Sunday, February 08, 2009

DEA still persecuting patients

As I and many others have pointed out, when he was a candidate Barack Obama repeatedly promised that he would respect federalism and order the DEA not to conduct raids on patients and providers in states that have authorized the medical use of marijuana. Since his inauguration, however, at least a half-down raids have been conducted -- a dispensary in Lake Tahoe, a couple of medical grows in Colorado, and just last week four dispensaries in Los Angeles and environs. These are obviously Bushies who are still running the place, and they have conducted their raids in an unusually in-your-face fashion -- the day after the inauguration and then the day Eric Holder was sworn in as attorney general.

To be sure, administration spokespeople say they'll get around to doing the right thing. The Register today editorialized to the effect that Eric Holder has full authority to end the raids tomorrow and fire the people responsible for them, notably acting administrator Michele Leonhart. The DEA is also on the verge of denying a UMass researcher as a final decision the authority to grow his own research-grade marijuana, continuing its course of throwing roadblocks in front of scientific research at every opportunity. Not surprising, I guess, since the DEA attitude is rooted in ignorance of recent research and contempt for scientific endeavor in general.

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