Gary Johnson 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
GOV. GARY JOHNSON CALLS FEDERAL RAID ON MARIJUANA ADVOCATE’S HOME AN “OUTRAGE”
Calls Obama Crack-Down Harrassment
April 3, 2012, Washington, DC – Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, seeking the Libertarian Presidential nomination, today assailed the Obama Administration for ” a systematic crack-down on medical marijuana as allowed by state law”. Johnson said the Obama Administration’s action was contrary to the President’s assurances on the issue in 2008 and a memo released by his Justice Department two years ago.
Responding to searches conducted Monday by federal agents of the home and business of a long-time Oakland, CA, marijuana legalization advocate, Johnson called on the Obama Administration to “find better things to do with our tax dollars than raiding Richard Lee’s home in a selective enforcement of bad law.”
Monday morning, federal agents executed search warrants at the home of Richard Lee, a well-known advocate for marijuana legalization in California, and at an Oakland cannabis industry trade school Lee founded. The school, as well as Lee’s other medical marijuana businesses, are operated in accordance with California law and local ordinances. Monday’s searches appear to be part of an on-going effort by the government to assert federal enforcement against California’s medical marijuana laws.
Johnson, a vocal advocate for drug law reform, said, “It defies belief that, at the very same time that President Obama is standing in the Rose Garden with the President of Mexico talking about efforts to reduce drug-related violence, his federal agents are harassing a respected advocate for sensible drug law reform by raiding his home and business and ‘detaining’ him for questioning. Richard Lee isn’t the problem. Failed marijuana prohibition is the problem, and making an ‘example’ of a citizen who is operating within state and local law is not only offensive, but a massive waste of law enforcement time and money.
“It wasn’t enough to send in the DEA and the U.S. Marshals. They felt compelled to send the Internal Revenue Service in as well. The voters of California have made it clear that they regard medical marijuana, regulated and dispensed in a safe manner, to be acceptable in their communities. Do the Feds not have more pressing responsibilities than to persecute those, like Richard Lee, who are simply trying to provide a service those communities have clearly said they want?
“I would like to think America is not a place where the federal police come knocking on the doors of legitimate businesses and private homes just to ‘enforce’ laws that make no sense and to shut down private enterprises that are, in fact, reducing harm and offering an alternative to the dangers of the illegal drug trade.”