Richard Lee is the founder of Oaksterdam University, a Northern California medical marijuana training school. Raids by the DEA on his home and business have left him bankrupt, although he has not been charged with any crime. He doesn’t even know why he was raided. Don’t raids require warrants? And don’t warrants require probable cause?
But wait, the government is supposed to protect property rights!
Should we be surprised that an entity whose continued existence requires the violation of property rights (via taxation) would violate property rights?
Which is scarier?
But this is more than a property rights violation. At least with taxes you can know how much you’ll owe and make decisions accordingly. An atmosphere where your legal business can be raided and effectively shut down at any time for no reason breeds a new kind of paralyzing terror.
With cannabis, in the absence of clear-cut laws, the state has allowed the DEA to relieve citizens of their property without due process. It’s impossible for patients, users, educators, doctors or proprietors to know whether state or federal law applies and how, which makes it impossible to be in full compliance. Which means that law enforcement can enforce whatever laws they want to at the time. The situation replaces the rule of law with the rule of bureaucrat tyrants.
Shame on the Obama administration for not clearing up the muddle that is federal marijuana legislation. And shame on Obama himself for promising to end raids of state-law-compliant medical marijuana dispensaries and then doing nothing to stop the DEA from conducting raid after pointless, destructive, politically motivated raid.