Americans have been discussing for quite some time now, about ending the war on drugs. Yet, marijuana dispensaries in northern California are still being busted. The country seems poised to take marijuana use out of the war. After the last election, folks in the states of Washington and Colorado can use marijuana for recreational purposes.
Last month in a speech to an American Bar Association conference, Attorney General Eric Holder unveiled a plan to reduce mandatory minimum sentencing for nonviolent drug-related crimes. “By reserving the most severe penalties for serious, high-level or violent drug traffickers, we can better promote public safety, deterrence and rehabilitation — while making our expenditures smarter and more productive,” Holder said.
Why then, does Melinda Haag, a U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California, feel that she must continue to prosecute Marijuana dispensaries in her district?
According to ThinkProgress, “In the past few years, as some medical marijuana business people have been made into criminals in states with their own laws, no state has been more center stage than California..The state saw the first marijuana law, so the medical marijuana industry has had longer to develop. And crackdowns have been vigorous, particularly at the hands of U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag.”
Nicole Flatow writes, “In its latest guidance, the Department of Justice made explicit that the size and commercial nature of a dispensary was no longer reason enough to prosecute. And Haag has been equally explicit that size and commercial nature played a role in her crackdowns.”
“Let it be noted that the attorney general was catching up with a movement already underway around the nation. Haag says she’ll ignore the DOJ directive to back off medical marijuana dispensaries,” noted Flatow. This attack on dispensaries is going on regardless of Attorney General Holder’s insistence that the harassment and prosecution of these dispensaries must stop.
At a time when the country is moving toward legalization, it is difficult to understand why U.S. Attorney Haag wants to put so many people in prison for marijuana health care use.
Richard Andrew is a guest blogger for Ring of Fire.