Obama administration harshes California’s mellow, part II
posted at 9:33 am on March 27, 2009 by Ed Morrissey
Jim Geraghty reminds us that all Barack Obama statements come with an expiration date, but we didn’t know that the policy extended to the Department of Justice. Just one week after Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the federal government would not pursue marijuana distributors operating within California state law, the DEA raided a San Francisco medicinal-marijuana operation in San Francisco (via Instapundit):
Federal agents raided a medical marijuana dispensary in San Francisco Wednesday, a week after U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder signaled that the Obama administration would not prosecute distributors of pot used for medicinal purposes that operate under sanction of state law.
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents raided Emmalyn’s California Cannabis Clinic at 1597 Howard St. in San Francisco’s South of Market district mid-afternoon.
They hauled out large plastic bins overflowing with marijuana plants and loaded several pickup trucks parked out front with grow lights and related equipment used to farm the plants indoors.
The dispensary had been operating with a temporary permit issued by the Department of Public Health.
“Based on our investigation, we believe there are not only violations of federal law, but state law as well,” DEA Special Agent in Charge Anthony Williams said in a prepared statement.
Hope and Change! Now, under Obama, the federal government can decide when state laws need to get enforced as well. Wouldn’t California be the better judge of alleged violations of its own laws? Why wouldn’t the DEA simply refer the matter to the California AG instead?
Small wonder, then, that the Tenth Amendment seems to be getting a new look by states:
Just as California under President Bush asserted itself on issues ranging from gun control to medical marijuana, a motley cohort of states – from South Carolina to New Hampshire, from Washington State to Oklahoma – are presenting a foil for President Obama’s national ambitions. And they’re laying the groundwork for a political standoff over the 10th Amendment, which cedes all power not granted to Washington to the people. …
•The Idaho House began considering Wednesday a law against introducing “vicious animals” into the state – a direct rebuttal of the federal wolf reintroduction program.
•Montana and Tennessee have introduced proposals to expand gun rights. Tennessee State Sen. Doug Jackson says his bill to ban proposed federal “microstamping” of ammunition could spark a movement. “The trampling on our rights to possess firearms is symbolic of a power grab by the federal government on a much larger scale,” said Senator Jackson, by phone from Nashville.
•Oklahoma and Georgia are both considering limits on stem cell research in response to Mr. Obama’s reversal of the federal stem cell ban. It’s the flip side of the Bush era when several Northeastern states allowed such research despite the federal ban.
The DEA should stick to enforcing federal law and stop concerning itself with state laws. The Obama administration needs to clarify — again — whether it will follow the Bush policy of aggressively pursuing marijuana distribution in California, so that the state can decide whether to challenge the federal government. The Obama administration keeps saying one thing and doing another, and if they keep it up, they will make the case themselves for a rebirth of Tenth Amendment passions in the states.