The Cautious Optimism of Southern California

Last week our country’s newly appointed Attorney General Eric Holder was
questioned about the continuing tactic of the DEA to target medical
cannabis dispensaries in Southern California.  AG Holder responded to the
media by addressing that they may be “surprised” that the role of federal
law enforcement will be consistent with the administrative directives of
President Obama, whom AG Holder continually referred to as his “boss.”
Mr. Holder continued that ending raids on legitimate medical cannabis
facilities is now American policy.

What does this mean?  First, although AG Holder is top cop of our country
and Mr. Obama is the boss, this statement did not change federal law.
This is important because in ongoing dialog with federal agents and
prosecutors they always state that they raid and prosecute because there
is a law on the books that allows them to do so.  However, the Department
of Justice sets the funding priorities for the Drug Enforcement
Administration and can and should reprioritize their funding to EXCLUDE
investigation, raids, arrests, seizures, prosecutions and incarcerations
of legitimate patients.  PAN participated in a conference call with staff
in the House Judiciary Committee to address these funding priorities.  We
still await the official appointment of a permanent Administrator of the

Although federal law has not changed… yet, it appears that the perception
in Washington has.  Ending the raids has been the cry of patients in
California for many years.  It appears the right ears may now be
listening.  Ending the raids has been our American policy for some time
as polls have consistently shown that 80% of American voters support
medical marijuana.  It now needs to become federal policy.  PAN continues
to educate Congressional leaders about the need for federal policy that
protects patients and releases our PODW’s. (Prisoners of the Drug War)

What should we do?  Although it appears it would be politically unpopular
for the DEA to launch any further attacks on us, there is nothing at this
time that prevents them from doing so.  They still have the funding, the
same hostile administrator and numerous open investigations.  I ask
EVERYONE in the medical cannabis community to continue to use caution and
honor security culture.  BE SAFE.  We are not out of this yet.  Many
patients are still in prison.  Ronnie Naulls, Virgil Grant and Charles
Lynch may still lose their freedom.  There are still rogue cops and
cross-deputized officers who are arresting patients around the state
today.  Do not allow yourself to fall into a false sense of security until
medical cannabis is regulated in a way that allows the patients/caregivers
to cultivate and dispense it to the patient community without the
federally enforced pharmaceuticalization of this herbal therapy.
(Criminal defense is expensive in every way!)  We still have A LOT of work
to do.  Until Cannabis Is Safe & Legal And All The Prisoners Free ~

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