Tag Archives: Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana and SF Ellis Act reform bills hit stumbling blocks

Senator Mark Leno Celebrating Harvey Milk's 79th BirthdayClose votes push reform down the road

by Brian Leubitz

Today is the last day to get bills out of their house of origin, and so we have a bit of controversy as a few bills got the big red X. First up, in an 18-19 vote, the Senate voted down Sen. Mark Leno’s SF-specific Ellis Act reform.

Legislative efforts to give San Francisco the ability to curtail the number of Ellis Act evictions in the city failed Wednesday night as the state Senate rejected a bill by Sen. Mark Leno after an 18-19 vote. …

SB1439 would have required a San Francisco landlord to own a building for at least five years before they could evict tenants using the Ellis Act. The 1986 state law allows property owners to evict tenants in order to get out of the rental business, but it has been used by speculators as a way to buy affordable properties, evict tenants and flip the rental for profit. (SF Gate)

This bill has caused a lot of Senators to say a lot of uninformed nothings. I shouldn’t say uninformed, as they are actually quite informed by the California Apartment Association. Exhibit A pointed out by reporter Melody Gutierrez:

“Over and over and time and time again I heard from cities and counties asking to be exempt from having to build affordable housing,” said Sen. Norma Torres, D-Pomona. “San Francisco has not done their fair share and now they are coming to us and saying because we have not provided affordable housing, we want you to pass along the cost to the small landlords.”

Not only is this factually incorrect, and it is, but it continues on from the garbage data to talking points from the CAA. You would think that the Senator would trust the information from her colleague, Senator Mark Leno. But nope, SF has built a lot of affordable housing. It is a simple matter of supply and demand. San Francisco is at “full employment” and is becoming something of a bedroom city with the tech shuttles taking SF residents to Silicon Valley.

Meanwhile from the Dept. of Short Term Thinking, the Assembly rejected Asm. Tom Ammiano’s AB1894 on medical marijuana. The bill would have created a state body to regulate medical marijuana, instead of the baffling patchwork of regulations that are in place now.

No lawmakers rose to explicitly denounce Assembly Bill 1894, by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco. Some with concerns about preserving local control said they had been persuaded that cities and counties could still pass and enforce their own rules around medicinal cannabis.

But a large bloc of lawmakers from both parties withheld votes, ensuring that the measure would go no further. The final vote was 27-30, with 22 not voting.(SacBee CapAlert)

In a perfect world this wouldn’t be necessary either. It would simply be folded into regulatory bodies that already monitor alcohol at the local,state, and federal levels. But, this is not that world, and who knows when the federal government will learn the lesson that they should have learned from the 1920s. (If not, perhaps they should watch Boardwalk Empire for a few hours.) Here in the world we live in, the state needs a more consistent regulatory regime, and Ammiano’s bill would have started that process.

Bills can be reconsidered, and Leno’s Ellis Act bill is scheduled for that process today. Expect to see a slew of stories tomorrow about bills that moved on and those that failed.

Courts Allow Cities to Ban Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Ruling could mean dispensaries drift to outskirts of towns

by Brian Leubitz

If you’ve been to a city council meeting in the last few years, the question of where to put medical marijuana dispensaries might very well have come up. Cities have been trying to keep them away from schools, and generally away from “nice” neighborhoods. And some cities have just tried to get rid of them. And now they can do that:

Local governments in California’s have legal authority to ban storefront pot shops within their borders, California’s highest court ruled on Monday in an opinion likely to further diminish the state’s once-robust medical marijuana industry.

Nearly 17 years after voters in the state legalized medical marijuana, the court ruled unanimously in a legal challenge to a ban the city of Riverside enacted in 2010.(SacBee)

There are hundreds of jurisdictions that have followed Riverside’s lead and banned the dispensaries, so this could make a huge difference. With the federal government supposedly taking a hands-off approach, but in reality getting heavily involved, cities have backed off the issue.  With this ruling and the clarity it brings with it, local elected leaders may have to deal with the issue and the political headaches that it carries in the sidecar.

Perhaps the next question is how this will be handled in any future ballot measure to decriminalize marijuana in the state. If that comes back, will it include any provisions about the dispensaries, or will the proponents wish to keep the measure as “clean” as possible?

DEA Ignores Policy, Raids San Francisco Dispensary

 (Cross posted at Medical Cannabis: Voices from the Frontlines, by my co-worker at Americans for Safe Access, George Pappas.)

We never expected that the DEA would defy the public statements of both the U.S. President and the Attorney General in such an arrogant and brazen way.

And yet on Wednesday, the Drug Enforcement Administration raided a legal, permitted San Francisco medical cannabis dispensing collective against the will of the President and the Department of Justice… and we need you to respond RIGHT NOW!

In early February national media attention exploded around statements from a White House spokesperson and from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, telling the press that DEA raids would no longer continue, and that an end to such raids, according to Holder, was “now U.S. policy.”

And DEA’s response?

They thumbed their noses at the President and immediately raided a legal dispensing collective and, according to the San Francisco Police, did not even inform local cops! DEA claimed that the permit-holding dispensary was “violating state law,” but went on to say that evidence was “under seal” and could not be shared with the public.

The DEA is out of line and out of control, and this raid is nothing if not vindictive. Even if there was a violation of state law:

1. Why where there no arrests?
2. Why were local cops not involved?
3. Why are United States Federal Agents interpreting and enforcing California state law without consulting California officials?
4. Why was the collective not given due process through the proper authorities, but rather ransacked with a “smash and grab” raid?

DEA has twisted the words of the U.S. Attorney General, and thought that by saying publicly “they violated state law” that they could continue raiding whenever they want. Well that doesn’t fly. We DEMAND that the DEA stop immediately, and that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder reprimand DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart for her blatant insubordination and violation of the “new American policy.”

Now it’s up to you, and all it takes is two phone calls, one to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, and the other straight to the DEA.

Please call the U.S. Attorney General at (202) 353-1555 and say:

Hi, my name is _____________. First I want to thank you for your numerous public statements verifying the end of DEA raids on legal medical marijuana dispensaries in California. But on Wednesday the DEA went against your word and the word of the President of the United States by raiding a permitted dispensary in San Francisco. We respectfully demand that you issue a statement condemning and officially ending these raids until the Obama Administration has had a chance to review the new policy.

When you’re done, call the DEA at (202) 307-8000, ask for Administrator Michele Leonhart, and say:

Hi, my name is ___________. The U.S. Attorney General and the President of the United States have both made high-profile public statements, saying DEA raids on legal medical marijuana dispensaries is no longer U.S. policy. Yet your DEA raided a legal, permit-holding San Francisco dispensary yesterday, in conflict with these statements. This disgraceful and anti-democratic. Why is your agency not listening to the policy statements of our elected leaders and your boss? Is this how you’ll run DEA if you are appointed in the Obama Administration? We demand that you STOP it immediately!

Please forward this message to all your friends and family so that we can generate a response big enough to get officials to act!

Clarification On The End To Medical Marijuana Raids

When the Administration announced an end to medical marijuana raids by the DEA, they abruptly took back the statement a few hours later.  There was a bit of confusion about the new policy.  Eric Holder put an end to that.

Attorney General Eric Holder signaled a change on medical marijuana policy Wednesday, saying federal agents will target marijuana distributors only when they violate both federal and state law.

That would be a departure from the policy of the Bush administration, which targeted medical marijuana dispensaries in California even if they complied with that state’s law.

“The policy is to go after those people who violate both federal and state law,” Holder said in a question-and-answer session with reporters at the Justice Department.

Good.  There is little justification to waste Justice Department resources harassing Californians and Americans in 12 other states engaging in perfectly legal activity.  Holder must follow the law but he also has discretion in setting priorities, and it’s good to see him recognize that arresting local businessmen and their patients makes no sense.  There remain questions about outstanding medical marijuana federal court cases with over two dozen dispensaries, and hopefully the solution will be to drop the charges.

In a related story, Maxine Waters wants to end mandatory minimum sentencing for federal drug offenses, and the bill has 15 co-sponsors.  The Bureau of Prisons budget has increased 25-fold since mandatory minimums were introduced.  Small drug cases belong in state courts, where offenders could be given treatment instead of jail.  Furthermore, these kind of drug cases disproportionately impact minority communities.

H.R. 1466, the Major Drug Trafficking Prosecution Act of 2009, seeks to repeal mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenders and to give courts the ability to determine sentences based on all the facts, not just drug weight. It would also refocus federal resources on major drug traffickers instead of low-level offenders. There is currently no companion bill in the Senate.

Sen. Boxer, your office phone is ringing.

DEA Can’t Do Its Own Job – Calls in Blackwater to Raid Medical Marijuana Providers

(I work for Americans for Safe Access, a medical marijuana advocacy group.)

Yesterday, the DEA raided a medical marijuana dispensary in Culver City, spending hours on site detaining employees and ultimately leaving the facility in disarray. This is unfortunately not an unusal story. Since 2005, the DEA has raided dozens of state-sanctioned dispensaries in California.

But this time was different. We're used to the DEA calling in help from various federal agencies and local law enforcement. But I guess none of their usual buddies were available yesterday because from the picture below, which appeared in the LA Times today, it looks like they had to resort to calling in Blackwater:

 Blackwater DEA Medical Marijuana Raid

The DEA often likes to say that medical marijuana is not their top priority (though at the height of the raids last year, they were raiding an average of one dispensary per week). They like to argue that medical marijuana raids do not take resources away from other drug interdiction. Yet this photo makes me wonder – if they have sufficient resources to shut down meth labs and to bust medical marijuana providers, why do they need the help of Blackwater, a private agency?

Yet another reason we need Congress to hold oversight hearings on DEA medical marijuana activities. Good to know that House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers is concerned about this issue and has already begun to question the DEA on its actions.

Another Step towards Employment Rights for Medical Marijuana Patients

(Crossposted from Medical Cannabis: Voices from the Frontlines, the blog of Americans for Safe Access. I work for Americans for Safe Acces.)

Yesterday, ASA’s chief counsel, Joe Elford, and I traveled to Sacramento to attend the Assembly Labor Committee hearing on AB 2279, ASA’s medical marijuana employment rights bill. AB2279, which protects the rights of hundreds of thousands of medical marijuana patients in California from employment discrimination, was introduced in February by Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and co-authored by Assemblymembers Patty Berg (D-Eureka), Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley) and Lori Saldaña (D-San Diego). The bill reverses a January California Supreme Court decision in Ross v. RagingWire. Joe argued argued the case before the court.

We met Gary Ross, the plaintiff in Ross v. RagingWire, outside the hearing room in the Capitol. We were all excited about the hearing and felt good about our chances of passage. Last week, we passed a major hurdle by clearing the Judiciary Committee on a 6-3 vote. We’ve also secured the support of several prominent groups, including the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the National Lawyers Guild, and several HIV/AIDS advocacy organizations.

After sitting through discussions of several other labor bills, Chairman Sandre Swanson called for AB 2279 to be heard. Assemblymember Leno stepped down from his committee seat to speak about the merits of the bill. He spoke about the intent of the voters when passing Proposition 215 and the intent of the legislature when passing SB 420 – clearly, they intended for patients to have the right to work. Mr. Leno also clarified that AB 2279 does not cause employers to violate federal law and preserves the rights of employers to take action against employees that come to work impaired or consume medical marijuana at the workplace.

Gary Ross spoke next, focusing on his injury sustained while serving our country in the military and how medical marijuana has helped him deal with continuing pain and spasms. He also explained that marijuana has made him a better employee – since it relieves his pain, he is absent from work less frequently. Gary urged the committee to vote yes to spare other California patients the ordeal he has gone through.

Joe Elford followed, explaining the decision in the Ross case and why he thought the Supreme Court had made the wrong decision. He also explained that hundreds of thousands of patients rely on medical marijuana and should be allowed to work, an opinion shared by SEIU and AFSCME, which represent nearly a million workers in the state. Lastly, Lanette Davies, who is an executive member of the California Chamber of Commerce and is involved with the League of Women Voters, voiced her support for the bill as an employer who has employed medical marijuana patients.

Our opposition followed, spouting the same misinformation we heard from them at the Judiciary Committee hearing. A representative from the Chamber of Commerce explained that while the Chamber was not opposed to medical marijuana, the medical use of marijuana is still illegal under federal law. She also said that employers currently are allowed to employee medical marijuana patients, but they should have the choice of whether they want to do so based on whether this fits with their “workplace culture”.

Next, a representative from the National Federation of Independent Business voiced his concerns about the bill. He stated that testing for impairment on the job would be difficult and employees could still come to work impaired. He argued that if a medical marijuana patient was impaired and caused an accident, the employer would be held liable and would have to provide worker’s compensation. After he spoke, a representative from the California Manufacturing and Technology Association briefly voiced his opposition to the bill.

After the testimony was heard, Chairman Swanson asked committee members if they had any questions. Ira Ruskin asked a brief question about the amended language from Judiciary Committee, and John Laird (who sits on both the Judiciary and Labor committees) responded that it was his proposed amendment and the new language satisfied his previous concerns.

Swanson then took his turn to grill the opponents. He asked the rep from the National Federation of Independent Business whether he had any statistics or examples of accidents medical marijuana patients had caused. Our opponents could not even come up with one example. (As a side note, this interchange made me proud that Swanson represents me and my district in the Assembly.)

In his closing testimony, Leno hammered this point home even further. He told the opponents that they needed to be more proactive if they were to continue opposing the bill (his staff has been open to meeting with them and negotiating language), and that the opponents’ reasoning had become circular. Proposition 215 was passed in 1996, and the opponents still couldn’t come up with even one example of a workplace accident caused by a medical marijuana patient. Leno concluded by asking the committee members to consider the intent of Prop 215 and urged them to vote for the bill because the alternative is that medical marijuana patients could become unemployed and wards of the state.

The committee passed the bill, on a 6-2 party line vote. The next stop is the Assembly Floor. We have a ways to go before securing employment rights for California medical marijuana patients, but at least now, we’re one step closer.

Cathedral City Medical Marijuana Clinic: 3 Republicans Vote to Close, 2 Democrats Vote to Keep Open

XPosted 4/7/2008 11:46 PM PDT on MyDesert.com by BluePalmSpringsBoyz

Overheard Saturday night at the Democrats of the Desert Awards Banquet at the Las Rancho Palmas Resort, the decision to seek to close the Cathedral City medical marijuana clinic was made by Mayor Kathy DeRosa (R), Mayor Pro Tem Charles England (R), and Councilmember Chuck Vasquez (R-Closet Case) who voted to close the clinic.

Councilmember Greg Pettis (D), Candidate for the CA 80th Assembly District, and Councilmember Paul Marchand (D), Candidate for Mayor of Cathedral City, voted to support the clinic but were overruled by the Republican majority on council.  In fact, Pettis was slated to appear at an event to support medical marijuana patients at Copy Kats last night, but the event was postponed.

More below the flip…

According to a Cathedral City source for background, Cathedral City council, under the auspices of DeRosa, has a policy to apparently vote on issues in private and to not announce the individual votes of the councilmembers.  This is really “Small Town in Mass Society” (Vidich) mentality.  Anyway, the Desert Sun never printed who voted what way as the specific vote was never announced as per usual.

Seems that DeRosa, England, and Vasquez are out of step with Californians overall and Cathedral City residents who favor keeping the clinic open to service patients diagnosed with cancer, chronic pain, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, etc.  Isn’t this the same party that opposes stem cell research?  What kind of family values does the Republican party really have?

CA committee calls for an end to DEA raids, but prosecutions continue

(Crossposted from Medical Cannabis: Voices from the Frontlines, the blog of Americans for Safe Access. I work for Americans for Safe Acces.)

Yesterday was a historic day for the medical marijuana movement. SJR 20, a resolution that calls for an end to DEA attacks on California’s medical cannabis patients and providers, cleared the California Senate Health Committee.

Unsurprisingly, the votes came down on party lines. One Republican Senator stated that there is a pill that patients could use instead of smoking marijuana. Committee Chairwoman Sheila Kuehl responded that a pill did exist (Marinol), but that it is too strong for many patients. It’s good to know that many of our state representatives are well educated on this issue and willing to stand up for patients and providers.

Californians have good reason to rejoice about this win. The resolution, authored by Senator Carole Migden, not only calls on the DEA to leave patients and providers alone, but further calls on the President and Congress to enact federal legislation to end the raids. If passed, this will be the first time in U.S. history that a state legislature has denounced the DEA’s interference in state laws and tactics used against medical cannabis patients and providers.

Unfortunately, even as our legislators consider this resolution, the raids and prosecutions continue. Just hours before the SJR 20 hearing occurred, Michael Martin plead guilty to a felony count of conspiracy to manufacture a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of marijuana. Martin now faces up to 5 years imprisonment, a $250K fine, and several years of supervised release.

Michael Martin & Family

Michael Martin and his family

Martin was arrested and charged in conjunction with the September 26, 2007 DEA raids of the Tainted, Inc. facilities that produced clearly labeled baked goods and other marijuana edibles for medical cannabis patients and collectives all over California. The products made by Tainted were available only through medical cannabis dispensaries and carried prominent warning labels.

Despite these precautions, the DEA attempted to paint Martin and Tainted as criminals who were pedaling marijuana-laced candy to children. Martin feels he has done nothing wrong, and the medical cannabis community showed up in force yesterday to support this assertion at his hearing yesterday. Fifty supporters packed the court room, sending a clear message to the judge.

The words that Martin wrote just before turning himself in will hopefully be heard by the California Senate and Assembly, as they consider passing SJR 20 to send a clear message to the federal government:

I encourage community leaders, government officials, patriotic citizens, and anyone who has the common sense to realize the failed policies of this war on medical cannabis, to rise up and be heard. Let your elected officials know that we demand a stop to these senseless acts of violence and the needless wasting of resources in states where citizens support the use of medical cannabis. The choice to use medical cannabis is a decision that should be made by a patient and a doctor… It is a fundamental right of the sick and dying to find relief for their pain and suffering through sound research and advice from their personal physician. The issue here is not a matter of whether a law has been broken. The issue is whether those laws are just and moral.

While a future change in law may not end the persecution Martin and his family are experiencing, it would prevent more tragedies like this from occurring.

Medical Marijuana Providers Call on State to Protect Tax Revenue

(Crossposted from Medical Cannabis: Voices from the Frontlines, the blog of Americans for Safe Access. I work for Americans for Safe Acces.)

Yesterday, I joined advocates and providers in Sacramento to call on the State Board of Equalization to protect an important source of revenue – $100 million in sales tax collected annually by medical marijuana dispensaries.

After waiting through half a dozen unrelated tax cases to be heard before the board, I testified, explaining how this tax revenue is in danger, due to increased federal interference in the state medical marijuana program. In 2007 alone, the DEA raided more than 50 medical marijuana providers, and they embarked on a new strategy, sending more than 300 letters to landlords of dispensaries, threatening property owners with criminal prosecution and asset forfeiture. I also described reactions from elected officials – ranging from a statement by US House Judiciary Committee Chair John Conyers questioning the DEA’s tactics to State Senator Carole Migden’s introduction of SJR 20, which calls for an end to federal interference and urging Congress and the President to establish policy consistent with the compassionate use laws of California.

I concluded my comments with a plea that would be echoed by all of the following advocates, asking the BOE to work with the Governor and state legislature to protect this source of state revenue, which has become increasingly vital to our state’s fiscal health in the face of budget cuts to important state programs.

Dale Gieringer of CA NORML spoke next, highlighting the amount of sales tax and income tax dispensaries contribute. He also discussed the problem of the DEA seizing assets from dispensaries. For example, the “Compassion Center for Alameda County paid $3 million in sales taxes before it was closed by the DEA on October 30th. In the process of seizing CCAC’s bank account, the DEA stopped a $348,078.49 bank transfer to the Board of Equalization, which the CCAC had transmitted just before the raid.”

Next, half a dozen current and former dispensary operators spoke about their experiences of DEA harassment. Lisa Sawoya, former director of Hollywood Compassionate Care in Los Angeles, explained that she had gladly paid sales tax to the state. But in July of 2007, her landlord – who had previously been very supportive – received a threatening letter from the DEA. Sawoya agreed to shut down the dispensary at the end of July, and her landlord subsequently called the DEA to tell them of the agreement. Then, on July 25th – days before she was set to close – eight DEA agents stormed into the dispensary, holding guns to employees heads, and seizing all of the money and medicine at the facility.

Bill Pearce, former director of River City Patients’ Center in Sacramento, explained that he too had willingly paid taxes – to the the tune of $700K over three years to the BOE and another $250K to the IRS and Franchise Tax Board. When the DEA raided him on September 26, 2007, they seized all of his assets, leaving him with nothing to support himself and his family, let alone to pay his legal bills.

Four other dispensary operators from Berkeley, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Santa Rosa, told their stories of DEA harassment, and explained that though they continue operating their dispensaries, they live in fear. Their landlords could evict them at a moment’s notice, or worse, the DEA could raid them, seize their assets, and they could face federal charges.

All of the BOE members seemed to listen closely, and I could hear exclamations from those seated in the audience who had not been aware of this dire situation. After we spoke, BOE Member Betty Yee addressed the Board, conveying the sense of responsibility and obligation she felt on this issue. She expressed her concern, not only for the tax revenue generated by dispensaries, but also for the patients who depend on these facilities for access to their medicine. She urged the BOE to work with state officials to ensure protection of dispensaries from DEA attacks, echoing the statements she made in a recent opinion piece co-authored by Senator Migden.

I left the meeting feeling that we had been listened to and that the BOE may take further steps to protect our community.

Speak Out Against DEA Attacks on Oakland Medical Marijuana Producer

(Cross posted at Living in the O.)

Wednesday was a difficult day for the medical marijuana movement. In the morning, the DEA raided the longest standing medical cannabis dispensary in Sacramento. I wrote about that raid on the blog of the organization I work for, Americans for Safe Access, so I won’t dwell on it here.

Before noon though, I’d gotten word of another raid. The DEA was apparently raiding a facility operated by Tainted, Inc., a medical cannabis edible producer. I asked a coworker of mine to drive down to the site to confirm. As he was on his way, I got another call telling me that the DEA was raiding three Tainted facilities.

My coworker soon called me to confirm that it was a DEA raid (sometimes raids are misreported and we like to confirm by looking for the very noticeable DEA jackets). I told him about the other raids and asked him to talk to the agents to find out if anybody at any of the locations had been detained or arrested. After nudging the agents for a while, they finally told him that there were a dozen people being detained, but the DEA wouldn’t reveal whether anybody had or would be arrested. They simply told us to keep calling the Oakland courthouse to check if any arraignments were scheduled for the following day.

Let me back up a bit. You might have read the Chronicle’s or the Tribune’s articles about these raids, but surprise, surprise, neither of those stories give the full picture of what happened and what this means. The Trib’s headline refers to “drug-laced candies” while the Chron calles Tainted a “pot candy firm.” Both stories quote DEA agents extensively. Neither quotes a medical cannabis patient or advocate, despite the fact that ASA sent out a press release explaining the medical side of the story.

I know many of the people who were involved in Tainted quite well. They were doing this for all the right reasons and gave back to the community whenever they could. They spearheaded accurate labeling of medical marijuana edibles. All of their edibles are clearly marked with ingredient lists and warnings stating they are for medical use only. There’s also a clear warning on the back of their edibles -“Keep out of reach of children”:

Tainted Edible Packaging

Tainted Edible Packaging

Tens of thousands of Californians who use medical marijuana depend on these edibles. They either cannot or do not want to smoke for health reasons or edibles are more effective. While the healing effects of inhaled cannabis only last for a short time, the effects of ingested cannabis can last for several hours. Tainted was one of the most respected edible producers, and they supplied medical cannabis patients statewide.

Back to last Wednesday… throughout the day, we tried to gather more facts, but there was little more to find out. Tainted’s attorney didn’t even find out about the 10:00 a.m., Thursday arraignment of three alleged managers until the arraignment had already begun. Luckily, all three of them were released pending trial. They all face serious prison sentences if they are convicted.

Throughout the end of the week, I was in contact with Michael Martin, the owner of Tainted. The press stories have painted him as a fugitive, but the truth is that he just happened to be out of town when the raids occurred. He intends to turn himself in next week and fight the charges against him.

What struck me was Martin’s concern with his employees. He kept calling me to see if I had heard more about any arrests. He had his attorney attempt to intervene in the arraignments. He didn’t want to publicize anything until he knew that everyone was safe. He is certainly not what most people think of when they picture a drug manufacturer or drug dealer. And he doesn’t see himself that way either.

Needless to say, the medical cannabis community is pretty pissed off right now. These attacks on safe access need to end. In August, I told the inspiring story of a huge activist response to DEA raids in Los Angeles and asked, how far would Oakland go for medical marijuana? Now it’s time to find out. On Thursday, ASA is hosting a press conference and rally at the Oakland federal building to speak out against the DEA raids in Oakland.

I encourage everyone reading this post to join me on Thursday and to spread the word. We can only end these raids if we fight back.

Here are the details:

What: Press Conference Speaking Out Against Raids in Oakland
When: Thursday, October 4th at 9:00am
Where: Oakland Federal Building at 1301 Clay St.
What to Wear: Business Professional Attire

For more information, contact [email protected]

And if you’re not in the Bay Area, take a minute to send a message to Governor Schwarzenegger, calling on him to end the DEA raids on medical marijuana patients and providers.