DA plans medical pot pow-wow
Prosecutors in the San Francisco district attorney’s office are laying plans to meet with medical marijuana dispensaries and cultivators to clarify rules surrounding medical pot.
Though no meetings have yet been scheduled, Stephanie Ong Stillman, a spokeswoman for George Gascón’s office told The Ex the goal was to find:
“workable solutions so patients can continue to have safe, legal access to medical marijuana.”
The relationship between medical marijuana providers and local law enforcement in the Bay Area ranges between a tenuous détente in cities like San Francisco and Oakland to flat-out war in places like San Jose and Vallejo.
In San Francisco, a supportive electorate and tolerant civic leaders have stimulated a vibrant industry with responsible dispensaries throughout The City.
But uncertainty still reigns, especially after recent federal raids and a legal brief filed in March by District Attorney George Gascón’s office arguing that all marijuana sales are illegal.
Gascón and his office quickly distanced themselves from the brief by reaffirming the low priority of pot cases for prosecution. But their statements fell well short of giving dispensary operators the assurances they need to operate their businesses without fears of thuggish raids shutting them down.
The SFPD has raided growers and clubs in the past, only to have the charges dropped once medical status was established in court. In one case, several pounds of seized marijuana was returned to a grower.
San Francisco has a Medical Cannabis Task Force which comprises patient advocates, dispensary operators and cultivators. There is currently no law enforcement presence on the task force which reports annually to the Board of Supervisors.