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House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi criticized the Obama Administration’s stance against medical marijuana suppliers in California this week. She said the government is putting patients in danger, and undermining its policy of deferring to states on the issue, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

This is the first time Pelosi publicly criticized the government’s actions on medical marijuana, the article notes.

“Access to medicinal marijuana for individuals who are ill or enduring difficult and painful therapies is both a medical and a states’ rights issue,” she said in a statement. “I have strong concerns about the recent actions by the federal government that threaten the safe access of medical marijuana to alleviate the suffering of patients in California.”

In October, United States attorneys in California told dozens of marijuana dispensaries they must close or face criminal and civil action. Four U.S. attorneys said they would prosecute landlords who rent space to operators of medical marijuana dispensaries. The attorneys said they were also focusing on properties used to grow marijuana. Since then, about 300 marijuana dispensaries in the state have closed, according to the newspaper. More than 1,000 medical marijuana suppliers are still in business, according to the advocacy group Americans for Safe Access.


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