U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag just won't quit. Earlier this week, attorneys from her office appeared in court to continue their long running efforts to shut down Oakland's Harborside Health Center — a dispensary serving 112,000 patients.
As The Huffington Post points out, Haag first targeted Harborside in 2012 when the federal government's approach to medical marijuana programs was in a grey area.
Today, however, the approach is much more clear. The President, Attorney General and Congress have all told prosecutors like Haag to stop prosecuting patients and providers operating under state medical marijuana programs.
So, did Melinda Haag miss the memo or has she gone rogue? Let's review the evidence that's she's out of line with the government she's supposed to represent:
- In 2012, President Obama said that the Department of Justice should not prioritize prosecutions against medical marijuana patients and providers.
- In 2013, the Department of Justice issued a memo instructing Hagg and her colleagues to not interfere in those programs except in egregious circumstances.
- And in 2014, Congress approved a spending bill, which was signed into law by President Obama, that prohibits the use of federal funds to crack down on state medical marijuana programs.
The East Bay Express' David Downs reports that these policy changes caused judges to question Haag's motives:
"What's the end game here?" judge Stephen Murphy III asked the prosecution...
"In light of the (recent policy changes) it's a little curious we're here in this case," Judge Johnnie Rawlinson added.
The federal prosecutor for US Attorney Melinda Haag said he did not know why the office is still pursuing Harborside.
Earlier this week, U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, said that medical marijuana "can be helpful" for some medical conditions.
On other words, Haag is not only contradicting the wishes of the President, Attorney General and Congress, she's interfering in a program that the top doctor in the country says helps patients.
Maybe we should send all this to her again...just to make sure she gets it.