Potheads take an interest in Operation Fast & Furious
The Justice Department's botched gun-smuggling program Fast & Furious is no longer the exclusive obsession of Republicans and gun owners. Turns out, advocates of marijuana legalization want in on the conspiracy too.
The unusual development was sparked by a new book titled Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana by Martin A. Lee, which contends that Attorney General Eric Holder authorized a series of raids against California medical marijuana dispensaries to distract the public and the law enforcement community from the investigation into the gun-walking investigation, which involved the death of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. The theory goes something like this: As Republican calls for Holder's resignation escalated in October 2011, Holder played what Lee says was the "ace up his sleeve":
On October 7, the same day Holder wrote a detailed letter to Rep. Issa, defending his handling of the Fast and Furious affair, four federal prosecutors in California held a hastily organized press conference in which they threw down the gauntlet and announced the start of a far-ranging crackdown that would nearly decimate the Golden State’s medical marijuana industry...
The Justice Department green-lit a scorched earth campaign against medicinal cannabis in order to placate law enforcement and control the damage from the Fast and Furious scandal by deflecting attention to other matters ... Within ten months, close to half of California’s 1400 dispensaries would shut down as the DEA waged an all-out vendetta against what Proposition 215 had unloosed.