An analysis from pro-medical marijuana group Americans For Safe Access found that President Barack Obama’s administration has spent nearly $300 million on combatting medical marijuana in states that have legalized the drug.
The report calculates the total amount of federal spending on medical marijuana intervention at $289 million over Obama’s four-and-a-half years in the White House. According to the analysis, the Drug Enforcement Administration alone spent 4 percent of its budget in 2011 and 2012 cracking down on medical marijuana across 20 states. Taken as a whole, Obama’s participation makes up the majority of what ASA says is a $483 million war of lawsuits, indictments and asset forfeiture attempts waged by the Department of Justice under the past three presidents.
The group claims that over 1 million Americans are using medical marijuana, and 34 percent of Americans live in a state where its medical use is legal. ASA’s report comes on the heels of a separate study from California’s chapter of NORML that found medical marijuana charges responsible for a total of over 480 years in prison sentences in the state, where cannabis has been legal for medical use since 1996. That number will likely grow when the Department of Justice hands down a prison sentence for medical marijuana provider Matthew Davies, who accepted a plea deal late last month.
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