Pelosi condemns Obama administration for Calif. medical marijuana crackdowns
May 4th, 2012
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) blasted the recent
federal raids on medical marijuana dispensaries in California and touted
her support for policies that would strengthen the rights of cannabis
"I have strong concerns about the recent actions by the
federal government that threaten the safe access of medicinal marijuana
to alleviate the suffering of patients in California," she said in a
statement earlier this week.
Pelosi joins other lawmakers in criticizing the recent crackdown,
including Reps. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who
called the recent government actions "bad politics and bad policy."
efforts "undermine a policy that has been in place under which the
federal government did not pursue individuals whose actions complied
with state laws," Pelosi said.
Federal authorities have shut down
more than 200 dispensaries in the Golden State — where the sale and
consumption of marijuana is permitted in some cases — since President
Obama took office in 2009, according to Americans for Safe Access, an
Officials sent warning letters to an additional
10 cannabis dispensaries in Santa Barbara County this week, calling them
"illegal marijuana stores," according to reports.
represents part of San Francisco, called the matter a "states' rights
issue" and asked the federal government to respect the wishes of the
people in the states who voted to legalize medicinal marijuana.
have long supported efforts in Congress to advocate federal policies
that ... prevent the federal government from acting to harm the safe
access of medicinal marijuana provided under state law," she said.
campaigning for president in 2008, Obama advocated a more hands-off
approach to the enforcement of federal laws concerning the drug.
I'm not going to be doing is using Justice Department resources to try
and circumvent state laws on this issue simply because I want folks to
be investigating violent crimes and potential terrorism," he said in an interview
with the Marijuana Policy Project.
"We've got a lot of things for our law enforcement officers to deal with."
Faced with questions, Obama has since sought to clarify his administration's position on the issue, telling Rolling Stone
earlier this month, "What I specifically said was that we were not
going to prioritize prosecutions of persons who are using medical
He added that he can't "nullify congressional law."
Medical marijuana is currently legal in 16 states.