San Jose Medical Marijuana Patients Want Police Raids To Stop


San Jose Patients Group

‚ÄčA crowd of about 60 patients and advocates came to the San Jose City Council meeting in San Jose, California on Tuesday afternoon to ask Mayor Chuck Reed and council members to put an end to raids on medical marijuana dispensaries carried out by a local multi-agency police force.

San Jose resident Michael Gammino, one of the protesters, said he uses medical marijuana for insomnia and for arthritis in his knees, but on Tuesday he said he’s considering buying pot on the streets because he fears getting it at dispensaries will get him in trouble with the police, reports KTVU.

“We’ve gone so far and now to take it away like this,” Gammino said. “I don’t want to break the law… so what’s my alternative? I have to break the law.”

The Santa Clara County Specialized Enforcement team has conducted citywide raids over the past month, with some claiming the police have been using aggressive and excessive force in a misguided effort to shut down facilities in the city which are complying with state law.

About 15 people spoke to the council, expressing their disapproval of the raids.
Lauren Payne, legal coordinator for the Silicon Valley chapter of Americans for Safe Access (ASA), a national medical marijuana patient advocacy organization, called for regulation and restraint by the city.
“It’s unacceptable to send in men with guns into an industry that has pending regulations,” Payne said. “It’s unacceptable to force a civil violation with criminal sanctions.”
Payne said ASA is preparing the medical marijuana community for future raids and is planning to work with the City Council and Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors to implement regulations.
Last week, San Jose voters passed Measure U, a marijuana business tax that will impose up to a 10 percent tax on medical marijuana facilities, with the revenue used to fund city services.
Medical marijuana dispensary owners are rightly asking how they can be taxed while they’re also being raided by the police.
The San Jose City Council will next address medical marijuana issues at a December meeting.
For video coverage of the story, visit KTVU here.