The U.S. Department of Justice’s crackdown on medical marijuana in California has infuriated marijuana advocates who have tirelessly worked to ensure patients have safe access to the drug and move toward legalization.
The crackdown prompted Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, to say President Barack Obama’s policies on medical marijuana “are worse than Bush and Clinton.”
Ammiano, who has worked to try and legalize medical marijuana statewide, issued a statement following DOJ’s first public statement Friday about the crackdown.
“I am bitterly disappointed in the Obama Administration for this unwarranted and destructive attack on medical marijuana and patients’ rights to medicine,” Ammiano said in a statement. “Today’s announcement by the Department of Justice means that Obama’s medical marijuana policies are worse than Bush and Clinton. It’s a tragic return to failed policies that will cost the state millions in tax revenue and harm countless lives. 16 states along with the District of Columbia have passed medical marijuana laws - whatever happened to the promises he made on the campaign trail to not prosecute medical marijuana or the 2009 DOJ memo saying that states with medical marijuana laws would not be prosecuted? Change we can believe in? Instead we get more of the same.”
In San Francisco, at least three landlords received letters from the feds telling them they must shutdown the pot clubs or face felony charges and forfeiture of their buildings.
On Friday, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag for the Northern District of California said the feds would likely crackdown on other pot clubs in San Francisco and the Bay Area. “Although our initial efforts in the Northern District focus on only certain marijuana stores, we will almost certainly be taking action against others. None are immune from action by the federal government,” she said.
There are 26 permitted pot clubs in San Francisco.