Gay Today: Health
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Medical Marijuana Supporters
Take Part in Nationwide Protest

Compiled by GayToday
Marijuana Policy Project

Washington,. D.C.--In the wake of new Drug Enforcement Administration raids on medical marijuana providers in California, the D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) joined in a national day of protest on June 6.

Organized under the banner of "Americans for Safe Access" (ASA), medical marijuana patients, their families, friends, and supporters took part in protests and nonviolent civil disobedience in 55 cities nationwide.
MPP's Bruce Mirken, acting on behalf of a friend with AIDS in California as well as all medical marijuana patients, is arrested and forcibly removed by police after blocking the entrance to the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.

Bruce Mirken, director of communications for MP was arrested in civil disobedience in the D.C. area, honoring a longtime friend with AIDS whose health has been imperiled by the DEA's raids.

At 10:30 a.m. ten activists chained themselves to the door of the Justice Department headquarters on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. They posted a "Cease and Desist" order demanding an end to the DEA's medical marijuana raids.

The June 6 date was chosen because the U.S. District Court in northern California is expected to reaffirm on (approximately) June 7 that it is illegal under federal law to distribute medical marijuana, a ruling that may be seen by the DEA as a green light for more raids.

"This does not mean, however, that the DEA should be using its resources to target medical marijuana distributors, especially in these times of terrorism," said Robert Kampia, MPP's executive director. "Furthermore, the federal court decision will not in any way negate the eight state laws that allow patients to use, possess, and grow their own medical marijuana legally."

"I decided last week to join in the civil disobedience, after getting a call from my friend Mary Lucey in Los Angeles," Mirken said.

Lucey, who served as interim AIDS Coordinator for the city of Los Angeles, found that marijuana was the only thing that allowed her to tolerate the harsh side effects of the anti-HIV drugs she must take to stay alive.

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Mirken said:

"Marijuana is an absolutely essential part of her therapy, and the DEA's raids last October cut off her safe supply. Now she lives in constant fear. Our government has chosen, as a matter of policy, to torture the sick, and those of us who are healthy have a responsibility to stand up for them."

"Lucey and other supporters at the LA Cannabis Resource Center have now started a hunger strike to protest the DEA's actions and demands that the club be allowed to re-open."
State-By-State Medical Marijuana Laws: How to Remove the Threat of Arrest:

Institute of Medicine's landmark 1999 Report on Medical Marijuana:

Canada's Medical Marijuana Program:

Safe Access Now:

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