San Francisco: Medical marijuana protesters gather at City Hall in wake of Federal Raids

San Francisco: Medical marijuana protesters gather at City Hall in wake of Federal Raids

By Lucy SchillerSan Francisco Bay Guardian 

SAN FRANCISCO, OCTOBER 14 – Protesters met in front of the San Francisco Federal Building this afternoon to challenge the recent federal crackdown on California’s medical marijuana industry. The rally formed on the heels of  Thursday’s raid by federal agents on Northstone Organics, a Ukiah medical marijuana cooperative.

“Our state, our medicine,” protesters chanted. Among those present — about 30 individuals, per Guardian estimates — were medical marijuana patients, patient advocates, dispensary employees, and a representative of the Medical Cannabis Association.

“When you’re a part of the medical cannabis movement, you feel personally affected by these raids,” said Shantanae Todd, an advocate and patient herself. Todd suffers from seizures and says she has found relief through her medical cannabis presciption for two years.

“What’s the difference between Democrats and Republicans? I’m not seeing much of a difference here,” cried Shona Gochenaur, executive director of low income medicinal cannabis center Axis of Love and member of the city’s Medical Cannabis Task Force. Gochenaur urged Kamala Harris, California’s Attorney General — who has resisted taking a stand on the federal government’s persecution of medicinal cannabis producers — to lend more vocal support.

“We need to give everyone a clear message today that patients are not willing to go underground,” said Gochenaur. The protesters plan to meet and rally at noon the day after each and any future large-scale federal raids on California marijuana producers.

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