Marijuana activists assemble downtown
October 11, 2007
About 200 pro-medical marijuana activists demonstrated Thursday outside Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's office in downtown Los Angeles, demanding he do more to end federal raids on cannabis clinics.
In a lively rally that lasted more than an hour, and was punctuated by the smell of pot, the protesters gathered outside the Ronald Reagan State Office Building to call on Schwarzenegger to urge the Bush administration to tell federal drug agents to back off.
Representatives from Schwarzenegger's office were not immediately available for comment.
Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine did not attend today's rally, but released a statement in support of the dispensaries.
"This year has seen a dramatic increase in federal law enforcement activity surrounding medical cannabis, including raids, confiscation of medicine and plants, and indictments," he stated.
Orange County Board of Supervisors Chairman Chris Norby, who also did not attend the rally, also expressed solidarity with the protesters via e-mail.
Norby urged Schwarzenegger to implement Proposition 215, the ballot initiative California voters approved in 1996 that legalized the sale and use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Marijuana is still an illegal drug under federal law.
Opponents of medical marijuana say the dispensaries aren't regulated, attract crime and make it easier for everyone, not just those with serious illnesses like cancer and AIDS, to gain access to the drug.
The demonstrators protested what they called illegal and intrusive raids conducted by federal drug agents.The demonstrators protested what they called illegal and intrusive raids conducted by federal drug agents.