Saturday, May 05, 2012

A Challenge to All Supporters of Medical Marijuana

by LEO E. LAURENCE, J.D. • Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

Copyright © 2012 by Leo E. Laurence for Zenger’s Newsmagazine • All rights reserved

In every corner of the state from San Diego to San Francisco, federal prosecutors are on a massive national campaign to close all medical marijuana dispensaries!

The Obama administration is at war with the medical marijuana community, violating his campaign pledge not to use federal resources to attack activities that are legal under state law.

The “Feds’” method is to hit landlords who rent storefront space to dispensaries. Procedurally, under federal, criminal law the “feds” can confiscate the property and send violating landlords to 40 years in a federal penitentiary. 

We need a massive campaign on social networks to flood the White House and the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. with protests against this blatant violation of state’s rights.

I’m personally asking YOU, my reader, to use social networking to demand that the White House and/or the Justice department stop their idiotic campaign to close ALL medical-marijuana dispensaries. That violates the U.S. Constitution.

My confidential sources in the White House, who cannot be named because they are not authorized by the White House to speak on this controversial issue, say the president himself quietly signed off on this federal attack on medical marijuana.

IRS and Drug Enforcement Administration agents recently raided a northern California medical marijuana training school, Oaksterdam University, founded by Richard Lee.

Lee had been involved in pushing ballot measures to legalize cannabis. He gave more than $1.5 million to support legalization in California.

Oaksterdam University has offered classes to would-be medical-marijuana providers in courses ranging from horticulture to business skills and legal issues involved in operating legal dispensaries. The university did not distribute marijuana, according to confidential sources.

Lee is closing the large operation after local, state and federal agents raided his school, his home and his dispensary.

“I am now in this legal situation, so it’s better for me to step aside,” Lee explained.

The (federal) agents confiscated marijuana, computers and company files, making it difficult to continue operations.

Lee said, “The agents came to my home and showed me search warrants. They did not list what they were seeking, or the purpose of the raids.”  If true, the warrants may have been defective and challenged on motions before trial in the Superior Court.

“(The raids) were something we’ve always feared, but we have always known it’s a part of the politics” on marijuana issues.

Tens of thousands of our tax money is being thrown against the medical-marijuana dispensaries in the months-long crackdown; approved by the White House and the Department of Justice in Washington.

Hundreds of protestors hit the streets in downtown Oakland within hours of the raids. More than 18,000 have signed Lee’s on-line petition demanding an end to the federal crackdown on medical-marijuana dispensaries.

“I don’t know how this will play out,” says reporter Peter Hecht of the Sacramento Bee.

Landlords of dispensaries throughout California are very scared because they could lose their property and/or spend 40 years in a federal penitentiary.

“We may need the help of law-enforcement organizations like Law Enforcement Against Prohibition [L.E.A.P.] to prevent the collapse of the medical-marijuana industry nationwide,” he added.

Inside sources estimate that there are only 19 dispensaries now operating in San Francisco, and only four in Oakland.

In San Diego, at one time before the federal crackdown scared landlords, there were about 220 dispensaries operating.

Now there are only about 3 operating in San Diego.

HopeNet is a bohemian establishment in San Francisco where marijuana patients could toke from vaporizers and bongs at a breakfast bar. On-site consumption was allowed by the city because it was more than 1000 feet from an elementary school.

Recently, however, a Mandarin language school opened nearby, and the feds now want the dispensary closed. Were the feds instrumental in establishing that Chinese-language course as a means of closing the dispensary?

Legislative Progress

An Assembly committee recently passed legislation to create state oversight of medical marijuana dispensaries. Its chair, San Francisco Democrat Tom Ammiano, said, “The worst choice is for Californians to sit idly by doing nothing and let this failed war on medical marijuana by the feds to continue unchecked.”

AB2312 would charge fees on dispensaries and other medical marijuana businesses to create and finance a policing agency, the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Enforcement.

The board would approve licenses for businesses selling, growing or transporting marijuana for use by people with physicians’ recommendations.

Challenge to All Readers

Reader, you are challenged to send TWO e-mails or letters to both (1) the White House and (2) the Department of Justice in Washington. Your message can be simple:

Mr. President: Please keep your campaign promise not to use federal agents to shut down medical-marijuana businesses that comply with state laws.

Send me a blind copy of your e-mails to:  If you need to discuss it, call me at (619) 757-4909.

L.E.A.P. needs calls or e-mails from current and former law-enforcement officers who support medical marijuana. Our contact can be totally confidential.

L.E.A.P has over 50,000 supporters in over 80 countries. and most have carried a badge. Share your stories by calling me: (619) 757-4909.