Word from the White House is in. When it comes to state-sanctioned medical marijuana clinics, there will be no drama from Obama. Last Wednesday, Attorney General Eric Holder addressed the media in regards to the president’s campaign promise to stop using federal funding to circumvent state law. During the press conference, Holder stated, “The Justice Department will no longer raid medical marijuana clubs that are established legally under state law.”Many patrons of these facilities grew weary, as it seemed the president’s campaign declaration had fallen upon deaf ears. Even after President Obama took office, federal raids continued to run rampant throughout the state. Recently in the last month, six local medical marijuana clinics were raided, having records, supplies, and currency confiscated. The Bush administration vigorously fought the idea that states had the right to decide their own laws governing the use of Medical marijuana. Due to the fact it continued to be illegal under federal law, the DEA reserved the right to storm these clinics with full force. Though these facilities were legally operated under state law, for years each owner, landlord, and employee risked the most brutal of federal raids. Guns drawn and in full force, DEA agents would habitually carry out raids of these facilities, leaving frightened patrons and employees with the feeling that they were being compared to terrorists. A constant uproar from the medical marijuana community has managed to make some headway, and it appears that for the first time this decade, Washington is listening.Senator Barbra Boxer (D-Calif.) seemed to be high in spirits upon news of Holder’s press conference. “It’s good news for the people in California who are ill that they have gotten a doctor’s note in compliance with the law. If you have a doctor’s note, you should be able to get whatever medicine you need.” Conversely, Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) didn’t seem as optimistic about the new approach from the nation’s capital, saying, “I’ve got to think about that a little bit.”With the budget deficit at an all-time high and the jobless rate the worst since the Great Depression, the U.S. government is struggling to find ways to increase income and employment throughout the country. President Obama and the Attorney General have made it clear, federal funds will no longer be spent to perpetrate the circumventing of state law.
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