The Associated Press, Thursday, October 30, 1997

Police search marijuana clinic;
four arrested, including organizer

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Portland police on Wednesday searched a marijuana clinic that claims to dispense the drug for medicinal use, and arrested its organizer and three others on drug charges.

Police served search warrants at the Alternative Health Center's two locations, just over a month after searching the center's downtown spot.

Since the Sept. 24 search, investigators had discovered that the center also operates out of a north Portland address, police said. Marijuana buyers first pay for the drug downtown, then are directed to the north Portland address to pick up the marijuana.

Diane Densmore, who opened the center about a year ago, was charged with three counts of distribution and one count of conspiring to distribute.

Also arrested Wednesday were Clarence Harper Jr., 48, Matthew L.H. Harris, 64, and Dennis G. Payne, 49, on possession and distribution charges.

After Densmore's clinic was raided last month, she vowed to continue providing marijuana as medicine to people who had a letter from a doctor documenting their illness.

Police had said undercover officers bought marijuana from the clinic using phony verification, followed by purchases based on no documentation.

Police said they seized six pounds of marijuana and about $3,500 in cash in the September search. No information was available on what was seized Wednesday.

Densmore has said she has about 350 "members" who use the center.

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