Waiting to Inhale Customers Pack Marijuana Store Reopening after U.S. Raid

Article excerpt

MILAHHR KEMNAH strode into the Cannabis Cultivators Club on Wednesday, paid $10 and got two plastic bags of low-grade Mexican-grown pot. He became the first person in the United States since the 1930s to buy marijuana under the protection of state law.

"I feel glad and I feel lucky. History is being made," Kemnah, who has AIDS, declared before rolling a joint.

The club reopened on Wednesday five months after state narcotics agents raided it and shut it down. But voter approval in November of Proposition 215 - a measure legalizing marijuana for medical uses - and a judge's ruling last week allowed the club to get back in business. Before the raid, the club had operated illegally for years, but police in San Francisco looked the other way. Would-be pot-smokers lined up to get membership cards on opening day of the Cultivators Club. The organization will sell marijuana to people with AIDS, glaucoma and other serious illnesses to relieve their symptoms. Prospective members had to bring doctors' notes, diagnoses and identification. Club organizers called doctors to confirm that the documents were legitimate before issuing computer-generated ID cards with photos and a bar-code strip. The next step was purchasing the pot from Randi Webster, who had six types available, from Mexican-grown to top-quality California "quad." Prices ranged from $5 to $65 per one-eighth-ounce bag. Also for sale were marijuana cookies, truffles and vials of marijuana tincture that can be dropped into tea or coffee. "Is everyone getting confirmed?" club founder Dennis Peron said. …