The Federal Government’s war against the American people stumbled into the mainstream press of late. Well, that was the intention, of course. The DEA went after some of the pot clubs in California that provided medical marijuana for patients (the clubs are legal in California, but are illegal according to Federal law). This, of course, was the DEA’s way of making a statement. From a law enforcement standpoint, there are much more dangerous people that the DEA could be going after. But this, of course, is a quick and easy PR score.
It may be quite likely that criminal enterprises are involved in these clubs. After all, for someone to sell marijuana, it has to be grown somewhere by someone. Should it be any surprise that criminals would get involved in this? That’s not the issue here. That’s not what I’m talking about. What concerns me here is that the DEA, which is understaffed and underfunded for the job they’ve been given, is more concerned with making a big public relations splash that doing something about the problem of drugs in this country. What else can they do, really?
To put this in the proper perspective, consider this;
United States Attorney Kevin V. Ryan said the timing of the investigation, called Operation Urban Harvest, had nothing to do with a ruling by the United States Supreme Court two weeks ago that upheld the authority of federal officials over marijuana, even in the states where it is permitted for medical purposes.
Another of those frequent coincidences that happen in the Government?
“We’re not talking about ill people who may be using marijuana,” Mr. Ryan said. “We’re talking about a criminal enterprise engaged in the widespread distribution of large amounts – millions of dollars, if you base it on historical evidence – of marijuana and other drugs, and money laundering their proceeds from these activities.”
Hmmm. Well, that sounds impressive. Until you consider that according to the Federal Government, if you use marijuana at all you’re a criminal engaged in criminal activities. If you sell marijuana and buy a gallon a milk from a convenience store with your profits, you have just laundered money. If you are arrested for possessing a half of an ounce of marijuana, that’s enough to be charged with intent to sell and you can be prosecuted just as if you flew in a kilo on a private jet.
Now, before anyone gets themselves into an uproar, I’m not saying that there was no criminal activity here. I don’t know all the specifics of this case. All I’m saying is that it has all the earmarks of a typical DEA public relations score. Consider the Joe Friday, tough guy rhetoric in this statement;
“This organization had been operating for over four years,” Javier F. Peña, the special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in San Francisco, said at a news conference. “It is now dismantled.”
We’re the DEA. We’re tough. We’re effective. You’re protected.
I feel so much safer.