An Open Letter to Friends and Advocates

Greetings Friends in Compassion –

I’ve received numerous phone calls asking how things went in San Diego.
This post might help answer some of your questions.

Well, obviously, I did not get arrested. It was not my intention to do
so. However, others and I were prepared for anything as we had no way of
knowing what to expect from local, county or federal law enforcement.
Thank you for your calls and text messages while away. It was good to
still be connected. I did not want to be in custody if anything required
me to get back to LA asap.

My goal was to try to get into the conference to listen and learn. I had
no intention to act out or disrupt the conference but just listen intently
and quietly. You can read about my registration experience in the post
below.

Unable to get in, I was also prepared to cover the rally and protest at
noon which was well co-organized by local and regional patient advocates,
ASA and DPA. Nearly 50 people attended to protest, chant and listen to
speakers on the corner outside the hotel where the conference was being
held. When that part of the rally wrapped up the group moved down the
sidewalk in front of the hotel’s driveway entrance where several
pre-determined persons prepared for arrest walked up the drive to get as
close to the hotel entrance as possible and sat down.

The ask was that Karen Tandy, head pig for the DEA, come out and talk to
the patients of San Diego about where they could go to get their medical
cannabis refilled. Others chanted and spoke from the sidewalk where we
had a good view of the action. The DEA took pictures of us and us of
them. Many agents stood behind the local police to watch the action.
There was a decent media presence with cameras right in the action which
I’m sure made those pending arrest feel much better.

Well, Ms. Tandy did not grace us with her presence and the seven that
chose to remain seated where arrested peacefully and without incident.
Wendy, San Diego’s key advocate and one of the arrestees, said they were
not held, booked, photographed or fingerprinted but released almost
immediately after arriving at the station. Accounts indicate that local
PD was courteous and very business-like about handling the arrests. The
hotel made it clear to all others that any further action at that their
facility would end in arrest. Which was fine as no other action was
planned.

It is my understanding that possibly two community members were able to
get in and we hope to learn more from them this weekend. I did learn that
the agenda allegedly included discussion of the cannabis activities in
seven of the 11 mmj states and how to stop initiatives, close collectives
and eradicate gardens. The most reliable item I learned so far was that
agents have new technology for easily detecting high-pressure sodium
lights from helicopters. Again, I hope to learn more from those who made
it in. I cannot state with certainty that the above is accurate but it is
what I learned from those much closer to the action. I will correct
anything if necessary as it comes.

Overall, it was good people got together to let the DEA know that they
were not going to go neither unnoticed nor unchallenged. Again, I thank
you for all your support and kindness.

Sincerely,

Degé

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