First Obama DEA raid in California: Change?
by Steve Kubby
Posted to IPR by Paulie
SAN FRANCISCO, CA — The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) raided a medical marijuana dispensary today in South Lake Tahoe, California, in the first days of the new Obama Administration. Even though President Barack Obama had made repeated promises during his election campaign to end federal raids in medical marijuana states, a California medical cannabis dispensary, complying with state law, was robbed at gunpoint by DEA officers.
Medical marijuana and an unknown amount of cash was seized during the raid today from Holistic Solutions, but no arrests were made. This first DEA raid under the new Obama Administration is another example of more than 100 raids on medical marijuana providers that have occurred in California over the past two years. While the greatest federal enforcement has occurred in California, the DEA has been active in other states as well. Federal agents raided the Washington State offices of a medical marijuana advocacy group that was supplying starter plants to hundreds of authorized patients. In Oregon, a federal grand jury was used by the DEA to obtain the medical records of several patients, an effort that was later rejected by a federal court. The DEA also went as far as to threaten New Mexico officials for planning to implement that states medical marijuana distribution program.
“I would not have the Justice Department prosecuting and raiding medical marijuana users,” Senator Obama said in an August 2007 statement. “It’s not a good use of our resources,” he continued. This statement was followed up by Obama in other public events in the run up to the election.
Steve Kubby, Director of the American Medical Marijuana Association said he believes the raid shows the rogue nature of the DEA and called for President Obama to “do the right thing for medical marijuana patients and their providers.”
“Just as Gitmo prisoners have been held without charge and then ‘tried’ in courts where they’re not allowed full rights of the accused, in medical marijuana cases, well-intentioned people are charged with activities that aren’t crimes in California, and denied the chance to present a defense. President Obama did the right thing with closing Guantanamo Bay, let’s hope he will provide similar protection to medical marijuana patients and their providers,” said Kubby.