Friday, 31 May 2013

Assistant U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles Intimidates Patient; Forces Closure of Sunset Beach Collective

Advocates for the Disabled and Seriously Ill

P. Greg Parham , the Assistant U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles attacking medical marijuana patients for the last several years, wrote a letter ordering closure of Patient Med Aid, a medical cannabis collective that provides medication to seriously ill and disabled people. Patient Med Aid was the subject of an O.C. Weekly article published in November, 2012 titled "Too Sick to Smoke." The article included interviews with Patient Med Aid members suffering from cancer, PTSD, and AIDS.

Marla James , a wheelchair bound amputee and citizen of Huntington Beach, California, worked to open a Patient Med Aid location in Sunset Beach in February, 2013. The City of Huntington Beach has banned all medical marijuana collectives and dispensaries.  Parham, one of the individuals primarily responsible for the Southern California federal attack on patients, intimidated James and then said he would file a property forfeiture action against the collective's landlord if the patient group did not close immediately.  In mid-May, following up on his letter, Parham called the landlords of the collective and told them he would take the property if they did not force the AIDS, cancer, and disabled patients to stop operating.  A subsequent email exchange between Parham and patient rights attorney Matthew Pappas was also reported in the O.C. Weekly.

On May 31, 2013, Patient Med Aid will close leaving hundreds of seriously-ill patients without access to medical cannabis. In early-2012, when asked what patients were to do after all the collectives in a neighboring city were forced to close through similar federal action, Parham told the husband of a patient they can "go back to the streets" and get their medication illegally.  In a May 23 interview, Parham reported he had filed at least 30 forfeiture cases against landlords and patients despite multiple statements by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and several of his deputies that actions against patients and landlords would not proceed against seriously ill citizens operating in conformance with state law.  To support that it complies with state law, Patient Med Aid provided a comprehensive book showing each patient member and the medical records documenting their prescriptions for medical cannabis as well as their serious illnesses and disabilities.

Asked what she would do when the collective closed, a cancer patient who asked not to be named became tearful and said she did not know how she would access the medication she said was most effective for her during chemotherapy.  Parham did not respond when asked about the patients.  Parham, Steven Welk , Jeff Dunn , Carmen Trutanich , Laura Duffy , and Andre Birotte, Jr. are primarily responsible for the attacks on Southern California patients.

Links to referenced videos and reports:

Comment by P. Greg Parham re: Attacks on Patients, May 23, 2013:

Parham Threatens Marla James, O.C. Weekly, May, 2013:

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