Obama Escalates Attack on Legal Marijuana

Tuesday, October 11, 2011
(graphic: weedtracker.com)
The Obama administration’s top prosecutors in California are implementing a joint campaign to go after the state’s biggest medical marijuana operations, claiming businesses are flouting the law and making an illegal profit.
For the first two and half years of Barack Obama’s presidency, the Department of Justice  left pot dispensaries well enough alone, arguing that it needed its limited anti-drug resources to fight organized crime cartels and meth labs. But now the Justice Department has taken a dramatically different course. All four of California’s U.S. attorneys declared last week that they would pursue legal action against large-scale growers and dispensary owners making millions of dollars, which flies in the face of state law that does not allow for-profit sales.
“That is not what the California voters intended or authorized, and it is illegal under federal law,” Andre Birotte Jr., the Los Angeles-based U.S. attorney for the Central District, told the media.
During 2009 and 2010, federal prosecutors avoided targeting medical marijuana users and caregivers, they said, because industry people largely followed the law. But since then, dispensaries and growers have allegedly expanded their operations way beyond the letter and intent of the law, prompting the crackdown from U.S. attorneys.
The U.S. attorneys are targeting not just the dispensaries, but the landlords who rent to the dispensaries.
Advocates of legalized marijuana see the actions of the Obama administration as an attack on state laws that conflict with federal laws and, since marijuana dispensaries pay taxes, an attack as well on revenue sources at a time when beleaguered state and local governments are desperate for funds.
They cite as an example the case of the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana (MAMM) in Fairfax, which has been operating with the support of the city since 1996. The Justice Department threatened MAMM's landlord with 40 years in federal prison unless he evicted the dispensary because it is located within 1,000 feet of a public park: Bolinas Park.
Greg Anton, the lawyer for the Marin Alliance, told StoptheDrugWar.org, “This is nuts. There's a dispensary near where I live that sells guns, narcotics, alcohol and tobacco and it's full of children. It's called Walmart.”
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
Obama DOJ Ratchets Up War Against Medical Marijuana (by Phillip Smith, StopTheDrugWar.com)
Feds Announce Calif. Pot Dispensary Crackdown (by Don Thompson, Associated Press)


Thc Support 11 years ago
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Marianne 12 years ago
incredibly, that cannabis is suddenly fought by the obama government. there can be only one reason for this, i think, the pharmaceutical industry is afraid of losing a large part of their profits. cannabis helps against many diseases, which is something many people begin to understand and believe (worldwide). they see that there are many people healed by the use of cannabis oil. in my country (the netherlands), the government this week also taken additional measures against cannabis, very worrying! how is it possible that now, all of a sudden, several governments in the world do this at the same time? while only recently so many ex-world leaders made statements for legalization? what have our governments agreed with each other, i wonder. this is going to be a giant step backward for humanity, while we finally seemed to come a bit on the right track. this is not only harmful to the health of people, but also for nature and the environment! there can be many environmentally friendly articles made of hemp, even plastics and fuel for cars. that too is something that mankind needs ... what is the hidden intention of all those more stringent measures?!
Dj 12 years ago
prisoners being held for the peaceful, non-violen­t possession­, sale, transport or cultivatio­n of cannabis hemp must be released immediatel­y. money and property seized must be returned. criminal records must be wiped clean, amnesty granted and some sort of reparation­s paid for time served. these cannabis prisoners are the real victims of this monstrous crime against humanity called the “war on drugs.” ijust started a petition on the white house petitions site, we the people. will you sign it?http://wh.­gov/gf3 i find it amazing that the government claims there has not been enough testing of cannabis, (which they restrict), and claim it has no medicinal merit, and yet all the while the department of health and human services holds us patent # 6630507 (on thc) which states that thc is worthwhile as a neuroprote­ctant against several diseases. perhaps they just want to license that technology to their friends in big pharma so more money can be made that way, while preserving the right to criminaliz­e and imprison folks who take matters into their own hands. where’s the transparen­cy on this issue? what is the real issue? undoubtedl­y money; the jobs program that has been expanded for law enforcemen­t and incarcerat­ion industries­, and the unwillingn­ess to admit when something has gone very wrong. how can people continue to justify a penalty far worse than the imagined, (victimles­s) offense? this is all a medical, (not a criminal), issue, and it’s about time we start treating it as one!

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