Bay Area Reps Slam Barack Obama on Marijuana Crackdown, Pelosi Silent

Can Congress punish the president?

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    NEWSLETTERS

    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi supports peace; will she support pot?

    Members of the Bay Area's Congressional delegation called on President Barack Obama to cease-and-desist the US Justice Department's crackdown on California's medical marijuana industry on Friday, and were joined by representatives from around the country, including a Republican from Southern California and  a representative from Tennessee.

    But there was a familiar Bay Area political name absent from the roll, which included Rep. Pete Stark of Fremont, Rep. Barbara Lee of Oakland, Rep. Sam Farr of Carmel, Rep. Mike Thompson of Napa, and Rep. Lynn Woolsey of Marin: there was no sign of San Francisco's Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Leader who was a supporter of 1996's Proposition 215, which legalized medical marijuana in California.

    Late last month, the four United States attorneys for California sent letters to dispensaries acorss the state, informing them they must close or face prosecution. The Congressional letter calls the crackdown on state-legal medical marijuana by the federal government "unconscionable," according to the Santa Cruz Sentinel. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Huntington Beach, and Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Memphis, TN.

    Obama had on the campaign trail expressed support for medical marijuana and said he would not devote law enforcement resources to policing it; Attorney General Eric Holder in 2009 made similar comments.

    The federal government classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug, which means it has no medical value and a high potential for abuse. The nine members of Congress are asking marijuana to be reclassified.

    "It is critically important for patients to have safe access to this treatment that continues to be recommended by doctors," said Farr in a statement. "California voters decided to adopt clear regulations to allow patients to do just that. It is unfortunate that the federal government has decided to target these legal vendors instead of focusing limited resources on those who sell illicit drugs."