Thursday, December 22, 2005

DEA continues Operation Grinch blitzkreig

Three days until Christmas and there's nothing on all the stations in my chintzy cable package except the cheesy remake of the Grinch who stole Christmas. I've been watching it off and on. Jim Carrey makes a good Grinch but the I like the original animated version a lot better.

However, the movie makes an appropriate backdrop to the latest atrocity in the DEA's war on sick people. The latest of their mean spirited raids, conducted just in time to ruin Christmas, occurred in San Francisco on Steve and Catherine Smith's Hope Net, said to be a model program providing medical marijuana for free or at greatly reduced cost to over 300 terminally ill patients.

I found it somewhat heartening that the co-op's supporters had formed a rapid response team of sorts and faced down the DEA when they arrived the first time to, if you'll forgive the expression, bust up the joint.

My old friend Ann Harrison reports.
By approximately 12:30 pm at least fifty supporters had arrived surrounding the two DEA pickup trucks where agents sat grim-faced speaking on their cell phones. Activists chanted "DEA out of California" and help up signs for passing cars which honked their support.

A press conference was assembled and San Francisco City Supervisor Chris Daly, who represents HopeNet's south of Market Street district, spoke. Daly pointed out that his district includes most of the medical cannabis dispensaries in San Francisco and noted that supervisors just spent six months crafting a set of dispensary regulations to discourage federal raids. "The outrage that we see here will grow in San Francisco if they don't butt out of the medical cannabis," said Daly.
The DEA agents were forced to skulk away and sneak back later like the thieves they are to conduct their destruction on the warehouse. To their credit, the SF police did not participate in the raid, it was a solo DEA operation.

No arrests were made at the time of the raid although $50,000 and other valuables were seized including of course the plants and some processed marijuana. However, a DEA spokesperson said, charges are likely to filed in the future.

This is the fruit of the poison Raich decision that I think we all expected but it doesn't make it any easier to swallow. If these heartless thugs want to play the Grinch, the least they could do is follow the plot and grow a freaking heart during the holidays. It's not like they couldn't have waited until January to steal the medicine out of the hands of dying people. It's so unnecessarily cruel.


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