‘————————————————————————— A big thanks to the hundreds of friends & supporters who showed up to make yesterday’s SF protest against the DEA- DOJ raids such a success. Please join the 11,000 others who have signed the Change.org petition calling on Obama to stop the raids :. – D. Gieringer, Cal NORML ————————————————————————— Six National Drug Policy Organizations Call on President Obama to End Unnecessary Assault on Medical Marijuana Providers Coalition to President Obama: “It is time for a new approach on marijuana policy.” Contact: Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, (202) 483-5500 Washington, DC — In the wake of recent attacks on medical marijuana providers and patients by multiple branches of the federal government, including Monday’s raids on Oaksterdam University in Oakland, CA, a coalition of six national drug policy reform organizations is appealing to President Obama and his administration to follow its own previously stated policies respecting state medical marijuana laws. In the letter, posted in full below, the organizations call on the Obama administration to bring an end to the federal government’s ongoing campaign to undermine state efforts to regulate safe and legal access to medical marijuana for those patients who rely on it. The Obama Administration’s National Drug Control Strategy Report 2012, reportedly being released in the coming days, is expected to cling to failed and outdated marijuana policies which further cement the control of the marijuana trade in the hands of drug cartels and illegal operators, endangering both patients in medical marijuana states and citizens everywhere. The members of this coalition stand together with members of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, current and former Latin American leaders whose countries are being ravaged by drug cartels, Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) cc: Eric Holder, Attorney General, Department of Justice James Cole, Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy — ————————————————————————— Oakland raid fires up S.F. medical pot rally Ellen Huet Tuesday, April 3, 2012 http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/04/03/BA701NUAH6.DTL San Francisco elected officials had harsh words for federal pressure on city-approved medical marijuana dispensaries during a rally Tuesday – words fueled all the more by a massive raid the day before on an Oakland marijuana cultivation school. The rally by cannabis advocates had been planned for weeks in response to threats since last year from the federal government to local dispensaries that were aimed at shutting them down. But after federal agents swarmed the Oaksterdam University on Monday with search warrants, it took on a new urgency. Six city supervisors and several other city and state elected officials read statements of support of the state-sanctioned pot scene to a crowd of about 200 on the steps of San Francisco’s City Hall. The message, directed mostly at U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag’s office, was clear: Federal law may still consider marijuana illegal in any form, but it’s legal for medical use in California, so stay out of state and city business. “San Francisco stands firm against the federal government” on the issue of medical cannabis, said Supervisor David Campos. Fellow Supervisor Christina Olague called the federal threats to dispensary landlords to either evict the dispensaries or face legal action “absurd” and criticized the “ignorance coming out of Washington right now.” District Attorney George Gascón said he was fully in support of medical marijuana and would enforce state and city laws. Several crowd members smoked marijuana while others carried signs that read “Cannabis is Medicine.” A few people sported Oaksterdam hats and T-shirts. Monday’s federal raid on Oaksterdam and its associated businesses, including its dispensary Coffeeshop Blue Sky, was the first involving a dispensary in Oakland, according to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. On Tuesday, no new details of the motive behind the raid were available, Spokeswomen from the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Internal Revenue Service both said the investigation was under seal – a typical response in most federal raids of the past couple of years, and one long frustrating to both local officials and cannabis advocates. Richard Lee, Oaksterdam’s founder, said he had been shown a basic search warrant that didn’t have details beyond “the usual crimes – cannabis, money crimes.” Dale Sky Jones, Oaksterdam University executive chancellor, said the school is still open. Managers are assessing whether to hold next semester’s classes, which begin April 25, at the existing buildings or an alternate location because so much equipment was seized, she said. “The raid (on Oaksterdam) was meant to demoralize us … but it will galvanize us,” Jones added. She added that she wasn’t sure what might come next, or if Lee could face charges. He was briefly detained Monday but not arrested. Protester Jose Antonio Guiterrez, however, was charged in federal court Tuesday with assault for allegedly shoving a deputy U.S. marshal and causing two others to be hurt during the Monday raids, court records show. Guiterrez wore a pig mask at the time, authorities said. Lee was likely targeted for his political prominence, several advocates have said. He helped push for marijuana regulatory initiatives in Oakland and bankrolled Proposition 19, which would have legalized marijuana statewide but failed to pass with only 46 percent of the vote in 2010. “He’s one of the leaders of the revolution,” Jones said. In San Francisco, some landlords who own property leased to licensed dispensaries have received letters in recent months from the U.S. attorney’s office telling them that they’re in violation of federal law even though the dispensaries are legal under state law. The landlord for Shambhala Healing Center, a dispensary in the Mission District, received a letter on Feb. 21 saying the dispensary violated federal law for being within 1,000 feet of a school playground, said Eric Safire, the landlord’s attorney. The landlord was told to force the tenant to leave or have the building seized. “He feels he’s been whipsawed by the federal government into losing money,” Safire said. “It doesn’t matter how the federal government interprets state law. If the (local) permits are issued, who else does he need permission from?” The dispensary got permission to keep operating until May 6, Safire said. After that, “it’s going to be an interesting situation. If (Monday) is any indication, it’s not good.” Five dispensaries in San Francisco and about 200 others throughout the state have been forced to close since October, when federal agencies began to crack down on California dispensaries. Chronicle staff writer Henry K. Lee contributed to this report. Ellen Huet is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Twitter: @ellenhuet. ehuet@sfchronicle.com This article appeared on page C – 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/04/03/BA701NUAH6.DTL — . __,_._,___ ————————————————————————— Attachment: http://drugsense.org/temp/LLDl5X3r2w30201.html ————————————————————————— Attachment: http://norml.net/attached/47ZuNXEIxU4995.html