San Francisco Officials Fume Over DEA Raid on HopeNet

What: Press conference of elected officials and others to honor recent victims of DEA raids on Medical Marijuana clinics, followed by Medical Marijuana compassionate giveaway to members who receive weekly marijuana free of charge from HopeNet.

When: Wednesday, January 11; 11 am –11:45 p.m. indoor press conference, 12 noon – 12:45 pm outdoor compassionate giveaway.

Where: San Francisco City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, South Light Court inside City Hall, followed by event on plaza.

Who: San Francisco Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's Senior Advisor, State Senator Carole Migden's representative, State Assemblyman Mark Leno's representative, Greg Shaw of the Harvey Milk Democratic Club, Steph Sherer of Americans for Safe Access, Marsha Rosenbaum of Drug Policy Alliance, and Cathy and Steve Smith of HopeNet. Statement of support to be issued by San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris

SAN FRANCISCO — Due to the recent federal attacks on San Francisco's medical cannabis dispensary, HopeNet, by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), elected officials, and the medical cannabis community are coming together to speak out for patients' right to safe access as afforded by voter-approved Proposition 215, State Senate Bill 420, and the recently passed Medical Cannabis Act of San Francisco.

On December 20, 2005, DEA agents raided the home of Steve and Cathy Smith, who run HopeNet. The physical and vocal support of patients and advocates held the DEA at bay for hours outside of the HopeNet facility, and the DEA returned after dark to finish the raids after patients had left. The highly regarded 1,000-member collective provides free medical cannabis to over 100 seriously ill low-income patients on an ongoing basis. As the DEA raid fell on the eve of the holiday season, limiting supply for patients in need, those members will receive a 'compassion package' of medical marijuana at Wednesday's event.

Support for providing medical cannabis to all who need it continues to increase, with Rhode Island most recently becoming the 11th state to approve legislation. With federal resources spread all too thin, our citizens are outraged that valuable time and money being directed towards investigating and raiding legitimate medical cannabis providers operating under city and state law.