US Attorney Defends Medical Marijuana Crackdown in California

U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag is defending her use of civil forfeiture lawsuits against medical marijuana dispensaries and their landlords, the most recent being her suit against Berkeley Patients Group, one of the oldest and most respected dispensaries in the state of CA.

bpg“The marijuana industry has caused significant public health and safety problems in rural communities, urban centers and schools in the Northern District of California,” Haag said in a statement. “Because some believe marijuana has medicinal value, however, we continue to take a measured approach and have only pursued asset forfeiture actions with respect to marijuana retail sales operations very near schools, parks or playgrounds, at the request of local law enforcement, or in one case, because of the sheer size of its distribution operations.”

So people choosing a safer alternative to dangerous and addictive prescription drugs has been causing “significant public health and safety problems?” If this is true, why isn’t the state government moving in to shut down all these dispensaries? Can these problems only be seen from the special perspective of the federal government?

In the final analysis, these actions are discrimination, plain and simple. Cutting the medicinal supply for patients with a variety of ailments is also simply inhumane. Some don’t like the stigma that surrounds marijuana and they don’t want it in their town, but what about pharmacies, or liquor stores for that matter? Is alcohol and prescription drug abuse not causing “significant public health and safety problems?” Or is it that alcoholics and pill-heads are just considered more important people than medical cannabis patients, or people who use marijuana in general?

“I think it’s time for the federal government, the president and the attorney general to wake up and stop these kinds of actions,” said Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates. “Here is a group of people who have played by the rules and have had no problems in the city with the way they or their patients conduct themselves.”

If Melinda Haag was only going after seedy dispensaries with a history of problems, her story might have a chance of flying. But BPG and another of her targets – Harborside Health Center in Oakland – are among the most respected dispensaries in the country, by patients and local elected officials alike.

In reality, those in power in the federal government decided long ago to decimate the medical cannabis industry. They have unleashed the U.S. Attorneys and the DEA and they have wreaked havoc in the industry, cutting off the supply for a multitude of patients who need their medicine.

Do we have to wait until Barack Obama leaves office for any hope of a reprieve?

– Joe Klare

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  • Harlowe Thrombey

    Although Melinda Haag isn’t the absolute worst US Attorney/Politician out there…. she should still come to terms with the fact that her entire professional career is a waste, and so is her life.