Medical Marijuana Activists Puzzle Over Intent of Federal Raid

Medical marijuana activists were puzzling Monday over a federal raid on one of the nation’s most prominent pot legalization advocates, suggesting it may be intended to send a signal that no one was safe as the Obama administration tries to crack down on dispensaries.

But they also said the federal government may have overreached by targeting Richard Lee, who operates a dispensary, a nursery and the well-known Oaksterdam University, a school he started to try to legitimize the marijuana business.

Lee used his marijuana earnings to put a legalization measure on the California ballot in 2010 that, although it failed, is widely credited with raising the issue’s profile and increasing public acceptance of the idea nationwide.

“For them to go after someone who’s as high profile as Richard Lee likely sends a message that they will go after anyone anywhere in the state over medical marijuana and that Obama’s promises are hollow,” said Joe Elford, the chief counsel for Americans for Safe Access.

Obama promised as a candidate not to interfere with states that approved medical marijuana, and his Department of Justice advised federal prosecutors not to go after patients who were complying with state laws.

But in California, the four U.S. attorneys have spearheaded a campaign to shut down medical marijuana dispensaries that they insist don’t follow state law.
“I’m afraid this is a message from the federal government that they have no intention of honoring the pledges that they’ve made,” he said.

But Paul Chabot, president and founder of the Coalition for a Drug Free California, applauded the raid.

“For them to go after Oaksterdam, which is internationally known for flouting federal law, sends an extremely strong signal not only to California pot stores but also around the rest of the country,” said Chabot, whose organization believes marijuana should be used medicinally only in the form of a federally approved drug, such as marinol.

Chabot believes the raid will help foster opposition to the medical marijuana stores that have proliferated in California.

“I think in the last year we’ve turned the corner on marijuana,” he said. “Now we’ve seen city after city, county after county ban dispensaries.”

But Jeff Jones, an Oakland medical marijuana activist who started the city’s first cooperative in 1995 but was shut down by the federal government, said he thinks the raid could be a turning point.

He noted that it came the day before activists planned to march from San Francisco City Hall to the Federal Building for a daylong protest against the federal crackdown.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better way to get everybody there,” said Jones, who is close to Lee. “If the feds wanted to make this go away quietly, they just stoked the hornet’s nest.”

Jones, who worked with Lee on Proposition 19, the legalization measure, said that he and Lee were surprised this did not happen in 2010. He said the decision to go after Lee could galvanize the movement.

“This is helping to build political pressure countrywide,” he said. “We know this isn’t a day-to-day battle. This is a decade-to-decade battle.”

Activists expressed disappointment that the Obama administration has not made its objective clear with the California raids, making it difficult for state and local officials to know how to regulate the sale of marijuana in the state’s numerous dispensaries.

“We don’t know what they want. They’re kind of speaking out of both sides of their mouth,” said Elford, the lawyer for Americans for Safe Access. “They’re kind of judge and jury.”

“Of the hundreds of medical cannabis dispensaries in Northern California, why this one and why now?” said James Anthony, a well-known medical marijuana lawyer in Oakland who knows Lee but does not work for him.

Anthony suggested that the conflict between state and federal drug laws “requires a political solution and not cops with battering rams.”

And Elford suggested that the federal raids could drive the sale of marijuana back underground: “To the extent that you go after folks who are above-board and pay their taxes and do everything that is asked of them, you’re just going to be encouraging illegal conduct.”

– Article from Los Angeles Times.

Comments

3 Comments

  1. Paul Pot on

    Obviously the raid is punishment for prop 19 and an insurance that Richard will not donate money to any ballot initiatives this year which is the same reason all the other dispensaries have been targeted. So they can not participate in the democratic process this election cycle. It is also intended to make sure everyone knows they are not allowed to legalize marijuana. Anyone thinking democratically will be punished.

    Support any ballot initiative you can.

    War is Over! 2012!

  2. Dave on

    Legal American pot will weaken, possibly bankrupt, the cartels then the US will have to move part of their war machine into Mexico by force! Don’t know whether the Mexican people would like that?

  3. Anonymous on

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    WE ARE IN SERIOUS TROUBLE AS MANY CITIZENS OF THE WORLD STILL BELIEVE FALSE TRUTH WHICH KILLS AT GREAT COST.

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    by http://www.medicalnewstoday.com

    03 July, 2008

    Why is Lyme Disease Not JUST a Tick-Borne Disease

    Why is Lyme Disease Not JUST a Tick-Borne Disease Any More?
    Posted By Dr. Mercola | February 05 2012 | 20,240 views

    By Dr. Mercola

    Some experts feel that almost everyone has been exposed to Lyme disease and may have it in one way, shape or form.

    Whether that’s true or not is up for debate, but clearly there are those who have it and are severely disabled by it.

    Dr. Klinghardt—who is one of my earliest mentors in natural health and always on the leading edge—has actually suffered with Lyme disease himself, and as a result, he’s passionate about finding effective natural treatments for Lyme.

    The Ongoing Discovery of Lyme Disease

    It’s now been fairly well-established that chronic infection is an underlying factor in most chronic illnesses. Diseases such as Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis and chronic fatigue are all turning out to be expressions of chronic infections.

    “Right at the center of that is the ongoing discovery of Lyme disease,” Dr. Klinghardt says.

    Lyme disease has recently received a new definition. It now refers to illnesses transferred by insects, as opposed to simply a tick-borne disease. Mosquitoes can carry Lyme disease and many other serious infections, as can spiders, fleas and mites.

    Feb 05

    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/05/07/medical-marijuana-becoming-blockbuster-drug.aspx

    The Illegal Herb that Fights Cancer

    Posted By Dr. Mercola | May 07 2011 | 420,850 views

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    The Medical Miracle You’ll Get Arrested for Using

    Posted By Dr. Mercola | November 26 2011 | 255,598 views

    5 Responses to “Attorney General Holder Says One Thing While His U.S. Attorneys Do Another”

    RICHARD BRANSON AND MARIA BARTIROMO HELD TO GOOD SAMARITAN LAW FOR WEED LYME CANCER CRIME

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    March 7, 2011 at 9:26 am

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    March 7, 2011 at 9:31 am

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    The cannabis community realizes the human rights violations and is focusing on utilizing the united nations human rights efforts to plea the case and facilitate international resolve.

    Submitted by ROBERTBERTRANDGRIFFITH () on Wed, 03/07/2012 – 00:07

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    Cannabis plant extracts can effectively fight drug-resistant bacteria.
    http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=5787866&page=1

    Antibacterial Cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa
    http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/np8002673?journalCode=jnprdf&quickLinkVolume=71&quickLinkPage=1427&volume=71

    The audience of the communication has at length in time now been exposed to the Lyme plague instrumented by the United States Government and their facilitating agents. The email sent out by Joseph Mercola clearly demonstrates the aggressive actions by the criminal parties which must be responded to with every action possible.

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