Department of Justice Obama's DOJ Cracks Down on Medical Marijuana


The federal government is in the midst of a crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries across the state of California.

This is despite repeated claims from President Obama and his Department of Justice that theywould not devote federal resources to circumventing state medical marijuana laws. 

"The law has been hijacked by profiteers who are motivated not by compassion, but by money," said Melinda Haag, one of California's U.S. Attorneys, at a DOJ press conference on October 11, 2011.   

Aaron Sandusky, owner of G3 Holistic, a group of medical marijuana dispensaries in California's Inland Empire, is one such target of the DOJ's crackdown on medical marijuana "profiteers." The DOJ sent him a letter promising to shut down his operations within 14 days. And they followed through. talked to Sandusky, who's long battled the city of Upland's sordid handling of medical marijuana dispensaries, before and after he was raided.

"We all want the same thing," said Sandusky. "We want to see less crime. That's why we have these places."

Sgt. Glenn Walsh and Agent Mark Brewster, both members of the California Narcotic Officer's Association, believe that the stepped up enforcement from the DOJ is a positive development. 

"There's no avenue in the law, whatsoever, to accommodate the sales of marijuana," Brewster said.

Walsh concurs, arguing that California's Prop 215 and SB 420 allow for the collective cultivation of medical marijuana but do not allow for a single cent to exchange hands during that process.

"If it's my land, and I want to help you cultivate marijuana [on it], I can do that," said Walsh. "You cannot, however, reimburse me for any expenses." 

The prospect of cultivating and distributing a legal product to a large demand base without any money changing hands seems far-fetched to medical marijuana growers and sellers like Sandusky, who himself invested hundreds of thousands of dollars and years of his life in a grower's facility before it was raided and destroyed in early November. 

"They seized all of our assets, all of my personal assets," said Sandusky. "I have sixty dollars in my pocket. That's it." 

The DOJ has issued threatening letters to dozens of dispensaries across the state and plans to continue shutting them down one by one. While some in the government work to shield Obama from criticism on the issue, the President has so far remained curiously silent on the crackdowns.

About 10 minutes, 30 seconds. Written and Produced by Zach Weissmueller. Associate Producer is Tracy Oppenheimer. Shot by Paul Detrick, Oppenheimer, and Weissmueller.

Go to for downloadable versions and subscribe to's YouTube channel for automatic notifications when new material goes live.


NEXT: Food Trucks Now Free to Roam (Most of) Cleveland

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 or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. And DC is supposed to open dispensaries next year? Wouldn’t it be even easier for the DOJ/DEA jackboots to be able to just walk down the street to shut these down, too?

    1. they could take the metro too.

      hey, if you are going to be a statist assmunch, do it GREEN!!!

    2. Theoretically, but the Feds generally use a heavy state presence. They get local guys to do all the dirty work.

      1. not around my parts they don’t. i can guarantee my agency would not assist the DEA in raiding a medical MJ clinic UNLESS it was for a crime apart from the mere selling of MJ. iow, if the raid was for selling to kids, or distributing to people w.o medical MJ cards or something, then we would assist. but we will not assist for mere selling of MJ, since that is legal under state law, explicitly. our fealty is to state law, not to federal law that usurps states’ rights. our medical MJ law was also passed via the will of the people , and under our constitution, that’s the highest form of law.

  2. Keeping California safe for concerned soccer moms.

    1. Mommy only needs one little helper.

      1. Freedom for women is a great idea. Votes for women was a terrible one.

        1. Soccer Moms and Jews. Time to order more gas.

    2. Keeping California safe for concerned soccer moms.

      Seriously. Yesterday I was listening to KPCC’s AirTalk discussion of medical MJ. One of the callers, a woman, stated she voted for Prop. 215 back in 1996. Then she went on to say that she regrets her vote, because she saw a medical MJ dispensary on the route to her child’s school. Won’t somebody please think of the children?!?!

      1. She should be happy about that dispensary. I’m sure that if it wasn’t there, a drug dealer would take it’s place. And in contrast to the dispensary, he will sell to her kid.

        1. I was screaming at the radio about how many liquor stores, grocery stores, restaurants and bars she passed on the way to her kid’s school. Shit, little Johnny could just wander into the corner liquor store and buy a hornet of Mickey’s!!

          1. Wish I had grown up here. Imagine the fun you’d have as a kid, first getting drunk on Mickey’s, then having a bunch of empty glass grenades.

  3. Am I honestly the only one that wants Obama to be the first in a new sociopolitical trend the entails trying and executing members of the executive cabinet for crimes like this publicly?

    It’s official — Barack Obama is the worst president in the history of the United States!

    1. I don’t know man. Wilson, the ole LBJ/Nixon one-two nut punch, that sadistic fuck William Henry Harrison, who was secretly assassinated after a very short time because it turns out he was a serial rapist killer cannibal. I mean, that’s some stiff competition.

      1. Wilson was a perfidious abomination of a man, and an even worse commander-in-chief, but he was such on principle. He was the Trotsky of American presidents in that regard, whereas Obama is an empty suit that, evident from everything he’s done, is an amoral piece of political-gamer shit. He’s the Lavrentiy Beria of American presidents.

        Nixon and Lyndon Johnson were also political gamers, but they were much better at the game than Obama; his ONLY truly impactful achievement, ObamaCare, is already being threatened seriously, and he’s STILL IN OFFICE. If you’re going to a professional politician, at least be good at it.

      2. And don’t forget FDR. According to Mother Jones, we’re supposed to love the guy and his “successes”.

        1. You’re right, I forgot FDR. I hate the other three so much, sometimes I don’t have enough hate left over for a rich war-mongering cripple.

    2. I think elected officials should serve a prison sentence commensurate to their term in office as a matter of course.

      If nothing else, you’d see prison reforms move to the top of the agenda.

  4. If you don’t like marijuana, then don’t use it.

  5. Chris Christie asks Obama: “What the hell are we paying you for?”

    Calls him a “bystander.”…..69280.html

  6. When I look at it, especially as a law enforcement officer, the decision that I make must protect and promote my society. When we look at marijuana and the legalization of that, there is no one that can tell you that legalizing marijuana is gonna protect or promote our society.

    Fuck off, slaver.

    1. “no one that can tell you that legalizing marijuana is gonna protect or promote our society.”

      It will protect people from wrong address, no-knock SWAT raids.

    2. Hugh, I served with Hugh Ackston, I knew Hugh Ackston, Hugh Ackston was a friend of mine. Hugh, you’re no Hugh Ackston.

    3. He’s also dumb as fucking shit. What the fuck is “protecting and promoting our society”, and why is marijuana supposed to do that?

      1. Jeez, that is dumb as fucking shit. Well put!

    4. I want protection FROM our society.

      When the worst thing that can happen from smoking pot activity X is getting caught, you know it being illegal is fucked.

  7. “When you have that much of the substance, that much cash, then you also have the other problems that come with it, the violence that’s behind that much money in that business, is incredible, as you can see from some of the border violence that we have going on…”

    The same could be said of the business that lines Mark Brewster’s pockets and the pockets of all in the California Narcotics Officers’ Association. In fact, I’ll bet the amount of blood-stained cash that goes into that organization and its members’ hands rivals that of marijuana growers.

    1. “When you have that much of the substance, that much cash, then you also have the other problems that come with it, the violence that’s behind that much money in that business, is incredible, as you can see from some of the border violence that we have going on…”

      What substance? Silicon? Because I totally agree that the computer market is violent, especially up around Canada.

  8. “”The law has been hijacked by profiteers who are motivated not by compassion, but by money,” said Melinda Haag, one of California’s U.S. Attorneys, at a DOJ press conference on October 11, 2011.”

    You are the first in that line of profiteers, bitch.

  9. One

  10. “We all want the same thing,” said Sandusky. “We want to see less crime. That’s why we have these places.”

    That actually runs counter to the entire point of the Drug War. More crime means more criminals. More criminals more prisons. With more crimes and criminals, police and prisons will require greater funding to deal with the increased volume. Greater funding comes through increased taxation, since most criminals aren’t covering the cost of their investigation, detention, prosecution, trial, transport or incarceration. This, of course, doesn’t take into account all of the additional opportunities afforded to “narcotics officers” for personal enrichment via bribery, unlawful seizure, regulatory capture (who better to put your competition out of business than the cops?), racketeering, or selling the illegal substances themselves.

    So Aaron, the moral of the story is this: In Drug Warrior Land, decreasing the amount of drug crime is actually bad for their careers. People like you who actually facilitate the lawful purchase and consumption of marijuana are also bad for their careers, so obviously, you need to removed from the equation.

    Thank you and have a wonderful New York day.

    1. Since your quote comes from Sandusky, he clearly wants to see more people in prison, for the buttsecks lulz.

      Penn St. jokes will never die!

      1. Ol’ Sandbanana, what a trickster!

  11. I have no confidence in the modern state, and believe its only purpose is to control or otherwise shakedown people for the amusement and benefit of government agents or political patrons. At least old oligarchs with forthright with their self interests.

  12. A new Dispensary opened last month in Upland, right down the street from Sandusky’s place, I wonder if the City just takes the fees and taxes and then says “oh well” when the DEA steps in, Fuckers!

    1. It’s sort of like paying the local mob (or government as you prefer) protection money and not getting any protection.

      1. imo,it is the DUTY of the chief executive branch officer of the state (iow the governor) to stand opposed to the feds on their raids. i’m not saying they should stand at the door and block the entrance but they need to strongly protest that this is a violation of their state sovereignty and that the DEA and by extension, the obama administration are violating their rights, etc.

        of course our spineless democratic governor would never do such a thing and has already rolled over for obama like the good lapdog she is

  13. Dominika is what can only be described as a great girl – accomplished, sexy and with a stunning body. She is half Italian and speaks Italian perfectly.

    The mother of a 5 year old son, Dominika was on the national team for her country in swimming and gymnastic. Despite her tiny frame she has a strong and very flexible physique. She just oozes sensuality and also tells us that she loves to hang out on nude beaches!

    Dominika started modeling as little as 3 months ago as previously her ex-boyfriend stopped her from doing any kind of modeling.

    Small but perfectly formed, this newly born model is a natural in front of the camera!

  14. the reality is this

    1) people driving after smoking mj aren’t as dangerous as alcohol impaired drivers (both are suboptimal, but the former isn’t as dangerous)

    2) marijuana is not physically addictive

    3) you can’t overdose on MJ (as contrasted with alcohol, etc.)

    4) alcohol is correlated with much higher levels of antisocial behavior, violence, etc. people aren’t nearly as prone to beat the shit out of their girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse after smoking MJ vs. drinking alcohol

    5) ditto for garden variety assaults and assaults on police

    6) nobody has ever died from MJ withdrawal (realizing that it is not physically addictive anyways)… or even heroin withdrawal. alcohol withdrawal? yup

    7) mj does not destroy your liver if ABUSED. ALCOHOL will (not if USED in moderation, but if substantially abused it will). note that MJ smoke aint particularly healthy, but smoking is not the only way to get the THC into one’s system. see: vaporization

    8) legalizing and taxing MJ offers immense amounts of potential income to cash strapped states

    9) the war on MJ not only puts tons of otherwise law abiding systems under the boot of the “justice system”, but it costs money, wastes resources, and turns OTHERWISE law abiding people into people who are antagonistic towards law enforcement and/or govt.

    and yet, “liberal”, “clean and articulate” statist assmunch Obama continues to LAUGH at the idea of MJ legalization or even decrim.

    note that if the federal govt. DID remove it from schedule I, it would become a STATE’s rights issue. as it should be

    obama continues to dissapoint.

    film at 11

    1. dammit, used my “whit” handle here. my bad

  15. “The law has been hijacked by profiteers who are motivated not by compassion, but by money,” said Melinda Haag…

    Another leftist Haag who thinks they can pay their utility bills with “compassion”.

  16. Maybe Obama should make Newt Gingrich his new Drug Czar.

  17. “While some in the government work to shield Obama from criticism on the issue, the President has so far remained curiously silent on the crackdowns.”

    Odds are that the President will break his silence on November 7, 2012.

  18. Many thanks.Still an additional brilliant article, this is exactly exactly why My spouse and I arrive to the blog page over and over again!

  19. “The cartels are bad, but the drugs are worse.”

    I propose a new requirement for law enforcement “service”: an IQ of at least 125…..

  20. It is time that some hard quiestion and investigations begin.

    1st, knowing money is the root of all politicians motivation, how much do they receive from the cartels to keep MJ from being legalized

    2nd, who receives this largess?

    3rd, is the DEA and other government agencies actually making money off the sumggling to bolster their ‘secret’ operations like ‘fast and furious’?

    I am sure there something rotten will come out of such questions being answered.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.