In the wake of threats this month from two federal prosecutors in Washington State, medical cannabis activists are staging raid preparedness trainings in cities across the state. The move comes as Governor Chris Gregoire contemplates the fate of a bill to license medical cannabis providers and create a state registry of medical cannabis patients.
“The medical cannabis bill is a ghost of its former self, and could get dramatically worse if the governor exercises her sectional veto power,” said Rachel Kurtz with the Cannabis Defense Coalition. “Our community would do well to prepare itself, to brace for impact.”
Events are planned this week for Seattle, Spokane and Ellensburg. Traveling from Washington D.C. to lead the trainings will be Steph Sherer, Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access, the nation's largest medical cannabis advocacy group. That organization was founded ten years ago in response to federal raids on cannabis providers in California.
"Patients are sick and tired of being marginalized and living in fear of the federal government,” said Sherer. “It's time to push politics aside, recognize the plight of patients across the country, and properly address medical marijuana as the public health issue that it is.”
Event organizers warn that, whether or not the legislation becomes law, medical cannabis patients and providers will likely see an increase in raids by federal and local law enforcement throughout Washington State.
Raid training schedule: Wed. April 27 from 7-10 p.m. at the Cannabis Resource Center, 1714 1st Ave S. in Seattle; Thu. April 28 from 1-4 p.m. at the Downtown Spokane Library, 906 W. Main Ave in Spokane; Fri. April 29 from 1-4 p.m. at Black Hall Room 151 on the Central Washington University campus in Ellensburg. A stakeholders meeting is planned from 10-4 Saturday at the Cannabis Resource Center in Seattle.
CANNABIS DEFENSE COALITION Â· PO BOX 45622 Â· SEATTLE, WA 98145 Â· 888-208-5332 Â· WWW.CDC.COOP
CONTACTS: Ben Livingston, Cannabis Defense Coalition, 206-335-9214, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kristen Ford, Americans for Safe Access, 202-857-4272, email@example.com