Feds Bully Delaware Into Halting Their Medical Marijuana Program
Joe | Feb 13, 2012 | Comments 1
When Delaware became the 16th state to legalize medical marijuana last spring, advocates rightly hailed it as a wonderful progressive step. Yet once again the federal government has stepped into state business to make sure no progress is allowed.
All it took for Delaware Governor Jack Markell to announce a halt to the state’s medical marijuana program and dispensary plan was one letter from U.S. Attorney Charles Oberly III.
Oberly’s letter, dated February 9 but made public today, says that patients and individual caregivers would not be federal enforcement priorities, but that entities distributing marijuana “could” be targeted. It also says that state employees would not be immune from liability under the Controlled Substances Act for acts mandated by the Delaware medical marijuana law.
The government has made these threats before to emerging medical marijuana states, and they have worked in many cases, like Rhode Island and Maine. In established medical marijuana states like California the threats are backed up by raids.
Delaware’s Governor knows this and knows there is little he can do. It is up to advocates to change things in the federal government, whatever form that takes, like marijuana prohibition repeal or a re-scheduling of marijuana under The Federal Controlled Substances Act or a complete dismantling of the DEA.
Sure, Governor Markell could speak out against this intimidation, and that might garner him a ton of respect from his constituents, but there is something to be said about living to fight another day and not waking a sleeping bear. There are a multitude of ways the federal government could make things bad for Delaware, in many areas.
This is not the end of federal intimidation, especially since it seems to be quite effective.