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Oakland, CA -- The federal interference with California’s medical marijuana program escalated yesterday with raids in Oakland on a supplier of edible medicinal products.
Wednesday’s paramilitary-style raids by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) involved five locations the DEA says are connected to Tainted, Inc., a well-known supplier of edible medical cannabis products available in dozens of medical marijuana dispensaries across the state.
Heavily armed federal agents seized cannabis plants and medicinal edibles, arrested three people and killed an employee’s dog.
“Raids on people who help patients are increasing across California because the DEA realizes they are at the end of a losing battle,” said Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access, a national medical cannabis advocacy organization based in Oakland. “Medical marijuana has been accepted by doctors, the American public, and an increasing number of state and local officials. The DEA won’t be able to kick down the doors of the sick and the compassionate much longer.”
Tainted, Inc. provides clearly labeled baked goods and other marijuana edibles to medical cannabis patients and collectives all over California. Edible cannabis products provide an alternative to smoking cannabis and are preferred by many patients. The products made by Tainted, Inc. are available only through medical cannabis dispensaries and carry prominent warning labels.
“Using edible cannabis helps me sleep better at night,” said 54-year-old Cancer patient Lenny Fisher who uses Tainted, Inc.’s products to combat the painful symptoms of his condition. “Since I cannot smoke cannabis, I rely on edibles to control my pain and to allow me to sleep through the night."
The development of delivery methods that do not involve smoking was one of the recommendations of the White House commissioned 1999 Institute of Medicine Report on medical marijuana. While long term studies of chronic marijuana users have shown that there is no associated risk of lung cancer or other diseases, many patients remain concerned about smoking cannabis or find oral ingestion to be easier or more effective.
A UC Berkeley researcher, Amanda Reiman, found in a study of patient care at medical marijuana collectives that a significant service many offer their patients is a range of options for their medicine. Tainted, Inc. is one of the manufacturers of edible products that have been meeting that patient demand. More than one hundred of California’s medical cannabis dispensaries provide edibles to their patients.
Tainted owner Michael Martin was out of town when the raids occurred and is expected to turn himself in to federal agents next week. Martin could face twenty years or more in federal prison for his role in supplying medical cannabis. Because federal law does not recognize medical uses for marijuana, if he goes to trial, Martin will not be allowed to tell jurors that his company supplied medical cannabis products through licensed dispensaries to qualified patients. Defense attorneys are prevented from raising state law, local regulations or the vast amount of medical cannabis science in federal marijuana trials.
Photos of Tainted edibles:
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With over 30,000 active members in more than 40 states, Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is the largest national member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research. ASA works to overcome political and legal barriers by creating policies that improve access to medical cannabis for patients and researchers through legislation, education, litigation, grassroots actions, advocacy and services for patients and the caregivers.