Tuesday, April 15, 2008

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom Defends Sanctuary City

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom Defends Sanctuary City, MedicalCannabis Patients - Urges Congress To Investigate DEA And OpenCongressional Hearings

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, April 10, 2008 -San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom issued a letter today to CongressmanJohn Conyers. Jr., Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, urginginvestigation into the tactics of the Drug Enforcement Administrationto undermine California's state medical marijuana laws.

InNewsom's letter, the Mayor expresses his support for the State'smedical cannabis laws, San Francisco's patient identification cardprogram and medical marijuana dispensary regulations. He also extendshis support to the patients, caregivers, physicians and the landownerswho rent to the dispensaries.

Mayor Newsom condemns the DEAfor threatening landlords with asset forfeiture and imprisonment andfor interfering with the implementation of state and local laws. He isurging Congress to do something about it.

Shona Gochenaur,executive director for Axis Of Love San Francisco, a local medicalcannabis patient advocacy and social service organization, who proposedthe letter to the Mayor and his staff states, "It was great to workwith Mayor Newsom and his team to draft this statement. Patientadvocates thank the Mayor for reaffirming our city's sanctuary status,defending our local dispensary regulations and protecting patients'safe and legal access to medical cannabis."

Gochenaurcontinues that she urges other international cities and sister citiesin states with medical marijuana laws and around the country to joinMayor Newsom in defending compassionate use laws and demand Congresstake action.

"This is an issue whose time has come," statesDegé Coutee, president of Patient Advocacy Network, a medical cannabiseducation and patient advocacy (501)(c)(3) in Los Angeles, andcoordinator of a statewide board of medical cannabis patient advocates."The Supreme Court writes in the Gonzalez V. Raich decision that thismatter should be taken up in Congress. Our local elected officials areasking Congress to do just that. These destructive, aggressive DEAraids cannot continue and be the
norm for how the federal government handles this issue."

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco district office alsoreceived a copy of Mayor Newsom's letter to the Chair of the HouseJudiciary Committee. It is anticipated that her office will expresssupport for their mayor's statement.

Contact: Shona Gochenaur, Executive Director, Axis Of Love San Francisco,
(415) 240-5247, axisoflovesf [at] gmail.com
Degé Coutee, President, Patient Advocacy Network, (323) 334-5282,
patientadvocates [at] riseup.net

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