The medical marijuana industry is looking to form a united front against the federal government’s continuing MMJ crackdown, with numerous rallies and protests planned for Thursday in Washington DC and eight states across the country.
Americans for Safe Access is urging medical cannabis professionals, advocates and patients to attend afternoon rallies in Arizona, California, Colorado, Montana, Missouri, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington State and the nation’s capital. Organizers want to send a clear message to the government: Stop interfering with state medical marijuana laws and end the crackdown on the cannabis industry. Most of the protests will be held outside of Obama’s local campaign offices.
The federal government has conducted nearly 200 raids and shut down hundreds of dispensaries nationwide through other efforts in the past two years – despite Obama’s initial pledge to back off MMJ businesses that are complying with state laws.
“We are sick and tired of being told to vote against our health,” ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer said in a release. “Thursday’s rallies are aimed at conveying that patients and their families are voters who may be influenced this November by the president’s broken promises on this issue.”
One of the larger events will be held in Seattle. Several business and political leaders – including Greta Carter of the Coalition for Cannabis Standards & Ethics, Rep. Roger Goodman and Councilman Nick Licata – will speak during a 10:30 a.m. pre-rally press conference at Seattle City Hall. The rally will be held between 2 and 5:30 p.m. outside the U.S. Courthouse. In a show of support, several dispensaries will also close for the day.
“We are pleased to see the support and courage from our elected officials for their convictions to uphold what Washington citizens have voted for,” Carter said. “We hope the message is received by the Obama administration that Washington does not need nor welcome federal intervention.”
The rally comes after the Drug Enforcement Administration last month ordered two dozen Washington dispensaries located near schools to close, threatening the owners and their landlords with prosecution. Similar moves have forced hundreds of dispensaries to close in California and Colorado.
Image credit: Chas Redmond via Flickr