Another San Francisco Pot Club Closes Due To Federal Crackdown

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— One of San Francisco’s oldest medical marijuana dispensaries went out of business Monday to avoid the federal prosecution of its landlord.

Members of the Market Street Cooperative didn’t go quietly, as it’s the fifth club of its kind to close its doors due to the federal crackdown enforced by California’s U.S. Attorneys.

Dozens of patients, providers, and activists took to the steps of the Federal Building on 7th Street to protest.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

Co-op director Tate Swindell said he decided to close after his landlord got a threatening letter from U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag, warning that housing the club violates federal law and that there are enhanced penalties for being close to two schools.

“This routine of forcing landlords to evict law-abiding clubs will drive sick and disabled patients back into the streets to find relief from their suffering,” Swindell said.

One of those patients is Mira Ingeram, said for her, having medical marijuana is a matter of life or death.

“When all the clubs are shut down, I have no place to go get it. I’ll be stuck without it,” she said sounding desperate.

California’s four top federal prosecutors are waging a new campaign to pressure storefront dispensaries, saying the state’s medical marijuana law doesn’t protect them from prosecution for violating Federal drug statutes.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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