Perhaps President Obama figures that pot smokers are so spaced out that they will float into the voting booths this November and automatically vote for him no matter how harshly his federal prosecutors crack down on medical marijuana dispensaries. If that is his assumption he might be in for a rude shock. On the heels of the largest medical marijuana dispensary in the country, Harborside Health Center which was featured in the Discovery Channel's "Weed Wars" last year, being targeted for closure by prosecutors, the pro marijuana publication of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) published an article by their Deputy Director, Paul Armentano that was both highly critical of Obama while praising Bush:
Many of California’s most prominent and well-respected medical cannabis dispensaries and related facilities — including Oaksterdam University, Berkeley Patients Group, and Harborside Health Center (HHC) — flourished under the George W. Bush administration. But they’ll be lucky to survive President Barack Obama’s first term.
Here are more details of the actions by the federal prosecutors and why NORML is now disgusted by the Obama administration:
On Tuesday, federal prosecutors targeted Harborside Health Center in Oakland, as well as its sister facility in San Jose, for closure and civil asset forfeiture. In court papers filed by the US Attorney for the northern district of California, Melinda Haag, the federal government alleges that Harborside is “operating in violation of federal law” by providing cannabis to state-qualified patients.
The actions taken by the US Department of Justice stand in sharp contrast statements made by President Obama prior to his election, when he pledged to no longer use federal “Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws” regulating the physician authorized use and distribution of medical cannabis — a promise this administration has repeatedly broken. The actions also contradict more recent statements made by US Attorney Eric Holder to Congress in June when he asserted that Justice officials are solely targeting individuals who are “taking advantage of those state laws and going beyond what those states have authorized.”
Yet despite Eric Holder and the President’s claims to the contrary, the DOJ’s actions against Harborside are consistent with a growing trend by the Obama administration to target and close many of the state’s most prominent, longstanding, and well-respected medical cannabis operations — including the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana (1996-2011), Berkeley Patients Group (2000-2012), and El Camino Wellness (2008-2012).
One final note: Should a public official who follows through on a promise not to interfere with the legal operation of medical marijuana dispensaries be referred to as "pro pot" or "pol pot?"