May 4, Ridgecrest, CA: A medical marijuana raid by the Naval Criminal Intelligence Service has led to the arrest of five defendants on federal charges. The defendants were charged for distributing marijuana for the R&C Collective next to the China Lake Naval Base. Read more.

Unlike the DEA, NCIS does not operate under the Justice Dept and therefore, it seems, is not upholding AG Holder’s memo to honor state MMJ laws.

Other federal agencies that are outside the DOJ do not seem to be bound by the AG’s directive. Patients living near the border have reported harassment from Immigration agents, who are under the Dept of Homeland Security, and who claim they have received no instructions to honor state medical marijuana laws.

All of this points to glaring weaknesses in the Obama administration’s policy of DOJ non-enforcement. It is incumbent on activists to press the administration for real regulatory reforms to fix bankrupt federal MJ laws. One of these should be rescheduling, the object of an eight-year-old petition that is overdue for a response from the DEA.

The upcoming confirmation hearings of DEA chief Michele Leonhart present an excellent opportunity for us to express out concerns to the Congress, in particular the Senate Judiciary Committee.

– Dale Gieringer, California NORML

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