Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2001
Subject: #224 DEA Sabotages Five Years Of Medical Cannabis Progress!
DEA Sabotages Five Years of Medical Cannabis Progress!
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DrugSense FOCUS Alert #224 – Monday, October 29, 2001
There has been another series of attacks on U.S. citizens. But this
time it appears that the media and government are trying to keep it
At a time when our country is in national crisis and mourning, the
Federal Government has elected to utilize its resources and manpower
to seize the medication that allows thousands of chronically and
terminally ill patients in Los Angeles County to alleviate pain,
tolerate medication and simply hold down food every day.
Last Thursday the DEA raided the Los Angeles Cannabis Resource Center.
According to one report:
“… assiduous self-policing apparently ran out yesterday at 4 pm
California time, when 30 DEA agents descended on the W. Hollywood
site, a former factory purchased in 1998 for the club by the city
government. They spent 8 hours hauling away cannabis from basement
grow areas, scouring the premises for patients records, computers, and
anything else they could use to prove conspiracy to enable patients to
possess cannabis in violation of U.S. law.
“As the evening progressed, the City Council, which was in session,
adjourned and joined the Mayor and hundreds of protestors on the
street in front of the club. The DEA did not relinquish the building
The next day a press conference was held at city hall. Please check
out these pictures http://www.mapinc.org/image/lacrc/ Plus more on
the Center’s website at http://www.lacbc.org/ and the CA NORML website
While the press conference resulted in some local TV coverage, the
press has remained silent. The state’s largest newspaper, the Los
Angeles Times has not, as of late Monday, printed any story. We know
that AP put out a wire which is at http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v01/n1825/a05.html
While some state newspapers have carried the AP wire story on their
website MAP’s NewsHawks have not found evidence that even one has
This DEA raid is part of a pattern as shown by the articles at
Today we in the drug policy reform community are facing an
administration in Washington which plans to roll back our victories of
the last five years. We have this one issue, medical cannabis, which
we can use to stop them dead — if we have the will. We know that in
every place where a vote has been held, the electorate are with us, by
significant shares, often 2 to 1. And all national and state polls say
the same thing.
Plus the science is with us. Cannabis is medicine. Just look at these
ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE:
Your actions could contain these basic themes: Wage war on terrorists,
not medical marijuana patients. The government should focus on
anthrax, not medical marijuana. At this time of crisis, American
medical marijuana users are not the enemy.
First, the Los Angeles Cannabis Resource Center has asked for
activists to take three actions:
(1) Contact the L.A. Times asking them to cover this important story.
A page full of appropriate contacts, email and phone, are at
Make a toll free call to the LA Times City Desk 1-800-LATIMES (Enter 5
to get to the right area after they answer).
(2) Contact Representative Henry Waxman, the congressman for the area
including the Center. He has expressed support in the past. Please
urge him to criticize the raid on the floor of the House and be every
other means he can. Contact information is at:
(3) For those who can, join the LA CRC protest on Tuesday, 6 November
– the 5th anniversary of the historic Prop. 215 vote – in the center’s
parking lot at 7494 Santa Monica Blvd (corner of Santa Monica and
Gardner Ave.) starting at 5 p.m.
Second, Stop John Walters From Becoming ‘Drug Czar’ – phone and fax
your Senators Today! See http://www.stopjohnwalters.org/
Third, let the media know that you are upset about this lack of press
coverage about the terrorist attack on patients and their doctors who
recommend medical cannabis. Ask them when they are going to cover the
You can easily obtain verified contact information for Letters to the
Editor by using MAP’s media contact database. At the following web
address, simply use the dropdown to select your state, then click on
the word ‘contact’ – note that newspapers with more clippings have
shown more interest in drug policy – thus the best first targets:
Here are sample Letters to the Editor which you may wish to modify for
use with your target newspapers:
Los Angeles Times
To the Editor
Your failure cover the bust, by 30 DEA agents, of the LA Cannabis
Buyers Club that took place last Thursday afternoon in a setting of
sharp criticism from local elected officials is a clear sign that the
Times is either engaging in unacceptable self censorship on behalf of
a noxious federal policy, or is shockingly incompetent. There seems to
be no third possibility.
Since I don’t think you are (quite) that incompetent; I see your
omission as an implicit attempt to protect our misbegotten drug war
against adverse publicity; a pattern your newspaper has, along with
many others, engaged in for years. When those guilty of prolonging
this grotesque policy failure are finally held to account, our
nation’s increasingly slipshod, venal, and dishonest media will be
near the top of the list.
Tom O’Connell, MD
I was horrified to learn that the Federal government has decided that
the wishes of the people of California and the residents of Los Angles
County do not matter when it comes to the issue of medical marijuana.
I wonder what DEA director Asa Hutchinson was thinking when he ordered
the LA cannabis resource center closed and all their records and
I hope more people like myself take a good hard look at what happened
there. As a patriot American this has hurt me to the bottom of my soul.
When state, county, and municipal government, including local law
enforcement, agree on the law, I think it is only right for the
federal government to abide by the will of the people.
Not inflict terror mandated from the other side of the nation by a man
who obviously has no regard for the quality of life for medical
marijuana patients in California.
Todd Howard, President- Kentucky NORML
The other night, I learned through friends that the West Hollywood
cannabis club had been raided by DEA agents, although the community
fully supports Proposition 215 and the compassionate use of medical
But more disturbing than the raids themselves is an apparent
conspiracy of silence on the part of the press, including the LA
Times. In times like these, when our few remaining civil rights are
threatened by the tyranny of the state, the free press is all that
stands between sick and dying patients and legal and medical
annihilation. We are being told by our government sources that we are
fighting terrorism. Yet, terrorists seem to be running our
government, harassing and arresting patients to enforce their edicts
against the free will of those for whom marijuana provides relief.
What next? Will we be required to wear stars on our sleeves as they
cart us off to concentration camps? For those who think this statement
inflammatory, I say that this reality is only one step away. The
first step, that of silencing the press, has already occurred.
Ray Carlson, Redwood City, CA
Finally, contacting your elected representatives at all levels of
government about this is always appropriate. We suspect that as
Internet activists you already know how to do this, or can find out
how on the ‘net rapidly.
A special Thank You to all who have contributed in one way or another
to the writing of this alert, including Dale Gieringer, Rick Root,
Ellen Komp, Craig Harshbarger, Kevin Zeese, Jay Cavanagh, Judy Osburn,
Ray Carlson, Todd Howard and Tom O’Connell. — Richard Lake, Focus