aidsoversixty

a reader's journal & virtual public artspace for poz platinum points of view, lgbt political & cultural activism & other metaphoric narratives of the struggle for social justice

Richard Kearns, AIDSoverSIXTY: Remarks about medical cannabis to the LA city council before their closed session

Remarks about medical cannabis to the LA city council before their closed session
by Richard Kearns, October 18, 2011

Good morning President Garcetti, distinguished council members. My name is Richard Kearns. I am a 60-year-old gay man living with AIDS in Los Angeles for 30 years. I am a long-term survivor and AIDS activist, a medical cannabis user and advocate.

President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have said that the prosecution of medical cannabis issues is a waste of time and effort. However, four US attorneys in california —

  • Melinda Hague
  • Benjamin Wagner
  • Andre Briote and
  • Lura Duffy

have decided to move ahead with their own war on medical cannabis patients anyway.

What are the more important issues you could be facing?

You could be helping me and the thousands of Persons with AIDS (PWAs) living in Los Angeles and in California I represent.

Two weeks ago, I was refused housing in an assisted care facility because I have AIDS.

Two years ago, another assisted care facility created a false emergency and evicted me and 130 of my fellow residents to gentrify — they have since re-opened and TRIPLED the rent to cater to a more affluent crowd other than the poor, the sick and the dying.

Who are the organized criminals here?

How can you possibly hope to administer justice when DEA chief Michelle Leonard has mandated my guilt as an article of faith rather than as an article of fact?

This is an ugly war — not the first, not the last. For me, it is a war to stay alive in dignity and in service

I call on the city council to acknowledge and recognize the medical value of cannabis. and Governor Jerry Brown. and President Obama.

I call for the formulation of a state-wide medical cannabis commission and I call for a moratorium on policies that are ideologically-based and a waste of our resources. this “federal crackdown” is an inappropriate and unacceptable vilification of reasources available to us today that heal rather than injure.

Thank you very much.

—richard kearns
to view, go to
http://lacity.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=130&clip_id=9679
time index 1:46:00 – 1:48:20

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One Response

  1. […] tens of thousands of persons statewide. I have been down to LA City Hall to talk about it (here and here) recently, and I also hope to work with the Occupy LA movement. I am aware of your HIV advocacy and […]

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