US Attorney General Lies to House Judiciary Committee about Medical Marijuana Crackdown

Cal NORML Release Jun 8,2012

 Yesterday, Attorney General Eric Holder lied to the House Judiciary Committee in testifying that his agency is only going after medical cannabis dispensaries and growers that are going “beyond what states had authorized.”

Just days ago, the DOJ announced  a new round of landlord letters in Los Angeles County.  Targets included the Hope Collective in Whittier,  which had been operating in full accordance with an ordinance approved by the city council in 2006. The collective’s director, Robert Ortiz, says he was careful to operate transparently and in compliance with city rules, applying for an operating permit  in 2009, and only opening in 2010 after receiving a conditional use permit with 49 conditions attached.

 Many other well regarded, legally regulated medical cannabis facilities in California have been targeted by DOJ landlord letters despite taking pains to comply with local and state regulations. Examples include: the Berkeley Patients Group;  the Marin Alliance in Fairfax;  the Vapor Room, Hope Net,  Divinity Tree, Shambhala, Medithrive and others in San Francisco; Coffee Shop Blue Sky and Oaksterdam University in Oakland; and Northstone Organics in Mendocino. In all of these cases, DOJ’s actions have been denounced by local officials, but US Attorneys have insolently disregarded community sentiment.

In addition, DOJ has threatened state and local officials not to pass laws authorizing legal medical marijuana.  In Mendocino County, the US attorney browbeat county supervisors into rescinding the sheriff’s highly successful outdoor cultivation inspection system, which was bringing growers into compliance with  security and environmental regulations and  raised over $600,000 for the sheriff’s department.

 The DOJ’s bad faith seriously impugns the credibility and competence of A.G. Holder and his administration.

– Dale Gieringer, Cal NORML

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