The Department of Justice’s letter to the City of Eureka warning of prosecutions and more if that City enacts cannabis laws similar to Arcata’s is understandable. The DOJ is concerned about legitimizing organized crime. But Arcata should ignore the bluster, continue to administer the municipal laws on its books and offer to defend City employees who handle this work.
Arcata isn’t going to allow a cannabis dispensary to operate outside the Land Use Code. If it did, the LUC would be meaningless and we’d have abandoned any notion of planned development. The City shouldn’t buckle to challenges from on high, either.
Arcata’s laws were shaped and passed by elected leaders after multiple public hearings. They reflect the will of our people. Further, they are logical and practical, allowing medical cannabis patients to grow or purchase all the meds they need while giving police the tools they need to temper the scourge of residential grow houses.
In 2008, I interviewed the then-Deputy Director of Drug Control Policy, Scott Burns, at Arcata City Hall. Regarding cannabis dispensaries, he said federal enforcement would “...include sending official notices to the dispensaries that you are in violation of federal law to the owners. That they’re subject to losing their property, which I predict will happen soon.”
It never happened, and if the reefer madness-deluded Bush administration didn’t go after Arcata, Obama won’t either.
The City should call the feds’ bluff and continue to implement the fair policy our citizens wrought regarding cannabis cultivation and dispensing.
If you maintain any hope for logic and compassion in our crazy world, you have to believe our national leaders have better things to do than attack one of the few places that have brought a semblance of order to this difficult situation.