We have been covering the raids and closures of some well-known and well-respected California medical marijuana dispensaries in the first few weeks of The Russ Belville Show, and those of you in Southern California will get your chance to protest with fellow activists this Wendesday in front of the federal building in Sacramento on Wednesday.
Last week, we covered the raid and closure of the El Camino Wellness Center after serving thousands of medical marijuana patients, and giving thousands of dollars to local charities. They were the one dispnensary in town that conducted tours for police.
Kris Hermes, a spokesperson from Americans for Safe Access, is organizing the protest that will start at 1pm, Wednesday. More than 50 localities in the state of California, including the City of Sacramento, have adopted ordinances regulating medical marijuana dispensaries. Hermes wants to send the message to the feds that local and state governments must be allowed to develop, implement and enforce their own public health laws without interference from the federal government.
Hermes accuses the Obama Administration of betraying patients and lying to the public about their policies. Earlier this month, Attorney General Eric Holder told members of the House Judiciary committee that, “We limit our enforcement efforts to those individuals, organizations that are acting out of conformity with state law.” However, by all accounts, El Camino was acting in full conformity with local and state laws.
Sacramento has been hard hit by the dispensary closures, despite its attempt to regulate medical marijuana industry. As a result of the threatening letters, almost all of the nearly 100 dispensaries that once operated in unicorporated Sacramento County have closed. In the City of Sacramento, only 18 dispensaries remain of the original 34 that had been permitted, and many of those left have already received threatening letters, including El Camino Wellness Center, one of the largest, well connected, and most public dispensaries that from all accounts was the model of what a well-run, well-regulated dispensary would look like. Please attend the protest, if you are in the area, again…
- What: Rally to protest the June 11th DEA raid on El Camino Wellness Center and widespread federal intimidation
- When: Wednesday, June 20th at 1:30pm
- Where: US Federal Courthouse, 501 I Street, Sacramento