A DOJ spokesman Patrick Rodenbush has been quoted in the media as saying that the recent congressional amendment, protecting medical marijuana operations in states where marijuana is legal, will not stop them from prosecuting “private individuals or private entities who are violating the Controlled Substances Act”.
Per Rodenbush, DOJ’s interpretation of the amendment only stops them from “impeding the ability of states to carry out their medical marijuana laws”.
HUH??? So if a state legalizes marijuana, how is arresting the states’ residents and confiscating states’ businesses NOT “impeding the ability of states to carry out their medical marijuana laws”?
That was the reaction of the lawmakers behind the congressional amendment, Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) and Sam Farr (D-Calif.), who stated that DOJ’s interpretation is “emphatically wrong” and “defies logic”.
“The congressman believes the amendment’s language is perfectly clear and that the DOJ’s self-referential interpretation is emphatically wrong,” said Rohrabacher spokesman Ken Grubs.
“The Justice Department’s interpretation of the amendment defies logic,” said Farr. “No reasonable person thinks prosecuting patients doesn’t interfere with a state’s medical marijuana laws. Lawyers can try to mince words but Congress was clear: Stop going after patients and dispensaries.”
Congressman Sam Farr had some words for the DOJ on Twitter as well:
So will the DOJ continue to interpret laws passed by Congress however it sees fit, even in the face of original authors of the law publicly clarifying their intent and rebuking their interpretation as “defying logic”? Unfortunately, similar incident happened just this February when the congressmen issued a letter stating DOJ was “overstepping its bounds” in their persecution of Harborside Heath Center, Oakland, California. The letter is included below:
The letter was issued on February 13, 2015. The DOJ spokesman made his statement contradicting the congressmen on April 1, 2015. The letter doesn’t seem to have gotten through to the DOJ. Makes you wonder what will happen with the CARERS Act if it is passed? Will it be interpreted as the lawmakers intended, or will the DOJ, once again, act as the arbiter AND enforcer of that law as well?