Pubdate: Fri, 10 Apr 2015
Source: Orange County Register, The (CA)
Copyright: 2015 The Orange County Register
Author: Martin Wisckol


An Orange County Republican congressman has written Attorney General 
Eric Holder insisting he back off prosecution of medical marijuana 
dispensaries and respect a congressional budget amendment designed to 
protect dispensaries operating within the bounds of state law.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Costa Mesa, and Rep. Sam Farr, D-Carmel, 
signed the letter to Holder. It was prompted by a Justice Department 
quote in the Los Angeles Times justifying the continued prosecution 
of dispensaries.

Rohrabacher and Farr were co-sponsors of a landmark budget amendment 
last year that said funding to the Justice Department and Drug 
Enforcement Agency could not be used to enforce federal marijuana 
laws when they're at odds with state medical pot provisions. 
Twenty-three states have legalized use of medical marijuana.

Nonetheless, the Justice Department is pursuing charges against three 
Bay Area dispensaries.

Justice Department spokesman Patrick Rudenbush told the Los Angeles 
Times that his agency did not interpret the budget amendment as 
protecting individuals against prosecution, but rather simply stopped 
it from "impeding the ability of states to carry out their medical 
marijuana laws."

Rohrabacher and Farr aren't buying it.

"We can imagine few more efficient and effective ways of 'impeding 
the ability of states to carry out their medical marijuana laws' than 
prosecuting individuals and organizations acting in accordance with 
those laws," they wrote.

In a statement, Rohrabacher added, "The continuing prosecution of 
these cases represents a clear defiance of the will of the people, as 
represented by the United States Congress. Good people, as a result, 
are victimized by their own government."

Rohrabacher has been a consistent champion of legalized pot. He's the 
co-sponsor of a bill that would permit Veteran Affairs physicians to 
recommend the use of medicinal marijuana for veterans in states where 
medical pot use is legal. He has also urged his congressional 
colleagues not to stand in the way of new state laws legalizing the 
recreational pot use.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom