A week or two ago, I wrote about the U.S. Government’s almost spotless record of lying to the American people. Now it’s time to put some of that into the context of how they’re lying and misleading the public in their latest War On Medical Marijuana In California.
One month ago, the four California-based U.S. Attorneys held a press conference in which they announced that they would be cracking down on “people who are in this to get rich and don’t care at all about sick people”. They claimed that they’d only be going after “significant commercial operations” and dispensaries located near schools, playgrounds, and other places where children are found (as if anyone allows children into dispensaries).
U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag reassured the public that they wouldn’t “clamp down on patients who grow their own marijuana for medical use”. U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner said “Our interest is in enforcing federal criminal law, not prosecuting seriously sick people and those who are caring for them.”
It almost sounds righteous. But as usual, it’s a big lie and a smokescreen. Because what they really did went far beyond that:
- One of the first things the Feds did was to send out letters to dozens of landlords — not just ones involved with the targeted operations — threatening them with forfeiture of their land and criminal prosecution for simply renting their property to legal dispensaries.
- One of the first places raided in the “crackdown on only commercial operations, not sick people” was Northstone Organics Co-Op, possibly the most legitimate, compassionate, non-commercial collective in Northern California and which was approved by no less than the local sheriff. They were, in fact, growing medical marijuana for the medical use of themselves and their members.
- This all coincided with a literal Federal seizure of money directly from some dispensaries’ bank accounts, leading a number of financial institutions to stop dealing with dispensaries altogether.
- In many of these cases, there have been no presecutions. Even the Federal government is not stupid; they know that no jury will convict these people who are innocent of any crime. Instead, they rely on legal intimidation and threats to eliminate what they see as “the marijuana menace” but over 70% of the American public realizes is sick people in need of life-saving medicine.
The result has been unprecedented closure of dispensaries all over California. That’s why Americans for Safe Access, NORML, and other groups will be getting together tomorrow, November 9, for a massive protest at the Federal Building in Sacramento at noon. I hope you will join us there!