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

  6. 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. 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. 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. This is bull,this crop will bring billions in taxes to all the states.Every one knows that 40-60% of the population is uing on a daily basis,that means movie stars,rock stars,olympic athletes,government officials,you name it they smoke it.It is the safest intoxicant with people usually doing the safest things using it.You don’t pick up stoned drivers and they don’t steal to get money for pot.Those are facts.It’s way safer to have on the counter then beer or liquor.Alcohol is the most destructive drug out there even with herion and it’s available to everyone.Legal or not marijuana can be bought by any age group because it’s not regulated.Legalize it and then kids can’t just go buy weed at the store without being of age.Thank you,i’m just a dumb plumber and i can solve the problem.

  10. I’m sorry to sound cliche, but F Obama and the fed in this. We’re tired of paying taxes so they can bust us for doing nothing that harms anybody! We are not hurting anyone, and that is a fact. If someone wasn’t making money off of cannabis, we would be here making such a fuss. Complete F’n garbage and a waste of time. If I’m out in my garage in the off hours, who the hell should care what I’m going as long as I am being a productive member of society, while taking care of my family. My weed, my pee, MY BUSINESS!

  11. Thank God, Kamala Harris and not a rabid Cannabis prohibitionist Steve Cooley, was elected to be California’s next attorney general! Don’t you have your hands full with all kinds of important things, Obama? Stop your threats already!

  12. So give tax breaks to the rich and then spend more money to interfere with patient’s rights? Gov. Gary Johnson in 2012? I would hope he could get the nomination (ugh) but not with tea baggers moving the electorate to stupid. Could it be the right timing for a strong third party? Doubtful. Hopefully in two years something can ignite a new flame for our cause. Not sure what it is yet but let’s hope it’s something to get the average non smoking citizen all riled up… something like dogs getting shot in pot raids or… anyone… anyone? We already have a movement against governments over reaching powers but how can we use that to our advantage?

  13. Hey NORML– write ’em an angry letter~! Tell them you disapprove of this course of action even though they intend to take it anyway and nobody will listen. YEAH!

    I’ve given up on your methods. You guys can keep fighting this fight like this– I’ve bought a gun. The second amendment solution to fascism…

  14. We need Gary Johnson to stop this irresponsible madness.
    Ron Paul & Gary Johnson both for 2012.

  15. Why do I need my governments approval to make my cannabis tea before bedtime? I grow my own, I don’t sell it or give it away, I harm no one…not even myself! Just do it! Sit back and watch the circus unfold. 70 years of reefer madness mentality, and the old farts who still embrace it, are coming to an end. Big Booze knows it too. The day has come when what a politician believes concerning cannabis may well dictate if they are elected or re-elected. Until reason and logic returns to our government, just do it. It is the greatest form of protest there is!

  16. Amazing Grace

    This Negro Inhaled

    Like Clinton, and Bush

    I wonder if the people will ever inhale cannabis as free Citizens

  17. HEY NORML.

    U GUYS NEED TO TELL THE PEOPLE IN OAKLAND TO GO HEAD AND PLANT.

    JUST AS SOON AS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT GOES IN ON THE GROW OPS, WE THE PEOPLE WILL JOIN AND TAKE BACK OUR RIGHTS.

    WE WILL CALL YOUR BLUFF, I DARE U TO CALL OURS.

  18. the day of reckogning is coming… s.510 could make it so a back yard garden of tomatoes is illegal and could be dealt with if not the police then the FDA, health -human services.

    They are going to keep stripping us of our rights until actually stand up and say back the fuck up!

    We have system based on banks and money.. withdraw your money from the bank and the system collapses. Its violent free and it actually accomplished the goal. now help me get u, ur friend and everyone else in on this.. thats the problem. Too much of a hassle.

    well. untill u stand up, do be surprised when you get walked all over.

  19. This is such an amazing entry and I love to read more of it so that I will be able to look over and have it as an inspiration for further articles to write about when it comes to updates on legalizing marijuana and it’s pros and cons too. I do hope you will get to visit our official website and let us know what you think about it. Here is the link
    http://bit.ly/dburLQ
    and thanks ahead. 🙂

  20. Of course, nobody but nobody could have possibly seen this coming. The Obama regime filed a memo (via AG Holder) about not going after State MMJ patients, growers, co-ops, or dispensaries that were fully in compliance with State(s) MMJ laws.

    And yet these Federal raids on MMJ have persisted, especially targeting high profile subjects to serve as examples. The recent Obama regime’s seconding of Michelle Leonhart as the head of the DEA should have been another clue that the Obama regime would renege on that promise. And the Obama regime’s recent call for a universal and far stricter enforcement of DUID statutes represents a major escalation in their War Against People. Of note as well has been a major up-tick in the Anslinger-style propaganda against cannabis, including MMJ.

    The only real differences at this point that I can ascertain between the fascistic old GW Bush regime and the fascistic new Obama regime is that (1) Obama is far more articulate, and (2) that Obama is an out-and-out liar — the same iron fist of fascism, albeit concealed in a velvet glove.

  21. i told u guys a long time ago if oakland builds it the feds will tear it down its that simple they dont like it dont poke the bear

  22. The Government is going to have to apply for one of those low-interest credit cards from the Chinese if it wants to declare war upon California, one of America’s last revenue engines even today.

  23. …..and hey, all you Obama bashers, I know, he sucks.

    But man, wait’ll you see what happens if the GOP comes back.

  24. NUless y’all haven’t been paying attention the just outlawed growing and producing ones own food so what does that tell you where this is going

  25. This just restricts HUGE Grow OPs from driving out the legal small medical grower. What do you think will happen when 4 people make all the cannabis in the Bay? Do you think they will not lobby to have the small growers right deminished, because he will. Prop 19 lessened the rights of the medical grower so compatition wouldn’t be a problem unless you had $259,000. Thats right to get that permit 4 groups are paying oakland over a 1/4 Million a year. Thats alot of payout that once they get they will not be able to stop taking.

    Everyone here like the way its working right now! There is NO COMPLAINTS! The only ones bitching is the guy who wants to turn the cannabis industry into WalMart, and the people outside of california that dont have the medical rights we do.

    Stop complaining and get your card!

  26. I go to bed at night I live in fear. I wake up in the morning,I live in fear. I smoke I live in fear.Yes the government scares me. I spend my whole time and life waiting…for marijuana to become legal so I can grow it.All those cards and permits and you need this and you need that and ask so and so for permission is pure BS

  27. #32 Coinspinner

    Please explain how the GOP would be any worse than Obama …

    former NM Gov. Johnson (R) —– pro-legalization of cannabis
    TX Representative Ron Paul (R) — pro-legalization of cannabis
    former AK Gov. Sarah Palin (R) — pro-legalization of cannabis

    Check out the USA Green Party, no bastion of conservatism, that does a yeoman’s service discerning the differences between todays Republican Party and Obama’s Democratic Party:
    [ http://www.therealdifference.org/issues.html ]
    TheRealDifference dot ORG / Issues dot HTML

  28. Sarah Palin is not pro legalization. Like Obama she went out of her way to say so. Some people, rep and dem hear what they want to hear. Both seem to support the “lowest law enforcement priority” movement and that in and of itself is some improvement.

  29. i am voting for an Independent (Bernie Sanders)if we can get him entered into the 2012 presidential primary.

  30. Bernie sanders is a self avowed socialist, all set with that! We need some real tea party patrons they be/ieve in placating the gov’t to the confines of the constition, vote for a libertarian; vote ron paul..

  31. we all know that marajuana reform is coming around in the u.s. The government is just delaying the enevidable. i have been encarcerated for marajuana chages in the past. It is unfair and unjust to prosacute harmless pot smokers and growers. The laws are set in place for state laws saying its ok for a few growers to sell to despeceries. But than our govt. the dea can come in at any time to make a bust. Both federal and state laws have to corordinate to make medical marijuanna work. Thats just the tip of the iceburg. If we can get medical marijuanna Legal than we can start to work on reform for the rest of us. Lets all get tax stamp and get busted is what there bacically doing to medsical weed. Just making and old law new again. We need new legsislature in washington. tomake this work and stop greesing the weels of this one hundred years of marajanna proabition

  32. I guess the feds have taken the position that because Prop. 19 failed, they feel that the people are on “their side – wrong!!!.” I guess they feel confident that their “intimidation of California voters,” by their threats to aggressively pursue California users if the Bill passed, is some sort of victory – Get real!!! They’re violating our sovereign laws. A violation is a violation – and – violators should be punished. What I wonder is if these guys goose step.

  33. Look! We the People are in charge of all three branches of government – that includes the Justice Department. When is the tail going to stop wagging the dog. THC is as legal as “any drug” in California. By the way – why is Merinol federally legal and the real deal illegal? Wouldn’t one think that someone has their head so far up their ass a good far would blow their brains out. God help us all.

  34. I’ll lead the way back to democracy! Join the cause and raise with me the proper definition of freedom of our nation! Let us go forth and bring equality and opportunity back to our country!

  35. To bad about the lip, huh OBAMA. Looks like if you don’t get the hell out of office this next time around..maybe you need to watch your lip on the other side. We the people don’t go for lying scoundrals in political offices. Looks like if you can’t play fair then maybe you better get out of the game or just not play at all. Who knows..maybe you’re just going to end up a sore lip loser in 2012. I’m sure some of you’re old pals have a game plan.
    Maybe all the government skunks all across the land should have a game of ball every so often…We the people can see that many of you have something to learn.

  36. Now you people go figure…don’t we already know that these government scoundrels are rolling in the money ..by keeping marijuana illegal?…go figure!!!

    IT’S TIME TO PUT THESE government SCOUNDRALS and CORRUPTED government PEOPLE OUT OF BUSINESS. Can’t you people see the greed, the deceipt and the deception tactics that is the front runner to the governments grand scheme?…

    I SAY WE THE PEOPLE ARE SICK AND TIRED OF THE LIES AND B.S. OUR government is feeding to us. It’s time to put a stop to the government using us as their scapegoats.

    Any comments on this line…JUST KEEP THE BALL ROLLING!!

  37. rEMEMBER lester maddox AND THE axe HANDLE?
    mAYBE SOMEONE SHOULD START HANDING OUT 30″ Long x 1″ Schedule 40 Pipes to use as a deterrant to government scoundralism. GOVERNMENT CORRUPTION & political scoundralism is like a scourge or disease across the land of America.

  38. 46 The Free Man

    Freedom and Democracy are a contradiction. If you want to restore the Republic and the Constitution I’ll hold your hand in hell. So! What’s the plan Stan? Lead away!

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