Jacob Sullum has noted that despite new policies by the Department of Justice to pull back on prosecutions against medical marijuana dispensaries that are operating within their state’s laws, Melinda Haag, the U.S. attorney for Northern California, is doing nothing of the sort.
Haag’s unwillingness to listen to the her own agency, not to mention the city leaders where she’s trying to shut dispensaries down, has prompted four members of the House of Representatives, Barbara Lee, George Miller, Sam Farr, and Eric Swalwell (all California Democrats) to send Haag a letter begging her to stop. The letter reads in part:
It is counterproductive and economically prohibitive to continue a path of hostility toward dispensaries. Moreover, it appears to directly counter the spirit of Deputy Attorney General Cole’s memo, and is in direct opposition to the evolving view toward medical marijuana, the will of the people and, by now, common sense. Additionally, the State of California has also received legislative direction and guidelines from California Attorney General Kamala Harris on responsibly delivering medical marijuana.
It is our view that the intent of the Justice Department is to not enforce its anti-marijuana laws in conflict with the laws of states that have chosen to decriminalize marijuana for medical and recreational uses. California understands the urgency toward putting together a statewide regulatory system, and we can all be helpful in that regard, but some municipalities, including Oakland, have already done an extraordinary job regulating medical marijuana. California is moving in the correct direction in a measured manner, and should be given the opportunity to do so.
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