If you thought that the Obama Administration's crackdown on medical marijuana in California was just a political play to please the center in American politics, this might give you pause.
One justice official says the Golden State's whole medical cannabis game is a giant "sham." Even if you, the California voter, believe that folks with ailments should be able to get pot recommendations and buy weed fairly easily, it's all about getting high, says Laura E. Duffy, the U.S. attorney in San Diego:
Here's what she thinks about dispensaries, via New York Times over the weekend:
Most often the individuals who are visiting these places have obtained sham doctor recommendations for really no purpose other than to engage in the recreational use of marijuana. To the extent that blatant distribution of marijuana is not available in commercial businesses throughout California, certainly in this district, I think that's a good thing.
Maybe there's a bright side of all of this for L.A., however:
Her Southern District doesn't extend to Los Angeles, a city where about 500 dispensaries fight for turf.
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The Times says the federal crackdown that started in spring has shuttered another 500 pot shops statewide.
But at least some rogue shops, we've been told, have actually opened up in L.A. to take advantage of the legal confusion and lack of regulation here.
In any case, it's pretty clear that federal authorities see no legitimacy whatsoever in pot, even for the little old ladies with cancer who inspired Californians to pass medical marijuana law in the first place.