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             Bait and Switch Will Hurt Colorado

        The US Dept Of Justice The Ogden Memo PDF

A pending federal crackdown on Colorado’s medical marijuana patients and wellness providers will destroy livelihoods, hurt the economy and cost Colorado Springs and El Paso County precious new tax revenues. The Obama administration is backing off its principled state’s rights approach to medical marijuana, just as it has abandoned other promises of hope and change.

Colorado voters amended the state constitution in 2000 to allow the buying, selling and use of medical marijuana. Today’s thriving medical marijuana trade, which has freed patients from underground drug dealers, didn’t take off until Obama took office and directed Attorney General Eric Holder to announce new formal guidelines for federal prosecutors in medical marijuana states. An Oct. 19, 2009 memo by Deputy Attorney General David Ogden told United States attorneys that they "should not focus federal resources in your States on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana." ( See full Ogden memo )


  In Colorado, the memo meant federal respect for Amendment 20, which allows the doctor-recommended use of marijuana for an assortment of medical conditions including "severe pain." It allows for the "acquisition, possession, production, use, or transportation" of medical marijuana. ( Read Amendment 20 )

The memo represented a significant departure from the Bush administration’s refusal to acknowledge Amendment 20 and other state marijuana laws. It represented tangible change, brought to us by a president who promised change. Holder told reporters the new guideline was consistent with promises made by Obama during the campaign. One such promise:

"I would not have the Justice Department prosecuting and raiding medical marijuana users. It’s not a good use of our resources." – Obama, at an Aug. 21, 2007 campaign event in Nashua, N.H. ( See more Obama promises to protect medical marijuana ).

Forget the promises and the instruction to U.S. attorneys. Medical marijuana is going the way of the pledges to close the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, to end aggressive foreign intervention and to undo abuses in the Patriot Act.

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, who fights medical marijuana even though he pledged to uphold the state constitution, asked U.S. Attorney John Walsh to clarify the federal Justice Department’s position on medical marijuana after the state Legislature approved new regulations for the trade. In a July 26 letter to Suthers, Walsh said the Justice Department plans to "vigorously" enforce federal marijuana laws "against individuals and organizations that participate in the unlawful manufacturing and distribution activity involving marijuana, even if such activities are permitted under state law." ( See full Walsh letter )

Dennis Burke, the U.S. attorney for Arizona, sent a memo Monday warning Arizona state health officials about the state’s new medical marijuana act. He told Arizona officials of Justice Department plans to crush medical marijuana, despite the state’s law. The letter says his office "will continue to vigorously prosecute individuals and organizations that participate in unlawful manufacturing, distribution and marketing activity involving marijuana, even if such activities are permitted under state law." ( See full Burke letter )

That means Obama’s campaign promises and the 2009 memo – directing Burke, Walsh and other U.S. attorneys to "not focus federal resources in your States" on medical marijuana patients – mean nothing. Obama has shown his tolerance for rogue Justice Department employees who simply don’t approve of his "state’s rights" approach to medical marijuana laws. He appears too weak to force his U.S. attorneys to comply.

It’s a bait and switch that stands to devastate the lives of small-business owners, their employees, their investors and patients who trusted Obama and found a way off of destructive, liver-rotting, hard-narcotic pain medications. It’s a position that will only re-enrich and empower the criminal marijuana underground, which obeys no rules and pays no taxes. It stands to eliminate a substantial new source of tax revenue that has been a godsend to cities and counties throughout the great recession. With the potential demise of medical marijuana – which Obama promised to protect – it is impossible to distinguish this president from George W. Bush.


  The US DOJ Haag Memo, Is A Written Declaration Of War! A Press Release

   Haag Memo Sheds Light On Federal DOJ/DEA Action Against Legal Medical Marijuana
     The "Haag Memo" From The (DOJ) US Dept Of "IN-Justice For All" Sheds Light On The US Federal Dept Of 
      "IN-Justice For All" And The D.E.A. Actions Against "The Legal Medical Marijuana States Rights!"  3/18/2011

US DOJ Letter To Montana State on Medical Marijuana

See full Ogden memo
The Ogden Memo PDF

Read Amendment 20 http://www.nationalfamilies.org/guide/colorado20-full.html

See Obama promises to protect medical marijuana http://ubin.cc/jeBJOH

See full John Walsh letter http://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/media/site36/2011/0427/20110427_121943_pot.pdf

See full Dennis Burke letter http://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/media/site36/2011/0427/20110427_121943_pot.pdf

Pubdate: Fri, 06 May 2011
Source: Gazette, The (Colorado Springs, CO)
Copyright: 2011 The Gazette

Author: Wayne Laugesen, For the editorial board