Obama Explains Increasing MMJ Crackdowns

Apr 26, 2012

Amid an increased crack­down on med­ical mar­i­juana pro­duc­ers across the nation, includ­ing a recent high-profile raid on a Cal­i­for­nia train­ing school, Pres­i­dent Barack Obama faced ques­tions in a new inter­view with Rolling Stone about the seem­ing dis­con­nect between his 2008 cam­paign rhetoric and his administration’s actions since he took office. “I’m not going to be using Jus­tice Depart­ment resources to try to cir­cum­vent state laws [on med­ical mar­i­juana],” Obama promised in 2008, accord­ing to an ear­lier Rolling Stone report. But Attor­ney Gen­eral Eric Holder announced in 2010 that fed­eral author­i­ties would con­tinue to pros­e­cute indi­vid­u­als for mar­i­juana pos­ses­sion, despite its legal­ized sta­tus in some states. The Huff­in­g­ton Post’s Lucia Graves reported recently on sub­se­quent enforce­ment activ­ity: Since then, the admin­is­tra­tion has unleashed an inter­a­gency cannabis crack­down that goes beyond any­thing seen under the Bush admin­is­tra­tion, with more than 100 raids, pri­mar­ily on Cal­i­for­nia pot dis­pen­saries, many of them oper­at­ing in full com­pli­ance with state laws. Since Octo­ber 2009, the Jus­tice Depart­ment has con­ducted more than 170 aggres­sive SWAT-style raids in 9 med­ical mar­i­juana states, result­ing in at least 61 fed­eral indict­ments, accord­ing to data com­piled by Amer­i­cans for Safe Access, an advo­cacy group. Speak­ing with Rolling Stone, the pres­i­dent tried to explain his orig­i­nal com­ments, claim­ing that the recent pres­sure on dis­pen­saries and providers was in line with his intent. “What I specif­i­cally said was that we were not going to pri­or­i­tize pros­e­cu­tions of per­sons who are using med­ical mar­i­juana,” Obama said. “I never made a com­mit­ment that some­how we were going to give carte blanche to large-scale pro­duc­ers and oper­a­tors of mar­i­juana — and the rea­son is, because it’s against fed­eral law.” The pres­i­dent con­tin­ued: “I can’t nul­lify con­gres­sional law. I can’t ask the Jus­tice Depart­ment to say, ‘Ignore com­pletely a fed­eral law that’s on the books.’ What I can say is, ‘Use your pros­e­cu­to­r­ial dis­cre­tion and prop­erly pri­or­i­tize your resources to go after things that are really doing folks dam­age.’ As a con­se­quence, there haven’t been pros­e­cu­tions of users of mar­i­juana for med­ical pur­poses.” Obama then shifted gears away from mar­i­juana, say­ing that a “broader debate” on drug laws was war­ranted. While the pres­i­dent appears to believe that his administration’s actions against med­ical cannabis don’t con­flict with his ear­lier state­ments on the issue, some law­mak­ers around the coun­try dis­agree. Law­mak­ers in five states that have legal­ized med­ical mar­i­juana recently wrote a let­ter to Obama crit­i­ciz­ing him for a sup­posed “con­tra­dic­tion” on the mat­ter and call­ing on the fed­eral gov­ern­ment “not to inter­fere with our abil­ity to con­trol and reg­u­late how med­ical mar­i­juana is grown and dis­trib­uted.” Source: Huff­in­g­ton Post (NY) Pub­lished: April 25, 2012 Copy­right: 2012 Huff​in​g​ton​Post​.com, LLC Con­tact: scoop@​huffingtonpost.​com Web­site: http://​www​.huff​in​g​ton​post​.com/

 Obama Explains Increasing MMJ Crackdowns

View orig­i­nal post here:
Obama Explains Increas­ing MMJ Crackdowns

Related Posts

Leave a Comment