A very helpful piece is in the current Rolling Stone which brings together all the recent developments in this administration’s volte-face on medical pot. It’s a staggering betrayal of the initial pledge to let states administer their own medical marijuana laws without DEA harrassment and intimidation. In fact, Obama’s war on medical marijuana is now worse than Bush’s. Money quote:
Invoking an obscure provision of the tax code meant to trip up drug kingpins, the IRS now maintains that pot dispensaries can deduct only one expense – ironically, the cost of the marijuana itself. All other normal costs of doing business – including employee salaries and benefits, rent, equipment, electricity and water – have been denied.
The agency has used the provision to go after Harborside Health Center, one of the largest and most respected providers of medical cannabis in California. Its Oakland branch, serving 83,000 patients in conforming with state law, paid more than $1 million in city taxes last year – placing it in the top 10 percent of local businesses. “It’s incredibly tightly run and very, very professional,” says Nadelmann of the Drug Policy Alliance. “But it’s also big – and it may be that big is bad as far as the feds are concerned.” Slapped with an IRS bill for $2.5 million in back taxes, Harborside now faces bankruptcy. “It’s profoundly inaccurate to characterize us as a ‘drug-trafficking’ organization,” says Harborside president Steve DeAngelo. “We are a nonprofit community-service organization that helps sick and suffering people get the medicine they need to be well. This is not an attempt to tax us – it’s an attempt to tax us out of existence.”
There is no question that marijuana has profoundly powerful medical uses; and is far less damaging than alcohol as a recreational drug, both in terms of personal health and social effects. What Obama is doing is causing sickness and death. It seems to me that the Obama generation who helped elect this president need to go to war against this betrayal. Every time you are sent a fundraising email or in any way contacted by the Obama election campaign, tell them to call you back when they call this war off. Hit them where it hurts. Heckle him and his surrogates whenever you can.
Holder and Obama have betrayed us on this. Make sure they hear from you.