The Obama Administration’s War on Marijuana

The Obama Administration’s War on Marijuana



The new federal attack against medical marijuana, which was announced by the four California U.S. Attorneys October 7, sent chills throughout the pot industry. The move is seen by most marijuana advocates as a stunning reversal by the Obama administration.

Only two years before, David Ogden, the Deputy U.S. Attorney General, wrote his renowned “Ogden Memo,” where he stated that the feds would not bother with the activities of businesses that are complying with their own state laws.

That statement proved to be a dose of Miracle-Gro to the state of California, where marijuana stores multiplied since voters approved the 1996 medical marijuana law of the state. As of late last year, California had more pot dispensaries than Starbucks outlets.

Colorado also made medical marijuana legal in 2000, seeing the same explosion of new storefronts. A similar thing was happening to varying degrees in 16 other states, from Washington to Arizona and from Delaware to New Jersey.

However, the feds’ tolerance was not quite what it seemed. While legal marijuana grew to an approximately $10 to $100 billion industry, activists observed an alarming undercurrent to the rhetoric. Raids on dispensaries and growers actually increased under the Obama administration.

As hundreds of thousands of doctor-recommended and state-approved patients happily purchased their medicine from knowledgeable “budtenders” in well-lighted stores, the ire of authorities and prohibitionists rose.

The first sign of the Obama administration’s subterfuge came in the late 2010, as California was preparing to vote on a ballot proposition that would have made it legal to grow and possess small amounts of pot for anyone over 21 years old. Attorney General Eric Holder has declared it did not matter what Californians though but the feds would continue to bust people regardless of the outcome of the election.