The Obama administration has long been supportive of the medical marijuana movement, even stating during the presidential campaign that, “The basic concept of using medical marijuana… [is] entirely appropriate.” However the Feds now appear to be launching a full-fledged attack against this legitimate industry, not only by threatening prosecution and arrest, but also by intimidating and coercing banks, land and store owners, as well as other business entities, that help keep the medical marijuana industry alive.
Feds Attempt to Force Medical Marijuana Industry Out of Business
In recent months there have been several blows to the various industries who support the medical marijuana market. Paul Armentano, deputy director of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, reported in U.S. News & World Report Opinion, these disturbing changes:
- “The Department of Justice sent letters this past spring to state lawmakers that were debating legislation to allow for the licensed distribution of medical cannabis, threatening prosecution of those involved with said efforts if the measures went forward;
- The IRS has assessed crippling penalties on taxpaying medical cannabis facilities in California by denying these operations the right to file standard expense deductions;
- The Department of Treasury has strong-armed local banks and other financial institutions into closing their accounts with medicinal cannabis operators;
- The Drug Enforcement Administration has rejected a nine-year-old administrative petition that called for hearings regarding the federal rescheduling of cannabis for medical use, ignoring extensive scientific evidence of its medical efficacy;
- The National Institute on Drug Abuse rejected an FDA-approved protocol to allow for clinical research assessing the use of cannabis to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, stating, “We generally do not fund research focused on the potential beneficial medical effects of marijuana.”
- Most recently, Deputy Attorney General James Cole, along with the four U.S. attorneys from California, announced plans for a coordinated effort against operations in California that provide above-ground access to cannabis for those patients qualified to use the substance in accordance with state law.”
The war on marijuana is indeed a strange one, considering the legality of cigarettes and alcohol — products that have vastly greater potential to harm public health, without any of the medicinal benefits. Not to mention that the FDA approves drugs, prescribed by doctors every day, that kill over 100,000 Americans a year.