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U.S. | Drug War

US Attorney General Says Ending DEA Raids “Now American Policy”
by Americans for Safe Access
Tuesday Mar 3rd, 2009 8:03 PM

Beginning of the End:
US Attorney General Says Ending DEA Raids “Now American Policy”

Dear ASA Supporter,

Speaking at a press conference on Feb. 25 with DEA Administrator Michele
Leonhart, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told reporters that ending federal
medical marijuana raids "is now American policy." The Attorney General’s
comments are the latest sign of a sea change in federal policy prompted by a
groundswell of grassroots pressure by Americans for Safe Access (ASA) and our
allies. They came as a response to Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) raids
carried out by Bush Administration holdovers in California in January and
February.

ASA needs your support to keep grassroots pressure on the Attorney General.
Please support ASA today.

http://www.AmericansForSafeAccess.org/Donate

President Obama indicated he would end the DEA raids during his presidential
campaign, a position reiterated by the White House following DEA raids in raids
which took placeon February 4. In response to a question last night about DEA
raids at medical marijuana facilities in California, Holder said, "What the
President said during the campaign...is consistent with what we will be doing
here in law enforcement. He was my boss in the campaign....He is my boss now.
What he said in the campaign is now American policy."

Medical marijuana patients and advocates, who have mounted a massive grassroots
campaign to influence the new Administration’s policy, cheered the Attorney
General’s comments. 72 million Americans live in states where medical
cannabis is legal, but federal law prohibits its use under any circumstances.
More than 100 Americans are currently facing prosecution, sentencing, or
serving time in prison for medical cannabis offense right now. ASA needs your
help to ensure that the emerging change in federal policy signals an end to
prosecutions and brings those already serving time for medical cannabis
offenses home to their families.

ASA has provided recommendations for a new national medical cannabis policy to
President Obama and the 111th Congress earlier this year. We are working
overtime now to be sure those recommendations are heard in this new era of
compassionate federal policy. Please support ASA in this effort.

http://www.AmericansForSafeAccess.org/Donate

Sincerely,

Don Duncan
California Director
Americans for Safe Access

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by BPG
Tuesday Mar 3rd, 2009 8:08 PM

Hello Friends,

As you are aware, during his campaign for
President, then-Senator Obama issued several statements that seemed to
indicate that his administration would take a more reasonable approach
to medical cannabis in states where it is legal. We were
all dismayed when DEA raids continued after President Obama's inauguration.

Yesterday (Feb. 25),
during a news conference with DEA representatives, newly-appointed Attorney General
Eric Holder fielded a reporter's question about whether the recent raids on
California's medical marijuana dispensaries represented the federal policy moving
forward. With a beautiful smile on his face, Holder responded:

"What the President said during the campaign... is
consistent with what we will be doing here in law enforcement. He was
my boss in the campaign... He is my boss now. What he said in the
campaign is now American policy."

There are still miles to go--improving
standards, helping to free the more than 100 people who are still
imprisoned or facing federal prosecution for medical cannabis, and so
much more--but today is definitely a day to celebrate!!! We're having a party all
day today, with a special moment of appreciation at 2:25 p.m. If you can't make it,
know that we're all together in spirit!

To watch the Attorney General's announcement, visit:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjZeW2fcQHM

Again, many thanks, and be well,

Becky DeKeuster
Community Liaison
Berkeley Patients Group
by Marijuana Policy Project
Tuesday Mar 3rd, 2009 8:11 PM
When I spoke with Barack Obama at a Capitol Hill reception in September 2004 (two
months before his election to the U.S. Senate), he said he agreed with me that
states should have the right to determine their own medical marijuana policies
without federal interference.

That was the beginning of a series of events that culminated two days ago, when
Attorney General Eric Holder announced -- while standing next to the current DEA
administrator -- there will be no more DEA raids on medical marijuana establishments
in California or elsewhere. This is significant, given that Holder is the "top cop"
of the nation and the boss of the DEA!

Medical marijuana patients, dispensary owners and staffers, growers, MPP staffers,
and other activists are breathing a sigh of relief ... having been terrorized by the
Bush administration for eight years. How did we get to this point?

Please watch this one-minute video clip of Obama responding to one of our campaign
volunteers in New Hampshire on August 21, 2007, in the heat of the presidential
primary campaign:
http://granitestaters.com/candidates/video_obama.html

After that, Obama publicly reiterated that he would discontinue Bush's policy,
including in an interview with the editorial board of an Oregon paper. And, since
Obama was elected, we've kept in touch with high-level staffers in the White House
and on his transition team, as a way of keeping this issue on their radar screen
until the policy was officially changed.

Then, when Bush holdovers in the DEA raided five medical marijuana dispensaries in
California in the days after Obama took office on January 20, MPP barraged the media
and MPP members barraged the Obama administration to demand an end to the DEA's
raids (and to fire the Bush holdovers).

And, of course, MPP and a host of other organizations -- including conservative
groups like Citizens Against Government Waste -- have built support for the annual
vote (from 2003 to 2007) on the House floor for an amendment that would have
forbidden the DEA and the Justice Department from spending taxpayer money to subvert
state-level medical marijuana laws.

All of this advocacy by thousands of patients, dispensary owners, volunteers, paid
lobbyists, medical associations, and so many others has paid off. You did it; we all
did it.

Now it's time for us to take our work to the next level by (1) enacting medical
marijuana laws in Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and New York;
(2) improving California's and Rhode Island's existing medical marijuana laws in
order to provide licenses to dispensaries in both states; (3) reopening the federal
"compassionate IND program" so that patients in all 50 states can obtain legal
access to medical marijuana; and (4) passing our medical marijuana ballot initiative
in Arizona in November 2010.

Please consider visiting
http://control.mpp.org/site/Donation2?idb=0&df_id=1180&DONATION_LEVEL_ID_SELECTED=1141&1180.donation=root
to make a financial donation to all of this work. Thanks so much ...

Sincerely,

Rob Kampia
Executive Director
Marijuana Policy Project
Washington, D.C.

REPORTER: "Right after the inauguration, there were some raids on California
medical marijuana dispensaries. Was that a deliberate decision by you, by the
Justice Department? As a prediction of policy going forward, do you expect those
sorts of raids to continue? (muffled) The president said during the campaign --"

ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER: "Well, 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 was my boss during the campaign, he is formally and technically and
by law my boss now, and so what he said during the campaign is now American policy."

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