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.
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.
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.
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.
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.