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Drug Enforcement Policy Changes Under Obama Administration

For decades now, the federal government of the United States has been waging a War on Drugs. President Nixon coined the term in 1969, says Broward criminal lawyer William Moore. Initially, the term meant a crackdown on the international drug trade, particularly from Latin American countries. Colombia, for example, is known for its mass production of the plant from which cocaine is derived, and is considered to be a major supplier of the drug to the United States through the illicit drug trade. Now, however, the War on Drugs has been criticized more broadly as the federal government has attempted to toughen domestic law enforcement through the Drug Enforcement Administration. Recently, however, the DEA came under new leadership following the election of President Obama and the agency’s priorities have changed, says Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney Moore.

On one hand, the current administration faces the growing problem of Mexican drug violence, says Broward criminal lawyer Moore. Hundreds have been slain, especially along the U.S.-Mexico border. Powerful drug cartels have been responsible for many home invasions, in which their victims – often low-level drug dealers – and their families are brutalized. The continuing violence has alarmed residents of Arizona and other border states. Even cities as far from the border as Birmingham, Alabama have seen violent crimes as a result of the drug cartels.

In March, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the DEA would be taking a new approach to medical marijuana, says Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney Moore. Several states, including California, have made marijuana available for medicinal use when recommended by a physician. The note authorizing medical marijuana is not a prescription in the traditional sense. It also does not contain information about the amount of marijuana a patient may purchase, the proper “dosage,” or the frequency with which it is to be used. Medical marijuana is not dispensed by a pharmacist, either. Instead, it purchased as a dispensary, small stores that require the doctor’s note to get in. The stores also notably sell marijuana-themed merchandise and novelties like pot ice cream.

Under the Obama administration, the DEA has stopped raiding dispensaries, Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney Moore says. Because medical marijuana is legal under California law but not federal law, the DEA under the previous administration raided several of the outfits. Now, however, the DEA is focusing on other matters – likely including the uptick in drug violence from Mexico and the spillover onto American soil.

Broward criminal lawyer William Moore has years of experience in criminal defense, including sex crimes and DUI. A felony or misdemeanor conviction of any type can have far-reaching consequences on your freedom, your employment, and your personal life. If you have been arrested in south Florida, contact William Moore, P.A., with offices in Fort Lauderdale-Dade, Broward, and Fort Lauderdale Counties.

Article contributed by Mallory Shipman, Esq.

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