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Thu Jul 19, 2012, 02:53 AM

Melinda Haag's Crusade Against Medical Pot Jeopardizes California's Safety

This press release demonstrates the U.S. Attorney's contempt for needy patients, licensed doctors, and the capabilities of local officials. But apparently Haag's disrespect extends to local policing and public safety.

The statement coincides with an expose on DEA raids carried out under Haag's command in Oakland in April. According to internal emails uncovered by a citizen journalist, Oakland's police were not consulted on the action against Oaksterdam University. As a result, the understaffed force was ill-prepared to handle large demonstrations, federal agents' lack of an "exit strategy," and the daily crimes that require local police attention. Sapping the OPD's strength with a poorly planned raid may even have affected police response to the Oikos University massacre that occurred the same morning a few miles away.

Should a U.S. Attorney be allowed to carry out a moral crusade? Are local and state officials unable to interpret their own laws? Should cannabis enforcement come at the cost of cities' public safety?

Last month, Eric Holder testified to Congress that his policy on medical marijuana is to take action only against those "operating out of compliance with state laws." With Ms. Haag taking federal law enforcement to an extreme, by all appearances, Holder seems unable to control her if he wanted to. To uphold the administration's stated policy, there is no other choice: Haag must be removed from office.


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