Tuesday, February 12, 2008


San Francisco postpones resolution supporting pot club landlords


Bay City News Service

Article Launched: 02/12/2008 07:55:15 PM PST


A San Francisco Board of Supervisors today postponed a resolution condemning

federal authorities for sending pot club landlords letters threatening them

with imprisonment and seizure of their property.


The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration issued the letters in December to

about 50 landlords in Northern California, including San Francisco. The

resolution calls the letters "misguided and sensationally threatening



Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, who represents neighborhoods in southwest San

Francisco, said he wanted the opportunity to go on record against the

resolution and asked that a vote on it be deferred. The resolution was part

of a group of resolutions that would have passed or failed as a group by

unanimous vote and without specific mention.


According to Elsbernd, a few medical marijuana clubs in his district, along

Ocean Avenue, "have caused an inordinate amount of neighborhood concern and

I don't want to be on record as supporting complete amnesty."


Supervisors will now vote on the resolution individually at their Feb. 26

meeting when Elsbernd will register his "no" vote. Elsbernd acknowledged the

resolution would likely pass.


The resolution was authored by Supervisor Chris Daly and co-sponsored by

supervisors Jake McGoldrick and Ross Mirkarimi.


According to DEA spokeswoman Casey McEnry, "the letters were sent out

basically as a courtesy." McEnry said the letters informed landlords that

the cannabis clubs operating on their property, violated federal law. The

penalty for such a violation is seizure of assets and up to 20 years in

prison, she said.

In the past, said McEnry, the DEA would notify landlords after raids on

marijuana dispensaries.


"This is a different approach," she said. "We're hoping that people comply

with federal law," she added.


The resolution, which reaffirms San Francisco as "a sanctuary for medical

cannabis," states that the DEA "has repeatedly subverted and undermined

California's and many other states' laws governing medical cannabis."


It also accuses the DEA of "increasingly acting on its irrational policy and

hysteria regarding medical cannabis specifically, and the so-called War on

Drugs in general."


According to the resolution, medical marijuana dispensaries are a health and

safety issue that should be governed by the state of California.


The resolution pledges to support "lawfully operating" cannabis dispensaries

and property owners who lease to them. Those facing federal prosecution

would receive the support of the city attorney, according to the resolution.


The resolution also calls on the U.S. Congress to investigate the DEA

conduct and to revise federal law to authorize states to legalize medical



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