We all get involved with the community for different reasons. We watch a loved one suffer through horrific pain, see injustice done to another, are a victim of the system or just realize that the harm and cost done to our nation is not worth it. Whether it is from personal strife or in memory of a loved one we all feel the passion. It is sometimes unfortunate that it takes a tragic event for people to become aware and get involved. Our hope is that we can prevent tragedies while still making people aware of all the damage done by the War on Drugs.
Some activists like Jack Herer died before he was able to see the results of his work. Although they live on in the community isn’t it sad that even with today’s vast knowledge of the medical value possessed by cannabis compounds some patients are still treated like criminals? Some patients die with the label of a criminal even though their only crime was using a plant when they were at their weakest.
This past week in Oakland, CA we witnessed the federal government yet again demonstrate its over-reaching intimidation tactics against a well known cannabis activist Richard Lee. Mr Lee bankrolled Prop 19, owned Blue Sky dispensary as well as industry trade school Oaksterdam University. Federal agents raided those locations as well as Mr. Lee’s personal residence on Monday.
Backlash and outrage from the city as well as the community were immediate. Protesters, blogs, news outlets as well as city officials spoke out against the U.S. Attorney General Melinda Haag’s office and other federal agents condemning their actions. One message seemed to be that although federal law may consider cannabis illegal it’s legal for medical use in California, so stay out of state and city business. Supervisor David Campos showed support saying “San Francisco stands firm against the federal government on the issue of medical cannabis”. 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.”
The cannabis community in California and across the nation are once more betrayed by the current administration. Yet again federal agents are attacking Californians, who for the past 15 years, have approved of cannabis for medical use. In 2011 we saw several large scale raids carried out against our own citizens. They have nothing left but to go after citizens for obscure tax laws and threaten any land owner with forfeiture of property if they lease to a legally operated dispensary. These kinds of stories surely can’t be the United States of America who’s very objective is to protect its citizens from such types of theft?
If a dispensary or other cannabis industry related business is in complete compliance with state, county and city regulations and is actually a benefit to the community why would the federal government feel the need to stomp all over our home bringing terror into the community? Why do they feel the need to aggressively barge in with their intimidation tactics and leave destruction in their path? Why must patients who are otherwise law abiding citizens be treated in the same manner as terrorists or drug cartel members? If Californians, the people who actually have to live with any repercussions of legalizing cannabis approve why then can’t the federal agents respect that and at the very least give some dignity back to the patients when dealing with them?
After presidential promises and memo reassurances proved to be completely empty many feel lied to and betrayed and rightfully so. People further are disrespected when the President and his administration continue to address the issue in a laughing manner as if it is a bunch of frat boys asking the question. They seem to forget the single mother cancer patient who must choose between keeping custody of her children and relieving pain and other side effects. They forget the families who have lost loved ones to police incompetence in their endless fight in the War on Drugs. Or the millions of people who have been directly effected and the whole nation who ends up paying for it.
Trillions of dollars have been wasted. Schools are in disrepair, cities are going bankrupt, crime is going up and yet our priorities are going after patients. It is time to demand an end to this costly war! 50,000 Mexicans have died, some violently, all in the name of the War on Drugs. Top South American leaders see it is time for a different approach and have already started looking for alternatives. Meanwhile our leaders continue their archaic thinking taking a hardened stance against legalization or decriminalization.
With the economy on life support, people in desperate need of jobs and the government spending an obscene amount of tax-payer money on prohibition it is time to start looking at cannabis differently. Cannabis is one of America’s biggest cash crop and California’s largest cash crop. It can be regulated and taxed in the same manner as alcohol which would also address the restrictions for minors. By responsibly regulating cannabis, communities across the nation can benefit.
After the events that took place this week it is obvious that the time is now to speak up. We should not tolerate these attacks on citizens, on patients, on our loved ones. We should not wait for a tragic event to strike us we should get involved now and stop these aggressive tactics from our own government. Write, email or call your representative and urge them to demand a stop to these attacks. Call the White house and let your voice be heard. How far are we willing to let them intrude into our communities?
- Feds Raid Oaksterdam (txconnectme.wordpress.com)
- We Can Not Afford To Continue The War On Drugs (cherrygurl28.com)
- Citizens Drive, Consume Alcohol, Use Tobacco And Take Prescriptions So Why Not Cannabis? (cherrygurl28.com)
- Dear Mr. President (cherrygurl28.com)
- Individualized Treatments: Key To Cannabis’ Success (cherrygurl28.com)