month.

Richard Marino, the owner of Capitol Compassionate Care, decided to close the business in the face of threats of arrest and imprisonment.

Federal drug agents raided Marino's dispensary and his Newcastle garden on September 3. Nobody was arrested, but the store was temporarily closed.

Since then Marino says he has lost all 14 of his employees because they fear arrest in the future. He tried to keep the business going on his own but found he was unable to do all the work himself.

In talking to his lawyer, Marino discovered that if prosecuted in federal court, he could potentially face multiple life prison terms. 'Nobody wanted to go to prison,' said Marino. 'I didn't want any of my employees to go to prison. I don't want to go to prison myself trying to take care of sick people.'

Marino would not say what he had done with the inventory he had left from the business, which had been open just seven months.

Marino was operating his business under a law voters passed in 1996 that allows for the medicinal use of marijuana. It conflicts with federal laws that make all uses of marijuana illegal. The controversy grew more complex after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals handed down two rulings that federal authorities do not have the power to go after noncommercial medical marijuana operations within the state of California. The U.S. Department of Justice is appealing those rulings to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Marino, who uses marijuana to treat chronic pain following a car accident, says there are about 100 other medical marijuana dispensaries in the state where patients can have their prescriptions filled.

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