Video: Drug Policy Expert Responds to Oaksterdam Raid, Demands End to Federal Assault On Medical Marijuana
On Monday, federal agents raided Oaksterdam University in Oakland, the country’s first ‘cannabis college.’ The raid is the latest in a long string of federal busts targeting voter-approved medical marijuana programs. Today, Ethan Nadelmann, Executive Director of Drug Policy Alliance and expert on US drug strategy, discussed the recent federal attacks against the medical marijuana industry on Bloomberg Television’s “Street Smart.” He said:
What this is really about is federal authorities creating an atmosphere of fear and intimidation in the burgeoning medical marijuana industry. The ideology of the drug war dies hard...and is entrenched in the federal bureaucracy.
In a coalition with five other national drug policy reform organizations like LEAP and NORML, DPA is also appealing to Obama and his administration to return to its previous policy of respecting state regulation of medical marijuana. In their letter to the President, the organizations implore Obama to reconsider his “misguided and counterproductive” war against medical marijuana, which is likely to continue with the upcoming National Drug Control Strategy Report. The letter says:
The National Drug Control Strategy you are about to release will no doubt call for a continuation of policies that have as a primary goal the ongoing and permanent control of the marijuana trade by drug cartels and organized crime. We cannot and do not endorse the continued embrace of this utterly failed policy. We stand instead with Latin American leaders, members of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, and the vast majority of people who voted you into office in recognizing that it is time for a new approach on marijuana policy.
With approximately 50,000 people dead in Mexico over the past five years as the result of drug war-related violence, we hope that you will immediately reconsider your drug control strategy and will work with, not against, states and organizations that are attempting to shift control of marijuana cultivation and sales, at least as it applies to medical marijuana, to a controlled and regulated market.
Read the full letter here.