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Rolling pot dispensary targeted in Riverside

April 26, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Riverside County man took his mobile medical marijuana collective on the road several months ago. But authorities say he's running more than a pot collective out of his RV, and they've threatened to put him in jail.Stewart Hauptman is a former jockey with arthritis in his knees. He says he's successfully used medical marijuana for quite some time to help deal with the pain.

"When it started to help me, I thought about other patients that might need the same type of help that I was getting," said Hauptman.

So he converted his 1985 Pace Arrow motor home into a medicinal marijuana collective with shelves and baskets for the pot.

"It's a mobile RV, it's a one of a kind. It was just my understanding what people need in this lifetime, they want service," said Hauptman.

It would appear Hauptman has everything he needs to conduct business. He has his articles of incorporation and a seller's permit, but he's missing perhaps the most important thing? the marijuana. That's because everywhere he tries to conduct business, law enforcement tells him it's against the law.

"They're not allowing me anywhere to go, that's why it sits here in my driveway," said Hauptman.

Not only has Hauptman run into trouble with the Corona Police Department, but the Riverside County Sheriff's Department in Norco. He was cited this month by police for possessing drug paraphernalia and operating a dispensary.

He says it's a nonprofit serving medical marijuana patients. But police say it's a for-profit operation.

Authorities say even though so-called collectives are allowed under Prop 215, city officials are calling his vehicle a dispensary, which is against the law. They've threatened him with jail time if he continues to operate.

"It's a city code violation, but it's also a federal violation. But again those issues are still being talked about in court pretty much as we speak today," said Riverside County Sheriff's Sgt. Joe Borja.

"I am so frustrated you cannot imagine," said Hauptman. "I am not here to make money off it, I'm here to take care of patients and the compassion of taking care of these sick people."

Hauptman does have an attorney and says he will fight this in court.


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