Thursday, February 26, 2009

AG Holder says, "No More Medical Marijuana Raids"

Speaking at a press conference with DEA administrator Michelle Leonhart, Attorney General Eric Holder declared that ending medical marijuana raids "is now American policy."

A reporter asked, "shortly after the inauguration there were raids on California
medical marijuana you expect these to continue?", noting that the President had promised to end the raids in the campaign.

Holder responded, "What the President said during the consistent with what we will be doing here in law enforcement. He was my boss in the campaign....He is my boss now. What he said in the campaign is now American policy." !!!

The question appears about 25 minutes into the press conference, which was devoted to an operation against the Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel.


Americans for Safe Access
For Immediate Release: February 26th 2009
Contact: ASA Communications Specialist Kris Hermes (510) 325-9574

Medical Marijuana Patients React to New "American Policy" -
Media conference call Thursday, February 26, 12:00 PM to feature medical
marijuana dispensary operators targeted by DEA raids

Washington, D.C. - Speaking at a press conference on Feb 25 with DEA
Administrator Michele Leonhart, and reiterating a position made by the White
House following DEA raids in California on February 4, U.S. Attorney General
Eric Holder told reporters that ending federal raids on medical marijuana
dispensaries "is now American policy." The Attorney General's comments are
the latest sign of a sea change in federal policy that prohibits the use of
medical cannabis in the thirteen states that have enacted such laws.

What: Media conference call in response to U.S. Attorney
General Eric Holder statements on ending DEA raids on medical marijuana
dispensaries "now American policy"
When: Thursday, February 26, 2009 @ 12:00 PM Pacific (PST)
Where: Conference Call # - (800) 762-6558
Who: Medical marijuana patients and dispensary operators who
were targeted in DEA raids, and ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer.

In response to a reporter's questions about DEA raids at medical marijuana
facilities in California, Holder said, "What the President said during the
campaign... is now American policy."

72 million Americans live in states where medical cannabis is legal, but
federal law prohibits its use under any circumstances. More than 100
Americans are currently facing prosecution, sentencing, or serving time in
prison for medical cannabis offense right now. ASA hopes the emerging change
in federal policy will signal an end to prosecutions and bring those already
serving time for medical cannabis offenses home to their families.

"There has been a lot of collateral damage in the federal campaign against
medical cannabis patients," said Steph Sherer, Executive Director of
Americans for Safe Access, the nation's largest medical cannabis advocacy
organization. "We need to stop the prosecutions, bring the prisoners home,
and begin working to eliminate the conflict between state and federal
medical marijuana laws."

ASA has provided recommendations for a new national medical cannabis policy
to President Obama and the 111th Congress earlier this year.

Participant Bios:

Steph Sherer is a medical cannabis patient who founded Americans for Safe
Access (ASA), the largest national member-based organization of patients,
medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and
legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research in 2002.

Larry Epstein operates a legal medical cannabis dispensing collective in
Marina del Rey, CA, that was raided by the Drug Enforcement Administration
(DEA) on February 4, despite President Obama's statements on the campaign
trail indicating a change in federal policy.

Heather Poet operates a medical cannabis dispensing collective in Santa
Barbara, CA. The DEA has pressured her landlord to evict the collective
using threats of prosecution and civil asset forfeiture. Her case prompted
US Representative Lois Capps (D-CA) to ask Attorney General Eric Holder to
stop any and all prosecutions of property owners on February 16.

Charles C. Lynch was convicted in August 2008 of operating a medical
cannabis dispensing collective in Morro Bay, CA. Like all federal medical
cannabis defendants, he was not allowed to present evidence about medical
cannabis or the fact that he was obeying state law at his trial. He faces
decades in prison at his sentencing on March 23.

For more information:
Policy Recommendations to President Obama:
Congresswoman Lois Capps Letter to Attorney General Eric Holder:


Andrew In Alabama said...

It's a breath of fresh air to hear reason coming out of Washington, instead of rigid ideological nonsense.

Loretta Nall said...

Amen to that! I hope it will help things along here in Alabama. I've heard 'the feds might come get us' argument in judiciary committee more times than I can count. That is one less argument they will have.

Anonymous said...

That's okay -- now they'll just bring out, "we have to protect the children."

Anonymous said...

HI Loretta,
I was listening to a caller on XM radio the other day say it was easier for his teenage children to buy marijauna than it was for them to buy alcoholic beverages. He said you have to be 18 and show picture ID to buy liqour but nothing to buy marijuana. He says marijuana should be legalized to keep underage teens from having access to it. He also talked about the addtional tax revenue legalization would provide.