By Matthew Boyle | DailyCaller.com
In late 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder authorized raids against marijuana dispensaries in California, where medicinal marijuana is legal, in an effort to create a distraction from the congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious, a new book set for release Tuesday claims.
Eric Holder, Obamas embattled Attorney General, was under mounting pressure from Congress to explain the botched Fast and Furious sting operation, whereby two thousand assault rifles and other firearms were sold to suspected traffickers for the Mexican drug cartels, Martin A. Lee writes in Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana Medical, Recreational and Scientific.
It was intended as an intelligence-gathering ploy, but U.S. agents lost track of most of these weapons.
In an excerpt obtained and published by the left-wing news and opinion website TruthOut.org, Lee describes the Fast and Furious scandal including how it led to the murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry and how Holder stonewalled Congress for months, disavowing any knowledge of the caper despite documentation showing that high-level Justice Department officials aided the surveillance mission.
The fact that Fast and Furious had its roots in a similar Bush-era ATF operation mattered little to GOP Rep. Darrell Issa, the grandstanding chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, who went so far as to accuse the Obama administration of purposely allowing the guns to escape as part of a liberal plot to impose new gun control laws, Lee writes. Issa was not credible; nor was Holder.
Lee goes on to explain that when calls for special investigations into Fast and Furious and for Holders resignation intensified in October 2011, Holder played what Lee calls the ace up his sleeve.
Ever since California voters approved Proposition 215, which legalized marijuana for medical use in 1996, law enforcement lobbyists had been urging the federal government to enforce prohibition and choke off the burgeoning industry, Lee writes.
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 States medical marijuana industry.
Within ten months, close to half of Californias 1400 dispensaries would shut down as the DEA waged an all-out vendetta against what Proposition 215 had unloosed, Lee continued.
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