THIS IS THE END: The Obama Justice Department Flips The Kill Switch On Medical Marijuana

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ASSOCIATED PRESS: Federal prosecutors have launched a crackdown on pot dispensaries in California, warning the stores that they must shut down in 45 days or face criminal charges and confiscation of their property even if they are operating legally under the state’s 15-year-old medical marijuana law. In an escalation of the ongoing conflict between the U.S. government and the nation’s burgeoning medical marijuana industry, California’s s four U.S. attorneys sent letters Wednesday and Thursday notifying at least 16 pot shops or their landlords that they are violating federal drug laws, even though medical marijuana is legal in California. The attorneys are scheduled to announce their coordinated crackdown at a Friday news conference. Their offices refused to confirm the closure orders. The Associated Press obtained copies of the letters that a prosecutor sent to 12 San Diego dispensaries. They state that federal law “takes precedence over state law and applies regardless of the particular uses for which a dispensary is selling and distributing marijuana.” “Under United States law, a dispensary’s operations involving sales and distribution of marijuana are illegal and subject to criminal prosecution and civil enforcement actions,” letters signed by U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy in San Diego read. “Real and personal property involved in such operations are subject to seizure by and forfeiture to the United States … regardless of the purported purpose of the dispensary.” The move comes a little more than two months after the Obama administration toughened its stand on medical marijuana following a two-year period during which federal officials had indicated they would not move aggressively against dispensaries in compliance with laws in the 16 states where pot is legal for people with doctors’ recommendations. MORE

PREVIOUSLY:  Obama’s pledge came as a response to a question from Nashua resident and Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana volunteer Scott Turner, who asked the senator what he would do to stop the federal government from putting seriously ill people like Turner in prison in states where medical marijuana is legal. “I would not have the Justice Department prosecuting and raiding medical marijuana users,” Obama said. “It’s not a good use of our resources.” MORE

CORRECTIONS CORPORATION OF AMERICA 2010 ANNUAL REPORT: The demand for our facilities and services could be adversely affected by the relaxation of enforcement efforts, leniency in conviction or parole standards and sentencing practices or through the decriminalization of certain activities that are currently proscribed by our criminal laws. For instance, any changes with respect to drugs and controlled substances or illegal immigration could affect the number of persons arrested, convicted, and sentenced, thereby potentially reducing demand for correctional facilities to house them. MORE

PHAWKER: This is the final straw. Nobody was a better friend or fiercer ally of candidate Obama than Phawker.com. Where that man — the man of hope and change —  went after Election Day 2008, we cannot say. Frankly, we now have serious doubts he ever truly existed outside of our own minds. Until now, we have held our tongues while everything he campaigned on — providing a public option and consumer protection, reforming the predatory financial system, closing the revolving door between government and K Street, ending warrantless spying on Americans, restoring habeas corpus, closing the dungeons of Gitmo, ending two pointless treasury-draining wars, ending the prosecution of whistleblowers in the name of transparency and accountability — was thrown under the bus of political expediency and capitulation masquerading as bi-partisanship. And now he’s taking away medicine from the terminally ill, despite the fact that legalization of said medicine was voted into law by democratic majorities in 15 states, for no better reason than the prison-industrial complex that funds his candidacy is hooked on massive infusions of Drug War budget money and private prisons need to fill beds to turn a profit. This is beyond the pale — a new low in political cowardice. But let the record show, going forward we will have nothing to do with Barack Obama’s re-election, and very little to do, for that matter, with the corporate sock puppet show that the utterly corrupt electoral process has become in this country. We are done. If the Obama presidency has proven anything, it’s this: VOTING DOES NOT MATTER IN THIS COUNTRY, and will continue to be meaningless as long as campaigns are privately-financed. The electoral process has become nothing more than a sideshow financed by the 1% to fool the 99% into believing that we still live in a functioning democracy. To the Obama fundraisers that keep calling, don’t waste your breath. We gave generously, even when we had little to spare, back in 2008. No more. That money would have been better spent on potato chips.

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