Pelosi Calls Out Obama: End Marijuana Raids, Respect Rights
Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 05/14/2012 in Marijuana Politics
Earlier this week, medical marijuana advocates marched to Congresswoman and house minority leader Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco office, where they delivered a petition asking her to crack down on President Obama over his federal crackdown of pot clubs and lay off the weed.
The Crackdown on Medical Marijuana
Reacting to an ongoing crackdown on medical marijuana facilities in California by President Obama, Pelosi said in a Wednesday statement, “I have strong concerns about the recent actions by the federal government that threaten the safe access of medicinal marijuana to alleviate the suffering of patients in California.” The California Democrat made it known that medical marijuana is both a medical issue and a states issue.
In a 1996 initiative vote, California legalized the use and practice of medical marijuana. California has been noted for how comically easy it is to for residents to acquire the necessary medical diagnosis to legally purchase medical marijuana.
Attorney General Eric Holder announced in 2009 that the Obama administration would “effectively end the Bush administration’s frequent raids on distributors of medical marijuana.” In April however, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Internal Revenue Service raided Oaksterdam University, a school that taught marijuana enthusiasts how to successfully cultivate plants. The Oaksterdam raids brought to the public’s attention the increasing anger and frustration of marijuana activists, who point to the empty strong of promises made by Barack Obama during his 2008 campaign. Obama was quoted on the record during the 2008 campaign trail saying quite often, that he would relax enforcement of federal marijuana prohibition.
An Empty String of Promises
On the 2008 campaign trail, Obama has a track record of empty promises regarding marijuana prohibition, all of which have now been rescinded.
On November 24, 2007 in a town hall meeting in Iowa, Obama had said, “My attitude is if the science and the doctors suggest that the best palliative care and the way to relieve pain and suffering is medical marijuana then that’s something I’m open to because there’s no difference between that and morphine when it comes to just giving people relief from pain. But I want to do it under strict guidelines. I want it prescribed in the same way that other painkillers or palliative drugs are prescribed.”
On August 13, 2007, as an answer to whether the federal government should stop medical marijuana raids, in town hall meeting in Nashua, New Hampshire Obama said, “I would not have the Justice Department prosecuting and raiding medical marijuana users. It’s not a good use of our resources.”
On July 21, 2007 in another town hall meeting held in Manchester, New Hampshire, Obama said, “The Justice Department going after sick individuals using [marijuana] as a palliative instead of going after serious criminals makes no sense.”
Bottom line, Obama promised to respect medical marijuana. Besides Nancy Pelosi, other local Democrats as well have called on the Obama administration to cease and desist shutting down dispensaries, and lawmakers from other states where medical marijuana is legal have also objected.
Alienation & Protection of Rights
The DEA raids have gotten out of hand and no one’s rights are being protected anymore. Even Stephen Downing, a former Los Angeles Police Department deputy chief and a member of Law Enforcement against Prohibition says that the DEA is the most out of control arm of the federal government today because they are given so much authority with very little oversight.
Everyone is being affected by the DEA’s nonsensical raids, and that means even the little people. Just like 88-year old Bob Wallace, a Stanford educated engineer and his girlfriend, 85-year old Marjorie Ottenberg, a former chemist. Decades ago they came up with a water purification product for backpackers like themselves called Polar Pure straight out of their garage in Saratoga, California. Today, Wallace and his girlfriend Marjorie are fighting the Drug Enforcement Administration as well as state officials to continue to be able to operate their business. Why are they fighting the DEA to operate their business? The DEA claims that drug dealers are using their product to make methamphetamine. DEA officials say that meth heads are interested in the key ingredient in Polar Pure, iodine crystals.
After the Drug Enforcement Administration reclassified iodine as a controlled substance in 2007 and named Polar Pure in particular, as a product that was of concern to the DEA, they told Wallace and Ottenberg they could continue to operate their business. Sure, they could operate their business, but the stipulations would be that they have to pay a $1,200 regulatory fee, register with the state and federal officials, report any suspicious activity and keep track of each and every person who bought a bottle of their product. The overhead alone of that would have been too much to pass onto consumers.
“Any time you deal with a government it’s a hassle,” says Ottenberg, and rightfully so. A spokeswoman for the DEA had even gone as far as saying that Wallace and Ottenberg were “collateral damage”.
“They are being put out of business, they are totally being put out of business,” says Stephen Downing. Downing also says that the metrics for stopping the use and production of methamphetamine doesn’t make sense. Since the U.S. attorneys’ declaration of stepped-up enforcement last October, hundreds of medical marijuana facilities in California have shut down after letters were sent to them or their landlords threatening legal action by the federal government. Raids and restrictions of both the little people and growing businesses need to be put to an end. Once notable locations in the industry have now succumbed to threats of imprisonment, fines and forfeiture of all assets. But after all, we do live in the land of the free empty promises and home of the brave to DEA raids.