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Rep. John Conyers challenges DEA raids on MedMJ states

Congressman John Conyers, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has responded to the requests of numerous citizens as well as the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco regarding the use of federal DEA resources in enforcement of marijuana laws against patients legally using medical marijuana under state law.

The Conyers letter, sent to Acting DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart, asks for the administration’s response to the complaints in advance of hearings to be held in front of the Judiciary Committee.  Conyers’ questions include:

Is the use of civil asset forfeiture, which has typically been reserved for the worst drug traffickers and kingpins, an appropriate tactic to employ against individuals who suffer from severe or chronic illness and are authorized to use medical marijuana under California law?

Has the DEA conducted any analysis of the potential economic consequences of using civil asset forfeiture in an area that is experiencing some of the nation’s sharpest declines in property values?

Has the DEA considered the consequences of shutting down legally-operated public dispensaries, and whether that might drive the cannabis sales activity underground?

Given the increased level of trafficking and violence associated with international drug cartels across Mexico, South America and elsewhere, do you think the DEA’s limited resources are best utilized conducting enforcement raids on individuals and their caregivers who are conducting themselves legally under California law?

Have you considered that DEA activities against qualified individuals is negatively impacting the ability of state and local officials across California to collect tax revenue, which they are entitled to under California law?

Every month new science supporting the therapeutic value of cannabis is published. As a result, medical and scientific organizations, like the American College of Physicians and the American Psychiatric Association, are urging reform of the laws that place in legal jeopardy physicians or their individual patients who may benefit from the use of cannabis. As the Administrator, you have the discretion to decide whether to continue heightened enforcement activities in California and in other states that have authorized the use of medical cannabis by qualified individuals. Please explain what role, if any, emerging scientific data plays in your decision-making process to conduct enforcement raids on individuals authorized to use or provide medical cannabis under state law.

Would you support the creation of an intergovernmental commission comprised of law enforcement, law makers and people affected by the laws, to review policy and provide recommendations that aim to bring harmony to federal and state laws?

While Conyers awaits the response from the DEA, let me play the psychic and predict what the DEA’s answers to those questions will be:  no, no, no, no, none, and no.From the drug warrior’s perspective, marijuana is the lynch pin in the grand profit scheme that is the War on (Certain American Citizens Using Non-Pharmaceutical, Non-Alcoholic, Tobacco Free) Drugs.  According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health from 2006, marijuana is by far the most popular drug used in America in the past year:

Marijuana 25,378,000
Cocaine 6,069,000
Hallucinogens 3,956,000
Inhalants 2,218,000
Meth 1,889,000
Crack 1,479,000
Heroin 560,000

Without the marijuana users, there are too few illicit drug users to justify the enormous budgets of paramilitary police organizations.

Without the marijuana users, who unlike users of those other drugs will pee dirty for 30 days, not 3, there aren’t enough positive drug tests to maintain the income of companies whose livelihood depends on drug testing.

Without the marijuana users who are sentenced by so-called drug courts, there aren’t enough non-violent socially-redeemable offenders to support the budgets of drug treatment centers.

Most important, without the marijuana users, the numbers just aren’t large enough to scare the public with the fear of tens of millions of “druggies” on the streets.

The survival of the War on Drugs concept is based on fear.  How many times have you seen a news graphic for a story on drugs that shows a marijuana leaf, a line of cocaine, and a heroin syringe?  They need to maintain the illusion that all drugs are equally bad in order to justify SWAT raids on gardeners and disabled people.

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