This morning, in a cruel act of harassment and intimidation DEA agents, along with Riverside County Sheriff’s officers, raided a small medical marijuana collective grow outside of Palm Desert, California.
When the DEA knocked on the door, patient Gary Silva went to open it. DEA agents proceeded to kick in the door, dislocating Gary’s shoulder and causing lacerations to his face. Gary uses medical marijuana for degenerative disk disease and nerve damage. He is currently being treated in the emergency room of a local hospital.
Agents confiscated less than 80 plants and dry medicine, which were grown for several patient collective members. Patient records and equipment were seized as well. No arrests were made. DEA agents repeatedly told Gary that they would not be charging him, and that he would only be charged if he grew again.
Please stand up against this blatant harassment of patients! There are four ways you can get involved:
1. Call the local Riverside DEA offices to tell them to stop harassing patients!
Please call (909) 328-6000 to express your dismay with this attack on patients. Tell them the patient community will not stand up for this behavior!
2. Call for Action at Federal Buildings Nationwide – 12 Noon on Thursday, March 16th
We are asking all medical cannabis supporters to rally in opposition to these raids at noon on Thursday, March 16th in front of your local federal building. Please contact Rebecca immediately at [email protected] if you plan to organize one of these actions so we can post the information on our website.
These demonstrations are a vital part of our grassroots opposition to the federal crackdown. Please make plans to attend and encourage others to do so. Please check our web site or call the ASA office if you need additional information.
3. National Congressional Write in Day on Thursday, March 16th
On Thursday, please visit our website to write to your congressional representatives and educate them about the need and the ways to stop DEA raids. Look for more details on the write-in tomorrow at the ASA website.
4. Forward this Message to Lists & Friends
Please pass this message on to any and all supporters you know.
Our web site is www.safeaccessnow.org. You can reach the ASA office directly at (510) 251-1856.
DEA Raids Small Medical Marijuana Collective; Advocates Protest Excessive Force, Intimidation
Palm Desert, CA ? Despite assertions from federal officials that they would not be going after medical marijuana patients or small cooperatives, DEA agents, along with Riverside County Sheriff’s officers, this morning raided a small medical marijuana collective cultivation outside of Palm Desert that had recently been pictured in the press, injuring a 53 year old medical marijuana patient.
When the DEA knocked on the door, 53 year old Gary Silva went to let them in. Mr. Silva cultivates and uses medical marijuana for degenerative disk disease and nerve damage. As he was unlocking the door, DEA agents proceeded to kick it in, dislocating Mr. Silva’s shoulder, cracking a bone, and causing lacerations to his face.
“Everything I was doing was within California law. I grew for myself and a few other patients, and donated the excess to a nearby dispensing collective. There was no need for our California sheriffs to call in federal agents to injure me and harass my family,” said Mr Silva after his release from the hospital for treatment of his injuries.
Agents confiscated less than 80 plants and dry medicine, which were grown for several patient collective members. Patient records and equipment were seized as well. No arrests were made. DEA agents repeatedly told Gary that they would not be arresting him, and that he would only be arrested if he grew again.
“This sounds like pure harassment by the DEA and by a local sheriff that isn’t happy with upholding state law,” noted Rebecca Saltzman, Americans for Safe Access Field Director. “It was just a matter of time before a patient would be injured from a federal raid, and if this hostility by the DEA continues, it’s going to happen again.”
Some members of Congress are also questioning the federal actions taken to prosecute medical marijuana patients. By the request of Americans for Safe Access, Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) this week led a group of lawmakers in calling for a Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigation of how much money the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) spent each year over the past decade to enforce federal medical marijuana laws. (The request may be viewed here.)
Medical cannabis supporters plan to rally in opposition to this latest DEA raid and violent attack on a California-legal medical marijuana patient at noon on Thursday, March 16th in front of local federal buildings and DEA offices. So far, protests are planned in Austin, TX; Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Los Angeles, CA; Missoula, MT; Riverside, CA; San Francisco, CA; and Washington, DC. Please check our web site www.safeaccessnow.org or call the ASA office (510) 251-1856 for location updates and other information.