Local, State Officials Decry Federal Attacks on Medical Marijuana Program

Posted on: April 10th, 2012 by admin No Comments

For Immediate Release: April 9th, 2012

Local, State Officials Decry Federal Attacks on Medical Marijuana Program

San Francisco United for Safe Access campaign compels statement from Mayor Lee and others

San Francisco, CA — A coalition of medical marijuana
patients, activists, dispensing centers, and concerned citizens has
compelled public officials to stand up to recent federal attacks.
Last week, the coalition “San Francisco United for Safe Access” held a press
conference with several city supervisors and state officials,
decrying the Obama Administration’s aggressive tactics before a
crowd of more than 500 supporters. By Friday, San Francisco United
had secured a statement from Mayor Lee, expressing his opposition to
“recent federal actions targeting duly permitted Medicinal Cannabis
Dispensaries…that aim to limit our citizens ability to have safe
access to the medicine they need.”

Since the beginning of the year, five San Francisco dispensaries have
been forced to shut down due to threats from U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag.

Early last week, federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents raided city-compliant medical
marijuana businesses in Oakland, including one of the state’s oldest
established distribution facilities. Dispensary proprietor and
founder of Oaksterdam University Richard Lee has vowed to fight
against further federal attacks, claiming that, “this is a fight we
can win.” San Francisco United and Lee have targeted President
Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, who have so far
eluded accountability for the unprecedented attacks.

“By opposing federal interference, San Francisco officials are
taking a stand for patients and for sensible public health policy,”
said Americans for Safe Access founder and Executive Director Steph Sherer. “The federal
government must not be allowed to push patients into the illicit
market without consequence.” Since U.S. Attorneys announced a
concerted crackdown in California last October, more than 200
dispensaries have shut down as a result of threats to owners and
their landlords. However, more than 1,000 locally compliant
facilities still continue to operate in the state.

“The assault on medical marijuana patients currently underway by the
Obama Administration is unprecedented in this country’s history,
despite hollow proclamations to the contrary,” continued Sherer.
“The intensity and breadth of the attacks has far surpassed anything
we saw under the Bush Administration and has resulted in the
roll-back of numerous local and state laws, not just in California.”
Delaware officials were the latest to be threatened by the Justice
Department, derailing that state’s recently passed medical marijuana
law.

It was also announced last week that legislators from five medical
marijuana states from California, Colorado, Maine, New Mexico, and
Washington issued an open letter to President Obama opposing the
federal attacks and asking his administration to “respect our state
laws.” The lawmakers underscored that such an aggressive policy
“makes no sense” and is “not a good use of our resources,” which is
reflective of Obama’s original pledge to de-emphasize enforcement in
medical marijuana states.

Further information:

Statement
by SF Mayor Edwin Lee:
http://AmericansForSafeAccess.org/downloads/Mayor_Lee_Statement.pdf

San Francisco United for Safe Access coalition demands:
http://AmericansForSafeAccess.org/article.php?id=7086

Letter from state lawmakers: http://huff.to/Hgz5ml

Read the original: Local, State Officials Decry Federal Attacks on Medical Marijuana Program

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