Medical Marijuana Advocates to Protest at Obama HQ Tonight

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Cannabis advocates have been mad as hell for almost a year now. And as the first anniversary of the war waged on state-legal medical marijuana by President Barack Obama's Justice Department approaches, they'll have you -- and him -- know that they're not going to take it anymore.

Across the country, medical marijuana users and supporters will take up signs and slogans and shout down Obama campaign locations this afternoon in an action organized by advocacy group Americans for Safe Access.

In the Bay Area, this means another demonstration for Oakland, where protesters will meet at 5 p.m. in Frank Ogawa Plaza in downtown.
But this is not "an Occupy protest or a Republican rally," organizers say. It's merely a showing by voters who feel left out of the debate. And as they rightly point out, "What else are patients supposed to do?"

The Justice Department has shut down about 400 state-legal dispensaries across California since Oct. 7, 2011, and has done the same in Colorado, Washington, and Montana.

In response, Americans for Safe Access launched a summer campaign called Camp Wake Up Obama, which was intended to do just that: Alert the president that his policies are hurting sick people and undermining state law.

So far, it hasn't been able to stop the Justice Department from targeting the state's biggest dispensary, Harborside Health Center, which provides vital seizure-stopping medicine to a 6-year-old patient profiled in the Los Angeles Times this week.

Harborside goes to court on Oct. 16. Meanwhile, neither presidential candidate has given medical marijuana supporters any reason to hope for change from this present hostile and untenable situation.

"Many of us want to be supporters of the President, to be a part of his movement," ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer said. "Obama has done great things for other patients, but for my medical needs, which include cannabis, treatment has become only less affordable and more limited."

So maybe the only thing left to do is act out. Hey, it works in Europe. See you out there at 5 p.m. today.

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