Feds fire up anti-pot campaign
October 7, 2011
A looming federal crackdown on legal pot dispensaries in California is emerging in the wake of shifting sentiments in the Obama Administration regarding the use and sale of medical marijuana.
This latest move by the U.S. government appears to be limited to California pot shops, but 16 other states’ approved operations may soon be targeted as the Justice Department’s apparent new mandate spreads to local law enforcement jurisdictions. Federal prosecutors have named 16 shops, mostly in the San Diego area, that must close down or face arrests, and suggest that more are to follow.
San Luis Obispo County has no medical marijuana dispensaries at this time. Under former Sheriff Pat Hedges, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department participated in raids on dispensaries, often working in concert with federal agents.
During his first two years in office, President Obama’s policy leaned toward a states’ right position, publicly noting that his administration would not aggressively enforce federal sanctions against pot use and distribution. But recently, that stance changed, with U.S. officials announcing a new interest in combating the medical use of the drug.