War on Drugs

Eric Holder Tells Congress That the Obama Administration Is *Not* Cracking Down on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries


Attorney General Eric Holder testified before Congress yesterday morning that the Department of Justice is not out to close down all state-legal medical marijuana dispensaries. "We limit our enforcement efforts to those individuals, organizations that are acting out of conformity with state law," Holder reportedly told a House committee.

This, says Steph Sherer of Americans for Safe Access, is a bold-face lie: 

For the past 8 months, all four U.S. Attorneys in California have taken a keen interest in undermining the state's medical marijuana laws by forcing the closure of more than 300 dispensaries. It's simply not believable that all of these tax-paying businesses were operating in violation of state law. If they were, why didn't the state take part in the raids? Why didn't the state or local authorities issue arrest warrants? Why would state and local politicians stand up for businesses breaking state and local laws? In Colorado, the U.S. Attorney launched his assault by shutting down businesses within 1,000 feet of a public school—explicitly citing only federal law. He did so publicly, and with great media fanfare. It's hard to believe Holder was unaware of this fact when he told Congress the precise opposite.

In San Francisco, five city-permitted dispensaries were forced to close over the last few months, despite full support from the Board of Supervisors and state lawmakers. Other San Francisco dispensaries have also been threatened by U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag and feel terrorized for conduct they have been engaged in for years without incident. The public and local officials alike are puzzled by this stance especially because it contradicts the Obama Administration's purported policy—the same policy that Holder repeated to Congress.

Previously, a group of House members tried to defund Obama's medical marijuana raids, and failed