Following the recent petition delivery by medical marijuana activists to her San Fransisco office, Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) put out a statement expressing strong concerns about the federal government’s increasingly aggressive efforts against medical marijuana. From her office:
“I have strong concerns about the recent actions by the federal government that threaten the safe access of medicinal marijuana to alleviate the suffering of patients in California, and undermine a policy that has been in place under which the federal government did not pursue individuals whose actions complied with state laws providing for medicinal marijuana.
“Proven medicinal uses of marijuana include improving the quality of life for patients with cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and other severe medical conditions.
“For these reasons, I have long supported efforts in Congress to advocate federal policies that recognize the scientific evidence and clinical research demonstrating the medical benefits of medicinal marijuana, that respects the wishes of the states in providing relief to ill individuals, and that prevents the federal government from acting to harm the safe access of medicinal marijuana provided under state law. I will continue to strongly support those efforts.”
The administration has been particularly aggressive about going after medical marijuana establishments in the San Francisco Bay area. In the last several months threats from U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag has result in nine dispensaries in San Francisco shutting down. It was also only one month ago that the DEA and IRS raided Oaksterdam University in neighboring Oakland.
The new statement puts Pelosi at odds with the Obama administration who in the past few years waged an aggressive multi-agency war against medical marijuana. Unlike Obama’s recent actions towards medical marijuana, Pelosi’s support for respecting states’ medical marijuana laws is inline with public opinion. A CBS News poll from last year found 77% of the country supports medical marijuana.