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
"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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