The Public Says “No More DEA Raids!” The President Says “No More DEA Raids!” So Why Are There More DEA Raids?

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director February 5, 2009

    Okay, try and stay with me if you can.

    While campaigning for the US presidency, Barack Obama pledged not to “use Justice Department resources to try and circumvent state (medical marijuana) laws.”

    Nearly three-quarters of the American public agrees with this position. According to a new national poll of 1,053 likely voters by Zogby International and commissioned by the NORML Foundation, seventy-two percent of voters say that President Obama should “stop federal raids against medical marijuana providers in the 13 states where medical marijuana has become legal.”

    But since President Obama took office two weeks ago, the US Drug Enforcement Administration has undertaken at least seven separate raids of state-authorized medical marijuana providers in California and Colorado. Most recently, on Wednesday DEA officials — acting without the cooperation of state or local law enforcement agencies — served federal search warrants on at least four Los Angeles based medical marijuana collectives. Agents seized medicine, cash, financial records, and computers, but did not make any arrests.

    Still with me? Good, because things are about to get even more confusing.

    Today, in a front page article in The Washington Times White House spokesperson Nick Shapiro said, “The president believes 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.”


    Okay, maybe I missed something but last time I checked Barack Obama is, in fact, the 44th President of the United States — which means he has the authority to tell both the US Department of Justice and DEA Acting Administrator Michele Leonhart: “No more raids. Period!” (NORML podcaster Russ Belville has already drafted Obama the requisite memo here.)

    Or, if Obama doesn’t want to be the one who personally rains on the DEA’s eight-year parade, then he can demand his newly sworn in U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to tell Ms. Leonhart and the DEA: “When President Obama says ‘no more raids,’ he means no more raids! Any more ‘smash and grabs’ in California — or any other state that’s legalized the medical use of cannabis — and you’re all out of your jobs. Got it?”

    Of course, given the likelihood that President Obama won’t be making such demands of his new Attorney General any time soon, why don’t you?

    Click here and tell US Attorney General Eric Holder to uphold the will of the President and the public. It’s time for the DEA to stop circumventing state medical marijuana laws. It’s time for the raids to come to an end.

    68 responses to “The Public Says “No More DEA Raids!” The President Says “No More DEA Raids!” So Why Are There More DEA Raids?”

    1. Interestingly enough, the folks over at Americans for Safe Access sent me an email about this, but their stance is totally different. The title reads,”White House Statement Signals the Beginning of the End.” They seem to be quite happy about the new statement. Hopefully, the Obama Administration keeps its promise, and ends these attacks on the sick and dying.

    2. lori says:

      we just need to legalize hemp and tax it. My grandchildren can get pot easier than they can get cigarettes.The dealers don’t care about the age limit as long as the kids have the money. People keep saying ” what about the children” Make it legal so kids have a harder time buying it and that certainly would get some jobs going for this country, which is what we need, lower interest rates don’t mean s**t if you don’t have a job!

    3. pedro says:

      obamas a liar man… i lost respect for him since the FIRST raid. i still cannot believe he has stayed quiet about this! wow. ='(

    4. Change you can't believe in says:

      I’m sure in 3&1/2 years Obama will rediscover his pledge. At least until you lemmings vote for him again.

    5. David Clark says:

      Bam! Message sent.

    6. JediMonk says:

      I said it from the start, never trust a lawyer, their profession by nature is to interrpret the truth; when done, however, any interpretation is inherently biased with that person’s personal agenda, i.e. (in this case) becoming the president. You suckers wanted this so i hope you enjoy the ride.

    7. Tsucasa says:

      I sent a email US Attorney General about the issue as I hope all of us did. I’m going to get more into this as well as I will be getting a license soon. This is a very major issue for me, and is the first step in total legalization.

    8. Jeff says:

      D E A



    9. BUGGSY13420666 says:

      It seems like the DEA (DEAD END ATROCITIES) still have the green light to keep on doing at what they are doing. It must be a new strategy not to make an arrest, which is a start in the right direction or a trojan horse move. Besides that they have confiscated everything else. You people out there are going to have to realise that the DEA still has the draconian mentality of power and the only way they going to get rid of it is HR 5842. So you people in Washington DC get off your butts and pass this bill and take care of business. NOW IS THE TIME FOR CHANGE FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE!