You know what? Obama is kind of a dick sometimes:
The Department of Justice sent out a memo today instructing the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration and leading officials in the U.S. Attorneys Office to treat medical marijuana shops as top priorities for prosecutors and drug investigators.
The memo, authored by Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole, “clarifies” a memo released in 2009 that declared medical marijuana sales in states that have legalized it to be a low priority for law enforcement and prosecutors. The so-called “Ogden memo” first appeared to drug law reformers as evidence that Pres. Obama was dialing back the war on drugs. The DEA and U.S. Attorneys office continued to go after state-legal grow operations and marijuana shops after the memo was first circulated, leading reformers to conclude that Obama was lying when he said on the campaign trail that he had no interest in going after medical marijuana.
The Ogden memo advised DEA’s and USA’s to back off from legal pot shops unless they were tied to organized crime or other illegal activities, like prostitution. It wasn’t followed by everyone, but there was a drop in busts. What they’re doing now is narrowing the Ogden memo so that it just means that law enforcement officials won’t drag actual patients with tubes dangling into prison. But they will go after anyone who grows or sells it, even if the are specifically authorized by the state: Here’s a direct quote:
Persons who are in the business of cultivating, selling or distributing marijuana, and those who knowingly facilitate such activities, are in violation of the Controlled Substances Act, regardless of state law. Consistent with resource constraints and the discretion you may exercise in your district, such persons are subject to federal enforcement action, including potential prosecution. State laws or local ordinances are not a defense to civil or criminal enforcement of federal law with respect to such conduct, including enforcement of the CSA. Those who engage in transactions involving the proceeds of such activity may also be in violation of federal money laundering statutes and other federal financial laws.
In other words, you could end up getting smacked with RICO because your wife runs a legal, licensed medical marijuana shop.
It is clear that Obama does not have the stones to do the right thing (not that this is any surprise). And it is equally clear that the federal law enforcement industrial complex is too deeply committed to this. DEA agents, US attorneys, the IRS — these guys are evaluated by how many people they bust and put in jail, not how much justice they create.
Enough. It’s time to rally the troops behind the Paul-Frank bill that would end this disaster. It’s time to return marijuana law to the states, where it should have been all along. Maybe the bill doesn’t have a chance. But it will force Obama and his fellow travelers to admit that they have a hard-on for taking medicine away from sick people, that they have zero respect for the states and for individual liberty.
I’m tired of this battle being fought in the dark, with secret memos and nebulous laws. It’s time to turn on the spotlights and make these fuckers run for cover.