I’m a city boy, so this could be a rural legend, but I’ve heard that when you cut off a chicken’s head, its body continues to run around, wildly and aimlessly.
I hope that’s the case with the DEA right now, where holdovers from the previous administration are continuing their war on medical marijuana patients and scientific research as though Bush were still in the White House.
My colleague, Aaron Smith, mentioned last week that the DEA raided a medical marijuana dispensary in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., only two days after President Obama’s inauguration. Obama, of course, had repeatedly stated on the campaign trail that he would not waste federal resources interfering with states that have medical marijuana laws.
Meanwhile, DEA is poised to deny a final request from a University of Massachusetts-Amherst professor to establish a secure marijuana research facility as early as Monday if President Obama doesn’t intervene.
We’re calling on Obama to rein in the ideologues at the DEA who are running roughshod over his stated policies and principles. It’s understandable if he would rather focus on other matters in his first weeks in office. But his own subordinates have forced this conflict – not medical marijuana patients or activists.
With luck, the president will heed his own words, when he promised on Dec. 20 that he would ensure “facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology … [e]ven when it’s inconvenient.”