California Raids on Medical Marijuana Caregivers Stir Protests

July 11, 2005
CALIFORNIA – In the past 6 weeks, California law enforcement agencies
have participated in or spearheaded raids on medical marijuana
dispensing collectives in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and
Sacramento. Advocates are concerned that state and local law enforcement
are making a habit of ignoring the Compassionate Use Act by notifying
the DEA when marijuana is implicated in a state or local investigation,
thereby nullifying a medical defense in federal court. In response to
local law enforcement’s failure to protect state law, activists will
engage in protests in 4 California cities Tuesday, entreating local
police to ‘cease and desist’ participating with federal medical cannabis
dispensary raids.

WHO: Americans for Safe Access, a national grassroots coalition of
patients, doctors, and advocates working to secure safe access to
medical marijuana
WHAT: Protest against California police raids on Medical Marijuana
Caregivers
WHEN: Tuesday, July 12 at noon
WHERE: Local law enforcement HQ’s in Sacramento, San Diego, San
Francisco, and Los Angeles
Sacramento County Sheriffs Office, 711 G Street
San Diego Police Dept. Headquarters, 1401 Broadway
San Francisco Police Dept. Headquarters, 850 Bryant St.
Los Angeles Police Dept, Parker Center, 150 N. Los Angeles St.

“Any action by state or local authorities designed to interrupt medical
cannabis dispensary operations jeopardizes patients’ right to obtain
medicine according to state law, “said Rebecca Saltzman, field
coordinator for Americans for Safe Access. “These recent actions are
particularly outrageous in light of the fact that Attorney General
Lockyer has issued two law enforcement bulletins and a formal opinion
upholding patients’ rights under the Compassionate Use Act and SB420.”
(To read these, go to
http://caag.state.ca.us/newsalerts/2005/05-040.htm;
http://www.safeaccessnow.org/downloads/AG_Raich_Bulletin1.pdf;
http://www.safeaccessnow.org/downloads/AG_Raich_Bulletin2.pdf)

The advocacy group also said it was planning on filing a motion for a
preliminary injunction this week against Governor Arnold Schwarzenneger
and the California Highway Patrol (CHP). The injunction seeks to put an
end to the CHP's policy of seizing marijuana from qualified patients in
all cases where it is found during routine traffic stops. Both the
Governor and the CHP are represented in this suit by the Attorney
General's Office, which, on June 22, 2003, issued a bulletin forbidding
state law enforcement from seizing marijuana from qualified patients on
the basis of federal law.

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A national coalition of 12,000 patients, doctors and advocates,
Americans for Safe Access is the largest organization working solely on
medical marijuana. To learn more, see www.SafeAccessNow.org.

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