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

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 thoughts

  1. My dear brethren,

    It is said -“Your mind is the best weapon you possess.” With that in mind – have your mind tell your fingers to E-mail your “elected” representative and give them a piece of your mind. Let their cup runnnnnnnneth over.
    Pour them an “Unless Clause.” “You won’t get my vote – ‘unless’ – you abide by the will of the people.”

  2. For all of those people that are concerned with the federal laws against marijuana.
    There is another option for states to go if the people are strong enough to follow through with it and that is for the state to “SECEDE FROM THE UNION” and become its own country. Yes, I know this sounds ludicris,but, it seems to me that these laws will never change. I do agree with the constitution that as long as the pursuit of happiness does not infringe on anyone elses rights then “We the People” have the right to pursue our own happiness. I mean look at the “BIG” corporations, they are pursuing there happiness and infringing on every americans rights, not to mention the worlds. And what does the fed do about that, they “BAIL” them out. I trully hope that it doesn’t come to this, but see a civil up-rising in the future. it would be a shame for there to be a civil war against the gov’t for the pursuit of happiness because the fed is against lagalizing marijuana and not one for the fed backing “BIG” corp america. Hmmm, now what is it that the people are really interested in?

    [Editor’s note: Secede from the US over Cannabis Prohibition? This maybe the single dumbest suggestion ever to reform cannabis laws. Get serious or please take such ‘ludicris’ suggestions some where else, far, far away.]

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