Medical Marijuana: House Judiciary Chair Calls Out DEA on California Raids

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), the powerful chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has sent a letter to the DEA questioning its priorities and asking for an accounting of costs incurred in the dozens of raids it has launched against California medical marijuana patients and providers in the last two years. The letter could be the prelude to hearings on the topic, if medical marijuana defenders, including a number of elected officials, have their way.
John Conyers, at DRCNet event in 2005
In the April 29 letter to DEA Acting Administrator Michele Leonhart, Conyers wrote that he received numerous complaints from Californians, including elected officials, about "DEA enforcement tactics" regarding raids on medical marijuana dispensaries. The Californians were urging him to hold hearings, the chairman told Leonhart, but first, "I want to give you the opportunity to respond to these complaints."

Noting an increase in "paramilitary-style enforcement raids against individuals qualified to use medical marijuana under state law, their caregivers, and the dispensing collectives established to provide a safe place to access medical cannabis," as well as the sending of letters threatening property confiscation or even arrest to hundreds of landlords who rent to dispensaries, Conyers had a handful of pointed questions:

  • Is the use of asset forfeiture, which has typically been reserved for organized crime, appropriate in these cases? Has the DEA considered the economic impact of forfeiture in a stalled economy?
  • "Given the increasing levels of trafficking and violence associated with international drug cartels across Mexico, South America, and elsewhere," is this really where the DEA wants to spend its resources?
  • Has the DEA considered the impact of its tactics on the ability of California state and local entities to collect lawful taxes on an economic activity legal under state law?
  • Given increasing support for medical marijuana from medical associations and in the scientific literature, and the acting director's discretion in prioritizing DEA activities, "Please explain what role, if any, scientific data plays in your decision-making process to conduct raids on individuals authorized to use or supply cannabis under state law?"

Conyers also appears to call for an inter-governmental commission composed of lawmakers, law enforcers, and people affected by medical marijuana policy "to review policy and provide recommendations that aim to bring harmony to federal and state laws." Such a commission could be part of a process that eventually brings a relaxation of federal medical marijuana policy.

"Finally," Conyers concluded, "attached with this letter is a list of approximately 60 raids the DEA conducted between June 2005 and November 2007. Please provide an accounting of the costs, in dollars and resources, used to conduct law enforcement raids on the attached list of individuals. Please include information about: whether any arrests were made in the course of these raids, and, if so, how many people were arrested; under what circumstances was a warrant issued and for what content; whether any criminal or other charges have been brought by the DOJ; what, if any, content was seized or destroyed; and finally, the current status of these cases."

Also attached to the letter were statements condemning the DEA raids from the Los Angeles City Council, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums, and a resolution from the California legislature.

Ordinarily, one would not expect the DEA to be quick to reply to such inquiries, even from someone like Chairman Conyers. But with the threat of possible hearings hanging over its head, perhaps the agency will find the courtesy of a reply the lesser of two evils.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

Our Government is OUT OF CONTROL!!!

Now I realize how the citizens of Germany felt as they sat-by watching the Nazi party take control of their Government and their country.
Jack Grabit

DEA = Dumb Evil Assholes

I'm sure these narco-criminals will be eager to explain how continued illegal marijuana prohibition benefits them at the expense of honest citizens.

Afterall their drug alcohol is legal again... thanks to their european ancestors... irish, germans, etc... who said fuck no to the first major drug war... against alcohol.... the original 'gateway' drug!

Once the temperance era drug warriors had no one to kill or incarcerate anymore our 1st drug czar Harry 'Asshole' Anslinger simply shifted his illegal war to marijuana... a favorite drug of jazz musicians, black folk, and mexicans.... and how he hated everything non-lilly-white! It's what his religious fundamentalism taught him.... he... like his god must be an intolerance asshole... it's what creepy christians do... because it's much easier to make themselves more equal with god on your side... it's no doubt what Jesus would do too! Besides, ignoring self-evidence is their favorite group past-time!

The DEA will if anything simply stick by their insanely moronic view that federal law.... even though it violates u.s. constituional law... is the law of their land. The DEA does not recognize the u.s. constitution, who in gov't does anymore, and the fact that the states not the feds, w/o constitutional amendment, are the legal authorities... not self serving Dumb Evil Assholes.

Makes you wonder if judicial review could be such a bad thing, certainly, jury nullification is a good thing!

Just Say NO... to Gods & Gov'ts!
Always the problem... Never the Solution!

jury nulification

its sick the the supreme court upheld a jurys right to vote to nulify and judge the law as well as the case, and then told judges they don't have to inform juries of this, and some judges have held defense attourneys in contempt for trying to tell the jury of their legal right and duty to vote their concience.

I was watching an episode of Law and Order, only a few years old, where a juror said she voted her concie and that was what jury nulification is all about, and the judges reply was "Jury nulification is illegal" now, I wonder why a tv show about the criminal justice system wouldn't know that jury nulification is indeed LEGAL and NECESSARY for the judicial system to function. Hmmm, I guess that's just one more reason why it doesn't function and isn't likely to before this once great nation collapses under the weight of its own delusions of moral superiority.

keep the pressure on!

The government is out of control and almost every time the subject of prohibition comes up there’s a reference to Nazi’s. What do you expect when a government wages war on its own citizens and uses their version of a puritanical lifestyle to force everyone they govern to comply with their definition of correct behavior. The Constitution does not give the government the authority the drug warriors claim they have. Be sure to contact you Congressional representative and tell them you are in favor of HR5842 and HR5843, here's the phone number; 202-224-3121. If you don’t take action you have no right to complain. Get involved and make a difference. Progress is being made but we all have to pull together. This story is proof that taking action gets results, so please keep the pressure on the prohibitionsts and we will shut them down.

The comments about Christians is uncalled for. Many evil things have been done in the name of God and Christ, that doesn’t make God evil. It makes those that distort the truth about Him evil. If you take the time to read the Bible you’ll learn for yourself what God has to say. I’m white and Christian, was raised in a racist family, school and church but God gave me the freedom of choice and I chose to believe all people should be governed equally and fairly. What choices have you made?

God is on vacation -- or in another galaxy

Satan has been running the show in the US of A for generations now. The evidence speaks for itself.

It is very nice to have

It is very nice to have congressmen questioning the cost of medical marijuana raids, but they must know that the legislation making marijuana use criminal is the result of their own actions. It would be nice to think that this is the responsibility of only one party, but that is not the case. Every law that is passed takes away someone's freedom. When we ask government to protect us we should consider the consequences.

Medical Marijuana

Its about time! I cant wait to see what the resolution will be here.
California should be left alone THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN! Let it be!

I agree, but to be

I agree, but to be consistent you must then understand a limited role for the federal government. This requires a rethinking of the commerce clause. We have essentially given up our rights for safety. We ask the government to keep us safe, make us equal, take the risk out of life, not let us fail or be taken advantage of, and if we make bed choices the government should make us whole. When we demand all of this, is it any wonder that the federal government has all this power?


Democracy Eradication Administration

Democracy is the real enemy of drug warriors. They will not allow democratic institutions to stop them.

SEE: Jim Crow: The American Success Story

The drug warriors will not accept manifestations of democracy like California's med/mari laws because the war on drugs is America's assault on democracy both here and abroad.

Fight back!

Call or write you members of congress and tell them that you won't vote for them unless they come out in support of Congressmen Frank and Paul's H.B.5843 'To eliminate most Federal penalties for possession of marijuana for personal use'.

The United States congress is the only institution in America with the power to change and end the war on drugs. If they do not hear this from us they won't hear it.

Write to your Representative in Congress about this import legislation:
Write to your Representative in Congress and U.S. Senators

Former DEA Official's comment on...

Former DEA Official's comment on retiring from her work as Director of the DEA's MMJ Arrests
"I had an awesome time...."

so she had an awesome time arresting sick US Citizens ?

something does not add up !

thinking of ways to improve society and helping people;pets.


" If people allow the government to decide which foods they eat and which medicines to take, their bodies and their souls will soon fall ill as those living under tyranny."

Thomas Jefferson

No reverence for original American Freedom Fighters

Nobody --save for Ron Paul and a few other unknowns-- in the US Government has ANY reverence WHAT-SO-EVER for the Founding Fathers and patriots of the American Revolution. NOBODY.

Check out:
``This organization was founded in response to the growing concern that noncompliance with the Constitution for the United States of America and most state constitutions is creating a crisis of legitimacy that threatens freedom and civil rights.

Charles Lynch CONVICTED Los Angeles Federal Court

Charles Lynch was convicted today in Los Angeles Federal Court on all charges levied against him for operating his city sactioned Medical Marijuana Dispensary in Morro Bay California. Charlie is my son and we are devasted by this news. I have written several letters to John Conyers since his infamous letter to Michele Leonhart expecting some results, and have not had the courtesy of a reply. This is truly a travesty of justice. Please see (reasontv) for all updates on Charlie's trial. Contact Charlie at [email protected]. If you are in a position to support Charlie financially please go to to donate. Please contact me for any information in this matter [email protected]
Thank you for support
Bodine Jones-Proud and Loving Mother Charles Charles C. Lynch Central Coast Compassionate Caregivers Morro Bay

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