Obama Administration Promises (Again) Not to Wage War on Medical Marijuana
Ever since the federal government announced a major crackdown on medical marijuana cultivators and dispensaries in California, a lot of people have been wondering what the hell Barack Obama is thinking. Message boards for medical marijuana activists in the state have been abuzz with one-time Obama supporters swearing allegiance to Ron Paul, who supports legalization, and expressing outrage at Obama's perceived betrayal of their cause.
After all, the Prez smoked weed in college and unlike certain would-be non-inhalers wasn't afraid to admit this fact during his 2008 campaign for the White House.
And then there was the fact that Obama's hand-picked law enforcement chief, Eric Holder, promised back in 2009 that his Justice Department would not waste resources prosecuting marijuana cases in states like California that have passed voter initiatives allowing residents to smoke pot for medicinal use.
So, given the huge outcry in the wake of this fall's crackdown, it's no surprise that Holder is now trying to soothe the masses with more sweet-talk. Specifically, in a hearing on Capitol Hill yesterday pertaining to the feds' disastrous program of providing automatic rifles to the Mexican cartels in the lame attempt to trace the weapons (which ended up being used to massacre cops south of the border), Holder reiterated the Obama administration's support of the so-called Ogden Memo from 2009, which declared fighting voter-approved medical marijuana to be the feds' lowest priority in the war on drugs.
"What we said in the memo we still intend, which is that given the limited resources that we have, and if there are states that have medical marijuana provisions . . . if in fact people are not using the policy decision that we have made to use marijuana in a way that's not consistent with the state statute, we will not use our limited resources in that way," Holder stated. The operative phrase in Holder's somewhat vague statement is "consistent with state law."
Given the fact that state law, as it applies to medical marijuana, is full of inconsistencies and gray areas, those four words amount to a huge loophole that the Obama administration can use to justify prosecuting any marijuana grower or dispensary that happens to end up its cross-hairs. Since the feds' recent crackdown, landlords who rent to marijuana growers or dispensaries throughout the state have received letters threatening seizure of their property, including Yousef Ibrahim, who had been renting to several cannabis clubs in Lake Forest before evicting them and filing for bankruptcy.
Suffice it to say that these letters invalidate everything Holder has said about Obama's policy up to now, and that time is running out for the president to win back the stoner demographic before November 2012. You can find a link to the video of Holder attempting to defuse things by clicking on this Huffington Post article.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Orange County, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.