Drug War

Another Day, Another Chance to Interfere in State Law Enforcement


Yesterday's DEA raids on two medical marijuana dispensaries in West Hollywood—which the Los Angeles Times calls "the first such action in the city since the Obama administration decided two years ago to take a hands-off approach to dispensaries that abide by state laws"—further illustrate the point I made in my post about Monday's raids in Montana: When the Justice Department says it will leave patients and providers alone if they are complying with state law, it means state law as understood by the DEA, not state law as understood by state officials. In 2008, when he was California's attorney general, Jerry Brown issued guidelines (PDF) that approved nonprofit dispensaries operated as "cooperatives" or "collectives." Both of the dispensaries raided yesterday were licensed by the city of West Hollywood. By treating them as criminal organizations, the DEA is overriding the judgments of state and local officials about what California law allows. It does not have to do that. Even under the half-assed policy announced by the Justice Department in October 2009, the feds could (and should) leave the application and enforcement of state law to state officials, raiding an operation only when those officials consider it illegal.

NEXT: Frack Away: Who Needs Nukes Anyway

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. Well, that answers my question about why there were no state or local warrants.

    It does leave open the question about why state and local law enforcement cooperated in these raids.

    1. Because federalism has been destroyed?

  2. They have their own brand of logo-ed DEA evidence boxes? Good grief.

  3. Goddamn mother fuckers!

  4. Meh, federalism, schmederalism.

  5. Interesting program this morning on Washington’s troubles with Medical Marijuana.

  6. Oh, off-topic, but on my way to work this morning, I heard a story on NPR about the new wave of state level restrictions on abortion. According to pro-choice activists fighting the new laws, these restrictions represent– and I fucking quote– “The government getting involved in private medical matters that are between the physician and patient”

    I nearly drove off the road when I heard that.

    1. Yes, but abortion is only one patient and the doctor involved. The fetus isn’t alive if it isn’t wanted. Medical MJ could affect all of society because of the violence it causes.

      1. “The fetus isn’t alive if it isn’t wanted.”

        Erm, wut?

        This does not parse. It is non sequitur.

        I’m so seriously hoping you’re playing Spoofy McTrollpants.

    2. “The government getting involved in private medical matters that are between the physician and patient”

      …and I suppose Obamacare isn’t, in their universe.

      1. Abortion really isn’t on my radar as a current, hot-button topic, but from what I recall of most pro-choice activists and their political leanings, my guess is the irony goes completely unnoticed.

  7. Fortunately for those in West Hollywood there are dispensaries on just about every block.

    Which makes me wonder if one of this dispensary’s competitors were behind this bust. Perhaps one with political connections.

  8. Whatever company is printing those fucking stupid statist dea evidence boxes, fuck them and boycott them.

    1. Right, because if they stop printing them, the DEA won’t be able to collect any evidence.

  9. It’s a fucking weed for God’s sake!

  10. “The weed of crime bears bitter fruit”

  11. hello
    I live in California. I have a prescription/recommendation whatever you
    wanna call it from an MD (an internist).

    If in fact the “stores” I buy my marijuana medication from (and yes i
    really do need it for medicinal reasons) get raided and or shut down, what
    happens to their client records?

    Does the DEA keep our names on record as users?

    And if your on federal probation will the names be forwarded to the
    probation office? or any other office?


  12. They know they can get away with it because Obama does not follow through on his promises. These unlawful rogue law enforcement will continue to break Obama’s law until they are physically removed.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.