Blog Voices from the Frontlines

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 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

Here come the feds - Americans for Safe Access

  • July 10, 2002 8:00 PM

Timpothy Linch, Guest Comment - Sacramento News and Review ,

A fascinating trial is under way in this community and the constitutional issues at stake are much more important than the political storm surrounding the Pledge of Allegiance ruling. The federal government is trying to throw a man named [Bryan] James Epis in jail for 10 years, and the government is going to extraordinary lengths to win the case at all costs. Every citizen should pay close attention to what the feds are trying to pull here. Epis is accused of being a 'marijuana dealer' and faces a minimum term of 10 years in prison.
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.
Jul 092002


  • July 09, 2002 4:00 AM
CA, STATEWIDE—The last time Asa Hutchinson visited California, the DEA raided two San Francisco medical marijuana dispensaries, seizing property and arresting four prominent activists including nationally renowned author Ed Rosenthal. Tomorrow, Hutchinson returns to the state to brief Hollywood’s top brass just as Rosenthal appears before a Federal Court in San Francisco.
Jun 132002

DEA Raids on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Will be Met With New Nationwide Protests - Americans for Safe Access

  • June 13, 2002 4:00 AM
SAN FRANSISCO – Last week thousands of people who organized under the banner Americans For Safe Access (ASA) disrupted business-as-usual at 50 regional outposts of the Drug Enforcement Administration, including the Department of Justice in Washington, DC. The protests were organized to publicize an expected permanent injunction that was granted yesterday by US District Court Judge Charles Breyer which orders medical marijuana dispensaries in California to stop distributing the medicine to certified patients.
Jun 072002

Medicinal Marijuana Is Up In Smoke - Americans for Safe Access

  • June 07, 2002 8:00 PM

Bruce Mirken,

Yesterday's article 'Hill protests target marijuana, oil policies' may have left readers unclear as to why 10 of my associates chose to be arrested protesting at the Justice Department. As the arrestee pictured alongside your article, allow me to explain. Since last October, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration repeatedly has raided medical marijuana distribution centers operating legally under California law.
Jun 062002

Protestors Ask DEA to Change Drug Law - Americans for Safe Access

  • June 06, 2002 8:00 PM

Chris Nichols, Berkeley Daily Planet

To 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.