Medical Marijuana

The Obama Age of No Federal DEA Raids on State Medical Marijuana Clinics Leads to More Federal Raids on Medical Marijuana Clinics in Las Vegas

|

And why? The records are sealed, so, who knows, though the Feds have given themselves the loophole of being able to step in when medical marijuana distributors are also violating state law (though why the Feds should be so goddamn concerned with such state law violations in this age of limited resources is another question). As the below explains, being "state legal" can be a very complicated question and leaves way too much room for DEA mischief.

From an Americans for Safe Access press release:

The federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) conducted raids earlier today on at least five medical marijuana dispensaries in Las Vegas, Nevada, and reportedly seized patient and financial records, but made no arrests. According to the Associated Press, Natalie Collins, spokeswoman for the local U.S. Attorney's office said that the federal search warrants and "supporting affidavits stemming from what she called 'an ongoing law enforcement operation' were sealed by federal court order." The dispensaries raided today by federal agents and local police included: Happiness Consultant, Salvation Haven, Nature's Way, Organic Releaf, & Holistic Solutions.

The federal raids come nearly a year after an October 2009 Justice Department directive issued to U.S. Attorneys in medical marijuana states, deprioritizing enforcement against medical marijuana patients and providers. The Las Vegas raids occurred less than two months after another spate of federal raids in July against state-compliant patients in California and Michigan….

In July, Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman stated publicly on local television that allowing dispensaries was "a very legitimate goal," and that, "If doctors say that it does a patient some good and gives relief to somebody that has a dire need for it, I'm all for it." Nevada failed to consider the issue of distribution at the time of adopting its medical marijuana law in 2000. Although the state allows "Designated Primary Caregivers" to supply medical marijuana to patients, the qualifications are stringent and require "significant responsibility for managing the well-being of a person diagnosed with a chronic or debilitating medical condition."

Nevada's effort to address the need of sick patients to access local distribution of medical marijuana mirrors the efforts in other states like California, Colorado, Michigan, Oregon and Washington. Both Maine and Rhode Island have amended their laws to include state-licensed distribution similar to the medical marijuana laws of New Mexico. The trend to ensure safe access to medical marijuana by establishing licensed distribution facilities has even extended to states currently deliberating new medical marijuana laws, such as Iowa, Kansas, Maryland and Wisconsin.

Advertisement

NEXT: The Stimulus That Lets People Keep Some Money: Sales Tax Holiday

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. There are two possible explanations:

    1) Barry O has broken his promise.
    2) The DEA is totally out of control.

    Note that 1) does not exclude 2).

    1. Barry knows there’s money in the War on Drugs, and he’s all about spreadin’ the wealth.

    2. option 3: both 1 and 2
      “Justice Department directive issued to U.S. Attorneys in medical marijuana states, deprioritizing enforcement”
      Whether your libertarian or not, one would think that even democrates would realize that the constant expansion of gubermin, laws and bureacracy in general make setting policy and governing a rather futile exercise.
      NOTE the bureacratise, “deprioritizing”
      What does that mean?
      Nothing.

  2. I’d throw a third possibility into the hat, but there’s no way this could possibly have anything to do with Harry Reid facing stiff competition from a Tea party type…

    The Harry Reid explanation isn’t possible–because that would mean politics were involved in a law enforcement issue. …and there’s just no way anything like that could ever happen in the United States of America!

    1. Nothing like Federal medical MJ raids to turn out the NV progressive doper vote in force for the midterms.

      1. And the legalize it types are already breaking for Sharon Angle anyway…

        Searchlight (Reid’s home town) was the first stop on the Tea Party Express. Reid’s ads around Vegas are all about how Angel is too extreme…

        The last thing he needs is the DEA barging into the china shop making Sharon Angel look like a moderate on this issue.

        1. But like I said, that’s just speculation on my part…

          There’s no way election year politics could influence something as unsullied and sacred as a law enforcement issue.

          *giggles*

          There’s no way Harry Reid would pick up the phone and make a simple call–not in the United States of America!

          *guffaws*

  3. Um, I’m pretty sure the federal government knows better what your individual pain management needs are than some dude in a white lab coat who doesn’t even own a car company.

    1. That snark is almost worthy of Dave Krueger, a frequent poster over at The Agitator.

      1. Yeah, but he doesn’t have a cool screen name like me.

        1. I said “almost.”

        2. your screen name is definitely one of the best I have ever seen.

    2. Not to nit pick, but I believe all US citizen now qualify under the “own a car company” criteria.

      1. Not me. I checked my portfolio, and I don’t have a single share of car company stock.*

        *I recently unloaded my Ford shares for a nice little gain.

  4. To be painfully clear, Harry Reid is desperate against Sharon Angel.

    The last thing Harry Reid needs the Feds barging into his stomping ground and give Tea Party type Sharon Angel another issue to crow about.

    This is Sin City we’re talking about. Harry Reid’s makin’ his case to the marginal voters of Sin City. Why wouldn’t he chime in on what the Feds were doing in his town?

  5. Another Obama lie.

    Shocking

  6. (though why the Feds should be so goddamn concerned with such state law violations in this age of limited resources is another question).

    Growth is progress.

  7. the Feds have given themselves the loophole of being able to step in when medical marijuana distributors are also violating state law

    And by doing so may have unintentionally muddied the water in the Arizona illegal immigration challenge.

  8. I’ve been waiting for this article. I wondered if anyone else but me had seen how many Medical Marijuana raids there have been recently. Obama, America’s first black president which I think is great. He is proving he is equal to almost every white president by being the puppet they were. I can see how he would be afraid to legalize even medical marijuana simply because he is our first black president who would be remembered as the first black president & he removes Marijuana from Fedral Schedule or legalize’s it. Just because he is black. Its racism in reverse, or something like that.

      1. No, man, I think it’s cool. The fine Deacon is saying that Obama is a meta-racist. Meaning that he won’t let himself do things because he himself happens to be black. Also, that he acts in this racist manner towards himself to conform to the (imaginary)racist future.

        Being raised in the racist future, Obama cannot help but have some of that bigotry in himself.

    1. Uhhh, nah. Obama won’t re-schedule marijuana because doing so would decrease his power by some tiny but real amount. He’s a politician first, a black man second, and an ultra-secret African muslim communist socialist third.

  9. I think Obama’s policy is still better than Bush’s on this, but it’s pretty incoherent, and leaves the DEA this kind of wiggle room. It’s typical of Obama’s please-nobody fence sitting. Certainly he didn’t take his campaign position for federalist reasons, he took it to make it look like he thought medical marijuana involved things that were simply not a big deal and therefore a waste of the feds time. If that is his stance then his policy is not in line with it as it allows the DEA et al., to wiggle around it to make medical mj the feds business again. And so in typical Obama fashion he leaves no side happy…

    1. Yeah, when he put Leonhart in a permanent position, it became clear that he has no intention of reigning in the DEA to reflect any measure of sanity on the cannabis issue.

  10. Lame maybe however, I like it.

  11. On second thought, it took almost two years for this promise to expire. For Obama, that’s pretty good.

  12. Expire ? When was this promise ever kept ?

  13. This comes as a surprise?

    I had to review the DOJ memorandum on medical marijuana again yesterday. Anyone who interpreted that document as a “directive not to enforce” wins the Wishful Thinker of the Decade Award. That memorandum was a masterpiece of political cynicism, allowing BO to take credit for “stopping” raids without ever doing so.

    Please note: according to the Memorandum, any person who demonstrates “financial gain” as a result of medical marijuana is supposedly “not in compliance with state law” and therefore a legitimate target of federal law enforcement. Since many states expressly allow for-profit entities to provide medical marijuana, and “profit” by definition involves “financial gain,” profit-making providers are therefore targets of federal law enforcement EVEN THOUGH they are complying with state law.

    1. Financial gain could just be a salary or wages. Maybe they expect everyone to be a volunteer worker. And their suppliers to donate materials.

  14. And one other point…at the same time the Obama Justice Department was announcing this enforcement “directive,” Obama’s Transportation Department issued a release stating that the use of marijuana for medical purposes was NOT to be considered an acceptable justification for a positive drug test for CDL holders. Thus, a medical marijuana user who tests positive for marijuana under a DOT-mandated drug test must be deemed an offender and removed from all safety-sensitive functions (i.e., any work related to a commercial drivers’ license).

    When will pot activists realized that Their Man hosed them big time?

    1. Too many are lefty True Believers.

      For True Believers of any stripe, issues are merely excuses. At the end of the day, True Believers won’t care what Their Guy actually does, because he’s Their Guy.

  15. “though why the Feds should be so goddamn concerned with such state law violations in this age of limited resources is another question” – that’s a great question that could use an answer.

    The notion of maintaining this incoherent policy on medical marijuana dispensaries is bad enough, but having the records sealed by federal court order is just outrageous and I fail to see how that could possibly be in the public’s best interest.

  16. Please note that self injurious behavior among autistic populations who are non verbal is rooted in multiple antecedents that fluctuate daily and are rooted in autistic disorder. Primarily the inability to communicate and cognitive impairments in autistic population. This is very complex. However, there are similarities among self injurious person in general. For instance, the frustration of being held captive to what is often a behavior that has evolved into a compuslive behavior. A behavior that is triggered by a plethora of antecedents, due to autistic person’s inability to respond to conventional methods used in non autistic populations to thwart or otherwise reduce the tendencies to self abuse. Marijuana advocates don’t seem to understand the complexities involved in dealing with autistic who present with chronic intraccable SIB. If they want to be taken seriously, they need to do their research. They need to explain WHY marijuana would HELP autistic who self abuse. What does marijuana DO to brain that would help? Does it elevate dopamine? Or other neurotransmitters that would reduce tendency to self abuse? What are adverse reactions? What about autistics with seizure issues? Or who have complex issues? You can’t just take one or two examples of people who CLAIM dope helped their autistic kid without examining WHY or HOW this worked?
    see kgaccount on you tube for better understanding of how complex treatment is with autistic population who self abuse

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.