On a day when President Obama was visiting L.A., the marijuana dispensary capital of the nation, the pro-Cannabis group Americans for Safe Access, gave him a failing grade for weed policies.
An ASA statement blames Obama's government for “undermining local and state medical marijuana laws.”
In other words, feds keep raiding pot shops in medical-legal states like California. The report card states:
While the prevailing public perception is that President Obama has addressed the issue of medical cannabis, that perception could not be further from the truth.
Marijuana advocates were outside the St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco where Obama was holding a fundraiser this morning.
ASA faulted the prez for …
… Broken promises, half-measures, and a general failure by the Obama Administration to address medical marijuana as a national public health issue. Citing ongoing federal raids, the report card accused the government of undermining local and state medical marijuana laws, and urged the Obama administration to develop a comprehensive federal policy that truly curbs enforcement. The report card also calls for expanded research and the reclassification marijuana from its status as a dangerous drug with no medical value.
Strangely, Obama is getting shit even though his administration is credited with telling the DEA to stand down on enforcing federal anti-marijuana law in states where medical cannabis is legal.
Of course, even after that October, 2009 memo was sent out by the Justice Department, raids on dispensaries continued. ASA says there have been 30 federal prosecutions involving medical marijuana since the memo was sent out. This brings up the questions of Obama's sincerity or authority in the matter.
(His fingerprints aren't directly on the order, which could be convenient. He could play it both ways, especially to those liberal Hollywood friends he's tapping for campaign cash today: He could say, Hey, I did my best but the DEA won't bow. Or, to law-and-order types, he could say, It wasn't me).
“Patients are sick and tired of being marginalized and living in fear of the federal government,” said ASA executive director Steph Sherer.
ASA is also unhappy with federal pressure on banks such as CitiCorp, Wells Fargo and Bank of America to eschew business with dispensaries.
And it says the IRS is targeting medical marijuana businesses for audits.
It's time to push politics aside, recognize the plight of patients across the country, and properly address medical marijuana as the public health issue that it is.