Protestors Rally Over Medical Marijuana Crackdown
December 12, 2005
The Drug Enforcement Agency and local police raided 13 dispensaries of medical marijuana Monday, including the Purple Coconut, on El Cajon Boulevard.
Tuesday, there was a demonstration of solidarity by some of those targeted.
Several dozen people gathered at the street corner of Broadway and Midway between the federal and county courthouses at noon so they would have a chance to get their voices heard.
"We want our rights. State law says Prop 215 passed -- we're voters and we want medical cannabis," said San Diego Norml President Laurie Kallonakis.
The DEA-led raid in San Diego and San Marcos closed down more than a dozen dispensaries where patients and caregivers picked up marijuana for medical purposes. But the DEA said undercover operatives bought it, too, without prescriptions, violating both the spirit and letter of the law.
"You have a high percentage of healthy 18-to 25-year-olds walking into locations, smoking joints around community. We received complaints (so) we took action," said John Fernandes with the DEA.
One caregiver, who also works at a dispensary talked about what he called the darker side -- places that he said shouldn't be tolerated because they sell to people without a medical need.
"Our stare policy is real strict. If you don't have paperwork, there's no way to get in," said Tim Janson, with Legal Ease Inc.
There have been no arrests for the sale or purchase of marijuana in these raids.
Three people were taken into custody on unrelated warrants.