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Medical Marijuana: Patients Challenge DEA Head at San Diego Conference, Seven Arrested

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #460)
Drug War Issues
Politics & Advocacy

Police arrested seven medical marijuana patients demanding to speak with Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) head Karen Tandy at a San Diego hotel Wednesday after they refused to leave. One other patient was cited, and two others were cited earlier for hanging a banner that read "The DEA is Not My Doctor."

Those cited or arrested were among about 60 demonstrators who showed up at the Marriot San Diego Mission Valley, where the DEA is holding a conference on medical marijuana. San Diego area patients and their supporters are furious with the federal drug agency for its role in raiding and closing medical marijuana dispensaries in the area.

According to Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the medical marijuana defense group that organized the action, protestors dumped 1,500 empty pill bottles in front of the hotel as a way of showing that the DEA's actions left them without their medicine. The patients refused to leave until Tandy came out to speak with them, and when she declined, they remained and were arrested.

While medical marijuana was legalized by California voters a decade ago, the federal government does not recognize it and views any marijuana use as illegal. Acting with the support of San Diego County political officials and law enforcement, the DEA has effectively shut down what was a growing network of medical marijuana dispensaries serving the San Diego area.

"Doctors recommend cannabis and patients use it because it works," said ASA executive director Steph Sherer. "The DEA is inflicting unnecessary suffering on tens of thousands of Americans by denying them a safe, effective medicine. It has to stop."

The action may not have reined in the rogue agency, but it helped turn up the heat on Tandy, who, according to ASA California state coordinator Alex Franco, came down and apologized to the Marriot staff for the "commotion" caused by the protest and arrests. When you head an agency that is taking medicine from seriously ill people, sometimes you have to pay the price, both personally and professionally.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Anonymous (not verified)

The DEA holding a conference on Medical Marijuana? That's like the KKK holding a conference on human rights. First of all the DEA has no interest in validating the use of mmj, and isn't it ironic that a government agency has no regard for human suffering. In 2005 when Denver voted in favour of I-100 to legalize adult use, Karen Tandy was quoted as saying, "the real intention here is to legalize all drugs", that was a lie, not once did I hear any mention of any other drug other than alcohol mentioned. She has no interest in seeing people get relief, who are suffering from a variety of illnesses, from mmj as evidenced by yet another inhuman display in San Diego.

Uzz Baldrin
Marijuana News Channel

Fri, 11/03/2006 - 2:30pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

The absurdity of Cannabis' Schedule I status under the 1970 Controlled Substances Act renders all of the government's arguments moot.

I pray any school child in our nation knows that Cannabis is SAFER than schedule IV drugs like Valium, Rohypnol, and Ativan, let alone Shcedule II cocaine, amphetamine and Fentanyl.

Our petition to reschedule is being deliberately pigeon-holed. God Damn the prohibitionist parasites!

Fri, 11/03/2006 - 8:08pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Anonymous: I agree! God damn the prohibitionist parasite bastards to hell! That's how I've felt for 45 years.

Fri, 11/03/2006 - 9:37pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

"Cannabis isn't carcinogenic...",2933,196678,00.html

"... in fact, Cannabis treats --if not cures-- cancer!"

"Cannabis treats / prevents Alzheimer's" (Ask me about my mother if you wonder why learning this information too late is somewhat troubling...)

Richard Steeb, San Jose
Cannabis Rescheduling Petition participant

Fri, 11/03/2006 - 11:02pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

If we made a few of the bastards suffers as we have, it probably wouldn't help. But it would feel good!

Sat, 11/04/2006 - 8:34am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Three days ago my house was raided without a warrant, because one of the neighbors that has been feuding with me for years decided to call the DEA and claim I had a growing house. They came in and searched and found nothing. I don't use drugs but have nothing against marijuana.

I will take the time to sue the government and deal with the pain of fighthing an agency with no morals or ethics that is out of control.

Could someone that knows give me an opinion on the legality of publishing the names of these bastards all over the internet? i have them.

Is there a way to find out the names of each and every one of them and have their names and personal adresses published so the world can know who they are? is there a register under the freedom of information act?

The DEA is a murderous agency that has caused pain and suffering to millions with the excuse that "they are saving lives". The only life they save is their own by living quite well with the drug money they pocket.

We need to bring them to account, jail and execute those that killed people "in the line of duty". They are not CIA therefore "national security" is not in danger.

Sun, 08/19/2007 - 5:39pm Permalink

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