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IPFS News Link • Drug War

California's medical marijuana outlets threatened in government crackdown

Obama administration accused of betraying election promises as it gives scores of outlets until Saturday to shut up shop

The Obama administration is heading towards an ugly confrontation with California's medical marijuana dispensaries after the federal government ordered dozens of outlets to close by Saturday or face an immediate crackdown.

Growers and sellers of marijuana for medicinal use say the threats amount to a betrayal of campaign promises made by Obama in 2008, and that they fear a nationwide attempt to destroy the burgeoning industry. Partly encouraged by Obama's campaign messages that he would not use federal force against practitioners complying with state laws, dispensaries have spread over the past two years across 16 states, including Arizona, New Jersey, Delaware and Maine as well as Washington DC, with a combined annual turnover of up to $100bn.

California, which permitted medical marijuana in a referendum in 1996, is by far the leader in the field, with some reports suggesting it has more dispensaries than Starbucks coffee houses. Nobody knows precise figures, given the still murky nature of the business, but there are thought to be more than a million Californians who are registered with doctors for growing and consuming cannabis, and hundreds of thousands more across the country.

The Obama administration has steadily toughened its approach over the past two years, arguing that medical marijuana has become a front for illegal distribution of the drug. This summer it sent out letters to several towns in states across America, including California, which have passed their own independent regulations permitting the medical use of the drug. Prosecutors pointed out that cannabis remained illegal under federal law and warned the municipalities, from Montana to Rhode Island, not to allow cultivation on their land.

Then, on 7 October, federal prosecutors held a press conference in which they announced they were extending their threatened action to landlords who provided rental space to dispensaries, giving them 45 days to send their tenants packing or face the consequences. For many of those outlets, the deadline runs out on Saturday.


3 Comments in Response to

Comment by Thomas Soli
Entered on:

 Sovreign state of California ?  More like the Peoples Republic of Kalifornia ! Here is another State that is trying to take away 2nd amendment rights. They keep adding more and more restrictions. They have mandatory lead-free ammo for crying out loud !  Magazine restrictions above all other states {except New Jersey}, restrictions on guns without external safeies {Glocks, XD/XDM} and other things. The whole state is controled by liberal, looney, nutjobs !  Nancy Pelosi is the spokeschild for California, give me a break !  She was the worse thing to happen to that state since they took the gas chamber away !   People need to stand up and vote these liberal yahoos out of office !  Once the state of new beginnings and freedom, it has turned into a big joke !  Hollywood is another enemy of freedom. They think americans aren't capable of thinking for themselves, as if we are cattle !

I say boycott hollywood ! Don't go to the movies, don't rent DVD's and VHS tapes, don't purchase on-demand, do't purchase any hollywood products not even a Tee shirt !! 

Comment by David Jackson
Entered on:

      Is anyone surprised?

      What the hell is the fed doing in the business and law-making processes of the sovereign state of California.

      When the fed gets its grubby fingers out of the real drug business and starts enforcing the federal laws, it might have something other than the bully pulplit and typical threat of reprisal crap that they use to violate states' rights.

      Go ahead, tell me how much the President has done for positive change and the good of the country. I dare you!

Comment by Ed Price
Entered on:

Now if the CA county sheriffs did what some Wyoming and Montana sheriffs have done regarding the IRS, kick the Feds out... well, it would be fun to watch just how far the Feds might go towards starting a civil war. They would have to pull troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq to have enough to fight with California. Hey! That just might be the way to get us out of the Middle East!

If they're going to do it, the Feds I mean, they had better hurry up. A little marijuana can go a long way towards making a whole lot of ordinary citizens brave enough to take out an army.