Yesterday I wondered whether and when President Obama would follow through on his oft-repeated campaign promise to stop the DEA from undermining state medical marijuana laws by harassing patients and dispensaries. Today The Washington Times reports that Obama plans to suspend the DEA's raids once he "nominates someone to take charge of DEA, which is still run by Bush administration holdovers." I don't understand why Obama can't simply tell the Bush administration holdovers to cut it out; they work for him now. But it's encouraging that the White House is now on record with a promise to keep Obama's promise. "The president believes that federal resources should not be used to circumvent state laws," White House spokesman Nick Shapiro told the Times, "and as he continues to appoint senior leadership to fill out the ranks of the federal government, he expects them to review their policies with that in mind." It seems like Obama is dragging his feet, but it will be hard for him to wriggle out of his commitment now.
It turns out there were four dispensary raids in Los Angeles on Tuesday, by the way: two in Venice, one in Marina Del Rey, and one in Playa Del Rey. Along with the raid in South Lake Tahoe, California, on January 22, that makes five since Obama took office. According to a new Zogby poll commissioned by NORML, 72 percent of Americans want Obama to keep his word and stop the raids.
[Thanks to Tom Angell at LEAP for the tip.]