Obama Administration Opposes Oakland’s Medical Marijuana Grow Plan, Threatens Potential Statewide Crackdown

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director December 7, 2010

    Obama administration officials strongly oppose plans by the city of Oakland to license and tax industrial sized medical cannabis producers, according to a just published report on CaliforniaWatch.org, the website of the Center for Investigative Reporting.

    Sources at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the United States attorney’s office in San Francisco said that federal officials would likely pursue criminal or civil litigation against local marijuana growers as well as Oakland city officials if they decide to move forward with plans to license medical cannabis farming. “Oakland would be on the hook for violating state and federal law,” an unnamed administration official told the website.

    Oakland City Attorney John Russo confirmed that DOJ officials are opposed to the city’s licensing plan. “They’ve expressed their concerns that the path Oakland is taking is in violation of the law,” Russo said in a prepared statement.

    Oakland officials are seeking to license up to four industrial-sized medical marijuana grow operations within the city limits. The permits do not set limits regarding the quantity of cannabis that licensed producers may cultivate at each given site. City officials began accepting applications from prospective growers in November.

    According to the California Watch report, federal officials are also planning to initiate a broader crack down on marijuana production and distribution statewide. The story reports that DOJ and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officials met with California’s four U.S. attorneys on November 10 “to develop a plan to deal with some of the loopholes and gray areas in the state’s medical marijuana program.”

    The administration’s threats appear to be in conflict with an October 19, 2009 DOJ memo stating, “As a general matter, pursuit of [federal law enforcement] priorities should not focus federal resources … on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana.” Nevertheless, as previously reported by Americans for Safe Access and others, the administration since issuing that memo has engaged in an estimated 30 federal raids of medical marijuana providers, producers, and laboratory facilities that engage in the testing of cannabis potency and quality.

    NORML will have further details on this story in Thursday’s weekly media advisory.

    53 responses to “Obama Administration Opposes Oakland’s Medical Marijuana Grow Plan, Threatens Potential Statewide Crackdown”

    1. Bhonze says:

      This is pure BS; the Federal govt. is overstepping states rights. This is pure communism. We need to over throw this communistic govt. This is a Free Country, We the People.

    2. Billy Beans says:

      Well, that’s not really a good thing. Now my plans/dreams to move to California and be a licensed grower don’t seem to certain.

    3. cobb says:

      “Go back to sleep America, your government has everything under control. Here comes some American Gladiator on the TV, watch this! Shut up! Yes America! you are free to do as we tell you, you are free to do as we tell you.” -Bill Hicks

    4. Keith in N.H. says:

      What a great way for the country to spend more dollars it doesn’t have!!!
      We’ll send in the Feds bust all the growing Ops & THEN figure out what was actually legal and what wasn’t.
      Cali can have legal med. cannabis but only “some” people can grow and the gov’t doesn’t want to outline who they are and Obama says he wont mess with the individual states ..but wait isn’t that what they are doing?
      Sounds like an Abbot & Costello Routine! And where the hell is Obama
      nevermind the cronies , he already said his admin…wasn’t going to do this yet here they are spending cash like the country has any!!!
      The first time I ever voted and when needed my candidate can’t come up with any more than Bdeep ,Bdeep , Bdeep I don’t know folks???
      JUST GREAT! ;(

    5. Pain-fully Stressed says:

      well obama admin. ur definitley not helpin the economy at all. u all should be replaced.

    6. Cat Cassie says:

      Obama is not going to give an inch is he? Well we are powerless now but in 2012 the power will shift to the people by way of voting. Vote Gary Johnson in 2012.

    7. Glen says:

      Sounds like Michigan. Voters make medical marijuana legal here and still patients and caregivers are arrested and co-ops and compassion clubs get raided.

      I have new a new term for legal patients and caregivers here in Michigan “legal guerrilla growers”

      Its what you need to do to avoid becoming a statistic in the war on drugs.

    8. John is not sleeping says:

      Hey Obama,

      Yes we can..Restirct your God given rights

      Yes we can..create a catch phrase to fool the foolish

      Yes we can..Rule without regard

      Yes we can..Impose unfair restrictions

      Yes we can..Impose health care.

      Yes we can..Lie with great frequence to the people

      Yes we can..Make believe america has a two party system

      Yes we can..Pit american against american for our own political aspirations.

      Yes we can..Continue to do this for the forseeable future.

      Yes we can.. Yes we can….AND WE WILL !!!!!

      America that I new is DEAD. But I would gladly fight to get her back.

    9. […] in the Obama Department of Justice are strongly opposed to Oakland, California’s plan to expand it&#8…. Plans are in the works for a statewide crackdown on medical marijuana by the federal government in […]