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Pharmacy Crackdown a Hoax; Marijuana Boosters Claim Responsibility

The fake letters claimed San Diego pharmacies would be shut down within 45 days. The hoax was carried out to satirize the treatment of pharmacies in comparison to medical marijuana dispensaries.

Several San Diego area pharmacies were notified Tuesday that they were about to be shut down, in what U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy called "hoax" letters.

"This office did not issue those press releases," Duffy said. "We are looking into the source of the emails."

According to the bogus letters, Duffy was going to continue her opposition to marijuana dispensaries and shut down pharmacies she believed were not in compliance with prescription drug laws.

The fake letters were sent out in cooperation with the San Diego Chapter of Americans for Safe Access, Canvass for a Cause and The Yes Men, a group infamous for pulling satirical pranks on mass media, ASA and Canvass for a Cause representatives said.

The Yes Men's Mike Bonanno also confirmed the group helped medical marijuana advocates carry out the hoax as part of their Yes Labs project.

Around 8 a.m., media organizations began getting phone calls and emails reporting the fake crackdown, which threatened closure of the pharmacies within 45 days.

The fake organization Federal Accountability Coalition claimed responsibility for the fake emails and letters on the group's Facebook page, saying it was done to draw attention to Duffy and her mission to close medical marijuana dispensaries.

Federal prosecutors have since the Department of Justice began to take a stronger position against dispensaries last fall.

The man who represents himself as Dexter Haight in the video is actually Dave White with the Agitprop Gallery of San Diego.

“Just as the closure of retail pharmacies, like CVS or Walgreens, is poor public health policy, so is the federal government’s crackdown on medical cannabis dispensaries,” said Eugene Davidovich of San Diego ASA.

“Pharmacies, like medical cannabis dispensaries, play an essential role in our communities as they help the sick and dying treat and manage various medical conditions,” he said in a press release Tuesday afternoon.

Earlier this month, the Imperial Beach City Council approved placing the . A will be considered at their meeting tomorrow at 6 p.m.

Tell us in the comments:

What do you think? Is this an appropriate or good way to deliver a message?

City News Service contributed to this report.

John Galt August 01, 2012 at 01:04 AM
He is a jerk.
Marcus Boyd August 01, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Who's a jerk, the hired actor in the video? He's a jerk for accepting a job? Really? So, if the 'hoax' turns out to be an officially commissioned art project, then what would you call the actor? A star!
John Galt August 01, 2012 at 07:40 PM
A hoax is not something that should be "played" on the public. The fake letters were ment to cause harm. Everyone involved in sending out the letters are a jerk. And if an actor was hired to be part of the hoax; he too is a jerk. Any questions?
Libi Uremovic August 02, 2012 at 01:12 PM
what harm? did you mean the harm in closing down your medical dispensary? that's no problem....just go down to tj and buy your drugs off the street like you expect cancer patients to do when they need weed....

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