Blog Voices from the Frontlines

Sep 052002

Bay Area Activists to Protest at Federal Buildings - Americans for Safe Access

  • September 05, 2002 4:00 AM
San Francisco, CA – The Drug Enforcement Agency raided another medical marijuana dispensary today in Santa Cruz, California, arresting 2 people and shutting off safe access to life affirming medicine to 300 seriously ill patients. In response to the federal government’s failure to respect local state laws that permit the use of medical marijuana for the seriously ill, activists will engage in protest and civil disobedience at the Oakland and San Francisco Federal Buildings.
Aug 282002

Not All Students Will Start School This Week - Americans for Safe Access

  • August 28, 2002 4:00 AM
WASHINGTON, DC - According to new Department of Education data, over 30,000 college students have been denied federal loans and grants for the 2002-2003 school year due to the 1998 Higher Education Act drug provision. Since the HEA drug provision was first enforced in 2000, a total of 86,898 students have been denied aid. A drug conviction is the only crime that can result in the loss of federal financial aid.
Aug 272002

DEA Launches Exhibit Proclaiming Drugs = Terrorism - Americans for Safe Access

  • August 27, 2002 8:00 PM

Bill Berkowitz,

Every day Mary Lucey takes AIDS medications to stay alive. Without medical marijuana she gets so nauseous she can't keep the pills down. Lucey, a veteran activist and Interim AIDS Coordinator for the city of Los Angeles, serves on the board of the Los Angeles Cannabis Resource Center. When the LACRC was raided by the Drug Enforcement Administration in October, 2001, Lucey lost her safe, reliable source of medicine.
Aug 162002

Medical marijuana: Help without the high - Americans for Safe Access

  • August 16, 2002 8:00 PM

Jennifer Thomas, USA Today,

As the battle over medical marijuana intensifies, researchers are quietly trying to come up with a way to dodge the bullets. Their aim: Develop a form of the drug that will treat pain but not get you high. In laboratories and greenhouses around the world, they are are experimenting with pills, inhalers, patches and even suppositories that would deliver marijuana's pain-killing effects without the psychoactivity.
Aug 092002

10-year sentence in medical pot case - Americans for Safe Access

  • August 09, 2002 8:00 PM

Denny Walsh -- Bee Staff Writer,

Bryan James Epis, the first person associated with a California medical marijuana dispensary to be tried in federal court for growing pot, was sentenced Monday in Sacramento to a mandatory 10 years in prison. Epis, 35, insists the crop in his Chico house was only for himself and four other seriously ill people whose physicians had recommended the drug in conformance with California's 1996 Compassionate Use Act. But he ran head- on into federal law that makes no allowance for medical necessity.
Aug 092002

Researchers seek answers on medical marijuana - Americans for Safe Access

  • August 09, 2002 8:00 PM

Jennifer Thomas, USA Today,

When Irvin Rosenfeld was a boy, he was stricken with a rare disease that caused tumors to grow on his bones, leaving him in constant, crippling pain. He underwent several surgeries to remove the tumors, but new ones grew back. He was prescribed all sorts of painkillers and muscle relaxants, but still he ached. Then, as a college student, Rosenfeld smoked marijuana for the first time. Almost immediately, he felt better than he had in years. Now a 48-year-old stockbroker in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Aug 072002

Cheney talks tough on Iraq
He tells S.F. crowd he's healthy, dodges Halliburton questions - Americans for Safe Access

  • August 07, 2002 8:00 PM

Carla Marinucci & John Wildermuth, SF Chronicle,

After months out of the spotlight, Vice President Dick Cheney, in two California appearances Wednesday, spoke strongly about the possibility of war with Iraq and reassured supporters about his health while sidestepping questions about his actions as former CEO at Halliburton Co. Calling Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's renewed efforts to obtain weapons of mass destruction a 'growing threat,' Cheney said President Bush is 'looking at all the options' with regard to using military force in the region.
Jul 192002

Editorials Endorse State Supreme Court Decision on Proposition 215 - Americans for Safe Access

  • July 19, 2002 8:00 PM


Several newspaper have published editorials in support of last week's state Supreme Court decision on Proposition 215. The court ruled that residents who cultivate or use marijuana for medical purposes with a physician's recommendation are protected from state prosecution under the law. Under Proposition 215, a ballot measure approved by California voters in 1996, patients with chronic diseases such as cancer and AIDS can use medical marijuana to treat pain (California Healthline, 7/19).
Jul 112002

Conviction in federal pot trial - Americans for Safe Access

  • July 11, 2002 8:00 PM

Denny Walsh, Sacramento Bee Staff Writer,

The jurors reach a verdict after being told to ignore all medical-use evidence and argument. Bryan James Epis, who says he smoked marijuana for chronic pain and wanted to grow it for others who were sick, was found guilty Thursday by a jury in Sacramento federal court of conspiracy and manufacturing the drug. He faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison on the jury's finding that he conspired to eventually boost his crop to at least 1,000 plants.
Jul 102002


  • July 10, 2002 8:00 PM

by Denny Walsh, Sacramento Bee Staff Writer,

Bryan James Epis doesn't strike one as a person likely to be found in the vortex of a national controversy. His soft, friendly features, mellow demeanor and low-key conversational manner leave an impression of inner peace rather than outer turmoil. But the husky, 35-year-old son of a well-to-do Silicon Valley woman finds himself a poster boy for pro-medical marijuana forces -- and in a fight for his freedom that could end with 10 years behind bars. His famous lawyer, J.