Medical Marijuana Patients to Rally Today Against Federal Raid on Permitted Sacramento DispensaryFederal actions contradict Obama administration's declarations that it's not targeting state law-compliant businesses
Sacramento, CA -- The operator of Sacramento's first
permitted medical marijuana dispensary, which was raided by the
federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), will speak out at a
rally today at 1:30pm in front of the federal building along with
other patients and supporters. Last week, the union-run El Camino
Wellness Center was forcibly shut down, after having served
thousands of Sacramento patients since 2008. Though no charges have
been filed against the dispensary operators, the Internal Revenue
Service has seized the facility's bank accounts. The raid stems from
a federal crackdown by U.S. Attorneys in California that began last
"The Obama administration is betraying patients and lying to the public," said Kris Hermes, spokesperson with Americans for Safe Access (ASA), one of the groups organizing Wednesday's protest. "The President and the Attorney General have said publicly that the Justice Department is not targeting state-compliant medical marijuana dispensaries, but that's exactly what it's doing." 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.
What: Rally to protest the June 11th DEA raid on El Camino Wellness Center and widespread federal intimidationSince October 2011, the Justice Department has sent letters to more than 300 dispensary operators and landlords across California, threatening criminal prosecution and asset forfeiture if state-compliant businesses are not shut down. Sacramento in particular has been hard hit, despite its attempt to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries. As a result of the threats, almost all of the nearly 100 dispensaries have closed in unincorporated Sacramento County. 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.
When: TODAY - Wednesday, June 20th at 1:30pm
Where: US Federal Courthouse, 501 I Street, Sacramento
Who: Raided dispensary operator Suneet Agarwal will speak out, along with attorney James Anthony, and Dan Rush of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 5 (supportive Sacramento City Council member Steve Cohn has also been invited to speak)