Obama Explains Medical Marijuana Crackdown — Sort Of

Mystery accompanied the federal Justice Department's crackdown on California's state-legal medical marijuana industry since Oct. 7, when prosecutors formally declared their war on weed. Who was behind the feds deciding it was time to shut down hundreds of California dispensaries — rogue prosecutors? Drug warriors in the Attorney General's office? Eric Holder himself, despite multiple public statements that pot wasn't a priority?

The Northern District of California made a practice of not commenting to the media as it shut down five San Francisco dispensaries and moved in February to shut down four more — all of which, at least for now, are still open.

But at last, somebody in Washington finally took responsibility for the crackdown. The buck, it turns out, stops with President Barack Obama, who explained the government's actions in an interview with Rolling Stone.

Obama's rationale: He never made a promise to ignore federal law, and even if he did, he can't, because Congress, not the White House, makes the laws. That turbid statement was dismissed by medical cannabis advocates as “underwhelming, inaccurate,” and ignoring “medical marijuana as a public health issue.”

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