Blog Voices from the Frontlines
Inland residents with spinal injuries, AIDS, glaucoma, cancer and other ailments delivered a simple message Thursday: It's time to let doctors prescribe marijuana as a way to relieve their pain and suffering.
As part of a nationwide protest, about 35 medical-marijuana users from Santa Cruz were among a group asking the agency to end enforcement against medical-marijuana clubs. Some 47 "cease and desist" requests were slid under the doors of DEA offices in San Jose, said Valerie Corral, executive director of WAMM, an area medical marijuana cooperative.
Chris Nichols, Berkeley Daily PlanetTo Francisco Garcia marijuana is a medicine that helps ease the pain in the Vietnam veteran's aching leg. But to federal drug enforcement officials, smoking marijuana is a federal crime because pot is an illegal drug. Garcia was among demonstrators in front of the Oakland Federal Building yesterday who rallied for the freedom to use marijuana medicinally, like state law allows. 'I'm here because I truly believe in my medicine,' Garcia said. 'I don't see any harm in it. The marijuana helps the throbbing in my leg go away so I can get some rest and some sleep.
The protesters tried to deliver "cease and desist" orders to the Drug Enforcement Administration's office, commanding the DEA to stop raiding medical marijuana clubs, as it has in Los Angeles last October, in San Francisco this February and in Santa Rosa last week.
Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, said the late-morning protest at Ninth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW was in response to DEA raids in California targeting the use of marijuana for medical purposes.
Lynn Wohlwend, The Capital TimesEleven years ago, Jacki Rickert began losing weight.
"It got so bad that my daughter said to me, 'Mom, you look like you just walked out of a concentration camp,'" she said.
Rickert was eventually diagnosed with a nervous system disorder. She began using marijuana to stimulate her appetite and now weighs about 90 pounds.
"That might not seem like a lot, but it is to me," she said.
As District Attorney of San Francisco, I support their effort, and I implore the DEA to stop its attack on the medical use of marijuana.
Federal police arrested 10 protesters who had chained themselves together here outside of Justice Department headquarters, federal police confirmed.
Activists said they were protesting DEA plans to crack down on "cannabis clubs" in California, cooperatives that grow marijuana and distribute it to patients with AIDS, cancer and other ailments.
Jen Christensen, Gay.com / PlanetOut.com NetworkTen protesters wanting national legalization for the medical use of marijuana, which counters some side effects of anti-AIDS drugs, were arrested on Thursday for chaining themselves to the Justice Department's front door.
"It was incredible," said Krissy Oechslin, who was at the department protesting. "People were chanting 'cease and desist' and 'stop arresting patients.' Police kept moving us back and then eventually they carried away or dragged the people who wouldn't move back into the paddy wagons.