Advocates Mourn Dispensary Closures in Mock Funeral in San Francisco
Medical marijuana advocates gathered in San Francisco Wednesday to protest the closure of two more city-allowed medical marijuana dispensaries that were forced to shut down their locations by federal threats from U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag.
The Vapor Room and HopeNet were made to close their doors at the end of July after U.S. Attorney Haag sent letters to their landlords, threatening prosecution and asset forfeiture if the dispensaries were not told to leave.
In the Haight district of San Francisco, residents dressed in black and white gathered around a jazz band and a 12-foot paper-mâché puppet of U.S. Attorney Haag.
"Advocates argue that closures are needlessly driving patients into the illicit market," said Linda Stokely, a Save Safe Access coalition media specialist.
Either that, or some patients will simply have to go without their medicine. Think about that for a moment. By all accounts, the United States is not a third world country, yet more and more sick people are unable to get simple medical care. It doesn’t get much simpler than being able to go somewhere, pay money for your legally recommended medication, then go home.
California Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, a longtime champion of medical marijuana rights, was also at the mock funeral Wednesday. "We really do need to hold the Obama administration responsible," he said. "We need to be a voice in reshaping what's come down in the past few months." Ammiano was joined by City Supervisors David Campos and Christina Olague.
"San Francisco has been a sanctuary for medical cannabis since 2000,” Save Safe Access said. “Unfortunately, safe access to medical cannabis is now in jeopardy, unless we take action to save safe access in San Francisco."
Advocates and patients continue to make their voices heard, but is anyone in the Obama Administration listening?
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