Rumors ran wild last Thursday that federal authorities had raided two of Santa Barbara’s medical marijuana dispensaries. However, despite Thursday morning reports on the radio and a buzz in the streets, a spokesperson for the Santa Barbara Police Department denied any knowledge of the rumored Wednesday night raids on the Pacific Greens and HortiPharm cannabis clubs. With the feds having recently shut down 11 similar medical marijuana clubs in West Hollywood, the rumors apparently rang true, as both storefronts said they had received several calls of concern from patients. They were able to assuage their clients’ concerns by reporting business as usual.

In the aftershock of controversy swirling around the county’s proposed changes to agricultural policy, 3rd District Supervisor Brooks Firestone kicked off the January 30 supervisors’ meeting by regretfully announcing that he will remove himself from the vote when the issue returns to the board later this month. Firestone’s decision to recuse himself comes after conflict of interest allegations were leveled against him by the Environmental Defense Center, forcing a closed session with the county’s legal counsel. Firestone’s decision was prompted by the fact that he owns some 573 acres of Williamson Act agricultural land, and such landowners are the ones who stand to benefit from the proposed uniform rules changes.

Goleta police responded to a robbery of the Holiday Inn at 5650 Calle Real in Goleta shortly after the suspect fled the scene at about 7 p.m. last Friday. According to police reports, a tall man dressed in a dark hooded sweatshirt and baseball cap walked into the lobby of the hotel, brandished a gun, and demanded money. Since the suspect remains at large, some guests expressed concern that hotel staff did not inform them of the robbery upon their checking in later that day. Hotel management declined to state how much the man had stolen.

Abbie and Cookie, two puppies initially reported stolen from the DAWG animal shelter on January 31, were returned the following day. A Ventura resident claimed to have misunderstood the shelter’s policy and left with the dogs, thinking he was free to take them. The dogs were reportedly returned in good spirits. Though DAWG posted a $1,000 reward for the dogs, the man who owned up to taking them did not receive it.

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