SF Mayor Ed Lee Sounds off on Medical Marijuana

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee speaks on medical marijuana.

The mayor has spoken. And though not as bold a statement as they may have liked, medical marijuana supporters may breathe a sigh of relief.

As San Francisco's chief executive, Mayor Ed Lee oversees city-sanctioned medical marijuana dealings and doings permitted by the city's Department of Public Health. But as pressure from the federal Justice Department shut down -- to date -- five city-licensed and city tax-paying medical marijuana dispensaries, Lee has remained silent, despite cries for help from pot advocates.

Until now. The mayor on Friday released a statement in which he expressed "concern" over San Francisco's "legitimate" medical marijuana users, according to SF Weekly.

"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," the statement reads in part. "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.' '"

Read the entire three-pargaph statement for yourself here.

Lee's office was invited to, but did not attend, an April 3 rally on the steps of City Hall that drew representatives from the City Attorney, District Attorney, and a majority of the Board of Supervisors.

Advocates have asked Lee to put pressure on members of San Francisco's Congressional delegation, and to convince city leaders to join lawsuits seeking to reschedule medical marijuana from the government's list of top banned substances. He did not address those concerns, but his statement Friday was hailed as a crucial first step forward.

"I'm glad Mayor Lee has taken a stand to support and protect safe access in San Francisco," said David Goldman, one of the core members of the San Francisco chapter of Americans for Safe Access.

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