A coalition of advocacy and labor groups are staging a demonstration at Noon on Wednesday, November 9th to protest federal government’s escalated attack on California’s medical marijuana laws. A lively 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, and dispensary operators impacted by the recent Justice Department (DOJ) crackdown in California.
What: Protest against DOJ attacks on California’s medical marijuana laws
When: 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 ASA; Steve D’Angelo of Oakland’s licensed dispensary Harborside Health Center; Dan Rush of the United Food and Commercial Workers; and Dale Gieringer of California NORML
On October 7th, all four U.S. Attorneys for California held a joint press conference to announce a multi-pronged attack on medical marijuana across the state. The DOJ strategy includes: aggressive SWAT-style raids on state compliant producers and distributors of medical marijuana, threats of criminal prosecution and property seizure made against landlords of licensed distributors, and threats against local public officials attempting to implement state law. The Internal Revenue Service has also targeted dozens of California dispensaries in an attempt to put them out of business.
“No matter how you spin it, an attack on access to medical marijuana is an attack on patients,” said ASA California Director Don Duncan, one of the organizers of the Wednesday protest. “Not only is this crackdown bad for the economy, workers and much-needed tax revenue, it literally pushes patients into the illicit market and into harm’s way,” continued Duncan. “We are sick and tired of being the target of the Obama Administration and we’re calling on the Justice Department to stand down.”
Less than two weeks ago, ASA filed a lawsuit in federal court attempting to stop the DOJ crackdown on medical marijuana. The ASA lawsuit accuses the Obama Administration of violating the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by commandeering the lawmaking efforts of local and state legislators. There has also been an outcry from a multitude of elected officials in California, including several members of Congress, State Attorney General Kamala Harris, State Senators Mark Leno and Leland Yee, State Assembly member Tom Ammiano, and Mendocino Supervisor John McCowen.
Wednesday’s protest is the culmination of a series of demonstrations held as a result of the October 7th DOJ announcement. Rallies and marches have occurred previously in San Diego (10/18), Los Angeles (10/24), and San Francisco (10/25). The coalition of groups putting on Wednesday’s protest are also mobilizing supporters across the country to contact President Obama and urge him to end the DOJ attacks.
Protest details: http://AmericansForSafeAccess.org/article.php?id=6848
Letter from Congress to Obama: http://AmericansForSafeAccess.org/downloads/Obama_Letter_October_2011.pdf
Elected officials’ statements against DOJ tactics: http://AmericansForSafeAccess.org/blog/?p=2034