Weekly Medical Marijuana Shuttle Takes Off in Eagle Rock

A 10-seat van made a debut run to a cannabis dispensary last Saturday.

Three weeks after a proposed shuttle service for medical marijuana patients and caregivers hit a speed bump because of DMV restrictions, permits and licenses, the Eagle Rock venture is back on track.

This past Saturday, March 31, a 10-seat van ferried four people free of cost roughly halfway across town along Colorado Boulevard to a marijuana facility and back, according to veteran Eagle Rock resident Tim Ryder, who heads Cannabis Clubs United With the Community, a group devoted to the safe distribution of medical marijuana in the neighborhood.

Ryder reported the shuttle’s successful run to members of the at their monthly board meeting at on Tuesday night.

Bad—or Good—for the Community?

“We’ve heard a lot of hearsay,” Ryder told the ERNC board, referring to allegations that Eagle Rock’s medical marijuana facilities, which are scattered along Colorado Boulevard and Eagle Rock Boulevard, are disruptive to the community because they tend to attract drug-dealing customers and people who smoke dope openly in public.

“We don’t think there’s a bad effect on the community,” Ryder said, referring to customers of the cannabis dispensaries. “A lot of the people coming to Eagle Rock—80 to 90 percent of them—are spending their money here.” He added: “We think that’s a good thing—if we hear some complaints, we try to resolve them.”

Ryder handed out copies of a map, which showed the shuttle’s starting point—the east parking lot of the Eagle Rock Recreation Center, located at 7550 N. Figueroa St., on the corner of Eagle Vista Drive. The free shuttle will run every Saturday from noon to 5 p.m.

Ryder told Patch that the Department of Recreation and Parks had given his organization permission to use the parking lot.

According to Ryder’s map, the shuttle traveled to House of Kush, a medical marijuana collective located on 1632 Colorado Blvd., next to the pub and across the street from the fitness studio. Ryder said he is collaborating with the collective to arrange to bring patients and caregivers.

Questions on Shuttle's Funding, Paperwork

Several ERNC board members quizzed Ryder about the shuttle. “Is your organization transparent?” asked ERNC Immediate Past President Stephan Early. “Can anybody look at where the funding is coming for the driver and the shuttle?”

Ryder replied that “right now we’re just setting it up—we’re not getting funding from anybody.”

“How did you get around Public Utilities?” asked ERNC Vice President and Business Director Michael Nogueira, referring to the California Public Utilities Commission, which regulates all manner of privately owned transportation companies in the state.

“We’re allowed to transport up to 10 people,” Ryder replied without elaborating.

A Somber Warning

ERNC Sub-District 4 Director Peter Hilton warned Ryder to be careful in how he goes about shuttling passengers to marijuana collectives, in light of Monday’s crackdown in Oakland by federal authorities on Oaksterdam University, a training school for cannabis collectives, and the home of its founder, Richard Lee.

On March 22, American Eagle Collective, a prominent marijuana dispensary located on 2501 Colorado Blvd., shut down abruptly, leaving even the facility's landlord in the dark about its sudden closure. (AEC is one of three marijuana facilities in Eagle Rock that are targets of lawsuits by the City Attorney’s office.)

Federal authorities, suggested Hilton, have begun to target organizations peripheral to the activities of marijuana collectives. “They’re coming after ‘supplementals’ who are furthering activities,” said Hilton, adding: “You may be furthering the conspiracy—I’m just saying you have to be very careful.”

Herb West April 05, 2012 at 07:43 PM
An excellent article on prescription pain killers in the United States: http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_20332832/addicted-pain-pill-sales-soar-across-u-s?source=rss. This tells me that regulation of prescription pain drugs is not working, as these are highly addictive. I'm not sure that marijuana - based treatments are as addictive. I'm just saying...
Tim Ryder April 06, 2012 at 01:14 AM
Kathy, can you explain to me why are prohibition crusaders always so mean? Don't you have anything intelligent to say? If you don't like the idea of me solving some parking issues here in Eagle Rock, why don't you go complain to the Federal government? But please try to leave the your worthless comments out of the public square and let the thinking people debate the medical marijuana issue with rational reason not your nutty emotional sarcasm.
Kathy April 06, 2012 at 01:14 AM
Good response, Herb West. I would hope that any marijuana treatments considered valid could be dispensed by licensed pharmacies. But perhaps that would limit the taxes confiscated by our sleezed-out politicans. Ignoring the fact that marijuana 'cooperatives' are illegal, the bottom-feeding politicians just want to suck out the taxes.
Kevin_Hunt April 06, 2012 at 03:15 AM
I don't want to cause no fuss (Too much, the Magic Bus) But can I buy your Magic Bus? (Too much, the Magic Bus)
Kathy April 06, 2012 at 05:02 AM
Tim, if I thought it would do any good, I'd complain to the Feds. As you may know,marijuana sales are illegal according to Federal Law. But, like the other politicians, they don't bother enforcing laws. How many marijuana 'clinics' are operating in Eagle Rock?? how many ILLEGALS in California are collecting welfare and getting free health care?? Federal Law Enforcement????? .
Tim Ryder April 06, 2012 at 08:28 PM
So are you a lawyer now? What Federal Law are you talking about? The Constitution? The Bill of Rights? Roe v. Wade ruled that we have a right to privacy. Any legislative act that infringes on that right is unconstitutional and therefore void law. So don't be so condescending telling everybody what is 'legal' or 'illegal'. I have my own lawyers to tell me that. Try to focus here: 1) We have medical marijuana clinics in Eagle Rock 2) Some have parking congestion issues 3) Rational people try to find solutions 4) Therefore medical marijuana shuttle. Again if you can't contribute anything pertinent to this specific article, please go rant and rave elsewhere. You're really wasting our time with your scatterbrained opinions!
Kathy April 06, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Tim, last time I checked, we still have the right to voice our opinions here in America. Frankly I would say your opinions are worse than scatter brained, but you certainly have the right to express them. And I do find them somewhat amusing. Also, check with your lawyers on Federal Law banning sale of illegal substances. Perhaps they will help you. Plus an exchange with you is getting tiresome and boring. I won't bother to respond to any of your further rants, amusing though they may be.
jayres April 06, 2012 at 11:09 PM
I thought one of the major benefits of the dispensaries was that they increased foot traffic, thereby increasing revenue at nearby businesses in Eagle Rock, because these "patients" would come to ER for pot, but stick around to patron other local businesses. But if they are shuttled from the periphery of ER to the dispensary and then back out of ER, isn't that counter productive to the indirect benefit that pot shops would bring to surrounding small businesses? Also, is putting the drop zone at Eagle Rock Rec Center the wisest idea. Are we trying to turn it into Yosemite Rec Center. The park was the furthest thing from the dispensaries, and has always been such a great and safe place to bring my kids. But hey, if you can't bring the kids to the pot, now we can bring the pot to the kids. Awesome plan Tim, just in time to turn summer camp into one big smokeout!
Rob Schraff April 07, 2012 at 12:39 AM
Gosh, don't you believe in the free market Jayres? I like your idea of pickup and drop off at both Eagle Rock and Yosemite, though - this would spread ay parking problem out. There is also a ton of street parking on Colorado and College View - another great place for a pickup site! And while I'm on this topic - Michael Larsen - please, oh pretty please complain loudly to the Feds some more! Also, what happened to Jose Huizar's total dispensary ban motion? Has it, as some predicted, died of its own stupidity?
Rob Schraff April 07, 2012 at 12:48 AM
Please, don't deprive the pro-medical marijuana voters of California and L.A.(not to mention the readers of Patch) of your amazing, analytical, anonymous insights - gained through such highly credible and well-grounded research - into the character of medical marijuana users, the intentions of California voters, and the intricacies of both state and federal law.
jayres April 07, 2012 at 01:42 AM
My comment was somewhat a joke, because no one is going to use this service. I do believe in the free market, and I can assure you that no dispensary customer is going to drive over to ER Rec Center to be shuttled across town, whether its free or, certainly not, if it costs money. Its a terrible waste of time and totally inconvenient. Parking is not that big of a problem from the pot patrons' point of view that they would need a shuttle instead of walking at most a block or two from their car to get weed. Its only an issue for residents who's parking is limited as more and more people shop and eat in Eagle Rock. That's what this shuttle service is really about, PR. When residents complain about parking problems due to pot shops, the pot shops can say that they have a shuttle service to ease the parking problem. But it runs one day a week for five hours, and I'll bet that the four people who used the shuttle on this inaugural voyage did not request the service, but in fact were asked by Tim Ryder to partake in the ride. If I could drive up myself, buy weed, drive home with relative ease, why would I go thru this shuttle charade and add another hour to the transaction unnecessarily. That's not a service the Free Market will abide.
Rob Schraff April 07, 2012 at 02:06 AM
Of course it's just self-interested PR. But, speaking of self-interested PR, I wonder if there any real, documented parking problems - or crime problems - caused by medical marijuana dispensaries. Maybe all the noise is just a couple of cranky, anonymous prohibitionists and the fact-free morality police led by Michael Larsen?
Diane Reed April 07, 2012 at 06:37 PM
People with chronic pain should be able to use whatever means is necessary. I have never smoked marijuana but I don't object to those who do. If you have never had chronic pain how can you even offer an opinion????
Ajay Singh (Editor) April 07, 2012 at 08:34 PM
Rob—not sure where you live, but if you asked the residents, especially parents, who live on College View what they think of "the character of medical marijuana users," as you put it, you'd get a very different point of view from yours. On a related issue, it can safely be wagered that your advocacy, whether in jest or otherwise, of Colorado and College View as "another great place for a pickup site!" has the undesirable and presumably unintended effect of lowering property prices on what more than just a few parents trying to raise kids in the area view as a street in Jamaica.
Rob Schraff April 09, 2012 at 08:35 PM
Ajay - Let's take your lack of journalistic perspective and role as PR flack on this issue one step at a time. "..not sure where you live..." I have lived in Northeast LA for 25 years, I restored a house, I have raised two kids here, one of whom presently goes to ER elementary, and I've done hundreds of hours of local community and volunteer work. So, where do you live, Ajay, and what qualifies you as part of the community? The most vocal residents of College View are (anonymous) right-wing culture warriors, who are peeved of that prop. 19 passed and can't stand that marijuana is all but legal. Just read theire-mails - I recommend "Kathy" andy "Barry" in particular. I also note that not one single shred of actual evidence has been brought forward as to their complaints. I can also tell you, as someone who has passed that corner 10-15 times a week, every week, for decades, that there is always plenty of parking there. That this disgruntled minority, and you, would seriously compare College View to Jamaica, is further comment on this right-wing, dare I say even racist fringe. Finally - property values. AEC has caused zero damage to property values on College View, with or without my advocacy for their right to exist. If you actually knew the neighborhood and had lived here for a while, you would know that Colorado is a busy street, and that strip mall has been there forever. You might also be aware of just how many responsible marijuana users there are all around you.
jayres April 09, 2012 at 10:06 PM
Rob you have a couple of your "facts" wrong. First, Prop 19 did not pass, and it wasn't just right wing culture warriors who were responsible for its defeat. Dem Sen. Diane Feinstein partnered with CA Sheriffs and came out strongly against it a week before the vote. The dispensaries came out strongly against Prop 19 and told all of their patients to vote against it, and most did.The pot growers, the doctors who give out patient IDs, most big name Democrats and advocates for full legalization all came out against it or declined to support it, taking a cowardly neutral position. Second, prop 215 passed in '96, perhaps that's what you meant, with the support of non-pot smokers who were convinced it was a compassionate bill to provide medical marijuana to the severely ill such as cancer and AIDS patients, not a surreptitious scheme to achieve a Quasi-Legalization.You would be surprised how many people who consider themselves to be Liberal or Progressive do not support Marijuana Legalization, many of whom have or do smoke pot themselves. And when you add children to mix, it's a safe bet that many people don't want it around their kids or near their homes. That doesn't make them some fringe right wing culture warriors, it most likely makes them part of an overwhelming majority. Finally, there isn't parking problem on College View...its on Ellenwood every weekend when parishioners come for Mass, but have inadequate parking and do so on both sides of Colorado Blvd. Amen to that!
Rob Schraff April 10, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Sorry about the prop. numbers. I think the numbers, both for legalization and medicalization are on my side. Strangely, given Barry's extended hissy-fit about loud music and parking problems, I don't exactly live and die by this stuff, I just find the convolutions and hypocrisy the right will go to advocate a moral police state, complete with full control over sex, swearing, drinking, and pot use somewhat astonishing. And that's just in Eagle Rock! I would add, that despite your reasonable tone, hiding behind the children is just such a right-wing hypocrisy given the power of the corporate alcohol industry and the gutting of California's schools - much more important issues to children and parents.
Rob Schraff April 10, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Gee Barry, I've lived "here" for 25 years. Eagle Rock has been part of LA for 80-some years, and we share a councilman - why I've become interested in your and Michael Larsen's recent antics in the first place. So I'll continue to feel free to comment on my neighborhood, and particularly the more recent right-wing ranting on medical marijuana clinics as the source of all social ills. Also gotta love the racism embedded in Ajay's claim phrase that thanks to AEC "College View is like Jamaica." And that's not a smear - that's a fact. Was that you? Great clip, I'm proud of my continued work in the community, and if you read the comments, you'll find out my views on the Southwest Museum controversy are now, and have been for some time, both correct, and supported by the majority of the community. And how do you suppose I got elected as president the the largest, most active, grass-roots organization in Northeast LA in the first place? (Hint..lots of volunteer work, more than a few active friends, and the balls to show up and call BS on people like Nicole Possert - and you Barry.) So keep on with the attempt to bully and smear me, Barry. Really it just makes you more and more transparently pathetic. That's my grow-up advice to you.
Herb West April 10, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Children, please try to stay on the topic and keep the personal comments to yourself. I see fear and intolerance in these exchanges, and it does no good to stray from the issue. One problem clouding the issue is the disconnect between the federal government's mandates and states rights. Medical marijuana use, immigration reform, gay marriage, etc.. are all examples of battles being fought now on many levels. Unfortunately when these things get to the supreme court their decisions do not lay the issue to rest. All we can do is continue the dialog and try to reach some common ground...
Herb West April 10, 2012 at 07:28 PM
Barry, it IS my neighborhood, And i consider anyone who gets personal on this forum to be a child. Most share that view. Anyway, FYI, check the bottom of Round Top Drive... You will see red curbing and no parking signs. They didnt exist 6 months ago. Why? Because I was fed up with stepping over used condoms, trash, beer bottles, and drug vials, etc.. during my morning walks. So...I lobbied the city... And after 6 months, they rehabbed the area, even adding new lighting, thanks to Nate Hayward's efforts on the city's behalf. It took 6 months, but it happened. All I can say is that talk is cheap, actions speak louder than words... The problem is that most people are too busy and/or don't care, so I do give you credit for caring and voicing your opinion.
Ajay Singh (Editor) April 10, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Barry—Herb is a longtime bonafide Eagle Rocker. He's also a member of our Chamber of Commerce, among other things. Here are just a few links to some of the great work he has done for the community, as reported on Eagle Rock Patch, starting with the Round Top Hill trash corridor he was instrumental in getting the City to fix: http://patch.com/A-ny9N http://patch.com/A-mpw5 http://patch.com/A-qtK0 http://patch.com/A-qsbT
Rob Schraff April 10, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Ajay - What makes a bonafide Eagle Rocker? Are you one?
Rob Schraff April 10, 2012 at 08:49 PM
Barry, Barry Barry - I thought you had the goods on me, man! Weren't you gonna post all kinds of evidence about me? Where'd it go, Barry? All you have is continuous childish name calling. Troll, stoner, loser, dress like a fifth-grader...all the other NELA right-wing gas bags don't like me, blah, blah, blah. Are you sure you're not just a childish, schoolyard bully? You sure sound more than a little childish. Really, I think childish is just the right word. (Although generally speaking, my ten-year old is capable of having a mature, rational and fact-based discussion than you, Barry) And yes, your problem is Huizar, the city, and the lack of any serious effort to come up with a real regulation scheme before the courts took over. So now you know who to blame, other than the majority of California's voters and your neighbors, like me.
Rob Schraff April 10, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Gosh Barry, now you can't even control my right to speak, and you've resorted to childish turf wars. That must be incredibly frustrating for you. So just to let you know, I spend a ton of money in Eagle Rock my good man, and you and I share a councilman, who's incompetence is at the heart of this issue. I'm also successful freelance writer and a full-time Ph.D. student. I have one kid who's a Cal graduate and the other is in the Eagle Rock Elementary magnet. I'd even hazard a guess that my house is much nicer than yours - certainly I have a way better view out over my neighbors in Highland park and Eagle Rock. (I'm also not upside down, which I'm thinking is probably another difference between you and me.) I'm going to go see if AEC has any clones this afternoon - why don't you meet me around three and we can continue this discussion then, neighbor.
Rob Schraff April 10, 2012 at 09:55 PM
Gosh, Barry, now you want to see my doctor's and tax records or hurl more fact-free, childish insults? Golly, what a surprise. Wouldn't you rather just come over and smoke a nice joint and check out the view? By the way - "know your place" is rightwing, racist claptrap in almost every usage. This is what I meant by you becoming more and more transparent with every post, Barry.
Rob Schraff April 10, 2012 at 11:19 PM
Just got back from AEC. No clones, and no Barry. But really Ajay, why take all of Barry's comments and my replies down? I thought the Barry's position was becoming more and more transparent and provided much needed insight into the behavior of the Eagle Rock morality police.
Rob Schraff April 10, 2012 at 11:58 PM
Ajay - I also miss Barry's attack on and your defense of Mr. West as a gen-u-wine Eagle Rocker. (Whatever that is.) This makes Mr. West's valuable opinions as a bona-fide community leader, above, completely without context. Certainly there can't be a good editorial reason to take down one of your own posts? Anyway, say hi to Little Jamaica for me the next time you're on College View.
Ajay Singh (Editor) April 11, 2012 at 12:59 AM
Rob—not sure if you're trying to create a pun or offer a (faulty) pronunciation guide in your reference to "Mr. West," but you're beginning to sound like a gen-u-whine.
Rob Schraff April 11, 2012 at 01:10 AM
It's a phrase from "Bugs Bunny." Sorry to confuse you. Again.
EagleRockMom June 23, 2012 at 01:26 AM
I am an Eagle Rock resident. I live on Hill Drive and I am raising a family. I don't oppose legitimate medicinal marijuana use, but I strongly detest dudes hanging out and smoking bowls in front of my home. That ish isn't cool at all. And to hear about some guys offering up the corner of Colorado and College View for a shuttle service really angers me. No one with sense would want that to knowingly happen on their nice street. And I am disgusted that a parent of an Eagle Rock Elementary student would boast about their use of an illegal drug.


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