California Lawmakers Denounce Federal ‘Ambush’ of Medical Marijuana Businesses

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The medical marijuana community in California is getting some crucial support from two Democratic lawmakers who say the federal government’s attack on the sector will have “devastating impacts for the state.”

Assemblyman Tom Ammiano and Sen. Mark Leno of San Francisco held a press conference this week to denounce the Obama administration’s recent moves to close marijuana dispensaries in California and block the pipelines that support the industry. Ammiano equated the crackdown to the “reefer madness” of the 1930s, while Leno dubbed it a waste of time and money and an “ambush that will harm countless patients.”

It also will hurt medical marijuana businesses and the thousands of workers they employ, particularly if the government’s actions lead to mass closures.

The two lawmakers want to know why the feds are going after medical marijuana operations in California, with the hopes of crafting legislation to ease the government’s concerns.

California’s four U.S attorneys have taken a hard line on the MMJ industry in recent weeks, sending warning letters to landlords that lease space to dispensaries and growers, threatening prosecution. They’ve also raised the possibility of targeting newspapers and other publications that run ads for medical pot. At the same time, the federal government has conducted numerous raids on dispensaries over the past two weeks, even targeting those that are complying with state and local laws.

One of the most frustrating aspects of the recent crackdown for lawmakers and marijuana businesses is the unpredictability of the government’s actions. It has targeted some businesses for seemingly no reason while leaving others alone.