Obama’s war on medicinal marijuana unjust

By Kevin Brown

The Guardsman

The battle over the legal status of medicinal marijuana escalated on Oct. 5 when the Obama administration ordered California landlords to evict cannabis dispensaries within 45 days. Property owners who object will go to prison and their property will be seized even if they’re in compliance with state and local laws.

Federal prosecutors on Oct. 7 continued attacks on California dispensaries by ordering several of them to shut down for allegedly violating state zoning laws.

“On the campaign trail, Obama promised he would not waste federal resources prosecuting cannabis operations that adhere to their state laws,” said David Goldman of Americans for Safe Access, “but since then he has been even more aggressive towards medical marijuana than President Bush.”

The feds have forced big banks to close their medical marijuana accounts. The IRS is bankrupting a number of large dispensaries by auditing them for writing off legal business expenses. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will no longer allow medical marijuana patients to purchase guns. They have also threatened media outlets advertising medical cannabis.

Obama is bullying California’s medical cannabis industry in hopes of winning over a few moderate conservative voters in the next election.To attract voters, his new drug policy will focus on stricter school-zone regulation.

One of the three San Francisco dispensaries targeted for school-zone violation is Medithrive on 16th and Mission streets. The Department of Justice claims the dispensary’s nearby proximity to Marshall Elementary is illegal.

What’s ironic is the elementary school is defending Medithrive.

“We are a decent member of the community,”  Medithrive Manager Nathan Roemer said. “We donate to 140 charities including Marshall Elementary School whose principal has even sent us a personal letter expressing their gratitude.”

In some ways the federal crackdown on medical cannabis is working. Many of the dispensaries targeted by the justice department for school-zone violations have already closed, and nearly 200 tenants have been evicted across the state.

Friday, Nov. 18, is the deadline for all landlords to evict their medical marijuana tenants, but  the feds will never shut down California’s multi-billion dollar medical marijuana industry, because it’s impossible to subdue the growing number of organized patients and activists who demand safe access.

“We are prepared for the worst,” said Goldman, “but we will peacefully engage in civil disobedience in response to the federal crackdown. President Bush issued a similar threat in 2007, and it was a bluff; absolutely nothing happened. We’re hoping this is the same thing again.”


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