For Immediate Release
Bruce Mirken, MPP director of communications
415-585-6404 or 202-215-4205
Medical Marijuana Raid Raises Questions About Obama Policy
Patients, Advocates Wonder Whether DEA Is Conducting Business as Usual Despite Change Announced by Attorney General Holder
WASHINGTON - Wednesday's Drug Enforcement Administration raid on Emmalyn's California Cannabis Clinic, a licensed medical marijuana collective in San Francisco, has raised serious questions among medical marijuana supporters about implementation of the new policy announced by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder last week. According to the San Francisco Department of Public Health, Emmalyn's had obtained a temporary city permit and was actively working with the city to meet all the requirements for a permanent license.
On March 18, Holder told reporters that the DEA would only raid medical marijuana providers if it found violations of both state and federal laws.
"It is disturbing that, despite the DEA's vague claims about violations of state and federal laws, they apparently made no effort to contact the local authorities who monitor and license medical marijuana providers," said Marijuana Policy Project California policy director Aaron Smith. "For an agency that for eight years said it couldn't care less about state law to suddenly justify raids as an effort to uphold state law simply doesn't pass the smell test."
"Because so little information has been released thus far, we have more questions than answers," added Aaron Houston, MPP director of government relations. "But with an actual shooting war along our Mexican border, not to mention federal law enforcement there being so overwhelmed that traffickers coming through the border with up to 500 pounds of marijuana are let go, it's very hard to believe that this is the best use of DEA resources, especially in a city with an active program to license and regulate medical marijuana providers."
With more than 26,000 members and 100,000 e-mail subscribers nationwide, the Marijuana Policy Project is the largest marijuana policy reform organization in the United States. MPP believes that the best way to minimize the harm associated with marijuana is to regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. For more information, please visit http://MarijuanaPolicy.org.