By David Downs, East Bay Express
President Obama did not see the 200 or so California medical cannabis protestors who came to greet him eye-to-eye during his short San Francisco fundraising stop Tuesday afternoon. His motorcade took Second Street, while the protestors were on Third Street, and by the time word got around, the President was already in the W Hotel, collecting about a million dollars in campaign donations.
Perhaps he looked down briefly from the 20th floor “Extreme Wow Suite” atop the W in SOMA, and with bionic eyes made out signs like “Save Our Jobs” (with the “O” being a big cannabis leaf), or “$100 million in taxes up in smoke”.
But even if he could, would those signs stand out amid the anti-oil pipeline protestors (Stop Keystone XL) who were intermingling with the Occupy Wall Streeters and pissed off landlords? It's hard to tell.
That the President took Second Street while the protesters were on Third might be a snarky observation, but it's also an observation with symbolism: Earlier in the day, at the press conference at the Marriott, a roomful of activists couldn't fathom how medical marijuana is polling at 70 percent approval, while political leaders could be so terrified of the issue. Four U.S. Attorneys have used cancer patients as a public punching bag Oct. 7, and since then have gone on to threaten dozens of landlords across the state with forfeiture for harboring a marijuana-related business. Raids on Northstone Organics, threats against Prop 19 author Rich Lee's landlord, and the tax assessment against Harborside Health Center make it clear the government wants examples made of industry voices.
While Rep. Tom Ammiano had cannabis' back at the press conference Tuesday, he said the latest raids haven't reverberated in Sacramento, where the legislative session is out.
- Read the entire article at East Bay Express.