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Obama’s War On Medical Marijuana Just Got Even Uglier


Eric HolderBy Scott Morgan

One month ago, Eric Holder testified before Congress that the Dept. of Justice is only targeting medical marijuana businesses that violate their state’s laws. Anyone who didn’t realize it was a lie should be getting the message right about now.

The federal government is moving to shut down the nation’s largest and highest-profile medical marijuana dispensary operation, filing papers to seize properties in Oakland and San Jose where Harborside Health Center does business.

Copies of the federal Complaint for Forfeiture were taped to the front doors of the two dispensaries Tuesday, alleging that they were “operating in violation of federal law.”

Medical marijuana advocates, as well as some state and local officials, decried the action, saying it hurts patients in legitimate need of the drug and breaks repeated promises by President Obama‘s Justice Department that it was targeting only operations near schools and parks or otherwise in violation of the state’s laws. [LA Times]

They’re not even pretending it’s about state law anymore. Harborside has a permit from the City of Oakland and pays millions in taxes to the state of California. They’ve been covered extensively in the press, and featured on the Discovery Channel program “Weed Wars”. Everyone knows exactly what goes on inside Harborside because we’ve seen it with our own eyes: they provide high-quality medical cannabis and other services to qualified patients. This is the definition of a legal and well-regulated medical marijuana dispensary.

So how are the feds justifying their attempt to shut down the most responsible business in the industry? They are claiming, I kid you not, that it’s just too successful:

I now find the need to consider actions regarding marijuana superstores such as Harborside. The larger the operation, the greater the likelihood that there will be abuse of the state’s medical marijuana laws, and marijuana in the hands of individuals who do not have a demonstrated medical need. — U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag

This is beyond outrageous and it flies in the face of even the most recent excuses put forward by the Attorney General and the President himself when attempting to justify their escalating war on medical marijuana.

By targeting Harborside solely on the basis of its reputation as the nation’s “biggest” medical marijuana provider, DOJ forgets something rather important: it’s the biggest because it’s the best. Harborside is a model of safe, secure, patient-oriented medical marijuana services. It’s also a model of legal compliance, and any effort to shut its doors simply obliterates the Attorney General’s recent claims that DOJ is merely upholding local laws. He really should stop saying that.

It boggles the mind to imagine what sort of perverted logic is driving Obama’s vicious assault on a voting block that helped elect him four years ago. What little the President has said on the matter in recent months is now even more obviously false, and if it isn’t about upholding state laws, then the question of the Administration’s true agenda is something about which we can only speculate. It isn’t winning him any votes, that’s for sure.

Today, anyone who’s tried to make excuses for Obama’s horrible handling of all this should just stop. Anyone who says this President is secretly a friend of the marijuana reform movement should close their mouth. Anyone who’s claimed that “they’re only busting bad dispensaries” can cut the crap. This is a war. It’s Obama’s war. And to my friends who are too afraid of Mitt Romney right now to criticize Obama, I say you’re making our President more dangerous by meeting his mistakes with silence.

If you don’t want Obama to destroy medical marijuana in America, this would be a good time to speak up about it.

Article From StoptheDrugWar.orgCreative Commons Licensing


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  1. -=Yellow Flame=- on

    Obama Vs. Bush!! Wrapping up drug enforcement into a single persons name is ridiculous. Keeps shooting the puppet when you should be looking for the ones pulling the strings from above. Presidents are just scapegoats dancing for the masses.

  2. Steve in Oakland on

    On the other hand, I was shocked – shocked, I tell you! – to find there is such a thing as a Stoned Republican. Google “Meghan McCain & Weed” to read what John McCain’s daughter thinks about marijuana. In 2004 we campaigned for Obama because we were scared of a McCain/Palin presidency, but Obama has done just about everything we were afraid McCain would do, and then some, so what is the difference? During Bush’s presidency people were in the streets, agitating for peace and justice issues. With Obama it’s been ho hum, go ahead and continue lying to us and doing whatever Big Money tells him to do. When the “investment bankers” and their ilk were looting their depositers’ and investor’s accounts, the Obama administration said they were too big to fail, and let them go on to loot the U.S. Treasury. No arrests or indictments came out of that criminal fiasco. Now Melinda Haag, who represented white collar criminals at a big San Francisco law firm before being appointed U.S. Attorney, is going after California medical marijuana dispensaries, with the latest threat against Harborside made by her because Harborside is too big, so there is a bigger chance that the medieval federal drug laws may be compromised – although there is no evidence any of them have, or will be. What strange logic. We survived Edwin Meese and John Ashcroft as attorney generals, so why the big fear of Chris Christie? Putting Christie forward as some sort of omnipotent Calvinist who is going to stop medicinal marijuana in it’s tracks plays into Christie’s well cultivated megomaniacal persona, as if he could do anything that Attorney General Eric Holder isn’t already doing. Remember: Eric Holder and Barack Obama flat out lied to us about their policy towards medicinal marijuana, so I wouldn’t consider them “the lesser of evils.” As El Conde Jodido reminds us in a previous post, choosing the lesser of evils is still a choice for evil.

  3. El Conde Jodido on

    Thank you, Steve, for cementing and enlightening this out of the mainstream point of view. Inhabiting the marvelous truly civilized Bay Area, I’m confident you also appreciate the great late Jerry Garcia’s observation that choosing the “lesser” of two evils is still choosing evil.

  4. I can hardly wait for one of the western states to go for total legalization, which could happen this November. Montana, Oregon (maybe California) and Washington all have total legalization questions on the ballot. You think these Federal criminals are on the anti pot rampage right now?? If it passes in one of those states, I believe that you and I haven’t seen anything as to how low these Federal bastards will stoop to stamp out all of this legalization nonsense (their words I’m sure – not mine). Of course, I tend to….ignore such….nonsense, especially all of it that comes out of the other Washington. And I advise all who would listen that that’s what they should do as well. They can’t lock up everyone…. The genie is out of the bottle, at least here in western Washington state with some of the lowest prices IN THE COUNTRY for excellent quality medical (or otherwise) marijuana. And while it isn’t officially “legal” around here yet, judging by the quality (overall superb from mom & pop artisinal growers) and prices (under $200 an ounce for top shelf bud and pounds for $2500 are common) and availability (it’s everywhere), it may as well be. Anyway, I’m looking forward to the show!!!!

  5. Steve in Oakland on

    As a famous Chinese philosopher wrote, “Who are our friends, and who are our enemies, is the most important question.” Unfortunately, in American politics we have to choose between “the lesser of evils.” How many times in the past four years have we read that Obama has done something worse, or more times, than Bush did during his eight years in office? Like raiding medical marijuana dispensaries, for instance. With a Supreme Court top-heavy with Nazis, and a dissembling obfuscating White House – to say nothing of the Rich Men’s Clubs, the Senate and the House of Representatives – we are up against it, for sure! I just keep humming “We all live in a fascist war machine!” [to the tune of Yellow Submarine, of course!] and it all seems to make sense. Hopefully, this, too, shall pass!

  6. Look again. Obama has continued the foreign wars that destroy people and our standing in the world, and ONLY benefit the rich. He has continued and expanded the freedom-destroying, Orwellian-named “Patriot Act” and similar legislation. He has filled his cabinet with one-percenters and bailed out the bankers while letting Americans suffer.
    He CAN do many things, but it’s what he DOES that matters. He, and the vast majority of Repubs and Dems are skunks that need to be tossed on the garbage heap.

  7. Those are not real problems to me, because the majority of voters who support medical marijuana initiatives just want to move marijuana as far as possible back to its traditionally legal status.

    With over 100 million Americans having consumed marijuana, it’s clear the main issue is recreational marijuana. Medical marijuana is a real, but minor, side issue. And it will be automatically resolved by ending the monstrously destructive fraud of marijuana prohibition.

  8. Right. His priorities have definitely gone askew. – We must end the persecution of ALL marijuana consumers first. Then we can discuss the fine details.

  9. El Conde Jodido on

    I’m planning to vote for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson who pledged to end this racist ruinous drug war and pardon everyone persecuted because of cannabis.

  10. It was a solid website but just can’t give him much traffic anymore with how he treats folks who visit there. You wouldn’t believe the emails I had with him…….It’s not an act……I really think he is unstable. You are correct that he has fallen into the greedy grower mindset also which is sad. I honestly believe he is doing more harm than good anymore and have seem him chase non-smokers but supporters away by being rude and overly obnoxious. I understand it’s his website but that doesn’t give him license to verbally abuse folks with a different opinion. Try giving the man feedback or constructive criticism and he will act like a foul mouthed 12 year old. We don’t need this BS with the movement. We all should be working toward one common goal – folk’s lives not being ruined by being targeted for smoking a harmless non toxic plant that God placed on the Earth for all of us to enjoy.

  11. Baloney. Anyone who thinks there is any real difference between Obama and Romney on marijuana policy is deluded.

    Here’s a novel idea. Let’s start believing in OURSELVES for a change!

  12. Agreed. Elliot created a good site, but he has since flipped to join the greedy grower mindset. Anyone who is against any of the three state re-legalization initiatives is not a real marijuana reformer. Sad indeed.

  13. Wow. He is only a “non-entity” if you buy into the view of the one-percent. No marijuana reformer I know has ever done that. We will NEVER break the hold of the plutocracy until we work to build a REAL alternative to the Republicrats.

    All those who stay in their system are like the kept rabbits in Watership Down. – Not for me, Jack.


  14. This all makes me really sad. They continue harassing and destroying lives even though the majority of American people want it legalized. This is a war they can’t win (sound familiar?) and Obama is losing votes by doing so. I’m probably voting for Gary Johnson as I can’t stand Obama or Romney. First time ever I won’t be voting democrat :(

    This probably isn’t the best place to put this in but……..People need to look at Steve Elliot’s behaviors over at Toke of the Town. He acts like a 12 year old foul mouthed punk while insulting anybody who dares to disagree with him. He constantly hammers folks over there for no good reason other than they dared to go against what he thinks. It’s about time people boycott that place and come over to The Weed Blog. I have never seen the mods here attack people and they allow all different types of thinking. Elliot is doing more damage then he realizes by being a dick to people who come to his site. Very sad that he gets off acting like a 12 year old. Thank you again Weed Blog for being a friendly place to post and read news!

  15. It is a game The Ds ramp up the war. The Rs hold the status quo. And yet the Ds talk (or hint) anti-prohibition and the Rs are always on about the evils of dope.

  16. This is Harbosides administrations own doing!! Steve D’Angelo, brother, family and staff made medicinal marijuna a huge joke. I’ve watch most of what had been televised on Harborside and the D’Angelo family. The filmed them all “medicating”. One episode shows a staff member trying to function after “Medicating” (aka-trying product). He was so stoned he had to ask the customer several times what it was they wanted. He then had to make change and had trouble calculating that. In my opinion they are very unprofessional. Now the Stanley Brothers in Colorado, they are professional. They don’t make medicinal marijuana a joke. If they partake in the product, they do not do it on TV or in public. They continue to follow medical research, agribusiness and strain development. They advocate for their patients and go above and beyond with customer service. (my conclusion formed from veiwing their Nat’l Geographic show and googling them).

  17. I have an issue with that first line. Mitt will lie to you about anything and everything to get your vote. He is the most notorious flipflopper. Abortion and health care just to name a couple things. I mean how can he say so much Shit about obamacare when he passed the same exact thing.

  18. I’d rather not be decapitated by cartels in California; what we (cannabis users) need to do is create the CannaPac or something like that and just play the game of pollitics like everyone else. Moneys talks especially when it comes to politicans these days, and they are the the ones that can reschedule cannabis to a schedule 4 or just leave it off the Damn list this time around. Maybe while there at it they could actually do some INDEPENDENT research BEFORE making the list.

  19. fuck you if you had any comon sence oboma is clearly a better choise and that romdy basterd is going to fuck us all but hey man its your future and your decison for better or worse for socitey any way oboma may up tight but that will get worse if you vote for dofus ron paul idot whos side are you on any way stoners or the governments way of doing things?

  20. Heck folks, the Republicans were not this hard on the sick that need MMJ when Bush was in Office..will not vote for Obama, he must be removed..To do that my best bet will be Romney.

  21. Maybe a four year period with such madness would be good to wake up the public at large about the war on drugs, and what a disaster it is.

  22. Or, as it were, Romney. Nevertheless, wouldn’t it feel good to vote for someone of principle.

  23. FloridaBadger on

    Hell Yeah Mann!! Who could EVER vote for that RB Puke Who uses money to get anythging he wants!! FKN Rs He doesnt have th U.S.s better interest in mind! Rs balked at Every thing Obama has tried to pass! For Americas betterment!! All he’s interested In is the high $s he cam profit from!! Electing him IS the downfall, even worse than it already is!! Romney IS another Scott Walker R WI governer money is what kept him in office! FKN BASTARDS!!

  24. FloridaBadger on

    WTF over!! Unless I’m mistaken this IS the only issue that th Prez HAS done a complete reversal!!! At the least he CAN reschedule the Federales position on All Marijuana issues!!

  25. I’ll tell you what you should be frightened about; Romney wins and makes Chris Christie his new Attorney general, my friends you have no idea of what a war on weed could be like but this man, the fat governor from my state will call out the california national Guard and park a jeep with 2 MP’s at every weed dispensary in California and Colorado too. This man is the greatest foe to marijuana we have EVER had and that includes Harry Anslinger who is a babys doll compared to this animal…wo hooo you better pray he doesnt become that AG

  26. The only capable, honest, experienced presidential candidate is Governor Gary Johnson. Not only did he save New Mexico from financial disaster, he was the driving force behind that state’s implementation of medical marijuana. – He says:

    >>>”The parallels between drug policy today and Prohibition in the 1920’s are obvious, as are the lessons our nation learned. Prohibition was repealed because it made matters worse. Today, no one is trying to sell our kids bathtub gin in the schoolyard and micro-breweries aren’t protecting their turf with machine guns. It’s time to apply that thinking to marijuana. By making it a legal, regulated product, availability can be restricted, under-age use curtailed, enforcement/court/incarceration costs reduced, and the profit removed from a massive underground and criminal economy.

    By managing marijuana like alcohol and tobacco — regulating, taxing and enforcing its lawful use — America will be better off. The billions saved on marijuana interdiction, along with the billions captured as legal revenue, can be redirected against the individuals committing real crimes against society.”


  27. Steve in Oakland on

    Here is Melinda Haag’s “reasoning” for going after Harborside, from the San Francisco Chronicle’s Business Blog, Friday 7/13/12:
    U.S. Attorney: Why I’m busting Harborside Health Center
    This from U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag in San Francisco:”On Monday, July 9, this office filed civil forfeiture actions against 1840 Embarcadero, Oakland, California, and 2106 Ringwood Avenue, San Jose, where Harborside, a marijuana dispensary claiming over 108,000 customers, operates.”This office has used its limited resources to address those marijuana dispensaries that operate close to schools, parks and playgrounds. As I have said in the past, this is a non-exclusive list of factors relevant to whether we should commence civil forfeiture actions against marijuana properties, and circumstances may require us to address other situations. “I now find the need to consider actions regarding marijuana superstores such as Harborside. The larger the operation, the greater the likelihood that there will be abuse of the state’s medical marijuana laws, and marijuana in the hands of individuals who do not have a demonstrated medical need. “The filing of the civil forfeiture complaints against the two Harborside properties is part of our measured effort to address the proliferation of illegal marijuana businesses in the Northern District of California.”The way I read the statement, Harborside hasn’t actually done anything illegal (at least in terms of California law) that we can find. but because it’s big, it must be guilty.

  28. Lavender Kush on


  29. Lavender Kush on

    Then why arent they shutting down Monsanto? What this country needs is a revolution!
    “I now find the need to consider actions regarding marijuana superstores such as Harborside. The larger the operation, the greater the likelihood that there will be abuse of the state’s medical marijuana laws, and marijuana in the hands of individuals who do not have a demonstrated medical need. —U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag”

  30. Why don’t we ALL call the local Obama campaign and tell them “you WON’T vote for Obama as long as he keeps breaking his promise to leave those Compliant with State Law alone. There’s THOUSANDS of patients who will NO LONGER have access to their medication in a SAFE MANNER making them all have to go back to the black market and give the Cartels MORE MONEY and power. Yeah, that’s what makes fuckin sense!

  31. O, and by the way, let’s fire that moron Melinda Haag. She is a disgrace to her office.

  32. A disgraceful piece of hypocrisy. Obama, Holder, stop currying favor with the Pharmaceutical industry.

  33. I think that we need to support the cartels so they can come into california and put heat on the DEA

  34. -=YellowFlame=- on

    The state of California is failing its people by not standing up for state law and telling the Fed’s to piss off or else.

  35. eating_sunshine on

    Romney did promise to respect states rights. Obama has done much more damage to medical the marijuana industry than Bush ever did.
    I would never vote for Romney. But to say Obama is or would be better than Romney, is a few facts short of the load. Don’t be a brainwashed sheeple, vote Ron Paul or third party.

  36. No matter how many times Obama stabs me in the back I’m not stupid enough to vote for Romney. You think our country is in rough shape now…just wait. If the republicons win the white house we’ll have to just give up on cannabis and fight for contraception, equal pay for women and everything we established 50 years ago. I’ll admit the choices aren’t great but I’m not going to give this country to some greedy bastard who will make $ on anything, even shipping jobs overseas.

  37. Mitt will not lie to you. He will straight up attack you. And direct assaults are easier to counter. The knife in the back is way more dangerous than the man who aims for your gut. You are on guard for the gut attack.

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