Congressman Dana Rohrabacher blasted San Francisco’s local U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag Sunday, saying she was “breaking the law” in her attempts to seize major Bay Area dispensaries Harborside Health Center and Berkeley Patients Group.
The libertarian-leaning Republican from Huntington Beach has emerged as the leader of medical marijuana law reform in Washington DC, authoring a December measure to de-fund the Department of Justice’s war on medical pot. Sunday, he gave a speech in downtown San Francisco at the International Cannabis Business Conference to several hundred marijuana industry businesspeople and activists.
“If any of you is being attacked, that federal prosecutor is breaking the law — that breaks the letter and the spirit of the law that passed the House with great debate,” he said.
US Attorney Haag’s office — based in San Francisco — continues to attempt to seize Harborside and Berkeley Patients Group. Haag’s staff appeared in the Federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in February seeking to block the City of Oakland from defending Harborside. Haag’s staffers also recently appeared in court Feb. 9 seeking to prevent the City of Berkeley from defending BPG.
Rohrabacher told the audience “make sure your lawyers know are breaking the law by being there. Their paycheck cannot be used to prosecute.”
Haag’s office referred requests for comment in December to a Dept of Justice spokesperson in Washington DC, who said the DOJ was reviewing the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment.
Rohrabacher is a former Reagan speechwriter and a “very patriotic Republican.” He told the liberal audience Sunday, “We have got to change the drug laws of our country because it’s inconsistent with the freedom of our people.”
Marijuana enforcement in America is “no different than a fascist or a communist state,” he said. He noted that blacks face no-knock police raids based on as little as an anonymous drug tip. Affluent whites like himself do not, he said. “In my area, the police don’t do that.”
Rohrabacher said his leadership medical cannabis has cost him about “one percent” of his Republican base of voters. He figures he gained “about five percent of votes from people who would never consider voting for some right-wing jerk.”
Rohrabacher’s comments come amid a new letter from him and two other Congressmen stating that ongoing federal medical marijuana enforcement is illegal.