Police Caught in Middle on Marijuana Deliveries
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Police Caught in Middle on Marijuana Deliveries
Posted by CN Staff on July 03, 2010 at 15:53:10 PT
By Kahrin Deines of The Gazette Staff
Source: Billings Gazette
Montana -- The conflict between state and federal laws over the legality of medical marijuana is forcing some law enforcement officers to take on the unwelcome duty of delivering pot that caregivers attempt to ship through a parcel service. Over the past year, the Billings Police Department has received an increasing number of calls from FedEx and UPS workers who discover packages containing what appears to be legal medical marijuana. A police investigator must then pick up the package, make phone calls to determine whether it is a Montana-legal product produced by a “caregiver” who is registered with the state and notify the distributor to retrieve the pot.
All that can add up to several hours of police time. Then, the caregiver may not pick up their product, saddling the cops with returning the marijuana to them personally.“We don’t want to be in the middle as a broker,” said Billings Police Chief Rich St. John. “We’re wasting a lot of time investigating and looking into legitimate businesses.”Montana’s medical marijuana law allows “caregivers” to possess six plants or 1 ounce of marijuana for every “patient.” Both patients and caregivers must register with the state Department of Public Health and Human Services, and patients must identify who is their caregiver.Despite this limited legalization of marijuana for some medical uses, the parcel services refuse to transport the drug, even if it stays within the state’s borders.“Although we understand Montana has passed a law and citizens are permitted to ship it and use it under state law, federal law criminalizes the possession of marijuana, so as a result, FedEx is not going to take the risk of criminal prosecution by accepting such shipments,” said Sally Davenport, FedEx spokeswoman.The resulting predicament is extremely frustrating for narcotics detectives, especially when there is a risk that the marijuana providers involved may not be fully complying with the state’s law.“If everything turns out fine, we’ve just wasted our detective for several hours,” said Sgt. Brian Korell, who leads the department’s City-County Special Investigations Unit. “I’m paying a guy to investigate a legal business when I should be paying him to investigate true criminals.”But in one recent worst-case scenario, police were notified by federal agents that they had identified a detective returning pot to a home under video surveillance.Tom Daubert, who heads the medical marijuana advocacy group Patients and Families United, said tax dollars should not be spent paying officers to reunite caregivers with their products when they are ignoring the parcel services’ shipping rules.“Caregivers shouldn’t ship cannabis in that way at all, and if they choose to take that risk, they shouldn’t expect the delivery to be made,” Daubert said.Nevertheless, Korell said, the marijuana has a rightful owner and it cannot be destroyed without creating a legal liability for the department.“We are in a very, very difficult situation with this, and we are trying to do the best we can for all parties,” Korell said.Source: Billings Gazette, The (MT)Author: Kahrin Deines of The Gazette Staff Published: July 2, 2010Copyright: 2010 The Billings GazetteContact: speakup billingsgazette.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #7 posted by afterburner on July 04, 2010 at 08:33:37 PT
Happy Independence Day
Enjoy it while you can.Nation.
Goof Appears in Declaration of Independence.
Updated: 1 hour 35 minutes ago.
1:09 PM 7/3/2010.
Lauren Frayer, Contributor
(July 3) -- With one smudge of a feathered fountain pen back in 1776, American history changed forever.Chemists and archivists analyzing the U.S. Declaration of Independence have long speculated about cross-outs and smudges in Thomas Jefferson's original rough draft of the document. One smudge was much more aggressively wiped out than others. And on Friday, officials at the Library of Congress revealed for the first time what they believe was a Freudian slip by one of America's Founding Fathers.Jefferson is believed to have first written the word "subjects" to describe the American population, and then replaced it with the term "citizens," which appears throughout the historic document. Even in the midst of declaring the United States' independence from Britain, Jefferson may not have fully escaped the mindset of a monarchy.
}Is there any doubt what the founding fathers wanted for the U.S.A.?Politicians, stand and deliver!
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Comment #6 posted by NoCowLevel on July 04, 2010 at 06:58:13 PT
What about other meds?
So marijuana going through the mail for medical purposes is possibly the worst thing ever, but pills that kill tens of thousands of people every year is perfectly okay?
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Comment #5 posted by konagold on July 04, 2010 at 03:19:24 PT
silly or stupid, you decide
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Comment #4 posted by runruff on July 03, 2010 at 22:29:22 PT
Cops + Pot = $ !
Don't get me started!
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Comment #3 posted by konagold on July 03, 2010 at 20:51:16 PT
kops, re: comment 2
in Hawaii kops use green harvest to steal pot and its sold in Vegasknow the truth, the truth sets one free
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on July 03, 2010 at 17:57:57 PT
It's always about the money. It really is sad.
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Comment #1 posted by konagold on July 03, 2010 at 17:46:15 PT
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