Local Democrats Ask Obama to Leave S.F. Marijuana Clubs Alone

April 25, 2012

Erin Sherbert, SF Weekly

San Francisco Democrats turned on one of their own as they issued a scathing rebuttal to President Barack Obama's explanation of his unpopular crackdown of medical marijuana clubs. The local Democratic Party passed a resolution yesterday, demanding that President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, and U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag "cease all federal actions in San Francisco immediately, respect state and local laws, and stop the closure of city-permitted medical cannabis facilities."

The resolution
was co-sponsored by 21 DCCC members including: Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco); State Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco); Supervisors David Campos and David Chiu; former State Senator Carole Migden; and former Supervisor Aaron Peskin.

As readers already know, five permitted dispensaries in San Francisco have been forced to close in the last few months, thanks to the Obama Administration's crackdown across California. The operators and landlords of these -- and several more dispensaries -- were threatened with jail time and asset forfeiture unless they shuttered their business to the city's tens of thousands of customers in San Francisco. Pot clubs especially were hit hard in October, when California's four U.S. Attorneys escalated its campaign against medical marijuana.

Earlier today, we detailed Obama's explanation of what many have deemed to be a hypocritical crackdown. He defended his administration's actions, saying he "never made a promise to ignore federal law, and even if [he] did, [he]  can't, because Congress, not the White House, makes the laws."

The DCCC shot back, arguing that "the U.S. Attorneys in California are not targeting individuals and organizations that are operating outside of the law, but instead are aggressively persecuting a peaceful and regulated community, wasting federal resources in using a series of threatening tactics to shut down regulated access to medical cannabis across the state of California."

What's more, the feds are depriving the state of much-needed tax dollars, the Democratic Party says.

"With a highly contentious bid for the White House, Obama should think twice about being out of step with his party and the 80 percent of Americans who support safe and legal access to medical marijuana," said Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access.

The DCCC is now aiding city dispensaries by seeking to "establish an emergency plan to expedite the re-permitting of any [shuttered] medical cannabis dispensaries."

"It's irresponsible for the federal government to dismantle established and responsible regulations in California," said Gabriel Haaland, a member of the local Democratic Party. "Hundreds of thousands of patients will be forced into the illicit market, creating unnecessary public safety issues that will affect us all."

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