SF pot raid clouds federal drug policies

Pub date March 26, 2009
SectionPolitics Blog

Story by Steven T. Jones, Photos by Neil Motteram

Yesterday’s federal raid on the locally permitted SoMa medical marijuana dispensary Emmalyn’s California Cannabis Clinic caused confusion about what local growers can expect from an Obama Administration that recently announced that it would no longer be conducting such raids.

Drug Enforcement Administration officials are saying little about the raid, which came on a Wednesday, the day Emmalyn’s gives out free marijuana to poor patients. But the DEA seemed to be trying to dance around the conflict with the public statement, “Based on our investigation, we believe there are not only violations of federal law, but state law as well.”

Assembly member Tom Ammiano, whose Assembly Bill 390 would decriminalize even recreational uses of marijuana, told the Guardian that the raid sends a troubling message and could indicate internal conflicts within the administration.

“It’s a little vigilante for me. They’re obviously try to flex their muscles, probably to have a showdown with the Obama Administration,” Ammiano said of the DEA. “The dispensaries are going to be in the crosshairs of this struggle.”