While US mourns terror victims, DEA plots a new attack on medical marijuana

Press Release September 11, 2002
Media Contact

Steph Sherer, Americans for Safe Access at 510-872-7822

While most of America spent September 11th mourning the victims of last year’s terrorist attack, DEA agents spent the infamous anniversary plotting a different kind of attack. Early on the morning of September 12th, armed agents raided the Genesis 1:29 medical marijuana dispensary in Petaluma, CA, the second federal raid at such a facility in California in less than one week.

Details of the raid are still scarce, but early reports indicate that a large number of plants were confiscated at two locations. Witnesses report seeing an ambulance at the scene. Robert Schmidt, Director of Genesis 1:29, was arrested and charged with assaulting an officer. Schmidt has the distinction of being the first patient in the US to have his indoor cultivation equipment returned by the police following a cultivation arrest by the Petaluma police department in 1997.

“We are shocked that the DEA would make medical marijuana its top priority while the rest of the county is at a high state of alert,” said Steph Sherer, Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access (ASA). “The president warned us of an attack,” Sherer added. “But he didn’t tell us it would be from our own government.”

The Petaluma raid is the latest in a series of federal anti-medical cannabis actions that started last fall. DEA agents raided a patient’s cooperative in Santa Cruz just seven days ago. Dispensaries have also been raided in Los Angeles, Santa Rosa, Oakland, and San Francisco. Sherer said the increasingly common raids have created a climate of fear among the medical cannabis community in California. “Our office has been flooded with calls from worried patients,” Sherer said.

On Monday, advocates will gather at noon at federal buildings in cities across the country to protest the latest DEA action. Advocates are asking for an end to the federal anti-medical marijuana campaign. They will be calling on President George Bush to support the nine states that have passed laws legalizing the medical use of cannabis and to declare a moratorium on medical marijuana prosecutions.

For more information please contact (510) 486-8083. For more information about Americans for Safe Access, a grassroots medical marijuana campaign, visit www.SafeAccessNow.org.

For a list of victims of DEA attacks, visit www.cannabisaction.net/article.php?id=56.

A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

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