Mark Gritter (markgritter) wrote,
Mark Gritter

Campaign Promises Meet Reality, Again

Candidate Obama promised to respect state statutes legalizing medical marijuana. According to a 2009 poll, 72% of Americans want him to keep his word. But, a Salon article argues that the DEA isn't following orders:

Recall that one year ago, Obama instructed the DEA to follow his campaign pledge and respect local statutes legalizing medicinal marijuana. When the DEA kept raiding pot dispensaries in states that had passed such laws, Attorney General Eric Holder reiterated the cease and desist decree, stating that "What (Obama) said during the campaign is now American policy."

As even more raids nonetheless continued, the Justice Department then issued an explicit memo ordering federal agents to refrain from prosecuting those who are in "compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana."

And yet the DEA has recently intensified its crackdown.

The Colorado Independent reports that the person targeted may have had more plants than allowed by state law although it's pretty clear that the bust occurred because of a news report about the grower. The agent in charge has been quoted as saying he intends to go after more dispensaries, and that federal law has not changed in any way. Which, to be fair, is true--- a DoJ memo does not change the law.

But rather than put somebody reform-minded in charge of the DEA, Obama has nominated an anti-medical marijuana crusader, someone who aggressively raided Los Angeles cannabis clubs during her tenure there. Michele Leonhart has blocked marijuana research, overruling an administrative judge's ruling that would have permitted a researcher to grow his own plants.

It's no wonder Obama can't advance his domestic agenda if he's unwilling to pick people who actually support his positions!
Tags: medical marijuana, policy, politics, rant
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