The Obama administration’s war against medical marijuana ratcheted up in a major way. Today, in a joint press conference, the four United States attorneys in charge of California announced that they will start prosecuting medical marijuana dispensaries for violating the federal law against marijuana.From Rolling Stone:
The state’s four United States attorneys announced at a news conference in Sacramento today that they’ve dailed [sic] up efforts to curb marijuana farming and retail sales of pot under the state’s 15-year-old law. Federal prosecutors have sent out letters ordering dozens of medical marijuana dispensaries to shut down in 45 days or face criminal charges, AP reports. They’re not going after every shop in the state, but targeting those located close to schools, parks, sports fields and other places where there are a lot of children (which, come on, covers a lot of ground) and what U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner called “significant commercial operations.”
How and when the four attorneys will start applying this new effort against medical marijuana in the state will be more clear in the coming days and weeks. They could be going after only the limited number of dispensaries they sent letters to or this could be the start of a campaign to shut down almost all dispensaries in the state.
This move to shut down “significant commercial operations” comes only days after the IRS ruled that Harborside Health Center, one of California largest medical marijuana dispensaries, couldn’t take standard deductions due to an obscure tax code provision from 1982 that was designed to help the police go after drug traffickers. If the IRS ruling stands, and is applied broadly, it could potentially put almost all medical marijuana dispensaries in this country out of business. It also comes only a few weeks after the ATF said medical marijuana patients will be denied their right to bear arms.
A pattern is clearly forming. The Obama administration is using multiple federal departments to curb or significantly cripple the medical marijuana in the states were it was legalized by the voters. This recent move is not only another direct violation of Obama’s campaign promise to respect state’s medical marijuana laws, but the Obama administration’s is now more aggressively anti-medical marijuana than even the George W. Bush’ administration ever was.