Some Oakland, California residents are furious that on the same day that a gunman murdered seven people at Oikos University, armed SWAT teams raided a different university less than a mile away where peaceful activities were being conducted. Federal agents also went to the home of Oaksterdam University’s owner Richard Lee, the sponsor of a nearly successful 2010 California initiative that had received the public denunciation of the feds during the initiative campaign.
This is something that should have been seized upon by the Republican presidential candidates. It had all the elements that played into the GOP narrative about President Barack Obama. How many times have we heard that Obama is obliterating states’ rights, shredding the Constitution, abusing his authority to punish political enemies, backing away from campaign promises, and misallocating federal resources?
And yet the Oaksterdam raid passed without causing a firestorm from GOP activists and candidates. The reason: Oaksterdam teaches students the cannabis trade—growing marijuana to serve California’s medical marijuana industry, an industry that had been flourishing until crackdowns from the Obama administration have driven many dispensaries out of business. Lee's 2010 initiative would have legalized marijuana.
Republicans won’t stand up for the right of California to enforce a set of laws that the GOP candidates find offensive, regardless of their discussions of states’ rights when it comes to the national health-care law and other issues.