Blog Voices from the Frontlines
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.