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Obama’s War On Medical Marijuana Just Got Even Uglier


Eric HolderBy Scott Morgan

One month ago, Eric Holder testified before Congress that the Dept. of Justice is only targeting medical marijuana businesses that violate their state’s laws. Anyone who didn’t realize it was a lie should be getting the message right about now.

The federal government is moving to shut down the nation’s largest and highest-profile medical marijuana dispensary operation, filing papers to seize properties in Oakland and San Jose where Harborside Health Center does business.

Copies of the federal Complaint for Forfeiture were taped to the front doors of the two dispensaries Tuesday, alleging that they were “operating in violation of federal law.”

Medical marijuana advocates, as well as some state and local officials, decried the action, saying it hurts patients in legitimate need of the drug and breaks repeated promises by President Obama‘s Justice Department that it was targeting only operations near schools and parks or otherwise in violation of the state’s laws. [LA Times]

They’re not even pretending it’s about state law anymore. Harborside has a permit from the City of Oakland and pays millions in taxes to the state of California. They’ve been covered extensively in the press, and featured on the Discovery Channel program “Weed Wars”. Everyone knows exactly what goes on inside Harborside because we’ve seen it with our own eyes: they provide high-quality medical cannabis and other services to qualified patients. This is the definition of a legal and well-regulated medical marijuana dispensary.

So how are the feds justifying their attempt to shut down the most responsible business in the industry? They are claiming, I kid you not, that it’s just too successful:

I now find the need to consider actions regarding marijuana superstores such as Harborside. The larger the operation, the greater the likelihood that there will be abuse of the state’s medical marijuana laws, and marijuana in the hands of individuals who do not have a demonstrated medical need. — U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag

This is beyond outrageous and it flies in the face of even the most recent excuses put forward by the Attorney General and the President himself when attempting to justify their escalating war on medical marijuana.

By targeting Harborside solely on the basis of its reputation as the nation’s “biggest” medical marijuana provider, DOJ forgets something rather important: it’s the biggest because it’s the best. Harborside is a model of safe, secure, patient-oriented medical marijuana services. It’s also a model of legal compliance, and any effort to shut its doors simply obliterates the Attorney General’s recent claims that DOJ is merely upholding local laws. He really should stop saying that.

It boggles the mind to imagine what sort of perverted logic is driving Obama’s vicious assault on a voting block that helped elect him four years ago. What little the President has said on the matter in recent months is now even more obviously false, and if it isn’t about upholding state laws, then the question of the Administration’s true agenda is something about which we can only speculate. It isn’t winning him any votes, that’s for sure.

Today, anyone who’s tried to make excuses for Obama’s horrible handling of all this should just stop. Anyone who says this President is secretly a friend of the marijuana reform movement should close their mouth. Anyone who’s claimed that “they’re only busting bad dispensaries” can cut the crap. This is a war. It’s Obama’s war. And to my friends who are too afraid of Mitt Romney right now to criticize Obama, I say you’re making our President more dangerous by meeting his mistakes with silence.

If you don’t want Obama to destroy medical marijuana in America, this would be a good time to speak up about it.

Article From StoptheDrugWar.orgCreative Commons Licensing


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  1. -=Yellow Flame=- on

    Obama Vs. Bush!! Wrapping up drug enforcement into a single persons name is ridiculous. Keeps shooting the puppet when you should be looking for the ones pulling the strings from above. Presidents are just scapegoats dancing for the masses.

  2. Steve in Oakland on

    On the other hand, I was shocked – shocked, I tell you! – to find there is such a thing as a Stoned Republican. Google “Meghan McCain & Weed” to read what John McCain’s daughter thinks about marijuana. In 2004 we campaigned for Obama because we were scared of a McCain/Palin presidency, but Obama has done just about everything we were afraid McCain would do, and then some, so what is the difference? During Bush’s presidency people were in the streets, agitating for peace and justice issues. With Obama it’s been ho hum, go ahead and continue lying to us and doing whatever Big Money tells him to do. When the “investment bankers” and their ilk were looting their depositers’ and investor’s accounts, the Obama administration said they were too big to fail, and let them go on to loot the U.S. Treasury. No arrests or indictments came out of that criminal fiasco. Now Melinda Haag, who represented white collar criminals at a big San Francisco law firm before being appointed U.S. Attorney, is going after California medical marijuana dispensaries, with the latest threat against Harborside made by her because Harborside is too big, so there is a bigger chance that the medieval federal drug laws may be compromised – although there is no evidence any of them have, or will be. What strange logic. We survived Edwin Meese and John Ashcroft as attorney generals, so why the big fear of Chris Christie? Putting Christie forward as some sort of omnipotent Calvinist who is going to stop medicinal marijuana in it’s tracks plays into Christie’s well cultivated megomaniacal persona, as if he could do anything that Attorney General Eric Holder isn’t already doing. Remember: Eric Holder and Barack Obama flat out lied to us about their policy towards medicinal marijuana, so I wouldn’t consider them “the lesser of evils.” As El Conde Jodido reminds us in a previous post, choosing the lesser of evils is still a choice for evil.

  3. El Conde Jodido on

    Thank you, Steve, for cementing and enlightening this out of the mainstream point of view. Inhabiting the marvelous truly civilized Bay Area, I’m confident you also appreciate the great late Jerry Garcia’s observation that choosing the “lesser” of two evils is still choosing evil.

  4. I can hardly wait for one of the western states to go for total legalization, which could happen this November. Montana, Oregon (maybe California) and Washington all have total legalization questions on the ballot. You think these Federal criminals are on the anti pot rampage right now?? If it passes in one of those states, I believe that you and I haven’t seen anything as to how low these Federal bastards will stoop to stamp out all of this legalization nonsense (their words I’m sure – not mine). Of course, I tend to….ignore such….nonsense, especially all of it that comes out of the other Washington. And I advise all who would listen that that’s what they should do as well. They can’t lock up everyone…. The genie is out of the bottle, at least here in western Washington state with some of the lowest prices IN THE COUNTRY for excellent quality medical (or otherwise) marijuana. And while it isn’t officially “legal” around here yet, judging by the quality (overall superb from mom & pop artisinal growers) and prices (under $200 an ounce for top shelf bud and pounds for $2500 are common) and availability (it’s everywhere), it may as well be. Anyway, I’m looking forward to the show!!!!

  5. Steve in Oakland on

    As a famous Chinese philosopher wrote, “Who are our friends, and who are our enemies, is the most important question.” Unfortunately, in American politics we have to choose between “the lesser of evils.” How many times in the past four years have we read that Obama has done something worse, or more times, than Bush did during his eight years in office? Like raiding medical marijuana dispensaries, for instance. With a Supreme Court top-heavy with Nazis, and a dissembling obfuscating White House – to say nothing of the Rich Men’s Clubs, the Senate and the House of Representatives – we are up against it, for sure! I just keep humming “We all live in a fascist war machine!” [to the tune of Yellow Submarine, of course!] and it all seems to make sense. Hopefully, this, too, shall pass!

  6. Look again. Obama has continued the foreign wars that destroy people and our standing in the world, and ONLY benefit the rich. He has continued and expanded the freedom-destroying, Orwellian-named “Patriot Act” and similar legislation. He has filled his cabinet with one-percenters and bailed out the bankers while letting Americans suffer.
    He CAN do many things, but it’s what he DOES that matters. He, and the vast majority of Repubs and Dems are skunks that need to be tossed on the garbage heap.

  7. Those are not real problems to me, because the majority of voters who support medical marijuana initiatives just want to move marijuana as far as possible back to its traditionally legal status.

    With over 100 million Americans having consumed marijuana, it’s clear the main issue is recreational marijuana. Medical marijuana is a real, but minor, side issue. And it will be automatically resolved by ending the monstrously destructive fraud of marijuana prohibition.

  8. Right. His priorities have definitely gone askew. – We must end the persecution of ALL marijuana consumers first. Then we can discuss the fine details.

  9. El Conde Jodido on

    I’m planning to vote for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson who pledged to end this racist ruinous drug war and pardon everyone persecuted because of cannabis.

  10. It was a solid website but just can’t give him much traffic anymore with how he treats folks who visit there. You wouldn’t believe the emails I had with him…….It’s not an act……I really think he is unstable. You are correct that he has fallen into the greedy grower mindset also which is sad. I honestly believe he is doing more harm than good anymore and have seem him chase non-smokers but supporters away by being rude and overly obnoxious. I understand it’s his website but that doesn’t give him license to verbally abuse folks with a different opinion. Try giving the man feedback or constructive criticism and he will act like a foul mouthed 12 year old. We don’t need this BS with the movement. We all should be working toward one common goal – folk’s lives not being ruined by being targeted for smoking a harmless non toxic plant that God placed on the Earth for all of us to enjoy.

  11. Baloney. Anyone who thinks there is any real difference between Obama and Romney on marijuana policy is deluded.

    Here’s a novel idea. Let’s start believing in OURSELVES for a change!

  12. Agreed. Elliot created a good site, but he has since flipped to join the greedy grower mindset. Anyone who is against any of the three state re-legalization initiatives is not a real marijuana reformer. Sad indeed.

  13. Wow. He is only a “non-entity” if you buy into the view of the one-percent. No marijuana reformer I know has ever done that. We will NEVER break the hold of the plutocracy until we work to build a REAL alternative to the Republicrats.

    All those who stay in their system are like the kept rabbits in Watership Down. – Not for me, Jack.


  14. This all makes me really sad. They continue harassing and destroying lives even though the majority of American people want it legalized. This is a war they can’t win (sound familiar?) and Obama is losing votes by doing so. I’m probably voting for Gary Johnson as I can’t stand Obama or Romney. First time ever I won’t be voting democrat :(

    This probably isn’t the best place to put this in but……..People need to look at Steve Elliot’s behaviors over at Toke of the Town. He acts like a 12 year old foul mouthed punk while insulting anybody who dares to disagree with him. He constantly hammers folks over there for no good reason other than they dared to go against what he thinks. It’s about time people boycott that place and come over to The Weed Blog. I have never seen the mods here attack people and they allow all different types of thinking. Elliot is doing more damage then he realizes by being a dick to people who come to his site. Very sad that he gets off acting like a 12 year old. Thank you again Weed Blog for being a friendly place to post and read news!

  15. It is a game The Ds ramp up the war. The Rs hold the status quo. And yet the Ds talk (or hint) anti-prohibition and the Rs are always on about the evils of dope.

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