The On-Again, Off-Again, On-Again Crackdown on Medical Marijuana


Last month Attorney General Eric Holder indicated that the Justice Department would follow through on President Obama's promise to call off federal raids on medical marijuana dispensaries. Two days later, seemingly taking a cue from his boss, Thomas O'Brien, the U.S. attorney in Los Angeles, emailed a confidential memo to prosecutors in his office, telling them to stop pursuing medical marijuana cases. "In addition to being told to stop filing new cases," the Los Angeles Times reports, "prosecutors were instructed to refrain from issuing subpoenas or applying for search warrants in pending cases." But O'Brien rescinded his directive last Friday for reasons he declined to discuss with the Times.

If O'Brien was implementing the policy of restraint and respect for state law that Obama promised and Holder said is now the administration's official position, the memo might be the first concrete action in this area to result from the change in administrations. And it lasted a week. They're really dragging this thing out, aren't they? On the brighter side, since Holder's statement there haven't been any DEA raids on dispensaries in states where marijuana is legal for medical purposes.

[Thanks to Paul Rako for the tip.]