Four California East Bay Representatives to the United States Congress (Lee, Miller, Farr and Swalwell) have joined the chorus of concerned voices by submitting a letter and calling on U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag in the Northern California district, to respect the recent DOJ directives, and cease her efforts to close locally regulated and fully compliant dispensaries in California.
The citizens of Northern California have made their opposition to Melinda Haag's crackdown on medical cannabis crystal clear ever since she began it two years ago. They have protested in the streets, signed White House petitions, and lobbied their elected representatives.
Steve DeAngelo, Executive Director of Harborside Health Center, Oakland & San Jose commented "It's time for Melinda Haag to realize what everybody in the East Bay has known for a long time: her attack on voter-approved medical cannabis increases the suffering of people who can least bear it, while simultaneously endangering our entire community. It is a shameful, lose-lose policy that should never have been started in the first place. If our U.S. Attorney finds the laws and values of Northern California so repugnant, perhaps she should consider relocating to a community where standards are more in alignment with her own."
Local and state elected officials have issued repeated public and private appeals to Haag for a change, and even filed suit in federal court to defend locally licensed dispensaries. Most recently, the U.S. Dept. of Justice issued a memorandum to all U.S. Attorneys, instructing them not to take enforcement actions against well-regulated cannabis providers. Haag has stubbornly continued her campaign in the face of this nearly unanimous local opposition, and even explicit orders from the Department of Justice.
An excerpt from the letter from the Congressional representatives states:
"It is counterproductive and economically prohibitive to continue a path of hostility toward dispensaries. Moreover, it appears to directly counter the spirit of Deputy Attorney General Cole's memo, and is in direct opposition to the evolving view toward medical marijuana, the will of the people and, by now, common sense. Additionally, the State of California has also received legislative direction and guidelines from California Attorney General Kamala Harris on responsibly delivering medical marijuana.
It is our view that the intent of the Justice Department is to not enforce its anti-marijuana laws in conflict with the laws of states that have chosen to decriminalize marijuana for medical and recreational uses. California understands the urgency toward putting together a statewide regulatory system, and we can all be helpful in that regard, but some municipalities, including Oakland, have already done an extraordinary job regulating medical marijuana. California is moving in the correct direction in a measured manner, and should be given the opportunity to do so."
We call on Melinda Haag to listen to the voices of the people of California and Congresswoman Barbara Lee and her colleagues.
Source: Harborside Health Center