Federal bureaucrats infringe on popular government in Montana raids

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Christina Tobin, Founder and Chair
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Federal bureaucrats infringe on popular government in Montana raids

On Monday, March 14 federal agents from the DEA and FBI raided over 50 small businesses distributing medical marijuana legally under Montana law. While one may legitimately debate the desirability of such laws, Free & Equal condemns this intrusion against popular government.

“Whether by initiative, or through their duly elected state representatives, the people of these states have chosen to allow the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes,” said Free & Equal founder and president Christina Tobin. “It is incumbent on the unelected federal bureaucracy to recognize the right of the people to manage their own affairs.”

Federal bureaucrats conducted these raids despite President Obama’s promise not to interfere with the right of the states to regulate themselves in this area, and Attorney General Eric Holder’s October 2009 memo determining that prosecution of people legitimately using medical marijuana is “unlikely to be an efficient use of limited federal resources.”

The raids were widely seen as an attempt to influence pending state legislation regarding the use of medical marijuana. Kris Hermes, spokesman for Americans for Safe Access, said the raids resulted from public officials “not getting their way and sidestepping the democratic process.” Tom Daubert, a leading advocate of medical marijuana, said the raids represented “interference by the federal government in Montana decision-making.”

Free & Equal calls on federal agencies to honor their duty and follow the expressed policy of President Obama and Attorney General Holder, and to respect the right of the people to govern themselves under our federal system of democracy.


Free & Equal is a nonpartisan, non-profit public-policy advocacy organization dedicated to election reform and improving ballot access laws in the United States.