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Steph Shearer is the Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access and she recently wrote an op-ed in The Huffington Post about her disappointment with President Obama and his medical marijuana policy. She describes the high hopes she, and many others, started with when it came to Barack Obama.
“As Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access (ASA),” she writes, “I was ecstatic to be shedding the dark days of the Bush Administration's war on medical cannabis patients. As a patient myself, I felt counted and part of the Change that would be coming to Washington, and I was proud to support and volunteer for Barack Obama's victorious campaign.
“For his 2008 campaign, I donated money, I went to rallies to show support, I knocked on doors in VA, and on election night I joined thousands in D.C. who descended on the White House to celebrate and sing ‘Na, Na, Na, Na, Good bye’ to President Bush. I went to sleep that night excited about a new direction for this country that would include me as a recognized medical cannabis patient.”
Things even looked promising as Obama’s Administration began. Then things turned in a bad direction.
“In fewer than four years of President Obama,” she says, “we have seen more raids on dispensaries than during the Bush Administration's entire eight-year tenure. The Obama Administration has taken property from landlords, threatened local officials, forced the release of patient records, used the Internal Revenue Service to bankrupt legitimate dispensaries, told banks to purge medical cannabis clients, evicted patients from low-income housing and denied a petition to recognize the well-established medical value of cannabis.”
So where does that leave medical marijuana patients? Does a second Obama term hold any hope for them? Will Obama come back to the progressive stance he started with?
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