Activists to Ask Arnold to Act on Medical Marijuana in Meeting with Bush

October 14, 2003
SANTA MONICA – Tomorrow morning at 10:00am, medical marijuana patients and their supporters will be at California Governor-Elect Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Santa Monica office. After a press conference out front, they will ask him to use his meeting with President Bush later this week to help put an end to the federal attacks on patients and doctors.
 
Patients and activists are calling on Governor-Elect Schwarzenegger to act now on his campaign promise after a DEA raid in Los Angeles last week uprooted the small, backyard garden of Sister Somayah Kambui, a prominent health activist who suffers from Sickle Cell Anemia and runs a patient support group for others with the condition.
 
“We are counting on our new governor to make good on his promises and principles,” said Steph Sherer, Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access. “He has a unique opportunity to defend California’s most vulnerable citizens, and we think President Bush will listen to him.”
Speaking with Ms. Sherer at the press conference will be Ms. Kambui and Judy Osburn. Ms. Osburn awaits sentencing on federal marijuana charges stemming from her work as a director of the Los Angeles Cannabis Resource Center in West Hollywood.
 
During the recall campaign, Schwarzenegger expressed his support for medical marijuana, which has been legal in California since being approved by voter initiative in 1996. President Bush is scheduled to be in the state for fundraising events, and has promised a meeting with the governor-elect.
 
Ms. Kambui was acquitted of state cultivation charges in a high-profile trial in Los Angeles a year ago, and has since filed suit against the Los Angeles Police Department. One of the officers named in the suit was responsible for the affidavit the DEA used to get a search warrant, which claimed 200 plants were growing at her house. Agents found twelve, which they confiscated, along with computers and files. Ms. Kambui was released, and federal charges have not yet been filed.
 
WHO: Medical marijuana patients and their supporters
 
WHAT: A press conference on recent DEA raids on patients, followed by a visit to Governor-Elect Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Office with a request that he use his meeting with President Bush to ask for a stop to federal attacks. A sound system will be in place, and great visuals (costumes, posters) can be expected.
 
WHEN: Wednesday, October 15th, 10:00 am
 
WHERE: Outside Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Office; 3110 Main St. (at Marine), Santa Monica
 
A national coalition of 5,500 patients, doctors and advocates, Americans for Safe Access is the leading organization devoted to medical marijuana.
   
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