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Is the DEA the ''D'oooh!'' agency du jour?

DEADrug Enforcement Administrationmedical marijuanawar on drugs

Uh, guys -- you DEA guys. Didn't the picture of a different man in the official frame where the President's picture always goes give you a clue?

Barack Obama is in, George Bush is out -- and out, too, it seems, the policy of raiding medical marijuana dispensaries. Or didn't you hear?

Apparently not. In Los Angeles today, at least two Westside medical marijuana dispensaries were reportedly raided by agents, in spite of the fact that Obama said during the campaign that the use of medical marijuana can be ''appropriate.'' A number of states agree, and have voted accordingly, including California. As Obama told Oregon's ''Mail Tribune'' newspaper, as president, ''I'm not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws on this issue.''

And yet we have today's raids, where the DEA reportedly did not even bother to notify the LAPD about  what it was doing, as is customary. Just two days after Obama was sworn in, the DEA also raided a medical marijuana dispensary in South Lake Tahoe.

Reliving the good old days, boys? Or getting in a few last shots before the new attorney general gets his feet under the desk?

Back in 2001, barely six weeks after the attacks of 9/11, when all of the nation's intelligence and law enforcement resources were supposedly being thrown at terrorism, the Bush Administration nonetheless found the time and manpower to raid a medical marijuana dispensary in a West Hollywood church. When the case came to a finale in court, I was there when federal judge A. Howard Matz handed down the lightest possible sentence he could to the dispensary operators -- one of them a cancer patient himself -- and said stingingly, “I think this entire prosecution was badly misguided.''

So here we go again. Unregulated and poorly regulated dispensaries are a real problem, as the state of California knows and has been trying to do something about. If that was the problem underlying today's raids, at least the DEA could have let the local law know that it had a problem, and even brought the LAPD along on the raid.

But many of these dispensaries operate scrupulously, with the knowledge and blessing of city and county law enforcement officials -- and now with the tacit permission of the President of the United States, who said he'll defer to state law. And that, under Proposition 215, makes medical pot legal in California.

Now if only someone will cc all of this to the DEA.


Comments () | Archives (16)

The comments to this entry are closed.


Great article. Patt you should write an opinion about the Charles C. Lynch case. I can send you a presskit a friend and I made to help the media know all about his case.

As a westside medical marijuana patient, I'm so angry and sad and regretful and afraid.

Tomorrow I'm calling Obama, 20 times if I have to get up at 5am Pacific time.

There will be a protest Thursday 2/5 a noon outside the Federal building at 255 E Temple St Downtown LA

Other ways to protest:

PLEASE contact the DOJ to protest:
[email protected]

Plus you can make a complaint against DOJ waste:
[email protected]


The LAPD and other local agencies should be arresting the DEA agents who go out on these raids. The federal agents are seizing and destroying the property of law abiding Californians. They are arresting Californians who are following state law. Where are rights of Californians in this mess? How about a state's rights to its own laws? FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENTS STAY OUT OF CALI.

Kimberley Edwards

We need to put pressure on all of our representatives, and President Obama, and anyone else we can think of, to cease and desist all expenditures of our tax dollars on anything; investigation, prosecution, incarceration - involving marijuana. We need an executive order simply stating that no resources whatsoever shall be directed towards anything having to do with marijuana.
This idiotic prohibition is costing extraordinary amounts of money, damaging people's lives, and for what? To maintain what everybody knows is a wholly absurd prohibition. The time to act on this is now. E-mail Obama at Whitehouse.gov before you get up from your computer.

Law Abiding Citizen

Federal agents are charged with enforcing federal laws. The possession and sale of marijuana is still a federal crime. The fact that some states have legalized or deciminalized marijuana does not mean that the federal law should not be enforced. I guarantee that if the federal law regarding marijuana ever changes, the DEA will comply fully. It is only doing it's job! If you want the federal law changed, contact your federal representatives. Just remember if you violate a law, any law, you are a criminal.

Some Guy

Hilarious. Gotta take a shot at Bush, even though MM prospered under his administration. Not saying that the rise in MM was due to him, but why the shot? I don't recall Carter or Clinton or this new guy -- what's his name? Obama or something.

You think he's gonna stop this? You're kidding, right? As long as law enforcement is divided on this issue (and they always will be, especially where large cities and large rural areas come into contact), the DEA will always conduct raids.

No hope. No change.

Pat Rogers

I might recommend that you look at the entire quote by candidate Obama:

"I think the basic concept of using medical marijuana for the same purposes and with the same controls as other drugs prescribed by doctors ( is ) entirely appropriate," Obama told Oregon's Mail Tribune newspaper in March. "I'm not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws on this issue."

The first sentence is actually the operative here. And it is a standard drug warrior caveat for no medical pot without full FDA approval. Obama intentionally misled the medical pot reform community and they went along with it. You now continue the fantasy by posting only your preferred part of the Obama campaign quote. Obama got what he needed from the campaign statement, it silenced potential drug policy reform criticism during the campaign. He doesn't need to worry now and so he and all of the drug war supporters in his cabinet are reverting to the status quo. A status quo that, considering the $3-billion in new Byrne Grant funds in the stimulus package, is actually worse than Bush who tried to zero out the Byrne Grants for multi jurisdictional drug task forces like the one that became infamous for the Tulia Texas arrests of most of the Black population there.

See more of my writing on this and other drug war issues at my blog, Aid & comfort http://drugwartreason.blogspot.com/

Lenny Fisher

Patt , I thank you very much for having the courage to write this article and I thank the editor for allowing it to make it to print.It is about time that the mainstream media get a hold of this grave miscarriage of justice. They did not come into these collectives to arrest or prosecute anyone but instead just come to rob it.


It has nothing to do with who's in charge. Obama is a drug warrior too. Obama is a liar. Obama made promises and will break them, one promise at a time. In fact - that must be shocking news for all his followers - he just another politician and not the reincarnation of Christ.

barbara gibbs

This is very disappointing. The only laws we can make are at state level and this law was made by referendum, by the people, but our federal government thinks they are the Gestapo, I really hope our President has a clue and will not continue to allow the only medical marijuana to be by prescription (Marinol) at $800 - $1200 per month, what a travesty this has been.

Richard Steeb

Hey, Law Abiding Citizen, AND any DEAthugs reading this:



Glaucoma Patient in San Jose, CALIFORNIA


Why not begin keeping some promises Mr. Obama?

Like ending these marijuana raids and instituting universal health care to boot! And while you're at it, listen to Paul Krugman or Stiglitz once in awhile, you know people who have won the Nobel Prize in Economics!

Barry Cooper


You said "Just remember if you violate a law, any law, you are a criminal."

So does this mean Rosa Parks was a criminal. Does this mean the slaves who "broke the law" by escaping were criminals? Breaking bad laws does not make a person a criminal. And by the way, the federal marijuana laws say the agents "may" arrest for marijuana...not "shall" arrest. So they have a choice. And our constitution is framed for allowing State Law to override Federal Law...not the other way around. You sound like you are an agent.

Barry Cooper
Kopbusters and NeverGetBusted

Jerry Alexander

Lets take a look at the so called Americans that are doing the raids.
Lets send pictures to their mothers,and children saying;This is what you father does for a living..arn`t you proud?

Ken Wolski, RN, MPA

The December 2008 U.S. Supreme Court action in the "Garden Grove" case resolved the conflict between federal and state marijuana laws. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear, and thus let stand, a decision from California’s Fourth District Court of Appeal which said: "Congress enacted the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to combat recreational drug abuse and curb drug trafficking. Its goal was not to regulate the practice of medicine, a task that falls within the traditional powers of the states...Congress regulates medical practice (only) insofar as it bars doctors from using their prescription-writing powers as a means to engage in illicit drug dealing…Beyond this, however, the statute manifests no intent to regulate the practice of medicine generally."

The appeals court said that California's law does not “exempt medical marijuana from prosecution under federal law...it merely exempts certain conduct by certain persons from California drug laws. So, what we are left with is a state statutory scheme that limits state prosecution for medical marijuana possession but does not limit enforcement of the federal drug laws. This scenario simply does not implicate federal supremacy concerns.”

Kitty Antonik Wakfer

Jerry Alexander's suggestion, "send pictures to their mothers,and children saying;This is what you father does for a living..arn`t you proud?" warrants enlarging to making the names and photos known to *everyone* so that others can decide to what extent each of them wants to interact with these government enforcers. This is rather simple to do via the Internet, the modern tool that makes Social Preferencing, of which this would be an exampled of the negative variety (the positive being praise and recommendations), a most powerful method for influencing the behavior of others even with diverse populations and wide geographical distances.

I strongly recommend the regular practice of social preferencing to everyone. More on the subject at ttp://selfsip.org/solutions/Social_Preferencing.html

**Kitty Antonik Wakfer

MoreLife for the rational - http://morelife.org
Reality based tools for more life in quantity and quality
Self-Sovereign Individual Project - http://selfsip.org
Self-sovereignty, rational pursuit of optimal lifetime happiness,
individual responsibility, social preferencing & social contracting

Patrick K Kelly

I had those "thugs" kick my door in with auto guns in my and my kids face's..Arrested me,tried me,convicted me.Took me meds, and income tax's and i had too personally see a P.O. once a month till the cal.appeal's court overturned my conviction..Took 6 month's to get my $ back..I still have none of my other property and a dented steel front door and i wish this on no-one..As far as i KNOW the criminal's did a home invaison and robbory on me then hide behind a badge and thin blue line..I am not long for this earth and cant afford $730 a month too fill the script's,But i can grow my own meds..But i guess they will get either a penny or a pound..keep fighting!!!I will...Go with god..pat



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