By Lauren Fox
President Barack Obama touted a progressive attitude on medical marijuana on the campaign trail, but since taking office, Obama’s administration has hardened its stance and supporters of the drug are crying foul on the flip-flop.
“I think the basic concept of using medical marijuana for the same purposes and with the same controls as other drugs prescribed by doctors, I think that’s entirely appropriate,” Obama said. “I’m not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws on this issue.”
But the numbers tell another story.
Since October 2009, Americans for Safe Access, a group committed to legalizing medical marijuana, estimates the Justice Department has carried out 170 raids on dispensaries and cultivation facilities in nine states.
“Every time a dispensary is shut down, there are literally hundreds of people waking up that day wondering where they will get their medication,” says Kris Hermes, the spokesperson for the Americans for Safe Access.