#398 Is Medicinal Marijuana Legal Yet?

Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2009
Subject: #398 Is Medicinal Marijuana Legal Yet?

IS MEDICINAL MARIJUANA LEGAL YET?

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DrugSense FOCUS Alert #398 – Saturday, 28 February 2009

Wednesday a reporter pointed out that after the inauguration, the Drug
Enforcement Administration conducted several raids in California
despite President Barack Obama’s promises, and asked U.S. Attorney
General Eric Holder if those raids were a reflection of the
government’s policy going forward. “No,” Holder said in response.
“What the president said during the campaign, you’ll be surprised to
know, will be consistent with what we’ll be doing in law enforcement.
He was my boss during the campaign. He is formally and technically and
by law my boss now. What he said during the campaign is now American
policy.”

Video of the statement is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjZeW2fcQHM

Among the first headlines in the press was ‘Medical Pot Supporters
Cheer End of DEA Raids’ http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v09/n230/a05.html
No doubt the announcement is a step forward at the federal level.

But local reaction varies, as reporters writing articles found
out.

In a Bakersfield Californian article http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v09/n236/a06.html
we read “Sheriff Donny Youngblood said he hadn’t heard Holder’s
statement. He did say, however, that the attorney general doesn’t
write the law and that unless the U.S. Supreme Court or Congress
changes the law he’s not sure what impact Holder’s statement will
have.” and “District Attorney Ed Jagels said his office has
periodically prosecuted people who have had such large amounts of
marijuana that it couldn’t possibly have been for medical use. If
what Holder said is actually going to happen, it wouldn’t impact the
prosecutor’s office because they target people who aren’t obeying
state law, he said. They do not prosecute federal crimes. “I haven’t
seen these comments, but if what you’re saying is accurate then it
sounds like the Obama administration is saying they won’t do their
duty and enforce federal law,” Jagels said. “Given the constituency
that elected Obama, I’m not surprised.””

In The Oregonian we read http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v09/n235/a02.html
“Because Oregon does not have state-regulated dispensaries such as
those in California, Oregon was at less risk of being raided by
federal agents. Individual patients and growers, however, have been
targeted by law enforcement at the local and federal level, said Jim
Klahr of medical marijuana education group Oregon Green Free.”

So is medicinal marijuana is not legal yet.

Your letters to the editor are still needed. Articles about
dispensaries are posted at http://www.mapinc.org/topic/dispensaries
and about medicinal marijuana at http://www.mapinc.org/mmj.htm

Attorney General Eric Holder’s statement may be a useful to use as you
confront elected officials from the local to federal level – along
with all the other evidence supporting medicinal marijuana use.

What you do does make a difference.

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Prepared by: Richard Lake, Senior Editor http://www.mapinc.org

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