Marijuana: Congress About to Check Obama's Pot Crackdown

Marijuana: Congress About to Check Obama's Pot Crackdown

The Obama administration's crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries in places like Los Angeles has gone on fairly unimpeded. After all, the president is in many ways the law.

See also: Marijuana Dispensary Crackdown by Feds in Echo Park, Westlake, Long Beach.

Except that it's congress that makes the law. And now Sen. Patrick Leahy, chairman of the powerful Senate Committee on the Judiciary, wants Obama's Attorney General, Eric Holder, to come by and have a chat Sept. 10 about federal cannabis enforcement:

The senator wants the Obama administration to clarify its stance on enforcement against pot users and sellers in the wake of full legalization in Colorado and Washington and medical legalization in 20 other states.

Marijuana remains a schedule I outlaw drug, meaning it has no legitimacy whatsoever, sort of like methamphetamine.

See also: Marijuana Legalization Appealed to U.S. Supreme Court.

Obama's local Department of Justice has continued to crack down on medical marijuana dispensaries in L.A., warning pretty much all of them in the LAPD's Rampart Division area (Echo Park, Westlake), for example, to shut down.

Leahy stated this today:

It is important, especially at a time of budget constraints, to determine whether it is the best use of federal resources to prosecute the personal or medicinal use of marijuana in states that have made such consumption legal. I believe that these state laws should be respected. At a minimum, there should be guidance about enforcement from the federal government.

A spokeswoman for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), a group of cops opposed to the crackdown, said she's "cautiously optimistic" about next month's hearing.

See also: Marijuana: Federal Prison is Out For Minor Pot Crimes.

LEAP board member and retired LAPD Deputy Chief Stephen Downing:

Just as happened during the prohibition of alcohol, states are well ahead of the federal government in developing sensible marijuana police. Right now, local law enforcement officers are doing everything they can to enforce these democratically enacted laws, but inconsistencies between stated policy and actions on behalf of the Justice Department have made that impossible.

All the magic happens Sept. 10 at 10 a.m. in in Room 216 of the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.


Sponsor Content

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >