SF Medical Marijuana Supporters Confront DEA Agents

December 19, 2005

, Fox Reno News

Nearly 100 medical marijuana demonstrators gathered in the rain Tuesday to vehemently protest the pending raid of a San Francisco medical marijuana club.


As two Drug Enforcement Administration agents waited for a search warrant in a car parked outside HopeNet at 223 Ninth St., protesters chanted, "Go away DEA and stop arresting medical marijuana patients."


DEA officers raided the home of HopeNet directors Steve and Cathy Smith before dawn Tuesday, according to Hilary McQuie with Americans for Safe Access, a national coalition that works to protect the rights of medical-marijuana users.


Authorities seized 122 plants and an estimated $20,000 in assets in the raid. Agents also confiscated growing equipment, bulbs, utility bills, tax documents, financial records and photographs.


"I think it is very bizarre that this is happening to one of the best dispensers in the city," McQuie said. "This is a mean-spirited, cold-hearted act for the DEA to do right before the holiday season."


On June 6, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that California's medical marijuana law doesn't protect sick people from being prosecuted under federal law for using marijuana.


San Francisco is home to more than 40 medical marijuana dispensaries, more than any other place in the nation. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a moratorium on all new dispensaries on March 30.


"It's so backwards," said Wayne Justmann, a medical marijuana proponent. "If they wanted assault dispensaries, why not get a search warrant for the cooperative first," he asked.

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