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City Council: Time to Act Locally on Medical Marijuana!

A Good Times story spends lots of time attacking the DEA instead of exposing the local politicians' role in blocking meaningful medical marijuana access in Santa Cruz. Angry activists need look no further than our City Council. In not making changes, Council adds to the suffering of patients.
There is little dissent (except perhaps from Jane and Phil Baer, who should know better)on the value of medical marijuana and the meanness of the tax-funded criminal conspiracy against use of marijuana (medical and recreational) by the DEA. We all oppose the DEA, but what about culprits closer to home--like our own police and politicians. Or WAMM leaders who have quietly worked out their own sweetheart deals with City Council insiders, but left everyone else combing the levy looking for medicine? Raise these issues and suddenly folks look confused, fall silent, and back away.

What is the Santa Cruz City Council doing to ensure that the 2000 medical marijuana users in the City limits have access to a cannabis club? Nothing. Quite the contrary, their actions in 2000--creating a law that effectively excluded open clubs--resulted in the closing of Santa Cruz Cannabis Pharmaceuticals and discouraged any other clubs from setting up. WAMM officials made no public comments on this at all--after all, the City hasn't been hassling them, from their illegal distribution location (illegal, not because of the DEA but because of City law, please note).

Good Times's Laurel Chesky and Bruce Willey apparently aren't interested in this story closer to home that sullies Mayor Krohn's halo (also dirtying that of Council candidates Rotkin, Fitzmaurice, and Matthews)--who participated in the conspiracy of silence. Though some advocates begged Mayor Sugar in 2000 to declare a medical marijuana emergency or set reasonable zoning restrictions, he refused to return their calls.

I go into the issue in some more detail in an earlier story on this website: "Time For Real City Council/Supervisor Action Not Political Posturing" posted September 20th.

I ran into Mayor Krohn (babe in arms as usual) at the Peace Friday demo today at Ocean and Water. He was still ignoring the access-to-medical-marijuana issue while basking in the national media attention he's gotten from the miniscule but highly-hyped giveaway of September. He's also most proud of himself for the one-year delayed Council resolution against Bush's War Policies (which the Berkeley City Council had the courage to address within a month after Sept. 11). That's not the way we stop the war on medical marijuana users or the war in Iraq.

Krohn's a nice guy, but his persistent failure to address real issues has to be understood if we are to deal with the politicians that will follow him--who are probably going to be worse. We need action on the city's absurd restrictions against medical marijuana clubs, not smiles and sound bytes. Krohn's phone number is 420-5023. For those really concerned about this issue, he should be called with the demand that he put a Medical Marijuana Emergency on the October 22nd agenda (which will really be his last full meeting as Mayor).

Chesky and Willey's Good Time writing doesn't do those who need medical marijuana any favors by focusing on the DEA. The failure of politicians and the police here to effectively implement Prop 215 has cut more people off from their medicine locally than the DEA has done in all the raids in California since 1996.

And it might be nice if Valorie and Michael Corral of WAMM could deign to step down from their heavenly icon status to acknowledge some responsibility for the horrible legal situation in Santa Cruz--since they were involved in drawing up the laws while other medicine providers were reportedly snubbed.

Since they have the national media clout, the legal backing, and the prestige, perhaps they could actually get the City Council to take the steps that Oakland, San Francisco, and other cities are taking to legalize grow areas, specify legal amounts that can be cultivated, instruct police not to cooperate with the DEA (as San Jose has partially done), and/or declare a medical marijuana that would allow clubs to open without a heckler's veto from a few hostile right-wingers.

WAMM members who remain silent here also bear some responsibility for the suffering of others who can't get past the very very long waiting list for their small club.

The Greg Brown decision in Akao's court ordering the return of Brown's medicine may discourage Santa Cruz Sheriffs from busting local growers. But they were still doing that--yes, our own S.C. Sheriffs, in three reported cases, after the DEA's nasty raid. Who needs the DEA when you've got Tracy's Toughs?

Those fighting this fight for years should not be afraid to stand up at hold those with power--local power--responsible. It is by doing this that we change things.

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