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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
One man with AIDS said he grows four pot plants and needs cannabis to stay alive.
"I have wasting syndrome. I keep my weight on," he said. "Without it, I would waste away to nothing. I wouldn't be able to take my anti-virals.
Andrew Weil, San Francisco ChronicleTODAY, in dozens of cities and towns across the United States, something remarkable happened: Thousands of people battling cancer, AIDS and other terrible illnesses, their families, friends and supporters delivered cease-and-desist orders to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration to stop it from blocking their access to a needed medication.
Their request was so simple, so obviously correct that it is heartbreaking that people -- many very seriously ill -- were forced to deliver their message in this way, with many risking arrest.
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.