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By Eugene Davidovitch / Americans for Safe Access
BACKGROUND: On October 7, 2011, at a press conference in Sacramento, US Attorney Laura Duffy, along with several other US Attorneys, announced a statewide crackdown on medical cannabis cooperatives, collectives, gardens, and others.
Without citing any specific violations in state law, Duffy’s office claimed all were out of compliance and would be targeted for eradication including those fully licensed and regulated by local government and law enforcement.
Since this proclamation of war on California’s medical marijuana program, Duffy’s office sent hundreds of letters to landlords threatening asset forfeiture if they did not immediately evict their dispensary tenants. As a result of these backhanded tactics, many landlords were forced to comply. Within six months, Duffy closed over 200 dispensaries in San Diego alone.
These closures forced thousands of employees into unemployment, left hundreds of properties vacant and most importantly, left the 70,000 plus medical marijuana patients in San Diego county wondering where to get their medicine.
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In case you haven’t heard, this is LGBT Pride weekend in San Diego. It’s a really big deal. The biggest event will be the Pride parade, attracting a projected 250,000 spectators along its route, and lasting two hours. Starting off at the intersection of Normal & University (11am) it will proceed west on University to Sixth Avenue, turning south to Balboa Park. Literally hundred of groups will be participating in this year’s parade, and we’d like to bring your attention to two contingents in particular. Gay pride events around the country started out as acts of defiance and protests against discrimination, and this year’s event in San Diego has revived some of that original spirit, along with the social events and pageantry that are commonplace in modern day celebrations.
Marching under the banner of ‘Join the Struggle, Not the Wars’, the San Diego coalition for Peace and Justice will join the San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality(SAME) and Canvass For A Cause(CFAC) at this year’s LGBT Pride Parade. Joining them will be the San Diego Green Party, UniteHere Local 30, the Peace Resource Center, the International Socialist Organization, and others . They are marching as an open contingent (#113) this year, and are inviting like minded folks and organizations to march with them. More info on Facebook.
While politicians of all stripes are part of the annual Pride Parade, Mayoral candidate/City Councilman Carl DeMaio’s participation (#81) has sparked plans for a protest and counter-protest.