Hello I’m Steve DeAngelo, Executive Director of Harborside Health Center. I’d like to wish all of our friends, supporters, advisors, and helpers a very Happy New Year—and thank you all for sticking with us through the difficult days of 2012. I am very happy and pleased to report that the New Year got of to a great start when federal judge Maria-Elena James ruled that Harborside may stay open and continue selling cannabis, until such time as the Feds can persuade a jury to convict us. And I think that will be a very long time indeed.
Judge James rejected motions by our landlords to immediately force Harborside to halt cannabis sales, setting the stage for a trial on the underlying civil forfeiture issues about a year from now. Until then, we shall continue to meet the commitment we made to our patients over six years ago, and provide them with the largest selection of the best cannabis on the planet, in the safest and most beautiful environment we know how to create. We will never, ever abandon our patients.
Judge James’ ruling reaffirms that a small group of deeply determined people, who have the truth on their side, who stand up for what they know is right, and never ever quit, can be just as powerful as the most powerful government on Earth. In my close to 40 years of activism, I cannot ever remember a federal judge making a ruling to allow cannabis sales to continue. It is one more sign that we have reached the tipping point for our movement; that we are winning new supporters every day, and from some of the most unlikely quarters.
It is now time for the federal government to see the writing on the wall; to take this chance that history has offered them to do the right thing; to correct the historic injustice that has labeled Earth’s most beneficial plant as a dangerous drug, and relieve the suffering of patients and inmates in hospitals and prisons all over the country. All they need to do is one simple, obvious act of justice: to respect the will of the voters in states that have legalized cannabis, whether for medical or adult use. The Department of Justice should immediately freeze all enforcement actions against state-compliant cannabis providers, and make certain that in the future state cannabis laws are rigorously respected by the federal government.
Our community has a lot to celebrate, the tide has turned in our direction, and the wind is at our backs–but our struggle is not yet close to being over. Even as I read news reports about our legal victory, I also read about our brother Adam Sandusky, just sentenced to ten years in federal prison for dispensing cannabis in compliance with California state law. We can never, ever forget about Adam or the thousands of other prisoners like him. Our job will not be done until the last cannabis prisoner walks out of the last jail cell and back into the loving arms of their families and this community. Until then, I will look forward to meeting and marching and organizing with all of you, to do this good work, to right this historic wrong; to make sure that nobody else ever again loses their job, or their kids, or their freedom, or their health because of stupid, destructive cannabis laws.