Sunday, February 05, 2012

Marijuana Advocacy Program Forced Off Local Radio (Updated)**

This afternoon former medical marijuana dispensary operator Susan Lester - also a former candidate for Costa Mesa City Council - alerted us to a press release issued by community radio station KOCI LP-FM, 101.5 FM announcing that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has forced the station to remove the "Cannabis Connection" radio program from it's programming schedule. The press release follows:
From: KOCI news
Sent: Sun, Feb 5, 2012 19:35:12 GMT+00:00
Subject: press release


Costa Mesa, February 5, 2012 -- The popular "Cannabis Community" radio show, hosted by Robert Martinez, on KOCI LP-FM, Newport Beach, was canceled without warning by station manager Brent Kahlen at the request of the FBI.

The FBI has been investigating the radio station because of the medical marijuana radio show and at the end of this week told the community radio station to remove the show from the air, according to Barry Jorgensen, attorney for the radio station. Jorgensen claimed that the federal involvement was the result of requests from the Costa Mesa Chamber of Commerce and the Costa Mesa city council.

Martinez was not informed of the decision until seven minutes before the scheduled 11 a.m. Sunday start of his radio show.

Jorgensen initially claimed that the show could continue at an early morning time slot, but without any on-air or web site publicity, but Kahlen completely canceled the show.
Martinez was president of the recently closed Newport Mesa Patients Association, Costa Mesa, which was shut down along with all other Costa Mesa medical marijuana dispensaries late January 2012 in response to a letter from the U. S Attorney's Office.
If true, this is very disturbing, for several reasons.

As you readers know, I'm NOT a fan of medical marijuana use. That being said, I'm appalled at what appears to be a clear violation of free speech . To the best of my knowledge, it's not against the law to speak about medical marijuana, and yet this local radio station has been forced to remove this prog ram.

Also, the press release indicates that this move was requested by the Costa Mesa Chamber of Commerce and the Costa Mesa City Council. I'd like to know exactly when the city council made this decision, because I recall NO incidence of this issue bein g discussed in open session and h ave seen nothing on the agendas of closed sessions, either.

This is especially curious since Costa Mesa Mayor Gary Monahan recently hosted this very program at his pub. The following week several dispensaries were shut down by federal officials. It was only a couple years ago that Monahan appeared on KOCI. What's the story, Gary?

This heavy-handed abridgment of free speech simply cannot go uncha llenged. This is precisely the kind of actions by this council that should make every resident nervous as they consider just what kind of personal abuses they may undertake once they jam Jim Righeimer's Charter down our throats. They obviously make decisions that affect every one of us in secret and, because they presently have four votes, are not worried one bit about repercussions. If the Costa Mesa City Council did, indeed, reque st that the radio program be shut down, this is perfectly in synch with their attitude over the past year, when they've treated speakers before them with disdain and out-right aggression. This MUST STOP!

Late this evening both the Orange County Register, through its reporter, Sean Greene, HERE and the Orange Juice Blog, via its editor Vern Nelson, HERE, have amplified this story. Now it seems that station management at KOCI is back-peddling as fast as it can, apparently stating there was no law enforcement or city pressure placed on them to cancel the radio show. We'll try to get to the bottom of this story Monday.

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Anonymous Confirmation please said...

I suggest that you wait for some sort of confirmation before condemning the City Council. After all, the press release was far from conclusive:

"Jorgensen claimed that the federal involvement was the result of requests from the Costa Mesa Chamber of Commerce and the Costa Mesa city council."

IF true, this does set a damning precedent, but I highly doubt it is true.

2/05/2012 10:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Diogenes said...

Oookay. Has anyone checked with the FBI to ascertain the truth or falsity of (1) whether they have been "investigating" the station or (2) whether they really "ordered" the show off the air, and, if so, just what constitutional probable cause was used to quash free speech?

Is it possible that these actions did not come from the FBI, but rather from some other source?

There's a rumor going about that Da Mare has himself engaged in a spot of betrayal. Has anybody asked that worthy? He has a track record of attempting to quash free speech himself.

Fine kettle of fish here. It begins to look more and more like the German Enabling Act of nineteen-thirty-something... What of the present administration's promise not to direct the dope cops to bust medical marijuana dispensaries? What news have we heard from Colorado, some small towns of which have whole streets full of dispensaries?

Sounds like a real whoop-te-doo is just around the corner. I'll stay tuned...

2/05/2012 11:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Say No to Goslow said...

Let me see if I have this straight ...

Someone said the Council did something, others took it as fact?

Did I get that right?

There is so much of that, yet no one can identify any actual corruption that is often alleged.

It is not about Freedom of speach ...

2/06/2012 06:03:00 AM  
Anonymous CCLonghair said...

Being that it is an election-year it does not surprise me that they would find some way of pulling funds away from any candidate that may be running for office; one of the empty council seats.

Unfortunately, every time the four councilmen find themselves with too much attention on what they're doing, vis-à-vis the charter, they always find some way of getting the attention off of what they are doing and putting it on something they feel will be a winner at the end of this year's election.

2/06/2012 07:54:00 AM  
Anonymous clocklen said...

As you readers know, I'm NOT a fan of medical marijuana use.


2/06/2012 10:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Sue Lester said...

I was present in the studio of KOCI when employees/managment of KOCI made the statements they did citing the influence of the FBI at the direction of the City of Costa Mesa and Chamber of Commerce as the reason the show was being cancelled. KOCI is scared that the renewal of their license to broadcast will be denied and airing the show wasn't worth the risk.

KOCI itself has the right to cancel any show in their line up ay any time. That is their choice but that is not what they said. KOCI said they did not have a choice and that is wrong.

I am not pointing the finger at the Chamber of Commerce, who has a history of doing great things for Costa Mesa. Furthermore, I am not pointing the finger at the City of Costa Mesa, the council or the FBI. I just shared the statements that I heard and the press release issued by KOCI.

It is my hope someone will get to the bottom of this and make sure that if laws are being broken and people are being threatened for exercising the right to free speech, that action will be taken to ensure this type civil rights violation is not permitted to continue and the people responsible are brought to justice.

If KOCI was not honest in the statements they made, that will soon come to light and they will have to deal with the burden of that, however I am not sorry for sharing the information that was stated in front of me or issued in print by KOCI.

People have the right to know that truth and I hope someone with the ability to confirm what the truth is, will!

2/06/2012 12:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Sad but True said...

A vocal minority desperately wants City Council to fail or make mistakes. As a result these few in out community will jump at any possibility to perpetuate false claims.

2/06/2012 01:28:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Sad but True,
This story, driven by an apparently valid press release from KOCI, is a HUGE story - if true. The story isn't about medical marijuana, it's about free speech and potential government interference - if it's true.

Right now we're still waiting for the truth to come out. No word yet from the station manager, but the Daily Pilot is on the story and will likely provide us with the truth soon.

We don't have to "jump at any possibility" to make this council look bad. They are more than qualified to do that on their own, and do so with much regularity.

2/06/2012 01:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Terry Koken said...

Called my daughter in Denver to ask her about this just now. While we were there last summer, she took us to a little town in the mountains, a former mining town whose name I cannot unfortunately remember, wherein on one street, every business that was not a dispensary was instead a casino. She says that there are efforts being made to regulate sales, but NOT to eliminate them or close the dispensaries. Interesting fact. It makes me think that there is something rotten going on here in southern California that may have something to do with local politics.

Incidentally, it may or may not be known that the foothill area of Colorado (I-25, running north and south) is a strongly fundamentalist christian area -- it's where Focus on the Family originates; a central United States bible belt. Thus it's probably incorrect to attribute the current flap about marijuana in Costa Mesa to evangelicals...

Who, then, is responsible for the actions against the dispensaries here, and who is at fault in the KOCI flap? "For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved." -- John 3:20.

Or maybe "There is something rotten in the state of Denmark." -- Wm. Shakespeare.

2/06/2012 03:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Just Sad said...

Geoff, just admit it. You get excited to see a potential chance to hate on Council.

As long as we agree on that.

I like that Council is willing to stand up to Unions and not bend in the face of a little opposition.

2/06/2012 04:44:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Just Sad (which you obviously are)

Nope, I won't "admit it". This council gives us plenty of reasons to criticize them. I don't have to wait and jump on an issue...

All you have to do is watch and sooner or later (usually sooner) they'll jump squarely in the pile of dog poop. It's become a developed art for them.

2/06/2012 04:52:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

"..Fine kettle of fish here. It begins to look more and more like the German Enabling Act of nineteen-thirty-something... "

That'd be Hitler's Enabling Act of 1933, which I maintain is analogous in many ways to Righeimer's Charter.

2/06/2012 06:53:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Would you like to be stuck in a lifeboat, or shipwrecked with Gary Monahan?

2/06/2012 06:57:00 PM  
Anonymous buffoons said...

We don't want the council to make mistakes, we want them to follow the law. That is what the sad few of you that are their lap dogs don't understand and clearly aren't capable of even if you tried... like really, really, hard tried.

2/06/2012 08:21:00 PM  

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