Americans for Safe Access released a statement by Mayor Ed Lee's office regarding medical marijuana in San Francisco.
Since he has been so adamant at staying silent on the matter, this recent statement is a move that helps spotlight how prevalent the issue of marijuana has become in the public arena. It all came to head last week during a pro-marijuana rally on the steps of City Hall that attracted a good portion of the city's officials, and drew support from Board President David Chiu and Supervisors John Avalos, David Campos, Jane Kim, Christina Olague and Scott Wiener, as well as San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon, City Attorney Dennis Herrera, state Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, Marin and Sonoma, and Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco.
Noticeably absent was Lee.
While various outlets have taken great lengths to extract a statement from the Mayor, in the end, it was this 3 paragraph statement that he released to the public via ASA. Due to the fact that this statement comes a year after he referred to medical marijuana dispensaries as a 'nuisance,' it shows that the Mayor's stance is softening.
Here is the statement:
"It is important that San Franciscans who need medicinal cannabis can have safe access to it - there are oncology patients, HIV/AIDS patients, and people with debilitating pain who rely on this medicine to treat their conditions. Public Health Director Barbara Garcia continually advises me that legitimate use by people with certain medical conditions is an effective way to treat pain and ease end-of-life suffering.
And since 1996, when Proposition 215 first passed, the State of California and our City have reaffirmed many times over our support of legitimate medicinal use for people with serious illness. That's why I am concerned about recent federal actions targeting duly permitted Medicinal Cannabis Dispensaries, actions that aim to limit our citizens' ability to have safe access to the medicine they need.
Time and time again, the President of the United States has made it clear that the Justice Department has more important priorities than working to prevent patients from accessing this medicine. As long as San Francisco's dispensaries and patients are operating within the guidelines set by then-Attorney General Jerry Brown in 2008, I agree with our current Attorney General Kamala Harris that raids should not occur. She has said that 'an overly broad federal enforcement campaign will make it more difficult for legitimate patients to access physician-recommended medicine in California.'"