Marijuana and Cannabis News
It can be hard to find areas of agreement in politics -- but the federal government's assault on medical marijuana patients and providers has resulted in a lot of city and state officials finding common ground in California.
On Tuesday, on the steps of City Hall (Polk Street entrance) at 11:30 a.m., an overwhelming number of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors will be joined by representatives from the offices of the City Attorney, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, State Senator Mark Leno, and the Board of Equalization to show their support for medical cannabis patients by delivering a strong message to the Obama Administration regarding recent actions by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the State's four U.S. Attorneys against local medical cannabis dispensaries.
District Attorney Gascon is sending a statement from his office affirming his stance on medical cannabis laws. A lively rally will precede the press conference at 11 a.m., and at noon patients and supporters will march to the Federal Building located at 450 Golden Gate to demand that Attorney General Eric Holder end the federal attacks on safe access.
Last October, California's four U.S. Attorneys announced a so-called "federal crackdown" on medical cannabis and proceeded to threaten dispensary operators as well as their landlords. As a result, five of the city's licensed dispensaries have been forced to shut down.
With more closures expected next week, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag has said that, "none are immune from action by the federal government." San Francisco, which has shown staunch support for medical cannabis over the years, continues to move ahead with its medical cannabis program of permitting dispensaries, despite extensive federal intimidation.
|Americans for Safe Access|
|Steph Sherer, ASA: "The federal government must not be allowed to push patients into the illicit market without consequence"|
Patients, advocates, dispensary operators, and members of SF's Medical Cannabis Task Force, joined by the San Francisco chapter of Americans for Safe Access (ASA), have launched a campaign -- San Francisco United -- calling on city officials to take further steps to protect safe access to medical cannabis in San Francisco.
"By opposing federal interference, San Francisco officials are taking a stand for patients and for sensible public health policy," said ASA founder and Executive Director Steph Sherer, who is scheduled to speak at the press conference. "The federal government must not be allowed to push patients into the illicit market without consequence."
Other speakers at the press conference will include affected patients and dispensary operators, ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford, representatives from the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) and San Francisco Medical Cannabis Task Force.
ASA filed a lawsuit late last year against Haag and the DOJ, challenging the crackdown as a violation of the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In its lawsuit, ASA argues that by coercing public officials, the DOJ is obstructing the law-making function of the State, which goes well beyond its prosecutorial discretion to enforce the federal Controlled Substances Act.