Drug Czar’s Visit to San Francisco Draws Community Protestors Today

When the nation’s drug czar arrives in San Francisco today to take on medical marijuana and its supporters, he’ll be facing a tough crowd. As the leading spokesman for the federal government’s stated policy that there is no such thing as medical marijuana, the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, John Walters, will be met by an array of community leaders and activists protesting his position.
The Reverend Cecil Williams of Glide Memorial Church will be joined by Van Jones, as well as activists from Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Dance Safe, and Americans for Safe Access in demanding an end to policies that not only deny safe, effective medicine to suffering Americans but seek to imprison those who use it or provide it.
Drug Czar Walters continues to contend that marijuana is the most dangerous drug in America, despite the undisputed fact that it has no fatal dose, unlike aspirin or vitamins. Federal officials, including Dr. Andrea Barthwell of the ONDCP office, now concede that marijuana contains chemical compounds effective in treating a host of conditions, and have retreated to arguing about “delivery methods” for administering it – preferring injection to inhalation, pills to paraphernalia.
The protestors who gather across the street from Glide Memorial at 3:30pm today will be challenging not only the myths and misinformation being promulgated by the Drug Czar’s office, they’ll be challenging the man himself – to a debate tomorrow.
Drug Czar Walters is being invited to face off with community leaders, doctors and activists who want the attacks on patients and providers stopped and a more sensible and compassionate national drug policy put into place. Tuesday at noon in Glide Memorial’s Freedom Hall there will be a Town Hall Meeting – whether he shows up or not – to debunk the ONDCP’s claims about medical marijuana and other matters.
What:     Protest against Office of National Drug Control Policy Director John Walters
When:     Monday, November 17, 2003 at 3:30 pm
Where:   Ellis & Taylor, San Francisco, across from Glide Memorial Church
Who:       Rev. Cecil Williams, Van Jones, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Dance Safe, Americans
for Safe Access.
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For more Information, contact William Dolphin at (510) 919-1498 or [email protected]