After presidential candidate Barack Obama pledged to stop interfering with state medical marijuana laws in states where the medicinal use of cannabis has been legalized, advocates were hopeful that they could at last concentrate on getting medicine safely to patients, rather than worry about federal raids.
That hope was nice while it lasted, but is quickly evaporating now that the Administration is pursuing a multi-front war on medicinal cannabis providers and, by extension, the patients who count on dispensaries for safe access.
Marijuana Policy Project Executive Director Rob Kampia in a Sunday editorial in the Huffington Post noted the turnaround, saying “over the past eight months [Obama] has become arguably the worst president in U.S. history regarding medical marijuana.”
|Rob Kampia, MPP: “We may have a way forward”|
What sounds like hyperbole seems a lot more credible after viewing the accompanying chart prepared by MPP.
Now that Obama has decided to crack down on medicinal cannabis, DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart — also Bush’s choice to head the anti-drug agency — has free rein to, as commented by Don Fitch, “bludgeon medical cannabis and its consumers.”
But, according to Kampia, “there may be a way forward through this mess: Since Colorado, Maine, and New Mexico set up state-licensing systems for medical marijuana businesses in recent years, literally zero such businesses in these three states have been raided by the feds.”
As Kampia points out, all the raids we hear about — in states such as California, Michigan, Montana and Washington — do not involve any state-licensed businesses.
“Technically, federal prosecutors can civilly or criminally target any marijuana businesses they want — in any state — until we change federal law,” Kampia writes. “But, for the time being, the feds appear not to be targeting medical marijuana businesses with state licenses.”
“So we may have a way forward,” Kampia concludes. “Unfortunately, the plan now assumes hostility from the former marijuana user in the White House who used to profess notions of hope, change, and compassion toward the less fortunate. Shame on him.”