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September 16, 2002 Post-event Press Release

For Immediate Release September 16, 2002

MADISON FEDERAL BUILDING AGAIN TARGETED FOR PROTEST OF DEA RAIDS ON CALIFORNIA MEDICAL MARIJUANA PROVIDERS SECOND TIME IN TEN DAYS

Close to 20 people participated in a protest of recent DEA raids of California medical marijuana providers, including the Green Party candidate for sheriff, and a county supervisor, at downtown Madison's federal building Monday afternoon.

Protesters waved small American flags and carried signs saying "DEA the real terrorists" and other slogans, while handing out literature and educating passerbys on the raids. A number of speakers addressed the event including Madison medical cannabis patient-activist Gary Storck, who termed the DEA actions "despicable", and called on Wisconsin's U.S. Senators Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold, to stand up for sick and dying Americans by protesting the DEA raids, stating that "the senators' silence equals betrayal". 

Green Party candidate for Dane County Sheriff, Adam Benedetto, criticized the war on drugs and the DEA actions, and spoke of changes he would make locally if elected sheriff.

Local activist Bruce Rideout read a statement criticizing the DEA moves against patient dispensaries that also decried how local media has mostly ignored these protests. Progressive Dane Drug Policy Task Force chair Stephanie Rearick noted how important local activism is in resisting actions like the DEA moves against California medical cannabis providers, and outlined steps the task force is taking, such as working with Madison Alder Judy Olson on a proposal that would expand Madison's existing medical marijuana law to allow patients and caregivers to cultivate up to 10 medical cannabis plants. 

After the speeches concluded, protesters marched down to State Street where the protest continued until about 1:00 p.m.

Despite a media near-blackout, Gary Storck, also the event's organizer, called it a success, "Thanks to our efforts, more and more people are becoming aware of the fact our tax dollars are being used to terrorize sick and dying Americans and steal their medicine, in states and localities where voters have legalized this option. Today, once again in cities all over America, people are speaking out against these cruel attempts to subvert the will of American voters."

For more information contact Gary Storck, Wisconsinites for Safe Access, 608.241.8922/608.217.4136, wi4safeaccess@ameritech.net, or visit the Americans For Safe Access website at: http://www.safeaccessnow.org/.

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