US Attorney General Lies to House Judiciary Committee about Medical
(Cal NORML Release Jun 8,2012)
Attorney General Eric Holder lied to the House Judiciary
Committee in testifying that his agency is only going after medical
cannabis dispensaries and growers that are going “beyond what states
Just days ago, the DOJ announced a new round of landlord
letters in Los Angeles County. Targets included the Hope Collective
in Whittier, which had been operating in full accordance with an
ordinance approved by the city council in 2006. The collective’s
director, Robert Ortiz, says he was careful to operate transparently
and in compliance with city rules, applying for an operating permit
in 2009, and only opening in 2010 after receiving a conditional use
permit with 49 conditions attached.
Many other well regarded, legally regulated medical cannabis
facilities in California have been targeted by DOJ landlord letters
despite taking pains to comply with local and state regulations.
Examples include: the Berkeley Patients Group; the Marin Alliance in
Fairfax; the Vapor Room, Hope Net, Divinity Tree, Shambhala,
Medithrive and others in San Francisco; Coffee Shop Blue Sky and
Oaksterdam University in Oakland; and Northstone Organics in
Mendocino. In all of these cases, DOJ’s actions have been denounced
by local officials, but US Attorneys have insolently disregarded
In addition, DOJ has threatened state and local officials not to pass
laws authorizing legal medical marijuana. In Mendocino County, the US
attorney browbeat county supervisors into rescinding the sheriff’s
highly successful outdoor cultivation inspection system, which was
bringing growers into compliance with security and environmental
regulations and raised over $600,000 for the sheriff’s department.
The DOJ’s bad faith seriously impugns the credibility and
competence of A.G. Holder and his administration.
– Dale Gieringer, Cal NORML
Attorney general defends medical pot crackdown
Friday, June 8, 2012
Washington — Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday defended the
Justice Department’s pursuit of medical marijuana growers and
dispensers, saying they “took advantage” of state medical marijuana
Appearing before the House Judiciary Committee, Holder acknowledged
the Justice Department had broken with the Bush administration and
pledged not to go after anyone acting within state law.
Nevertheless, those involved in large-scale marijuana growing and
distribution have “come up with ways in which they are taking
advantage of these state laws and going beyond that which the states
have authorized,” Holder said in response to questions from Rep.
Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y. “Those are the only cases that we have been
Nadler pointed out that as a presidential candidate in 2008, Barack
Obama had promised that he wouldn’t use “Justice Department
resources to try to circumvent state laws on this issue.”
But since 2009, federal agents and prosecutors have conducted about
200 raids on medical marijuana dispensaries and growers and brought
more than 60 indictments, Nadler said.
Much of the federal crackdown has taken place in California, one of
17 states (plus the District of Columbia) that have medical
marijuana laws on the books. Medical marijuana advocates in
California have accused the Obama administration of duplicity in its
evolving policy positions.
But Holder insisted the Justice Department has limited its
enforcement actions “to those individuals (and) organizations that
are acting out of conformity … with state laws.”
Dan Freedman is National Editor at the Hearst Washington Bureau. E-
This article appeared on page A – 11 of the San Francisco Chronicle