Read about it here. If you think that you're in favor of states' rights and smaller Federal government, now is the time to sign up or shut up - because here are businesses that are completely legitimate by state law, being shut down by armed squads from the Federal government. If this doesn't bother you and you think you stand for small government, forgive us for not taking you seriously. If this doesn't bother you and you stand for reason-based laws and compassion for sick people - then you don't actually stand for those things.
Oaksterdam University dispenses medical marijuana and holds classes teaching people how to grow marijuana, and defend themselves legally. Note that Richard Lee, the founder and owner, is a completely above-board, legitimate businessman and community member. Lee led the Prop 19 drive in California, a legalization initiative which started off with a winning YES percentage and ended up getting 46%, still an amazing turnout. By the way, for a brave journalist, there has to be a story in there about how the Mexican cartels funneled money into the campaign to keep marijuana prohibition going, and their own profits protected.
And here's where the rubber meets the road. The Oakland dispensaries backed a successful measure recently to tax marijuana sales. Why would merchants do this? Because now they're part of always-broke Oakland's budget, that's why, so if something like this happens, now the Federal government is taking away Oakland's revenue base by shutting down businesses. (Again, so-called small government enthusiasts, where's your outrage? Why do we only hear crickets from the Tea Party if that's really what you're about?) So now I'm hoping that the California state government will finaly grow a pair, because the Feds are unlikely to respond to a single city's protests. Our nonsensical and tax-money-wasting drug laws are only going to be reformed by action from the states. Montana and Oregon, they're coming for you next.
In particular I want to single out the legislators from several states who wrote an open letter to the Federal government, in particular Orange County Republican Chris Norby. Thanks for taking a stand!
It's worth mentioning that lots of us are wondering what the Obama administration is trying to accomplish. Between Eric Holder, the DEA and the IRS, this administration has come down harder on medical marijuana than Bush ever did. I can't imagine they're stupid enough to think that this will get the Religious Right to think he's a-okay come November, but no other motivations spring to mind.