The U.S Attorney’s office has decided to raid state-approved medical
marijuana cannabis dispensaries. The U.S. Justice Department has basically switched their initial acquiescence of state-approved medical cannabis use, to one of militant disdain for any dispensary that may be selling to recreational users. If you’ve ever spent time with one of the (reportedly) million California residents with a medical cannabis card, you’re aware it’s quite easy to attain. Andre Birotte Jr., the Southern California District U.S. Attorney, explains why they’re cracking down after the jump .
Some highlights from the interview include Birotte’s statement, “What we’ve seen, unfortunately, is the Compassionate Use Act has really turned into the Commercial Use Act.” The U.S. Attorney has been “receiving feedback” that this issue is a growing problem. Basically, it’s the idea that recreational users are falling into line with the people who actually need cannabis for a medical ailment.
The Controlled Substances Act makes cannabis illegal under federal law, and if you operate a Southern California dispensary that’s received complaints from neighbors or other civic-minded California residents who think the cannabis “for profit” trade is hurting local infrastructure, you’re basically fucked. If the landlords ignore the initial attempts to clean up their dispensaries (which basically means kicking out their tenants who produce medical cannabis), their assets will get seized.
The federal government is bending to the will of a few local constituents who believe cannabis is the scourge of the earth likely to entrap youngsters in a web of chemical dependency. This crackdown came the same week the California Medical Association became the first prominent, medical professional-led group to call for full legalization. If you can’t hear me cackling from my Brooklyn apartment, rest assured, I am.
God forbid local dispensaries try and turn a buck on the medical cannabis trade. The US government is the one who has turned cannabis into a privatized entity–right down to your neighborhood bicycle delivery service. Don’t get upset that they’re actually making money. If the government legalized the cannabis trade, and taxed it, they could reap the spoils of this relatively harmless plant. Instead, they’re going after the small businesses that are making money on the practice.
It’s hypocritical when you think about all the pro-small business Republicans that support the crackdown. I don’t want to get into the politics of the issue, but you should hear Birotte Jr. talk anyway. It will help you understand why this crackdown is full of shit. It’s also blocking other states from initiating their own medical cannabis legislation.
This country’s government continues to disappoint.
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