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White House: DEA Raids in Medical Marijuana States Will Stop

By Al Giordano

No sooner was President Obama sworn in than the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) decided to provoke him.

Two days after the January 20 inauguration - before the Senate had confirmed the nomination of Attorney General Eric Holder - the DEA raided a medical marijuana dispensary in South Lake Tahoe, California, one of the states that has made such facilities legal. This, with full knowledge that as a presidential candidate Obama had pledged to discontinue such raids.

Yesterday, the DEA carried out multiple raids at medical marijuana clinics in the Los Angeles area. According to MSNBC:

"A Los Angeles police spokesperson said the department, which is normally notified of such operations, got no advance warning from DEA."

In other words, the DEA was so worried that the LAPD might alert the White House of its plans beforehand and so it bypassed the normal procedure there.

This has of course led to a chorus of Chicken Little-ing from some corners of drug policy reform that Obama and/or Holder never intended to keep Obama's campaign promise to end the raids in states that permit medical marijuana clinics for patients with cancer, glaucoma, AIDS and other ailments treated by the plant.

Today, the White House made it clear to the Reuters news agency that the DEA is acting without its blessing:

"White House spokesman Nick Shapiro on Wednesday reiterated Obama's stance that 'federal resources should not be used to circumvent state laws.' 'And as he continues to appoint senior leadership to fill out the ranks of the federal government, he expects them to review their policies with that in mind,' Shapiro said."

So, everybody chill. Rome wasn't destroyed in a day. Although there are some economic libertarians, Ron Paul enthusiasts, and beautiful losers in parts of the drug policy reform milieu that apparently would rather see the Obama administration break its promises - so as to be able to crow that nothing ever changes and to be able to continue their own daily poutrage - the vast majority of us absolutely want the raids to end and understand it will take not a lot, but yes a little bit, of time to clear the bureaucracy of insubordinates and steer the ship of Justice back on track.

Meanwhile, if patience is that hard, there's probably a medicine somewhere that can help.

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