350 Divisadero has saved my life!

root - Posted on 01 January 2000

Due to the criminalization of medical treatment outside the western corporate medical complex another medical marijuana facility faces eviction and closure

by Sam Drew/PNN

"Your health is your wealth." These words were kindly spoken to me by my Grandmother as I worried myself sick over a minor financial situation. She confided in me that "without your health all the money in the world is useless."

In San Francisco we have a chance to prove that your health is indeed your wealth. The medical cannabis dispensary at 350 Divisadero Street is being evicted because the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is sending out threatening letters to landlords that rent to medical cannabis caregivers. These letters tell landlords that if they don't evict medical cannabis dispensaries, they will face fines, imprisonment and possible forfeiture of their property. Although San Francisco and the rest of California voted to recognize cannabis as a medicine, the Feds continue to see it as an evil drug that will destroy our way of life and corrupt the morals of our youth or something like that.

Reverend Randi Webster co-founder and co-director of the San Francisco Patients Cooperative cuts through the legal and moral doublespeak and gets to the heart of the matter as she told PoorNewsNetwork, "After 9 years we have to close our doors. If a community center isn't found again we will end up going to a lot of funerals!" These funerals will be those of sick patients who will have their only lifeline closed if 350 Divisadero is left without a home.

Echoing Randi Webster's powerful statement were two POOR Magazine staffers Jewnbug and Brother Y who also offered words in support of 350 Divisadero.

"350 Divisadero has saved my life. It gives patients space to heal. People stay alive due to medical marijuana," Jewnbug said powerfully. Brother Y informed everyone that "San Francisco has the largest concentration of HIV/AIDS patients in the United States," and that these patients need safe access to survive.

350 Divisadero is not only a dispensary of medicine but also offers peer counseling, social services and entertainment like open mike nights and bingo. Treating the whole person, and not just individual parts, helps the healing process go faster. This is a fact that the medical industry has chosen to ignore in the face of big profits and corruption.

Many politicians have spoken out in behalf of medical cannabis. These same politicians need to speak on behalf of 350 Divisadero and help this community center find a new home to continue to treat patients.

"Mark Leno, Carole Migden and Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums have spoken out against the DEA's letters of threat," said Webster. However, one major Bay Area politician has not, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. "When Gavin Newsom was a supervisor he wrote a letter on our behalf so we could move into 350 Divisadero, but now he has chosen to remain silent," Webster said.

Trying to avoid a controversial issue, Mayor Newsom has abandoned his own city's residents by refusing to stand up to the Feds on this life and death issue and in doing so he has backed the for-profit medical world, which chooses wealth over health. Using these punitive tactics, the DEA is not only fueling the prison industrial complex by criminalizing medical cannabis, but is also gaining profits and land to resell by wrongly evicting patient's safe havens.

Help save 350 Divisadero Street and all community centers offering service and support to those in need. Demand Mayor Newsom stand up for the medical cannabis patients.


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