The Feds are quietly about to end the decades-old drug war, and stop harassing states for medical marijuana – at least as long as a new bill tucked away on page 213 of the latest omnibus appropriations bill makes it through.
The provision states:
“. . .none of the funds made available in this Act to the Department of Justice may be used…to prevent such States from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana,” listing 32 states, as well as the District of Columbia, where the amendment would apply.
The amendment passed through the House of Representatives with bipartisan support in September. The bill will now go through the senate, and if finally approved, will effectively prevent the DEA from continuing to terrorize legal medical marijuana dispensaries and their patients.
It would also mean that dispensaries like Harborside Health Center, the most prominent medical marijuana dispensary in the U.S. since 2007, and the people who run them wouldn’t have to worry about being arrested for providing medical marijuana to the thousands of people who can benefit from the plant’s powerful healing qualities.
Several years ago, the Department of Justice issued what has become known as the “Ogden memo” — a missive from Deputy Attorney General David Ogden telling federal law enforcers that they should not focus federal resources “on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana,” Even still, local police departments and even DEA agents have been known to harass medical marijuana patients and dispensary owners.
A series of raids performed by the DEA were labeled ‘smash and grab’ as federal agents, often supported by local police, recently swooped into cannabis pharmacies in unmarked SUVs with no sirens or flashing lights:
“The federal agents’ flash Michigan state warrants and seize cannabis plants and cash. In a series of raids beginning on July 30, agents did not leave copies of the state warrants at the three cannabis pharmacies that were raided.”
If the new bill passes, the Department of Justice would no longer have the right to interfere with state laws on medical marijuana.
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.