Oakland, California (EastBayDaily) — In response to recent federal actions threatening California’s medical marijuana community, Steve DeAngelo and other movement leaders are urging patients and supporters to call the White House starting today to ask them to “stop wasting federal money to hound legal, licensed care providers.”
“80% of Americans support medical cannabis. The only question is whether patients should get the medicine they need from licensed and regulated facilities or from criminals on the street,” explains DeAngelo, founder of Harborside Health Center in Oakland, a model dispensary. “Our patients are already dealing with the physical, emotional, and economic challenges of illness and disability. We cannot stand by while precious Federal resources are used to destroy their safe access to medicine.”
Despite President Obama’s 2009 pledge to respect state cannabis laws, on Friday, October 7th California’s four US Attorneys announced aggressive plans to criminally prosecute providers of medical cannabis. This action comes on the heels of similar steps by other federal agencies. The IRS has levied punitive tax bills on medical cannabis dispensaries (including Harborside), denying all their standard business deductions on the grounds they are “drug trafficking organizations.” The Treasury Department has contacted banks doing business with dispensaries, and pressured them to close the accounts. And the ATF recently sent letters to the nation’s gun dealers, informing them not to serve medical cannabis patients.
In light of these recent threats from the Federal government, leaders in the medical marijuana movement are asking patients and those who support their right to have safe access to medicine to take action, starting on Tuesday, Oct 11th and continuing throughout the week, by flooding the White House Comments Line, (202) 456-1111.
DeAngelo explains, “If successful, these actions by the Obama administration will destroy the systems of licensing and regulation developed by several states to ensure the safe and legal distribution of medical cannabis. In addition to putting patients at risk, tens of thousands of well-paying jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue will be eliminated.”
Under federal law, marijuana is still considered a Schedule 1 Drug, having “no current accepted medical use,” despite thousands of studies and research papers demonstrating its usefulness in easing a number of serious medical conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, chronic pain, HIV, multiple sclerosis, and more.
Leaders and activists in the medical marijuana industry urge callers to tell the White House to take marijuana, a natural plant that has been used medicinally for thousands of years, off the list of drugs that includes hallucinogens, barbiturates, and heroin.
The White House Comments Line, (202) 456-1111, operates from 6 AM to 2 PM, PDT. Supporters are also urged to sign an online petition asking the Obama administration to stop all current DOJ, DEA, ONDCP, and IRS attacks against medical cannabis dispensaries in California. The petition can be found at https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions/%21/petition/stop-all-current-doj-dea-ondcp-and-irs-attacks-against-medical-cannabis-dispensaries-california/FkSf2Y1w.
About Harborside Health Center Founded by national cannabis leader Steve DeAngelo in 2006, Harborside Health Center is the nation’s largest not-for-profit model medical cannabis dispensary. The Oakland medicinal cannabis collective offers its 94,000 registered patients free holistic health services, lab tested medicine and education. Harborside and DeAngelo will be the subjects of a new Discovery Channel series entitled “Weed Wars,” which will debut at 10PM on November 27th.
“Out of the shadows and into the light” epitomizes DeAngelo’s mission to enlighten the public on the many medicinal and therapeutic benefits of the plant and actively works to empower the country to change its image of medical marijuana.
For more information on Harborside Health Center, contact Media Relations, found on the Harborside website contact page. Harborside Health Center will be featured on The Discovery Channel mini series “Weed Wars” this November.
Harborside Health Center