by David Downs
It's a routine declaration of the Oakland City Council, but yeah, it's kind of funny too. The City of Oakland is set to renew its declaration of a “local public health emergency” stemming from a local lack of medicinal cannabis.
Oakland official Barbara Parker says the proclamation was originally issued in 1998. It effectively means nothing, but it does buttress Oakland city policies like permitting medical cannabis dispensaries, and ordering Oakland Police to effectively ignore pot offenses.
Parker said the city originally issued the declaration because federal and state law enforcers were busting local growers and cancer patients. That threat of imprisonment persists to this day. The declaration says people could die due to lack of cannabis, so it's cause for Oakland to continue the declaration.
The fine print of the declaration basically states that the people of California and the City of Oakland have voted for legal medicinal cannabis, because it helps the sick, hurting and dying. The sick and dying have such a need that the city of Oakland itself has tried help them get the plant. But the United States has blocked Oakland's efforts, sent the sick into the streets to get their medicine and perpetuated their suffering.
As long the DEA can ruin a person's life for providing or taking a medicine, Oakland has a public health emergency on its hands. The declaration finds that people could die due to federal policy, and federal authorities should stop obstructing and harassing the city.
The Oakland City Council is expected to quickly pass the declaration at their scheduled meeting next week.