Oakland, California. Ground zero for a medical marijuana fight between states and the federal government that has only been heating up. Graphic journalist Susie Cagle surveys the impact of recent DEA raids in "Down In Smoke," her third piece for Cartoon Movement. Incorporating real audio from activists, Cagle portrays what "feels like class war" as local growers, patients and city officials fight against losing their jobs, medicine, and tax revenue.
Californians voted to legalize medical marijuana in 1996, and President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder stated early on they would not target legitimate businesses. But they've since reversed course and declared war on dispensaries, a huge tax base for the debt-ridden state. "It's an issue that highlights the divides in America's culture and its politics," Cagle writes, "as a government based 3,000 miles away attempts to override state law and the people's mandate."