by the Prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the
government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be
enforced. - Albert Einstein
In its official party platform, the Colorado Democratic Party endorses the legalization of marijuana.
In March, 56 percent of the Denver County Republican Assembly voted to support legal and regulated pot, a question which will be on the November ballot.
And the state’s Department of Revenue has announced it is seeking reclassification of marijuana to allow doctors to prescribe it as medical treatment.
The state has embarked on an ambitious effort to regulate its thriving medical marijuana industry. When it comes to marijuana policy, Colorado’s voters, businesses, tax collectors, doctors and policy makers are moving forward. The lone holdout: President Barack Obama.
On Sunday, 25 medical marijuana centers across Colorado closed their doors in response to a Department of Justice crackdown which did not appear rooted in state or local law, as the administration had previously promised it would be.
The Obama administration, through U.S. Attorney John Walsh, ordered the centers in March to either move, shut their businesses down, or face criminal charges because, according to Walsh, they were within 1,000 feet of a school.
Although nothing in Colorado’s medical marijuana law specifies the distance between a shop and a school, the decision, like most such zoning matters, is left to local communities.
“I can see no legitimate basis in this judicial district to focus the resources of the United States government on the medical marijuana dispensaries that are otherwise compliant with Colorado law or local regulation,” Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett told Walsh in a recent letter. “The people of Boulder County do not need Washington, D.C., or the federal government dictating how far dispensaries should be from schools, or other fine points of local land use law.”
Medical marijuana advocates on Tuesday vowed to reopen a San Francisco-area college devoted to cannabis cultivation and known as the “Princeton of Pot” a day after federal agents shut down the school in a raid.
Hundreds of protesters rallied in front of San Francisco’s City Hall, some on crutches and in wheelchairs and smoking hand-rolled joints. The demonstrators carried signs that said, “Cannabis is medicine; let states regulate” and chanting “Feds off my meds.”
statement from oaksterdam university founder richard lee:
On Monday, April 2, my school - Oaksterdam University in Oakland - was raided by the DEA, IRS, and US Marshals. Oaksterdam provides training to the medical cannabis industry, and is fully compliant with state and local law.
President Obama promised at the beginning of his administration to respect state medical marijuana laws. He has broken this promise time and time again - and the consequences have been devastating.
This was a senseless act of intimidation. But I’ve been an activist far too long to become intimidated - and with the majority of Americans and common sense on our side, I know this is a fight we can win.
With our government trillions in debt, why is our government using taxpayer dollars to come after me, Oaksterdam, and the thousands of patients who need medical marijuana just to get through the day?
Tell President Obama and the DEA: Enough is enough. Keep your campaign promise, and stop the raids on the medical cannabis industry!
Thanks for your support, Richard Lee
“Given the limited resources that we have…if in fact people are not using the policy decision that we had made to use marijuana in a way that’s not consistent with the state statute, we will not use our limited resources in that way.”
— AG Eric Holder YESTERDAY
WASHINGTON — Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday reiterated the Justice Department’s support for the Ogden memo, which in 2009 declared that the sale and use of medical marijuana in states where it’s legal are a low priority for federal prosecutors.
“What we said in the memo we still intend, which is that given the limited resources that we have, and if there are states that have medical marijuana provisions … if in fact people are not using the policy decision that we have made to use marijuana in a way that’s not consistent with the state statute, we will not use our limited resources in that way,” Holder said. +
The Marin Alliance, the longest operating dispensary in California, will close after being targeted by U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag for being in the vicinity of a park. Having the Town of Fairfax pass a resolution in support of the dispensary just wasn’t enough.
The Marin Alliance is one of hundreds of California dispensaries that have closed since October, when the state’s U.S. attorneys announced that cracking down on the medical cannabis industry ”is a higher priority now.”
Members of Congress are calling on the Obama administration to end the federal crackdown on marijuana dispensaries in California, citing Attorney General Eric Holder’s past promise to maintain a hands-off approach toward pot clinics operating in compliance with state law.
[…] “It is our strong position that local and state governments must be allowed to develop, implement and enforce their own public health laws with regard to medical cannabis,” the letter stated.
[…] They called on the White House to reclassify marijuana as a legitimate controlled substance for medicinal purposes and to adopt the States’ Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act, legislation introduced by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) that would prohibit federal interference in state-run medical marijuana clinics. +
“The 10th Amendment forbids [the government] from selectively employing coercive tactics” on state and local governments to compel them to do its bidding in waging the war on drugs, reads the complaint filed [by the Americans for Safe Access] in federal court Thursday. In other words, the government should lock up every violator, or none at all. Also, the federal government can’t spook local and state governments so badly that it essentially forces the states to use cops to dictate policy.
Could this be the landmark case that lands the government’s War on Drugs before the Supreme Court? Maybe — and that’s something. Bear with us as we wax Hamiltonian and get all Federalist: The Constitution’s 10th Amendment reserves powers not specifically delegated to the Congress and federal authority to other governments, as in state or local governments. While marijuana is federally illegal, state and local governments can, nonetheless, make their own laws and must, according to the piece of paper (probably drafted on hemp paper, just like the Declaration of Independence) legally binding our states together, be left alone to do so. +
[Despite] the angst aroused by the intensifying federal campaign, and despite acknowledging the real suffering likely to result — from patients being denied medicine to local governments denied revenues to otherwise law-abiding citizens being subjected to federal raids and prison — advocates said the federal campaign was ultimately doomed to failure.
“It’s a serious threat in the sense that it will have an impact on the number of dispensaries and growers across California, and that will translate into hundreds if not thousands of patients being denied their medication and forced into the illicit market,” ASA’s Hermes. “I don’t think that’s the intention, but it will certainly be the effect.”
But, citing the Bush administration’s 2007 threat letter campaign, when warning missives went out to more than 300 landlords, resulting in the closing of some dispensaries, Hermes said the feds were fighting a losing battle.
“They don’t have the resources or capacity to follow through on their threats, so there will be an impact, but it will be temporary,” Hermes said. “When Bush did it, dozens of dispensaries shut down, but now there are twice the number of dispensaries in the state that there were then. It will be difficult for the feds to have a lasting impact, which is not to say they’re not trying. And they’re mounting this campaign on the backs of taxpayers.” +
“We have a drug war along the border that has taken tens of thousands of lives, and the federal government is spending its time and resources declaring war on small businesses whose only ‘crime’ is trying to dispense medical relief in a regulated, taxed, and legal manner. If there is a conflict between state law and federal law, maybe it’s time for the feds to just admit that their law is just wrong, and let the states decide for themselves how they want to handle the issue of medical marijuana.” +