May, 2013, Mendocino County, CA: County officials announced they had reached an agreement with federal prosecutors on stopping the feds' legal foray into the county's medical marijuana growers' program, which keeps grower information on file for County Sheriff use only. No personal information from the county's program will be released to US Attorney Melinda Haag. In October, 2012, Haag had demanded just about anything to do with the marijuana program: names and locations of all pot gardeners, county bank records, "any and all" legal correspondence, etc. The county fought back, hiring a San Francisco attorney to fight Haag's nasty federal subpoena. For now, the feds have backed down.
Earlier in March of 2012, the Feds raided Jim Lee's outlets in Oakland, serving warrants on his home, his Oaksterdam University and two of his retail medical marijuana outlets. They are threatening to take over his land as well.
Meanwhile, Various cities such as Concord have banned outdoor marijuana grows, and other cities are raiding legal medical marijuana outlets statewide, including here in San Jose where over 100 are still open for business.
In May, 2013, Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates criticized U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag for harassing the Berkeley Patients Group. The popular, State-legal medical cannabis dispensary in Berkeley faces federal forfeiture efforts from Haag yet again, leading to a press conference where town leaders defended the Better Business Bureau member and criticized the female U.S. Attorney for trampling on City business codes and State's Rights.
Meanwhile, some counties in California (NOT Mendocino) are still cooperating with the Feds to bust State-legal grows, sharing intelligence and manpower. Law enforcement officials are still taking over bank accounts of small California pot growers. Small California growers are still being harassed by State and County police in helicopters, who confiscate legal plants and illegally use live Satellite imaging to spy on suspected growers. The war is not over, and the good guys and bad guys have become so blurred, nobody can see clearly: certainly not Haag.
Haag's statement, with my commentary: “The marijuana industry has caused significant public health and safety problems (such as? -DD) in rural communities, urban centers and schools in the Northern District of California (aren't all schools either in rural or urban areas by definition? -DD). Because some believe marijuana has medicinal value (beliefs attributed to facts and science -DD), however, we continue to take a measured approach and have only pursued asset forfeiture actions with respect to marijuana retail sales operations very near schools, parks or playgrounds, at the request of local law enforcement, or in one case, because of the sheer size of its distribution operations." Sheer size and politics are the real truth. Local law enforcement can do its own enforcement, and city permits already limit proximity to schools and thumb suckers.
The response from Berkeley City Council member Darryl Moore: "To see the atrocities of our Department of Justice, it's just outlandish and needs to be stopped."
And from National Cannabis Industry Association president Aaron Smith: "U.S. Attorney Haag's views on marijuana policy are out of step with those of the vast majority of voters in her state, and her office is acting in direct conflict with the Department of Justice’s 2009 Ogden Memo, which set a policy to respect state law in matters involving medical cannabis. It's high time for the Obama Administration to put a stop to this rogue activity and review all pending federal medical marijuana cases for compliance with stated administration policy. One has no choice but to question DOJ's allegiances when tax dollars are being used to close down an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau to further the economic interests of criminal cartels."
The Federal, Anti-Medical Marijuana Woman Warrior:
US Attorney Ms. Melinda Haag, blatantly ignoring her department's own Ogden Memo.
Just Say NO to the Feds.
It was my first trip to Amsterdam that really got me going about the difference between plants and drugs. Our country calls plants "drugs" and calls real drugs "medicine." People abuse legal drugs by the millions, especially sugar and alcohol. My mother used to say, we already have alcohol and tobacco legal, why should we make another substance legal that can cause problems? The answer is long. Because marijuana is not a drug, it's a plant. Because drug laws promote more drug use and destroy families unnecessarily. Because substance addiction, like to food, TV, sex and a common drug called sugar, is a counseling problem not a legal problem. Because marijuana is so popular it cannot be legislated out of favor. Because it is honestly medicinal and by definition does not qualify for Schedule I. Because it is non-toxic with no overdose potential, unlike Tylenol and common tap water. Because drug laws in general and pot laws in particular are enforced in a very racist fashion. Because it is pure hypocrisy to allow tobacco that kills nearly a half million Americans each year and make a non-toxic plant illegal. Because alcohol and tobacco are far worse than marijuana--addictive and dangerous. Because none of God's plants should be illegal. Ultimately, Marijuana legalization should stand on its own, since it really has nothing to do with alcohol or drugs. We tried prohibition: it was a huge disaster. It created the Mafia, just like we are creating the Drug Cartels in Mexico. I don't have the answer to the drug problems in America. All I know is that drug laws create more problems than they solve, that plants are not drugs, and that even God gives us all plants to use as food in Genesis, 1:29.
About 90% of the so-called War on Drugs is a war on Sacred Plants, not drugs. That is a complete waste of resources. We are a nation of food addicts, so should we therefore ban all food? Water can kill, so do we ban water... and cars and guns and prescription drugs and dogs? Horses kill more people than marijuana. Where is the current logic? I would ask my mother, WHY should marijuana be illegal at all? That is the real question. When you tell teens that heroin and marijuana are equal, yet they try pot and see how harmless it is, they are more likely to try heroin. They are forced to buy it from dealers, who also sell other illegal drugs. In California, where I have a doctor's prescription for medicinal marijuana, I can buy plants or clean, tested buds from a local outlet that pays taxes and only sells pot, not drugs. Millions paid in taxes, happily. This works. Schedule 1 does not work. Never will. Marijuana gives the Mexican Cartels 75% of their income. Making pot illegal is like making sex or chocolate illegal. It will never work.