Message from the Green Cross - Dark dealings behind the scenes

DATE: July 21, 2005
RE: Call to Action!

We wanted to thank you for attending the public hearing last Friday and for speaking out in support of The Green Cross. It was quite a spirit-booster to see and hear all of you! We remain firmly resolved in our commitment to provide a friendly and professional medical cannabis dispensary. We also know staying open requires an outpouring of support from San Francisco Green Cross members, neighborhood residents and allies.

We continue to need your help, so we wanted to let you know what you can do between now and the next hearing scheduled for August 17, 2005 at 5:00 pm.

As those of us attending the hearing witnessed, there was lots of passion on both sides of the issue. No summary can capture the effect of a baby in her grandmother's arms.who supports revoking the permit. Or, the effect of two persons with their seeing-eye dog pleading for The Green Cross to be allowed to continue to serve its members. Or, the effect of two health professions expressing support on behalf of clients/patients who are dealing with AIDS or cancer. At the end of the day, both sides had an opportunity to present their case. Overall, the hearing fostered the illusion of democracy.

When we look at what happened behind the scenes, the illusion of democracy in city offices is dispelled. The day before the hearing, Kevin went to the Zoning Administrator to make copies of all of the opposition letters and comments that had been submitted as part of the record for the hearing. He found a memo that shows us how city offices function, regardless of feigned democracy. On June 8th, two days after the second neighborhood meeting, Dan Sider of the Zoning Administrator's Office sent out a memo seeking the immediate revocation of The Green Cross permit because Supervisor Dufty had asked the Zoning Administrator to do this. The memo shows that city offices may act on petty politics, disregarding their internal policies, and making decisions even before the hearing designed to get input from the neighborhood. The memo states the following:

"We need to revoke the Green Cross' permit. I know that this doesn't follow our typical procedures or policies, but this is a unique case, a unique land use, and we've been specifically asked by a Supervisor. The most likely grounds for revocation would be Code Section 202(c) which states that -- essentially -- no noxious use shall be allowed to operate. Should the operator appeal this decision to the Board of Appeals, so be it, but we have been asked to take immediate action."

What You Can Do

Although our attorney has written a compelling brief to appeal the original suspension, our work is far from over. Here are some ways to continue to help:

  1.. The Zoning Administrator has agreed to continue to receive written comments until Tuesday, July 26th. (Letters related to the appeal process can be submitted to the same office until August 11th). If you have friends living in the neighborhood that have not written a letter of support for The Green Cross, please get them to do so. The letters should express support for maintaining the permit of The Green Cross. Although we collected 2100 signatures on the petition signed by many of you, letters are generally given much more consideration. Please ask your friends to send Kevin a copy of the letter to kevinreed@....
  2.. Bevan Dufty, the District County Supervisor needs to hear from neighborhood residents that he is also THEIR elected official. As such, it was wrong for him to pursue revoking the permit of The Green Cross with the Zoning Administrator. His actions make a mockery of the public hearing process. It would be great if Supervisor Dufty and his staff person, Amanda Kahn received a barrage of calls and letters.
  3.. Those of you who have compassionate health care practitioners, please ask them to write a letter of support. The Zoning Administrator needs to hear that The Green Cross is critical to patients living in, or in near-by neighborhoods. Again,
      please send Kevin a copy at kevinreed@....
  4.. Make plans to attend the Public Hearing on August 17th. It is scheduled for 5:00 pm at SF City Hall, Room 400, Carlton B. Goodlett Place.formerly 310 Polk Street.

Our final request of you is that you help us answer some of the questions posed by the hearing administrator at the end of the meeting. Although we have made significant changes in response to complaints, we are willing to consider further action. The critical question posed at the end of the hearing is: What modifications could be made to ameliorate concerns? Please get back to us with your ideas; we really do want to hear them.

We have tremendous confidence in our attorneys, but we recognize the importance of mobilizing our community. Please, please write those letters, give Supervisor Dufty a piece of your mind, and plan to come to the hearing on August 17th!