Saturday, April 07, 2012

Feinstein Jokes About Marijuana,
as Feds Raid Dispensaries, Harm Patients

After eight-years of no raids under President George Bush against medical marijuana dispensaries in California, a program by federal prosecutor Melinda Haag with the blessing of the Obama administration in recent months has carried out a series of bust and closures of dispensaries across the state.

Hundreds of patients are harmed by the loss of dispensaries and established relationships with the caregivers, which at several of the closed venues included acupuncture and therapeutic massage practitioners. Dozens of workers have lost their jobs, are now either on unemployment or at-risk of losing healthcare benefits and their housing because of lost income.

And our federal representatives say nothing. Check out this April 5 editorial by Robert Gannon in the East Bay Express, calling for Haag to lose her job and the appalling lack of political leadership and opposition to the raids:

In fact, the silence from national Democratic leaders has been deafening. California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, along with House Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, have been overwhelmingly tight-lipped about the crackdown, even though it totally contradicts the will of California voters who have repeatedly endorsed the use and sale of medical cannabis. The absence of leadership among Democrats on this issue has been stunning.

Also on April 5, Feinstein appeared at a photo-op in San Francisco celebrating one-hundred years of Muni operating our local public transit system, particularly the fabled and famous cable cars. Speaking extemporaneously, Feinstein broached the subject of hemp's use in the cables, marijuana and obtaining legal hemp for Muni.

The audience chuckled at her remarks, but I don't find it the least bit amusing that Feinstein silently accepts what Haag and the feds are doing. Nothing would please me more than to see her face a serious challenger in her reelection bid.

You can view the full April 5 Muni event at the Mayor Ed Lee's page for his pressers. I've snipped-and-pasted the section of Feinstein's hemp comments and transcribed them:

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U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein:

It's the last remaining cable system in the world. And the cable itself is very complicated because it is sealed at .. with hemp in the middle. And hemp, as you know, is of the marijuana family.

And there aren't a lot of legal hemp producers in the world. Remember Rudy? [SPEAKING TO CITY OFFICIAL]

So we had to find hemp to re-do the cable, which was done, and also restore those cable cars. And of great help during this time was my pal Charlotte Schultz.

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