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PAN calls on CA Governor Jerry Brown to protect & defend medical cannabis patients during “federal crackdown” — open letter, petition effort

PAN calls on CA Governor Jerry Brown to protect & defend medical cannabis patients during “federal crackdown” — open letter, petition effort
from Patient Advocacy Network, October 13, 2011

Governor Jerry Brown
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 445-2841
Fax: (916) 558-3160

October 13, 2011

Dear Honorable Governor Jerry Brown,

We write to you regarding the recent announcement by U.S. Attorneys that enforcement actions from the Department of Justice are underway here in California. A permitted patient garden in Mendocino County is being raided by federal authorities as we draft this letter. We, the undersigned, respectfully request your immediate help and protection. We ask the following:

** Please demand that the U.S. Department of Justice halt this expensive attack on California immediately and hand its evidence over to State authorities. If medical cannabis collectives/cooperatives are operating illegally, enforcement should come from State, not federal, authorities. Tell the DoJ to honor President Obama’s statements that federal resources would not be wasted prosecuting patients in states with medical marijuana laws.

** Please initiate a national dialog with officials in the other medical cannabis states and call for the President to protect 10th Amendment States’ rights and well as our freedom of speech, right to bear arms and stop these backdoor injustices. Ask that the President to acknowledge the body of scientific research on medical cannabis and address marijuana’s inappropriate placement within the Controlled Substances Act.

** Please create a statewide Medical Cannabis Commission to research and report on medical cannabis related matters such as: medical research, criminal activity and enforcement, tax revenue and employment statistics, regulations and local permitting efforts and provide education on patient and stakeholder compliance.

Federal authorities continually cite the Controlled Substances Act as justification for its harsh actions and raid tactics.  To date the Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Attorneys have pressured banks to close the accounts of hundreds of patient collectives and continues to threaten California property owners with asset forfeiture and imprisonment for renting to collectives. Local elected officials have been threatened with fines and imprisonment for proposing cultivation regulations. Media outlets are also being harassed by federal authorities.

Additionally, the IRS is suing several dispensaries for millions of dollars, using dubious and biased interpretation of the code in order to bankrupt the oldest operating patient collectives in the State. The AFT recently issued a memo stating legally qualified patients are not allowed to purchase handguns.

Californians need your protection from this overzealous, federal drug war witch hunt. Please call for a moratorium before the federal deadline on November 21, 2011, on any further federal action in California. Please call for a (tele)conference with other medical marijuana state officials by the end on this month and seat California’s statewide commission by early next year.

We greatly appreciate your time and consideration and look forward to the favor of your response and working with your office.

Truly Yours,

Degé Coutee
Executive & Program Director
Patient Advocacy Network

Richard Kearns
PAN Board Director

Shona Gochenaur
PAN Board Director
Executive Director
Axis of Love SF Community Center, Inc.


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