Officials in Oakland, San Francisco Oppose Federal Efforts to Close Medical Marijuana Outlets 1/30/98

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Mayor Willie Brown of San Francisco told a citywide summit on AIDS that he strongly opposed the federal government's recent efforts to close medical marijuana facilities via federal lawsuit. Summit participants, for their part, issued a report which not only urged San Francisco's police and district attorney not to cooperate with federal efforts, but which also made a strong statement against the Drug War in general. The report, according to published reports, called federal drug policy a "total failure" and noted that "Prohibition failed as a means of controlling alcohol use and it is failing as a means of controlling drug use." The report further recommended that the city support "an enlightened program of decriminalization, similar to that which was recently approved by Switzerland."

Oakland's City Council, for its part, unanimously passed a resolution calling on the federal government to desist in its lawsuit against the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative. The resolution cited the co-op as operating safely and responsibly, castigated the federal action as "impairing public safety by encouraging a market for street- level narcotics peddlers" and called upon the state of California to declare a state of emergency to protect the various outlets currently under fire. Dale Gieringer, Director of California NORML, told The Week Online, "This makes three of the five counties (including Mendocino - see story below) which have come out strongly against the federal action. The feds are really out of touch on this. Far from being controversial here in California, the clubs are seen as a public health benefit. Additionally, it is widely understood that these clubs reduce the number of black market dealers. I have not heard a single public official in California come out in support of the federal action. We think that there are serious problems with the feds trying to tell local officials how to run their cities and towns. This issue is not going away, in fact, the federal government is making things much worse for itself and for the public perception of its drug policies in general."

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Issue #27, 1/30/98 Please Respond! Recovered Addict Arrested and Incarcerated for Fleeing Treatment -- in 1972! | Officials in Oakland, San Francisco Oppose Federal Efforts to Close Medical Marijuana Outlets | ...and Mendocino County Sends Even A Stronger Message | Florida's Cabinet Votes to Oppose Medical Marijuana Initiative | High School Libraries Censor Marijuana Research Book Despite Wide Scientific Praise | Penn State Professor Stages Second Protest -- and is Assaulted by Campus Police Chief | 44 Ohio Cops Charged with Drug-Corruption | Reno Delays Release of CIA/Crack Cocaine Report | Former Mexican Governor Arrested for Money Laundering | Drugs for Arms in Northern Ireland | Former Scotland Yard Drug Chief Urges Legalization of Drugs | Link of the Week: The Chicago Police are Looking for a Few Good Snitches | Editorial: Prosecutorial Discretion and the Death of Common Sense
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