Rx Cannabis Raid Relief Expo and Concert (First in a series?)

By: Dan Murphy and Eugene Davidovich, San Diego Americans for Safe Access

The Rx Cannabis Raid Relief Concert and Expo organized by James Stacy, Saturday afternoon, was a tremendous success. The event will help pave the road for a series of educational expos and seminars planned for the San Diego area in the next few months by a number of organizations, and helped open a new chapter in medical marijuana activism in San Diego.

The Club Ballroom was host to the event, situated in the heart of historic Palisades Area of Balboa Park. Upon entering the Ballroom, around 4 pm the whole building was alive with activity. Exhibitors helping each other put the finishing touches on their booths, speakers preparing for their presentations, and James Stacy running around making sure everything was running smoothly.

There were dozens of exhibitor tables arranged with aisles big enough to dance in, Just Ask Henry Hemp, who was there representing The Hemp Network and debuting his new Adventures of Henry Hemp comic book.

Jovan Jackson, one of the founding members of Answerdam collective, preparing for his second jury trial in less than a year was there to support James Stacy and garner support for his own legal defense.

As the doors opened to the public and the people started to pour in, positive energy filled the room and was maintained throughout the entire event. It was refreshing to see NORML, ASA, LEAP, DPA, SSDP, and other groups, all working together to help spread the word and educate the community about medical cannabis and the outrageous prosecutions and raids against legitimate medical cannabis patients in San Diego.

Laura R and Tim B, recent victims of Dumanis’ fierce fight against medical marijuana and victims of a raid on their home in Encinitas were also beneficiaries of the proceeds from this event. They were on hand to help spread the word in the park about the event, and help with the breakdown and clean up of the event. They are currently facing charges, going through court proceedings, and facing a difficult road against this bias driven persecution.

The event started with an introduction and a brief speech by James Stacy in which he welcomed everyone and thanked the community for their support. The lecture and band series began with Mr. Leo E. Lawrence of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), who spoke about the failures of the drug war and the need for serious reform of our current drug laws. Mr. Lawrence’s speech was followed by
Roswell That Ends Well, a local San Diego band who kept the room entertained with the latest SD Punk music for over 30 minutes.

Reverend Wayne Riggs of the San Diego Medical Marijuana Task Force continued the lecture series with a discussion about the need for sensible regulations in San Diego. His speech was followed by Attorney Lance Rogers who spoke about Proposition 19.

Even Stephen Whitburn Candidate for San Diego County Board of Supervisors and Vice Chair of the San Diego Medical Marijuana Task Force stopped by and spoke for a few minutes to the crowd.
When Registered Nurse Lanny Swerdlow began presenting “Cannabis to Slow Aging”, a 45 minute presentation about the medical efficacy and benefits of medical marijuana, the seats in front of the stage quickly filled up.

Following the speeches, Will Faeber of Cathouse Thursday filled the room with great adult contemporary music which helped maintain the fun and energetic atmosphere of the expo. The bands CD’s were available for purchase at the Expo, and Will Faeber aside from putting on an amazing performance, himself MC’d the event, introduced speakers, as well as helped raffle of tons of prizes including a “Rasta” colored Beach Cruiser donated by Kim and Thor from Mother Earth Collective and Coop in San Diego.

Other highlights of the evening included a money booth sponsored by Ideal Choice Insurance, a Jamaican Restaurant serving up authentic Caribbean food, a Hydroponics Bucket System Display setup by Custom Hydroponics, gardening and educational books by Ed Rosenthal, a masseuse conducting chair massages, and several Doctor’s office discussing the benefits of medical marijuana with patients.

At the Americans for Safe Access (ASA) booth, Vey Linville was selling Protest Posters to raise funds for Mr. Stacy, Dan Murphy was coordinating the “I am a Patient” picture campaign and Larry Sweet of the San Diego Medical Marijuana Task Force was educating the public about the mission of ASA.

The evening’s last performance was a band called Shame and Scandall, who completely blew the crowd away with a spectacular performance of Ska music, lead by lead singer Steven Bartholow.

The proceeds raised from this event will directly help James Stacy, Laura and Tim who are all facing charges, Mr. Stacy in Federal Court, and Laura and Tim in State Court.

Mr. Stacy hopes to keep up the momentum generated by this event with a series of events like this to help spread education and awareness throughout the San Diego Community, as well as help financially support defendants while going through trials.

Mr Stacy is back in court this week and will be facing a trial where he was denied the right to tell the entire truth and will not even be able to discuss California Laws relating to Medical Marijuana.

His next hearing is scheduled for August 20, 2010, at 11:30 in Courtroom 15 at the San Diego Federal Court House located at 940 Front St.

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