President Barack Obama has faced a lot of criticism about his administration's harsh stance on marijuana, and much of it comes from medical cannabis users who suffer from chronic illnesses or serious diseases.
But perhaps Bill Rosendahl's voice will cut through the noise. The Los Angeles City Councilman and cancer survivor is the first elected official in the United States to openly use medical marijuana. In a frank interview with HuffPost Live's Jacob Soboroff Tuesday, Rosendahl ripped the President for his hypocrisy on marijuana use. He called Obama's current position on pot an irresponsible betrayal of cannabis patients and prisoners in jail for marijuana-related convictions.
"First he kind of acknowledged medical marijuana, kind of giggled about it, and helped create all these illegal ones that came up in our city," said Rosendahl. The councilman was referring to Obama's past as a recreational marijuana user and the hope he offered for marijuana reformers -- and LA dispensary operators -- while a candidate for the 2008 presidential race.
But as an administration, Obama is officially against marijuana legalization and has actually launched an aggressive enforcement policy against growers and collectives.
"He came in with all the right energy and then, I feel, betrayed me on every step of the way," said Rosendahl.
In the video clip below, Rosendahl said to Soboroff, "Medical marijuana saved my life."
On Tuesday, LA voters approved Proposition D, which caps the number of marijuana dispensaries at about 135 from a high of nearly 1,000 a few years ago. It also imposes higher taxes, regulates hours of operation, and sets rules on proximity to parks and schools.
Opponents claimed Proposition D creates a medical marijuana monopoly among remaining shops. Supporters of the winning measure said it would balance the needs of ailing patients who say they need the drug with concerns about loitering and crime related to pot shops that popped up across the city.
The new law was passed several weeks after the California Supreme Court gave municipalities the right to ban stores outright.
The Obama administration's enforcement of marijuana as a Schedule I drug continues to be felt in California. In the past month, dispensaries throughout northern California received letters from the Justice Department warning of property seizures and prison sentences should they not shut down. Hundreds of dispensaries have been shut down in California by the feds since 2011.
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