*See end of post for an update and link to funny phone call
ORIGINAL POST, Sept. 21, 11:05 a.m.
: Medical marijuana activists in Long Beach
are planning a protest in front of the Ace Hardware
store at 746 E. Fourth St
. on the afternoon of Friday, Sept. 21. But that's not all--the protest will also serve to publicize a consumer boycott of the store.
The reason for the protest and planned boycott? Activists say that Ace Hardware hates medical marijuana.
"What we are going to do is boycott Ace hardware on Fourth and Olive," confirmed Madeline Johnson
, of the Committee of Patients of Long Beach
. Johnson said her group represents patients rather than dispensaries, but that her members depend on cannabis clubs to obtain their medication. "The businesses in downtown Long Beach want all the collectives to close," she said. "We're tired of it, tired of the city not doing anything. So the only thing to do to Ace Hardware is boycott them."
Asked how she knew that the Ace Hardware franchise on Fourth St. was opposed to medical marijuana, Johnson said she'd learned this from patients in her group who live in the area. "Patients who live down there said they received fliers" opposing marijuana dispensaries that are operating in Long Beach, Johnson explained. "Ace was putting out fliers."
A manager at the Ace Hardware store in question wasn't available to comment today, but an employee offered her own view of the dispute. "From what I've heard, the store isn't against medical marijuana," the employee stated. "The store is against a marijuana dispensary across the street that is operating illegally" by being located too close to an elementary school.
The protest is planned for 4:30 p.m. tomorrow in front of the store.
UPDATE, Sept. 21, 9:30 a.m.: We got an email this morning from someone named Cha Cha Va Voom of the activist group 420 Nurses. Her email contains a link to a Youtube video, in which she calls the Ace Hardware store and harangues an employee about why the store is against medical marijuana.
You can tell she's a little confused about why a hardware store wants to take pot away from the community, but who can blame her?