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Protests Continue in San Luis Obispo

by via Americans for Safe Access (ASA) Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011 at 2:10 AM

Medical cannabis activists in the San Luis Obispo area are coordinating rallies this month in support of patients and providers facing charges there. On the first two Thursdays of the month, Feb 3 and Feb 10, activists will be passing out informational flyers at the San Luis Obispo Farmers Market. Several of those arrested will appear in court on Feb 9 and 10, and another has a pre-trial hearing on Feb 14.

During a three-day period at the end of December, local and state law enforcement agencies raided seven collectively run medical cannabis delivery services, arresting 15 people on felony charges, with bail set at up to $100,000. In addition to seizing medicine, money, computers and other property, police have also frozen some bank accounts. Several of those arrested were charged with child endangerment, and Child Protective Services removed at least six children from three families.

A courthouse protest in January that coincided with the arraignment of one of the providers helped persuade two of the County Supervisors to speak with incoming Sheriff Ian Parkinson to clarify his stance on medical cannabis.

"I want to be sure that the sheriff is applying his precious resources in a rational way," District 2 Supervisor Bruce Gibson told local media. "I would hope that he would pursue violations of our drug laws, but not a fruitless pursuit of those following the rules."

Voters in nearby Morro Bay defeated a ballot initiative in November that would have banned dispensaries, and city officials are now considering a dispensary ordinance. Many medical cannabis patients have turned to delivery services, since all of the incorporated cities in San Luis Obispo County have adopted moratoriums or outright bans against storefront medical marijuana dispensaries.

The raided collectives include: Cannafornia Health Services out of Atascadero; Santa Barbara Collective out of Tarzana, in Los Angeles; Open Access Foundation, Trilogy Health Services and Harmonic Alliance out of Paso Robles; and Hopeful Remedies and West Coast Caregiving out of Pismo Beach.

Medical cannabis advocates in San Luis Obispo will be gathering for the Farmer’s Market rallies on Feb 3 and Feb 10 at 5:30 pm at the Creamery’s Nipomo Street parking lot, just off Higuera Street. Everyone is encouraged to make appropriate signs and wear ASA t-shirts if they have them.

Americans for Safe Access (ASA)

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