DEA Makes First Federal Medical Marijuana Raids Under Obama Administration

South Lake Tahoe, CA: Federal drug enforcement officials, working cooperatively with state and local police, seized marijuana and cash from a medical marijuana dispensary in Lake Tahoe, California last week. The raid was the first action of its type taken by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) since President Barack Obama took office on January 20.

While campaigning for the presidency, Obama pledged not to “use Justice Department resources to try and circumvent state (medical marijuana) laws.”

No arrests were made in last week’s raid, and a new facility has already opened to serve patients in the Lake Tahoe region.

The bust received national media attention, with many news outlets expressing criticism over the raid.

In response to the DEA’s actions, several prominent drug law reform groups have asked voters to contact the White House and urge the President to suspend Justice Department activities that target medical marijuana providers who are compliant with their state laws.

In a separate action last week, the DEA also raided two medical marijuana providers in Colorado, but did not make any arrests.

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500.