Since last fall, many of California's dispensaries have been forced to close their doors due to the Justice Department's crackdown on medical cannabis. This unfortunate situation worsened last week as we witnessed two dispensaries in California face DEA raids: G3 Holistic in Upland and El Camino Wellness in Sacramento.
Statewide, patients are concerned over the loss of their dispensaries and are asking loud and clear, "Where will we get our medicine?"
Imagine a patient who, in their lifetime, has never been exposed to the culture or experiences of cannabis. They’ve never called a friend for an 1/8th or contemplated what clones to plant for a new season. One doctor’s visit can change a life - and now this person is faced with a laundry list of decisions, one of them likely relating to medical cannabis.
Patient #2 lives in an apartment and for their own laundry list of reasons is not able to cultivate. Either they are not home enough to nurture and protect that endeavor. Or maybe they have a black thumb or the inability to balance pets, children and cultivation.
Patient #3 has spent two weeks in the hospital, 1 of them in intensive care. Released to go home with severe restrictions, a family member has filled the patient’s prescriptions, gathered groceries and transports the patient back home for recovery. Or maybe even end-of-life care. The caregiver doesn't have the expertise, and the patient doesn't have the time, to wait months to harvest medicine for palliative care.
Dispensaries provide a logical answer for getting medical cannabis into the hands of those with a valid recommendation.
Dispensaries give patients the respect of being able to obtain their medicine in a safe, accountable and professional environment rather than endure risky encounters with strangers. Patients are sick and tired and they want to avoid all of the obstacles between them and their medicine. Patients also want to be treated with respect, not like criminals. Many patients have unique needs, and want a variety of choices of cannabis strains and means of delivery.
Join other patients and concerned citizens coming out in protest over the DEA actions against our state's medical cannabis program.
Hundreds of dispensaries across the state have closed down while many more face threat of closure. Closing dispensaries hurts patients. The time to stand up for patients' rights is now!
What: Rally to protest the June 11th DEA raid on El Camino Wellness Center and widespread federal intimidation
When: Wednesday, June 20th at 1:30pm
Where: Federal Courthouse, 501 I Street, Sacramento
Wear sunscreen and a hat, bring water and make signs of protest. Use talking points like:
DEA Closes Legal Dispensaries
Closing Collectives Hurts Patients
Respect CA State Laws
Courtney Sheats is ASA’s Sacramento Community Liason.