Monday, June 15, 2009

Rep. Lois Capps responds

It appears that Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA) has done more than pay lip service to protecting the proprietors of medical marijuana dispensaries.

In response to an inquiry from news talk radio host Dave Congalton (, Communications Director Emily Kryder points out that Lois has “actually been praised by a number of medical marijuana advocacy groups for her leadership on this issue” (see Americans for Safe Access Now). Kryder adds that in a February letter to newly appointed Attorney General Eric Holder, Capps asked that the Department of Justice “suspend enforcement actions against law abiding medical marijuana dispensaries in California.”

The letter, Kryder notes, indicates that several dispensaries in Capps’ district had been threatened with legal action from federal prosecutors from the Central District of California, “despite operating in compliance with local regulations, state law and the [state] Attorney General’s guidelines.”

Soon after receiving Capps’ letter, Kryder says, U.S. Attorney General Holder suspended the Bush Administration’s aggressive policy against medical marijuana, and put a halt to Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) arrests and prosecutions of “healthcare providers who legally operate medical marijuana dispensaries under state and local laws.”

Capps, says Krdyer, has also “supported the Hinchey/Rohrabacher medical marijuana amendment when it has come up for a vote during the appropriations. This amendment would prohibit the DEA from using federal funding to pursue healthcare providers from legally dispensing medical marijuana.”

In regard to Lynch, Kryder adds: “Interestingly, to our knowledge neither Mr. Lynch nor his attorney has ever contacted the Congresswoman’s office to request assistance or information about his case or any other issue. For obvious reasons, the Congresswoman doesn’t normally involve herself in her constituents’ legal matters, and that would especially be the case if the constituent has never even made a request for assistance."

It's possible, Kryder noted during a telephone interview, that Lynch, who is a resident of Arroyo Grande, may in fact be represented by Rep. Kevin McMcarthy (R-CA) of the 22nd district. §

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