US DOJ Declares War on Pot

4 US Attorneys Announce that they are going after California Marijuana Industry

by Brian Leubitz

Remember when Eric Holder said that the US Department of Justice wasn’t going to spend a lot of time investigating medical marijuana, but that they would spend time on distributors? Turns out the later overrules the former:

Federal prosecutors in California announced a series of actions Friday targeting what they characterized as the “large, for-profit marijuana industry” that has developed since the state legalized medical marijuana for select patients 15 years ago.

Four U.S. attorneys — Benjamin Wanger, Andre Birotte Jr., Laura Duffy and Melinda Haag — detailed in a joint press release steps they had taken in conjunction with federal law enforcement and local officials in California. (CNN)

I honestly don’t understand why the Administration would make this a priority? Does somebody thing this will win any votes? Will some vast amount of lives be saved? Sure, there probably is a bit of corruption in the industry, but nothing a formal recognition of the industry couldn’t solve.  It’s time to give up this ridiculous war on marijuana and move on to focus on that war on poverty we never really won.

I can’t really say it any better than Asm. Tom Ammiano said it today, so I’ll just reproduce that in whole:

I am bitterly disappointed in the Obama Administration for this unwarranted and destructive attack on medical marijuana and patients’ rights to medicine.  Today’s announcement by the Department of Justice means that Obama’s medical marijuana policies are worse than Bush and Clinton.  

It’s a tragic return to failed policies that will cost the state millions in tax revenue and harm countless lives. 16 states along with the District of Columbia have passed medical marijuana laws – whatever happened to the promises he made on the campaign trail to not prosecute medical marijuana or the 2009 DOJ memo saying that states with medical marijuana laws would not be prosecuted?  Change we can believe in?  Instead we get more of the same.

8 thoughts on “US DOJ Declares War on Pot”

  1. I am deeply disappointed in the Obama Administration over this.  Although I have never used marijuana and will not use it recreationally, I can imagine needing it for medical purposes someday.

    And what about the Republicans who go all 10th Amendment on us.  Where are they?  Exactly where in the constitution is the federal government given jurisdiction over a state regarding medical marijuana?  

    There are certainly ways to improve the medical marijuana law, but this heavy handed and completely unnecessary action by the Justice Department is exactly what we DON’T need.

  2. and lives in a county without one single dispensary. I also know college students who have Cannibis prescriptions for “back pain” and “anxiety”. I believe that there is abuse in the current system, but that this is entirely due to its quasi-legal status.

    But unless the DOJ can prove that dispensaries are fronting for Mexican cartels, or engaging in interstate commerce, this is none of their damned business.

    The federal prosecutor for Northern California during the Bush regime once said that states cannot “cherry pick” which federal laws they will obey, and then compared California to the Southern states that resisted desegregation. Wot an idiot.

    Mississippi and Alabama were engaged in depriving American Citizens of their constitutional rights… I don’t see any rights being violated in cities with Cannabis dispensaries.

    Thankfully, Mr. Holder hasn’t said anything as stupid as that. But it was politically tone-deaf to issue this announcement the same week that millions of PBS viewers were watching Ken Burn’s new history of Prohibition.

    The White House isn’t going to score any political points from this at all. You don’t get “tough on crime” credentials for picking the lowest of the low-hanging fruit. They should be going after meth and heroin sellers in battleground states like Ohio and Pennsylvania.

    The “War on Drugs” has always been a patronage system that funnels federal dollars into local law enforcement agencies. OK, there’s another political motive… but why California? Our electoral votes are sewn up.

    My worst suspicion is that Team Obama made undisclosed agreements with BigPharma to secure their support for the ACA. One of those may have been to clamp down on “alternative” medicine.

    It would be interesting to see if sales of Ambien and Celebrex are falling in counties where there’s easy access to medical Cannabis.

  3. my guess is that the Obama polls had something to do with it.  the middle in the US isn’t that pro-pot (especially the sure to turn out older voters).  So I think there are trying to bone up their law and order credentials.

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