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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

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From: Americans For Safe Access

Date: Jul 25, 2007 10:35 AM
Subject: LA Councilmember Dennis Zine tells DEA to Go AWAY!
Body: Hello, ASA Members and allies. I am happy to report that LA City Councilmember will be standing up for patients and providers in our community when he publishes a letter to DEA Administrator Karen Tandy Wednesday morning before the City Council’s vote on the moratorium. Councilmember Zine’s support is the first major opposition we have seen since the DEA escalated their attacks on patients’ access this month by threatening landlords and raiding two Southern California collectives. Zine’s letter to the DEA will be read into the Congressional record during the debate about the Hinchey-Rohrabacher amendment in the House of Representatives. A vote of that effort to prevent DEA raids is expected the same day.

Congratulations and thank you to everyone who has worked so hard to start the regulatory process in LA and urge our elected representatives to stand up for patients’ access. We still have a lot of work to do in LA. We have to write sensible guidelines, defend the victims of the latest DEA tactics, and stay prepared for future attacks. Most importantly, we have to make our voices heard in Congress so we can change these laws once and for all!

This is ASA press release for Wednesday's press conference and Council Meeting:

Americans for Safe Access
For Immediate Release: July 24, 2007
Contact: Don Duncan (323) 326-6347 or Kris Hermes (510) 681-6361

Los Angeles Moves Wednesday to Regulate Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
Councilmember Zine Calls for an End to Federal DEA Interference

Los Angeles -- City Councilmember Dennis Zine will hold a press conference prior to Wednesday’s Los Angeles City Council meeting to call on Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)Administrator Karen Tandy to abandon her agency’s tactic of threatening property owners who rent to medical cannabis (marijuana) dispensaries and to allow the City to proceed with regulations without federal interference. Councilmember Zine, a former police officer, voiced his concerns in a letter to be issued Wednesday to DEA Administrator Tandy, the same day a vote in Congress is expected to occur, which would strip the DEA of funds it relies on to carry out these types of tactics.

Although federal law prohibits the use of medical cannabis, Zine requests in his letter that the DEA “abandon this tactic and allow this City Council to continue the important work of regulating these facilities without Federal interference.” Despite the apparent conflict between state and federal law, Zine affirms the need to “uphold the will of our voters and adopt sensible guidelines to regulate the provision of medical cannabis in our communities.”

Zine’s letter is in response to a notice sent by the DEA to as many as 150 property owners in Los Angeles threatening criminal prosecution and asset forfeiture if owners knowingly rent to medical cannabis providers. The City Council is expected to approve Zine’s motion for a moratorium on new facilities at Wednesday’s meeting.

The move to regulate medical cannabis dispensaries and the countervailing efforts by the DEA coincide with an anticipated vote Wednesday in the US House of Representatives. The Hinchey-Rohrabacher amendment to the Commerce-Justice-State appropriations bill would bar the DEA from enforcing federal law against medical cannabis patients and providers in states where it is legal.

The amendment’s co-author, Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) stated last week that the DEA actions were “an example of the insane use of scarce law enforcement resources. It is especially insulting the way in which these resources are being used to supersede the votes of local people to permit the legal use of medical marijuana.”

“We need a federal solution to this problem,” said Don Duncan, a spokesperson for Americans for Safe Access, the nation’s largest medical cannabis advocacy organization. “Added pressure by Councilmember Zine will hopefully make that happen.”

Councilmember Zine’s press conference will be held at 9:45am Wednesday in the Media Room behind City Council Chambers, Room 350, at Los Angeles City Hall, 200 N. Spring St., in downtown Los Angeles. The Zine letter will be made available at that time.

For further information, refer to:

The DEA letter to more than 100 landlords in the Los Angeles area:
ASA's one-pager on the Hinchey-Rohrabacher amendment:

# # #

With over 30,000 active members in more than 40 states, Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is the largest national member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research. ASA works to overcome political and legal barriers by creating policies that improve access to medical cannabis for patients and researchers through legislation, education, litigation, grassroots actions, advocacy and services for patients and the caregivers.

Don Duncan
Southern California Coordinator
Americans for Safe Access

Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is the largest national member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research.

Join us today…

Los Angeles Office
7211 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 800
West Hollywood, CA 90046
P: 323-464-7719 F: 323-464-7355


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