Obama at Odd's with Bush's DEA Appointee?
DEA Photo from Wikimedia Commons
Recent raids by the DEA in Los Angeles on 4 medical marijuana dispensaries have outraged patient activists and prompted a response by Whitehouse spokesman, Nick Shapiro. He explained, “The president believes that federal resources should not be used to circumvent state laws, and as he continues to appoint senior leadership to fill out the ranks of the federal government, he expects them to review their policies with that in mind.”
According to The Washington Times, the raids “seized $10,000 in cash and 224 kilograms of marijuana and marijuana-laced food, such as cookies. No one was arrested… but the raid is part of an ongoing investigation seeking to trace the marijuana back to its suppliers or source.”
Michele Leonhart, a Bush appointee, is still acting director of the DEA though Obama is expected to replace her. Apparently the Bush appointee is still acting out the former president’s policy of enforcing federal drug laws without respect to the state laws that might contradict them.
Americans for Safe Access and other medical marijuana advocacy groups inundated the White House with thousands of calls and emails to the President’s web site. In an apparent response to this, Shapiro spoke yesterday with the press. His words prompted an administrator at marijuana.com to declare “The statement puts the Department of Justice and the DEA on notice of a change in federal policy, and indicates that continued raids may not be tolerated.”
It may be some time before President Obama appoints someone to replace Leonhart. In the meantime, I hope new Attorney General Eric Holder will step in to end the wasteful spending of federal dollars in order to trample state laws protecting medical marijuana patients.