The people without a State, without a vote in Congress, and with a mayor instead of a governor – the citizens of the District of Columbia – are set to wage the definitive battle for medical marijuana. Step back California hippies, Oregon eco-maniacs, and Massachusetts intellectuals. The show is going to be in DC, and it starts this Friday.
That’s when D.C.’s Health Department is set to announce the location of 5 medical marijuana cultivation centers, where pot will be grown for marijuana dispensaries, scheduled to open this summer.
Next door, Maryland Gov. Martin “Wimpy” O’Malley has said he will veto any medical marijuana bill, after the feds threatened to arrest state workers involved in medical marijuana distribution.
Of course there is already medical marijuana in California, Colorado and 14 other states, but this is different.
D.C. is home to the DEA, which has waged a relentless war on pot smokers, with help from its allies, the FBI and HomeLand Security. They’re also headquartered in DC.
In fact, the entire Justice Department, with its chief, Attorney General Eric Holder, is here in the District. And so is Holder’s boss, President Barak Obama, no friend to marijuana in his presidency so far.
It was Obama who O.K.’d the Justice Department’s crackdown on medical marijuana clinics in California and elsewhere.
What will all this firepower do when D.C. patients begin picking up their marijuana prescriptions on the way home from work? Short answer: they’re going to freak.
If people see that medical marijuana users are responsible citizens trying to battle difficult diseases, the next question is why are we still locking these people up?
Per capita, D.C. leads the nation in marijuana arrests. Police Chief Cathy Lanier’s 3,800 strong MPD lives on marijuana arrests, busting more people for pot than for murder, rape, robbery, and all other violent crimes combined. Her new push for 4,000 officers goes down the drain if pot arrests are taken off her plate.
She’s not alone. The U.S. Park Police and U.S. Capitol Police, separate police departments, also rely on pot to make their arrest numbers. Let’s face it, after 9-11 terrorism prevention is vitally important, but it doesn’t lead to many arrests for the cop on the beat.
And while every police department denies an arrest “quota,” after a while, a beat cop with zero arrests starts to draw some attention. It’s a lot easier busting Johnny lighting up in the alley behind U Street, than tracking down a terrorist, or even the kid who snatched your iPhone.
Will medical marijuana survive under the noses of the country’s chief law enforcement agencies?
Will D.C. residents – who don’t even have a state, and can’t vote in Congress – be the ones to finally face down the feds?
Categories: Medical marijuana