FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Obama’s DoJ Backs Prosecution of Medical Marijuana Providers

Flags flying, soldiers dying
all the politicians lying
–business as usual

It’s official –under Barack Obama, the Department of Justice will not restrain federal prosecutors targeting medical marijuana providers. Any lingering hopes that the new Administration would implement change in this area were blasted April 17 when U.S. Attorney Thomas O’Brien forwarded to District Judge George Wu a letter from DOJ clarifying ObamAdmin policy.

The clarification had been requested by Judge Wu. On March 23, responding to widespread media reports of a “policy change” under Obama, Wu had postponed the sentencing of Charles Lynch, 46, a Morro Bay dispensary operator, until the U.S. Attorney could provide a written statement elucidating the present policy.

The definitive letter, signed by H. Marshall Jarrrett, director of the office that oversees all U.S. Attorneys, is addressed to O’Brien.

“In response to your request, the Office of the Deputy Attorney General reviewed the facts of this case to determine whether the prosecution of Mr. Lynch comports with the Department of Justice’s policies with respect to marijuana prosecutions. Based on the facts of this case, the Office of the Deputy Attorney General concurs with your office that the investigation, prosecution, and conviction of Mr. Lynch are entirely consistent with Department policies as well as public statements made by the Attorney General. Accordingly, you should seek to proceed with the sentencing recommendations which your office has filed with the court.”

Attorney General Holder had proclaimed that DOJ would henceforth approve prosectuion only of those medical marijuana providers who violate state law as well as federal law. (Federal prosecutors and the DEA claim that this has been their approach all along.) Pro-cannabis activists contend that Lynch ran an exemplary operation in Morro Bay. The letter from Deputy AG Jarrett begs the question: in what way did Lynch’s dispensary violate state law? No evidence of profiteering by Lynch had been introduced during his trial. Nevertheless, ObamAdmin policy is now unambiguous: California dispensaries are subject to DEA raids, and their operators are subject to prosecution. Gone is the hope of retroactive leniency for Tom Kikuchi, Stephanie Landa, Dustin Costa, and dozens more growers and dispensary operators who are in prison or facing prison terms.

The few that I’ve met are intelligent, skilled, decent people who, in a rational society, would be contributing to the welfare of their families and communities.

Judge Wu will sentence Charles Lynch April 23 at 10:30 a.m. in his Los Angeles courtroom. Supporters will be out in force. Ronnie Naulls is one of those in the pipeline to prison whose fate will be affected by Jarrett’s letter. He emails, “This is very upsetting news. We all have to join together and go to court to support Charles. Lord knows I would be there in a heartbeat but because of my house arrest I will be there in spirit.”

FRED GARDNER edits O’Shaughnessy’s, the Journal of Cannabis in Clinical Practice. He can be reached at fred@plebesite.com

 

More articles by:

Fred Gardner is the managing editor of O’Shaughnessy’s. He can be reached at fred@plebesite.com

June 21, 2018
Ron Jacobs
Divest From the Business of Incarceration
W. T. Whitney
Angola in Louisiana: Proving Ground for Racialized Capitalism
Susan Babbitt
Assange and Truth: the Deeper (Harder) Issue
Kenn Orphan
Humanity vs. the Rule of Law
Mateo Pimentel
Why on Earth a Country of Laws and Borders?
Michael T. Klare
The Pentagon’s Provocative Encirclement of China
Howard Lisnoff
The Outrageous Level of Intolerance is Happening Everywhere!
Vijay Prashad
The People of India Stand With Palestine
RS Ahthion
Internment Camps for Child Migrants
Binoy Kampmark
Rocking the G7: Trump Stomps His Allies
Raouf Halaby
Give It Up, Ya Mahmoud
Lawrence Wittner
Getting Ready for Nuclear War
Patrick Cockburn
Kurdish Women Protest After Being Told by Turkish-Backed Militias to Wear the Hijab
Dean Baker
When Both Men and Women Drop Out of the Labor Force, Why Do Economists Only Ask About Men?
Bruce Lerro
Big Brother Facebook: Drawing Down the Iron Curtain on Yankeedom
June 20, 2018
Henry Giroux
Trump’s War on Children is an act of State Terrorism
Bill Hackwell
Unprecedented Cruelty Against Immigrants and Their Children
Paul Atwood
“What? You Think We’re So Innocent?”
Nicola Perugini
The Palestinian Tipping Point
K.J. Noh
Destiny and Daring: South Korean President Moon Jae-In’s Impossible Journey Towards Peace
Gary Leupp
Jeff Sessions and St. Paul’s Clear and Wise Commands
M. G. Piety
On Speaking Small Truths to Power
Dave Lindorff
Some Straight Talk for Younger People on Social Security (and Medicare too)
George Wuerthner
The Public Value of Forests as Carbon Reserves
CJ Hopkins
Confession of a Putin-Nazi Denialist
David Schultz
Less Than Fundamental:  the Myth of Voting Rights in America
Rohullah Naderi
The West’s Over-Publicized Development Achievements in Afghanistan 
Dan Bacher
California Lacks Real Marine Protection as Offshore Drilling Expands in State Waters
Lori Hanson – Miguel Gomez
The Students of Nicaragua’s April Uprising
Russell Mokhiber
Are Corporations Behind Frivolous Lawsuits Against Corporations?
Michael Welton
Infusing Civil Society With Hope for a Better World
June 19, 2018
Ann Robertson - Bill Leumer
We Can Thank Top Union Officials for Trump
Lawrence Davidson
The Republican Party Falls Apart, the Democrats Get Stuck
Sheldon Richman
Trump, North Korea, and Iran
Richard Rubenstein
Trump the (Shakespearean) Fool: a New Look at the Dynamics of Trumpism
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
Protect Immigrant Rights; End the Crises That Drive Migration
Gary Leupp
Norway: Just Withdraw From NATO
Kristine Mattis
Nerd Culture, Adultolescence, and the Abdication of Social Priorities
Mike Garrity
The Forest Service Should Not be Above the Law
Colin Todhunter
Pro-GMO Activism And Smears Masquerade As Journalism: From Seralini To Jairam Ramesh, Aruna Rodrigues Puts The Record Straight
Doug Rawlings
Does the Burns/Novick Vietnam Documentary Deserve an Emmy?
Kenneth Surin
2018 Electioneering in Appalachian Virginia
Nino Pagliccia
Chrystia Freeland Fails to See the Emerging Multipolar World
John Forte
Stuart Hall and Us
June 18, 2018
Paul Street
Denuclearize the United States? An Unthinkable Thought
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail