|Graphic: Spark Report|
I can remember weed droughts in the 1970s, and it was only the hippies complaining. Now the City of Oakland, California is prepared to renew its declaration of a “local public health emergency” stemming from a shortage of medical marijuana.
The routine declaration from the City Council was originally issued in 1998, according to city official Barbara Parker, and is meant to reinforce Oakland’s policy of allowing medical marijuana dispensaries and ordering police to effectively ignore pot offenses, reports David Downs at East Bay Express.
According to Parker, the declaration was originally issued because federal and state law enforcement officers were arresting local medical marijuana patients and providers. The threat of imprisonment, especially under federal law, still remains, 14 years after California voters legalized medical cannabis with ballot initiative Proposition 215.
According to the document, patients could die due to lack of medical marijuana, which is sufficient cause to continue and renew the declaration of emergency.
The declaration points out that the voters of California and of the City of Oakland have legalized medical marijuana for the sick, hurting and dying, but the federal government of the United States has blocked the city’s efforts.
In the declaration, the City Council urges Rep. John Conyers, Chair of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, “to hold hearings at the earliest opportunity to investigate and sharply question the DEA’s recent surge against medical cannabis and its efforts to undermine related California law, including the DEA’s threats of forfeiture and imprisonment against private landlords.”
“As long as the DEA can ruin a person’s life for providing or taking a medicine, Oakland has a public health emergency on its hands,” Downs wrote.
The Oakland City Council is expected to quickly pass the declaration, which calls on federal authorities to stop obstructing and harassing the city, at its scheduled meeting next week.