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February 2009
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Is Now American Policy

Attorney General Eric Holder in a press conference today about the arrest of members of the Mexican Sinaloa Cartel, with DEA head Michele Leonhart standing next to him, was asked about the medical marijuana raids and the fact that Obama had promised to end them during his campaign (scroll to the 25 minute mark in the video).
His reponse:

“What the President said during the campaign, you’ll be surprised to know, will be consistent with what we’ll be doing here in law enforcement. […] He is formally and technically and by law my boss now, and so what he said during the campaign is now American policy.”

[thanks, Tom!]

Note: This doesn’t mean that there will be no more raids on medical marijuana dispensaries at all. Certainly, the State of California could conduct a raid on a dispensary that it claimed was violating state law (and any resulting cases would likely be tried in state court where you could mention state medical marijuana law).
Also, theoretically, the State of California, believing that a dispensary was violating state law, could ask for help from the DEA, but I would imagine Holder would find that to be politically unpleasant and would ask why the state is incapable of doing it themselves.
What does seem clear from Holder’s statement is that there will be no more DEA raids of dispensaries that are operating legally under state law, but not under federal law. This should also mean no more Charlie Lynch trials. I hope the judge sentencing Lynch takes that important point into account.

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