Marijuana Crackdown Staged to Distract From "Fast and Furious" Scandal, Author Says

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Closed down pot clubs in a fast and furious way
Turns out the federal Justice Department's almost-yearlong crackdown on state-legal medical cannabis has nothing to do with hard-line drug warriors, forfeiture numbers, President Barack Obama's reelection effort -- or even marijuana itself.

Shutting dispensaries in California, Colorado, Montana, and Washington is all an attempt at political misdirection, with a state-legal industry as the unfortunate collateral damage, according to journalist Martin A. Lee.

Attorney General Eric Holder directed his prosecutors to dismantle legal weed so that he could distract Republican congressmen and Justice Department officials from his mishandling of the "Fast and Furious" gun-walking scandal, Lee, the author of an upcoming social history of marijuana, said in an article published this weekend on Truthout.

It's not the wildest attempt at finding meaning behind the crackdown, an effort for which the Justice Department seems to have limited enthusiasm and even less political support. Though it does conveniently ignore a few key points -- including the fact that prosecutors cracked down on marijuana months before anyone had heard of  "gun-walking."


Lee's offering, which was widely circulated and read within the marijuana movement over the weekend, contains no "smoking gun": no unearthed documents, no new testimony or other sources, not even an unnamed administration official (which was the basis upon which a July GQ article promising a rollback of the Drug War in Obama's second term rested).

Lee relies instead on correlation: It was on Oct. 7, 2011, that Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and a Holder scourge, received a letter from the attorney general in which Holder defended his handling of "Fast and Furious." That was the same day Holder played the "ace up his sleeve," according to Lee -- the day which the four U.S. prosecutors in California announced the statewide crackdown on dispensaries at a Sacramento press conference.

"The Justice Department green-lit a scorched earth campaign against medicinal cannabis in order to placate law enforcement and control the damage from the Fast and Furious scandal by deflecting attention to other matters," Lee writes. "The DEA waged an all-out vendetta against what Proposition 215 had unloosed. The drug police weren't just going after the bad apples; they were going after every apple in the barrel."

Fast and Furious's existence became known after U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was killed in a skirmish with Mexican nationals in Arizona in December 2010. The guns were linked to Fast and Furious.

Never mind that as a distraction, the marijuana crackdown has failed miserably: late Sunday, Issa announced plans to sue Holder to force the release of documents that Issa says will reveal the attorney general's knowledge of and participation in the scheme. This follows a House vote in which Holder was found in contempt.

And never mind still that Holder had his eyes on marijuana in the months before Terry's death. In October 2010, Holder warned California officials that the Controlled Substances Act would be "vigorously enforce[d]" if Proposition 19 passed and adult-use marijuana became legal in California.

Holder's attorneys were also working on the marijuana issue before Fast and Furious entered the Washington lexicon: U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag warned Oakland officials in a Feb. 2011 memo that federal action could be coming.

Later that summer, in a missive signed by DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart and Deputy Attorney General James Cole, federal officials stated again that enforcing drug laws is a "core priority," especially when considering large, organized operations.

Also, never mind that the Justice Department's new war on marijuana has been conducted without -- at least in the Bay Area -- a single armed law enforcement officer. Haag has shut down seven dispensaries in San Francisco and more in Berkeley and Marin using property forfeiture notices, sent to landlords via registered mail.

And, as SF Weekly noted on Friday, Justice Department officials have conveniently ignored all of San Jose, where all dispensaries break local law.

Holder has performed poorly as attorney general as far as the marijuana issue is concerned, repeating on record assurances that only operations that break state law attract federal attention. This has been shown to be untrue, time and again. But if Lee is right, and this is a failed publicity effort, it would be within the character Holder has revealed to date.

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23 comments
jag_den88
jag_den88

@HHCOAK @HoloholoGirl I don't believe raids are distraction, but are agenda driven individuals within that see their chance run amuck.

draeger
draeger

"Also, never mind that the Justice Department's new war on marijuana has been conducted without -- at least in the Bay Area -- a single armed law enforcement officer."

 

not sure about that - watch the videos of the Oaksterdam raid

MamaConnect
MamaConnect

I agree with the correlation - look at Montana. Perfect example. We had 24 raids in 24 hours - March 14, 2011 starting at 10am at Montana Cannabis - juuuuuust as our Senate was to hear HB161 - a repeal bill.In total - Montana had 36 raids in 9 months - averaging one per week if they were to be stretched out.Holder set up for it perfectly too - telling folks in the Ogden memo dated October 9, 2010 that they would not be prosecuted - perfect set up huh?Go to YouTube - Look up Montana Connect. There are over 500+ legislative videos hosted.What happened in Montana is a CRIME - and I truly hope they look into it - DEEPLY - and get to the bottom of the corruption. 

morntong
morntong

Apart from making vast profits, wars are generally waged to distract people from the fact that their rights are being violated and their government is being run with extreme incompetence.

kevin_hunt
kevin_hunt topcommenter

Fast and Furious is a modern day Iran Contra.  Reagan's boys sold missiles to Iranians and used the proceeds to fund drug-running Contras. Oliver North's diary: entry for August 9, 1985, "Honduran DC-6 which is being used for runs out of New Orleans is probably being used for drug runs into U.S."

muzzylu
muzzylu

I guess it is so much better to get cannabis from murdering Mexican drug cartels than a dispensary! Medical marijuana is not going to sweep down and devastate our children and country. Cannabis will only help people in pain, and be a very mild tame recreational habit to others. Better for America that many people use marijuana than most other drugs and alcohol. Marijuana is a very healthy food if taken as an edible, not smoked. There is a great $2.99 e-book on medical marijuana: MARIJUANA - Guide to Buying, Growing, Harvesting, and Making Medical Marijuana Oil and Delicious Candies to Treat Pain and Ailments by Mary Bendis, Second Edition. This book has great recipes for easy marijuana oil, delicious Cannabis Chocolates, and tasty Dragon Teeth Mints. goo.gl/iYjPn goo.gl/Jfs61

 

jose257
jose257

I am not sure I buy into this theory.  I think the DOJ knows how to be scumbags even when they're not trying to cover something up.

 

therealninjabob
therealninjabob

@WeedFeed Fast and furious and MJ crackdown are BOTH "scandals" from BUSH APPOINTED PROSECUTORS to smear the Prez. Read Fortune article! DUH

randomtwi
randomtwi

@WeedFeed URLをチェックしてみます

knowa1
knowa1

The whole DOJ is dirty and needs to be audited 

fauxcroc
fauxcroc

Hoax.

"Lee's offering, which was widely circulated and read within the marijuana movement over the weekend, contains no "smoking gun": no unearthed documents, no new testimony or other sources, not even an unnamed administration official". Then why are you even talking about it???

The greaseball car thief actually filed a civil suit against Attorney General Eric Holder this morning. A civil suit means no criminal charges will come out of it. 

Important point to note here- a potential criminal charge for contempt against Eric Holder has evaporated. After all the bluster and BS, Issa knows he cannot make his case.

Civil contempt ? Scares me.  Eric Holder is quaking in his boots. If they thought they were going to drag the President into it, they have no hope. Idiot jerk off Republicans. That car thief would have to get up a lot earlier in the morning if he thought he was going to make a criminal charge stick against the Attorney General of The United States of America. Very arrogant Issa. 

In another venue the idiot Issa will have to make his "case". No Kangaroos, no glossing over the facts. My guess is that Issa's case will be thrown out. The Attorney generals position will carry the day. 

In Glennbeckistan this is a big deal that will bring down the President. 

In the real world this is the sad case of the People's money being wasted so that a Congressional committee can make it appear that they actually did something. Jobs, jobs, jobs. 

Pot smokers of America, the forces of darkness and evil are trying to divide and conquer. 

Go back to sleep, there is nothing to see here. 

mrericsir
mrericsir topcommenter

You'd think Republicans would be all in favor of a guy helping militias exercise their second amendment rights.

MamaConnect
MamaConnect

As a matter of fact - be sure to look up ol David Howard - a House Rep from Montana - Park City to be exact. He's retired DEA from Chicago. He always had a cheshire grin on outside of session when he saw me in the hall, like he knew something was going to happen. Look him up on my YouTube channel and what he has to say about medical marijuana. 

 

We had Federal patient Irvin Rosenfeld in Montana 6 times in one year to educate and lobby on the hill. This past May of 2012 - MTDOJ personnel taught law enforcement officers that marijuana has no medical value. Mark Long (head cheese) met Irv, had lunch with him, and received and read a copy of his book. 

 

Go meet Irv - www.mymedicinethebook.com

 

SERIOUS INQUISITION is needed!

coppertop809
coppertop809

 @kevin_hunt they started running drugs after congress found out about their gun operation and pulled the plug on it. The drugs were used to fund the war against the Sandinistas, you can ask "Freeway" Rick Ross about that. the all american scape goat. he did 15 while all of the men involved from the CIA and other government agencies as well as well known international drug dealers counted their money in sunny san diego. Don't you just love this country?

jose257
jose257

 @mrericsir The Republicans are busy shooting at Bambi.  They seem to think the Second Amendment is for hunting.

 

jose257
jose257

 @mrericsir Nope, they're too busy killing Bambi.  They think the Second Amendment is for hunting.

 

kevin_hunt
kevin_hunt topcommenter

 @coppertop809 Yep, and we gave the Contras guns, even though we knew they were killing civilians just like the Sandinistas.  The only reason I believe Ollie North's diary is that Ollie knew all along that he was not going to jail and could afford to be totally honest about the drug running.  No one went to jail for Iran Contra because Bush I pardoned everyone involved.

knowa1
knowa1

 @fauxcroc Just take the look at the evils the DEA is doing to perpetuate cannabis prohibition is treasonous its a fraud and there seem to be no end to what they are doing, have done and will do to keep their snouts in trough 

pimping.games
pimping.games

 @fauxcroc  Prety weak counter, Ever read the NEWS? LOOK AT THE DAMN GUN WALKING SCANDLE ERRRRHERPADERPAA

jose257
jose257

 @knowa1 The dirt bags need to keep it illegal so they can continue funding their illegal black ops.

 

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