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Friday, March 16, 2012

Gay Senior Citizens Busted for Smoking Medical Marijuana in the Castro

Posted By on Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 7:50 AM

click to enlarge oldmansweed.jpg

Update: Officer Albie Esparza informs us that the citations have since been dismissed.

(Original story 7:50 a.m.): Earlier this week, we told you about how a cancer patient was booted from UCSF for using medical marijuana to ease her physical pain. As if that isn't shocking enough, San Francisco police recently busted two elderly men for toking up in the Castro as treatmeant for their own ongoing -- and painful -- medical conditions.

The Bay Area Reporter gives the details of this March 11 event when Robert Blitzer, 66, said that he and his husband, 63-year-old Xenry (he only goes by one name), were in the Castro parklet sharing an afternoon joint when the police killed their buzz.

When SFPD Officer Matt Loya

reportedly asked the couple if they were smoking tobacco, Blitzer explained to him that it

was marijuana. Loya checked their medical marijuana ID cards and

their drivers' licenses, and spent 30 minutes talking to them before citing the cool couple for smoking in public.

Blitzer told BAR that he uses marijuana to treat his severe glaucoma, which is contributing to his eyesight loss. And Xenry has had an abdominal bypass and is "frequently in pain." But that didn't matter to the officer, who went ahead and cited our elders for smoking in a public area, a law that our city supes passed last year in hopes of curbing smelly secondhand smoke.

Gay Supervisor Scott Wiener essentially agreed with most everyone standing around the couple that harassing our pot-smoking seniors was a little ridiculous. While Wiener acknowledged the anti-smoking legislation never really distinguished between tobacco or weed, he also noted that the city has made marijuana enforcement its lowest priority.

"I don't think we should be prosecuting people for personal consumption of marijuana ... absent extraordinary circumstances," Wiener told BAR.

Both men -- who, by the way, have been together for 42 years -- are due to appear in court April 1.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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