White House vows to end DEA raids on Medical Marijuana dispensaries
During his campaign and since presidency began one word has surrounded the new US president Barrack Obama, change. Some people in the US and worldwide observers genuinely believe change will come but only time will tell. One thing is for sure is that the medical marijuana users in the 13 states that have passed laws making medical marijuana legal must have been pleased to hear that one change Obama was set to make was the ending of DEA raids of medical marijuana dispensaries. These dispensaries which provide medicine for sick people, places that are legit under state law but not under federal law have been under pressure from the DEA especially under George Bush’s eight years in office.
Those in the cannabis community who felt Obama would bring change must have been disheartened when within the first two weeks of him taking office there was four raids on dispensaries in Los Angeles. In the four raids which took place all in the one day 200 kg (400 pounds) of cannabis, edible cannabis products and about $10,000 in cash was confiscated according to a DEA spokeswoman.
In this day and age with the Internet and other means of connecting with people the cannabis activists were quick to respond and pressure has been piled on to Obama and others to end the raids in the wake of the raids. While there was many reasons for the concern, one reason was considering the new president said last year that if he was president he would not waste law enforcement resources undermining state medical marijuana laws and then for this (the DEA raids) to happen seems to show there maybe no change.
In a statement on February 5th from White House Spokesman Nick Shapiro reacted to new Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) raids at medical cannabis collectives in California, saying he expects President Obama to end that policy when a new DEA Administrator is seated. Now this may seem like news to make those in the cannabis community jump for joy but is it really that simple?
Stopping the DEA from raiding dispensaries is not making medical marijuana legal in the US but it's likely to be seen by Obama’s opposition in government as a wrong move, especially considering some of the politicians stance on the devil weed.
With the current economic crisis and other issues the new president is unlikely anytime soon to make drastic changes or even consider drastic changes to marijuana laws, even if he does plan to make changes there is unlikely anything to happen soon with other issues taking priority. But if he did at least stop the DEA raids on the dispensaries he will have done a lot more in a matter of weeks in power than Bush who’s DEA administration is still in place did in his eight years in power. I hope it would be a sign of better things to come as far as medical marijuana users and their rights go, it could raise the possibility of some changes (that word again) during Obama’s presidency, though I would not start holding my breathe just yet.
I guess we will know just how likely change will take place by the amount of time it takes for him to change things in the DEA. If it happens soon it could be taken as a good sign but the longer it goes on with the Bush administration in control the more likely things will stay the same, despite any promises made.
Let's keep in mind this was a promise made while on the campaign trail.