When State and Federal Laws Conflict, Guess Who Wins
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Medical marijuana was approved by California voters 12 years ago. But under federal law, it’s as illegal as cocaine and heroin. The US Supreme Court says federal law prevails, so a jury has convicted a Morro Bay dispensary owner for selling and distribution despite his support from the town mayor. Also tonight, three LA area hospitals are accused of recruiting homeless people for Medicare fraud.
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Local Hospitals Raided In Medicare Fraud Investigation ()Three southern California hospitals have been accused of rounding up homeless people on Skid Row, faking medical illnesses and collecting payments from Medicare and Medi-Cal. The FBI today served warrants at the City of Angels and Metropolitan Medical Centers in Los Angeles and the Tustin Hospital and Medical Center in Orange County.
- Cara Mia Dimassa: Reporter for the Los Angeles Times
Marijuana Dispensary Owner Found Guilty—Federal Law Always Wins ()Charles Lynch runs Central Coast Compassionate Caregivers in Morro Bay—a dispensary for medical marijuana. Under the state law approved by voters in 1996, that’s perfectly legal, and Lynch has the support of Morro Bay’s Mayor. But yesterday in Los Angeles a federal court jury convicted Lynch of selling and distributing marijuana. Marijuana is illegal under federal law, and the US Supreme Court has ruled that federal law prevails. Lynch could be sentenced to between 5 and 85 years in federal prison.
- John Litrell: Deputy Federal Public Defender
- Thom Mrozek: Spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles
- Janice Peters: Mayor of Moro Bay
- Ed McCann: Runs the Green Sun Collective, a medical marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles near LAX
Which Way L.A.? is made possible in part by the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, and the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation, which supports study and research into policy issues of the Los Angeles region.
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