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Monday, May 6, 2013

Medical Cannabis Advocates to Rally in Statewide Protest Against the Feds

Posted By on Mon, May 6, 2013 at 11:38 AM

click to enlarge GIL RIEGO JR
  • Gil Riego Jr

Medical cannabis supporters will rally in front of the San Francisco Federal Building at noon today, joining Sacramento and Los Angeles to protest the feds' nonstop stonewalling of California medical marijuana laws.

Rally organizers are urging protesters to contact California Attorney General Kamala Harris to demand that federal authorities, specifically U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag, stop "misusing federal laws" they believe are intended for crack peddlers, not for pot clubs.

"Our community's collectives bring safety to San Francisco," Shona Gochenaur, director of Axis of Love SF Community Center, said in a statement. Gochenaur also serves on the board of directors of Los Angeles-based Patient Advocacy Network, which is organizing the statewide event.

The most recent example, organizers say, is The Hemp Center's notice from the U.S. Attorney's Office which asks that the Richmond District pot club close or face federal prosecution.

SF Weekly reported on May 1 that The Hemp Center, located on Geary Boulevard near Park Presidio, received a letter warning of property seizures and prison sentences if the dispensary was not shut down.

The letter cites a park, which is 900 feet away, as the reason why the dispensary is being asked to close. California state law says dispensaries cannot be within 600 feet of schools or recreation centers that serve youth. However, the feds have been using the law to crack down on pot clubs in California.

"Our closure affects public welfare; cannabis saves lives," said Kathleen Cappetti, operator of The Hemp Center.

Today's rally, which will be held at the San Francisco Federal Building, is located at 90 7th Street, on the corner of Mission and 7th Streets.


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Natalia Aldana

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