Friday, October 16, 2009

Does Los Angeles D.A.'s threat to dispensaries make sense?

The Los Angles Daily News published a thoughtful op-ed by MPP's Bruce Mirken questioning the wisdom of the Los Angeles prosecutor's threat to close medical marijuana dispensaries.

Too many prosecutors are mentally stuck. With their hammer in hand, all problems are nails to be pounded. A brand new medical marijuana industry is sprouting up in Los Angeles. It arises in legal ambiguity founded on a citizen's initiative enacted after California governors repeatedly vetoed the legislature's Acts to create a controlled medical marijuana regime, the near implacable refusal by the law enforcement establishment to obey a law they opposed, and a guerrilla war against medical marijuana carried out by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the United States Attorneys offices, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy at the White House. Since March, the U.S. Attorney General and the White House have indicated that they are backing off, but DEA has continued to raid. There remains no articulated federal policy. So ambiguity prevails.

So the Los Angeles District Attorney, instead of approaching this problem with a goal of cooperating with patients and their providers, has declared he's going to prosecute. Brilliant, not.

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