Federal Agents Raid San Francisco Medical Marijuana Dispensary

SAN FRANCISCO—Nearly two dozen federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents in full tactical gear descended on a medical cannabis dispensing collective in San Francisco and at least half a dozen other related locations today, seizing medicine and making more than a dozen arrests. It is the third such action in California in the past week.

In San Francisco, the New Remedies dispensary at 1760 Mission Street was the focus of the DEA action, but a warehouse was also targeted. In Oakland, DEA agents visited the New Remedies’ administrative offices at 1710 Franklin, where staff from Americans for Safe Access, which has offices nearby, observed two women being taken away by agents.

“The federal government’s outrageous attacks on California’s cannabis patients are not only flouting the state’s laws and human compassion but medical science,” said Steph Sherer, executive director of ASA, the national advocacy group based in Oakland. “New research showing how Hepatitis C sufferers benefit from cannabis is released one week, and the next the DEA raids three cooperatives that are helping those people get their medicine.”

The three raids in California this week include today’s coordinated action in San Francisco; a joint DEA- local law enforcement action last Wednesday on the California Healthcare Collective, the only dispensary in Modesto; and a DEA raid on the North Valley Discount Caregivers, a dispensary in the Granada Hills area of Los Angeles.

Among the recent research studies showing the efficacy of cannabis for the treatment of a variety of ailments, the October 2006 issue of the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology reports that patients with hepatitis C virus are three times more likely to stay on their treatment regimen and recover from the disease. This is similar to studies of HIV/AIDS patients, which have found that those who use cannabis as an adjunct therapy to control side effects and pain are more than 3 times more likely to continue taking the anti-viral medications that fight the disease.

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With more than 30,000 active members with chapters and affiliates in more than 40 states, Americans for Safe Access is the largest national member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic uses and research.