|Alternative Care Clinics|
Lawmakers, Patients, and Activists to Decry DOJ Attacks
The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), California NORML and a coalition of advocacy and labor groups are staging a demonstration at noon on Wednesday, November 9 to protest the federal government’s escalated attack on California’s medical marijuana laws.
A rally of medical marijuana patients and supporters is set to occur in front of the Sacramento Federal Building and will feature state legislators, advocates, labor unions, and dispensary operators impacted by the recent Department of Justice (DOJ) crackdown in California.
|Rob Kampia, MPP: “Any attack on the ability to safely access medical marijuana is an attack on patients”|
”The recent announcements by the U.S. attorneys of the intent to target the California medical marijuana industry is a waste of law enforcement resources and a betrayal of campaign promises made by President Obama,” said Rob Kampia, executive director of the MPP. “Shutting down businesses that provide medical marijuana to patients, and threatening their landlords and media advertisers, will not have any effect on the illicit marijuana market.
“This crackdown will hurt the California economy, deprive state and local governments of vital revenue, and, most importantly, put patients in danger,” Kampia said. “Any attack on the ability to safely access medical marijuana is an attack on patients.”
“Fifteen years after the passage of Prop. 215, it is a disgrace that our federal government has refused to heed the voters’ mandate to provide legal access to medical marijuana,” said California NORML Director Dale Gieringer, a co-author of Prop 215. “Instead, all we have seen is ham-fisted arrests, raids and harassment in defense of a bankrupt, prohibitionist policy that denis Americans’ right of access to medicine.”
One month ago in Sacramento, California’s four U.S. Attorneys announced a new Justice Department offensive against medical marijuana, threatening landlords with property forfeiture if they allow dispensaries to operate. Targets of the crackdown have included some of the best-regarded dispensaries in the state, noted for their efforts to operate in full and open compliance with state and local regulations.
|Dale Gierigner, Cal NORML: “[I]t is a disgrace that our federal government has refused to heed the voters’ mandate”|
California NORML estimates that the medical marijuana industry now accounts for some $1.5 to $4 billion in revenues, tens of thousands of jobs, and more than $100 million in sales taxes.
“In this time of rising health costs and economic distress, it is an outrageous misuse of federal resources to attack medical marijuana,” Gieringer said. “President Obama should respect his campaign pledge not to use Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state medical marijuana laws.”
Cal NORML is calling on all supporters to urge Congress to support a bill by Rep. Barney Frank, H.R. 1983, which would allow states to regulate medical marijuana legally without federal interference.
What: Protest against DOJ attacks on California’s medical marijuana laws
When: 12:00 noon on Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Where: Sacramento Federal Building, 501 I Street
Speakers will include: State Assembly Member Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) and other invited legislators; Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access (ASA); Steve DeAngelo of Oakland’s licensed dispensary Harborside Health Center; Dan Rush of the United Food and Commercial Workers; and Dale Gieringer of California NORML.