Giving in to bullying

DA Ramsey gets his way—but at what cost?

With their decision (see News story) to repeal their medical-marijuana ordinance pertaining to collectives and dispensaries, members of the Chico City Council who supported the ordinance because it provided safe access to cannabis for qualified patients lost a round to District Attorney Mike Ramsey and the Obama administration.

Basically, they gave into bullying by U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner, who threatened city staff with prosecution if they facilitated dispensaries. It’s obvious he did so at Ramsey’s behest.

Credit the DA with consistency on this front. He’s opposed dispensaries from day one and has done everything in his power to get rid of them.

President Obama and the U.S. Department of Justice have been anything but consistent, however. The president campaigned promising to end the war on drugs and establish a progressive policy designed, as much as possible, to take the profits out of the drug trade. Early on, Attorney General Eric Holder made it clear that his agency would not enforce federal laws against marijuana in states where medical-cannabis use was legal.

That’s all changed. Now a U.S. attorney is threatening to prosecute local officials for trying to implement California law. It’s shameful.

Mind you, we have no illusions about medical marijuana. Proposition 215 is widely abused. But there are many people who have a legitimate need and use for medical cannabis. Not all of them can grow their own. Some are disabled. Some live in apartments. How are they now supposed to obtain their medicine?

That’s a question Mike Ramsey has yet to answer.