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.

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There should be a greater protection for privacy which would create a higher barrier for law enforcement when people are engaged in acts on their own property.

dedalus on March 27, 2009 at 10:36 AM

Indeed. So you are also advocating things like a higher barrier for prosecuting gangs that addict runaway girls to drugs and get them to serve as prostitutes for their fix. You also place a higher barrier on things like rape and incest. Many of the most objectionable crimes are committed on private property, and once your vision of the law is passed, it would become even worse.

Criminals have no scruples about what is fair. The will use whatever leverage you give them to make our society a hellhole. What you and many other Libertarians do not understand is that there must be a sensible balance. You cannot condone gross violations of privacy for petty reasons, but you also must allow our law enforcement to protect and serve the interests of society.

Hawthorne on March 27, 2009 at 3:26 PM

Got a link for the stories of the day:
Obama to Develop “Angry Face”

orfannkyl on March 27, 2009 at 3:27 PM

You cannot condone gross violations of privacy for petty reasons, but you also must allow our law enforcement to protect and serve the interests of society.

Hawthorne on March 27, 2009 at 3:26 PM

Sure. If there is reasonable suspicion that a crime is being committed against a victim, then knock the door down.

There should be a higher threshold for the government when the activity involves someone abusing themselves with drugs.

dedalus on March 27, 2009 at 4:19 PM

Wildcat84, I’ve come a little late to the party. Read your libertarian manifesto posted at 10:40 a.m. Lets see how libertarian you really are. As a social con I am willing to respect your rights to do whatsoever you please with your own body provided you also are willing to take complete responsibility for the consequences of those decisions. No going to the teat of government to fleece my pocket to pay for rehabilitation or medical treatment for any abuse of your body. No excuses that I have an illness (addiction) and am not responsible for the harming of others as a consequence of your personal choices. If you are agreeable then I will grant that you are truly libertarian. If not, I have as much right to come to the table and petition government for a redress of grievances.

chemman on March 27, 2009 at 2:05 PM

I’m in complete agreement. Freedom comes with responsibility. This is what we’ve lost. Now because of the excessive government intervention into every aspect of life people are encouraged to live very irresponsible lives free of consequences because other people will be obligated to pay the price.

In fact, those who lead responsible lives (which I do, I am not and never HAVE been a drug user), such as NOT using drugs, NOT leading a promiscuous lifestyle, etc, are the ones fleeced to PAY for the sins of the irresponsible, we are lampooned instead of respected for it.

As I said, I’m not against the Feds making drugs illegal (ie: drug prohibition). But they need to get that authority legally, as in amending the Constitution, just as was done when they decided to impose alcohol prohibition.

And, I am definitely opposed to drug users NOT being held responsible for their use. I won’t pay for their rehab, just as I oppose paying for AIDS treatment for the drug users and those who indulge in risky promiscuous sexual deviancy.

Freedom HAS to come with responsibility or else there is no check on it’s abuse.

wildcat84 on March 27, 2009 at 7:07 PM

There should be some burden on the fed to demonstrate the tangible interstate effects.

dedalus on March 27, 2009 at 10:31 AM

Demonstrate to who?

Sorry..been out for a while and I’m just jumping in again. Have to go back and read the previous posts.

Itchee Dryback on March 27, 2009 at 9:35 PM

Why do people assume Obama is in control?

He is swimming in a sea of patronage and has little interest in details

entagor on March 28, 2009 at 12:27 PM