Pot Bust Flip-Flop in LA; Obama & Holder Must Clarify RxPot Policy Now

Via Jeralyn this morning, I learned that the United States Attorney for Los Angeles, Thomas P O'Brien, spun his wheels and confused his staff with a contradictory set of memos about medical marijuana busts.

The U.S. attorney in Los Angeles sent a confidential memo to prosecutors last week ordering them to stop filing charges against medical marijuana dispensaries, then abruptly lifted the ban on Friday, according to sources familiar with the developments.

Stop filing charges? Don't stop filing charges? What kind of confusing switcheroo is that?

In addition to being told to stop filing new cases, prosecutors were instructed to refrain from issuing subpoenas or applying for search warrants in pending cases, said the sources, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.

In fact, a few hours after the memo was circulated, [Christine Ewell, head of the U.S. attorney's criminal division] sent out another e-mail admonishing prosecutors not to discuss the contents of the memo with anyone outside the U.S. attorney's office, the sources said.

No more subpoenas!  Stop those search warrant applications right now!  Pending cases must be dropped!  And, especially:  do not discuss this memo with anyone outside this office!

And then, on Friday, in a stunning about-face, an order came down to re-open the cases that were set aside:


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