Former US Atty.: Strict Medical Pot Law May Be OK
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Former US Atty.: Strict Medical Pot Law May Be OK
Posted by CN Staff on September 20, 2011 at 11:37:43 PT
By  The Associated Press
Source: Associated Press
Helena, Mont. -- Montana's former U.S. attorney says he believes the federal government would be comfortable with state medical marijuana laws that are tightly written and allow very few people to legally use the drug.Bill Mercer spoke during a Helena conference sponsored by the Burton K. Wheeler Center, based in Bozeman. Monday evening's discussion focused on finding a balance between federal laws and states' rights. "I think you've really got to tighten up those categories," Mercer said.
Those attending the meeting held wide-ranging opinions on medical marijuana, but nearly everyone agreed that the current system isn't working."It seems like a mess to me," said panel moderator Lee Banville, assistant professor of journalism at the University of Montana.Montana voters passed a medical marijuana law in 2004. Five years later, the Obama administration released the Ogden memo, which stated that as long as a person's marijuana use follows a state's medical marijuana laws, the government wouldn't prosecute them.After that memo, the number of medical marijuana users and caregivers rose  eventually reaching about 30,000 people with medical marijuana cards by June 2011."People looked at the federal government and thought they were backing away from their role," Mercer said.The 2011 Legislature attempted to change the law to reduce the number of providers and patients, and at about the same time, federal agents raided more than two dozen medical marijuana providers in the state, seizing hundreds of plants at some locations along with vehicles and weapons.Medical marijuana advocates filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the new law, and a judge has temporarily overturned some key provisions. Advocates also are gathering signatures to get an initiative on the ballot that would allow voters to decide if they want to keep the new law or revert back to the old one.In June, the Justice Department issued a statement known as the Cole memo that told the Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. attorneys to clarify that large-scale medical marijuana dispensaries are in violation of the Controlled Substances Act and will be prosecuted.Rep. Diane Sands, D-Missoula, said most of the Montanans who were growing medical marijuana thought it was legal and it should be limited to people with certain medical conditions.The Ogden memo "never said anything about how individuals should acquire the substance legally," Sands said. "I think they (the federal government) created much of the problem we have here."Sands said the federal government needs to establish clear guidelines under which states can implement their medical marijuana laws.Mercer noted that the medical marijuana caregivers raided this spring are not using the Ogden memo as a defense and instead are pleading guilty to charges that come with a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison."Clearly those people were not operating within the contours of the state law," Mercer said.Prosecutors have filed motions to prevent the raided providers from relying on the Ogden memo as a defense.Source: Associated Press (Wire)Published: September 20, 2011 Copyright: 2011 The Associated PressCannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #7 posted by GentleGiant on September 27, 2011 at 05:37:14 PT:
We The People: Reschedule Marijuana to Schedule 3
Dear friends,I wanted to let you know about a new petition I created on We the People, a 
new feature on, and ask for your support. Will you add your 
name to mine? If this petition gets 5,000 signatures by October 27, 2011, 
the White House will review it and respond!Re-schedule Marijuana to the same level as Marinol, the government's synthetic equivalent of Marijuana, to Schedule 3.
Besides more than 22,000 studies that shows the absurdities of the Federal Government's 'flat earth' policy, that marijuana has no medical value, is completely absurd. Given that our body produces the same cannabinols that serves as a major life-functioning element within us to keep us alive. Given that there is more than 7000 years of written medical usage of marijuana. Given that U.S. doctors prescribed marijuana for nearly 100 years until abolished in 1937. Given that research shows that marijuana kills all cancerous cells, while leaving the healthy cells alone. Its time to end this blatant fraud perpetrated upon the American people. Re-schedule marijuana to schedule 3, the same as marinol, and let our doctors and researchers solve this problem, the greatest killer known to man, CancerYou can view and sign the petition here:
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on September 21, 2011 at 14:41:12 PT
Museman Comment 3
I agree. 
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on September 21, 2011 at 11:11:57 PT
I miss his comments. I hope he's thriving.
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Comment #4 posted by Hope on September 21, 2011 at 11:10:17 PT
Comment 2 Afterburner
Wow. That thread was like stepping into a time machine and it was so "Historical". 
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Comment #3 posted by museman on September 21, 2011 at 10:06:24 PT
Sands said.
"I think they (the federal government) created much of the problem we have here."Duh! Ya Think?LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #2 posted by afterburner on September 21, 2011 at 09:34:09 PT
Sour Grapes
"People looked at the federal government and thought they were backing away from their role," Mercer said.Yes, the 37% that voted against the law and law enforcement!"The Medical Marijuana Act passed by a 63 to 37 percent margin..."
Medical Marijuana Approved.
Posted by CN Staff on November 03, 2004 at 08:53:41 PT.
By Allison Farrell, Gazette State Bureau. 
Source: Billings Gazette
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Comment #1 posted by Vincent on September 20, 2011 at 12:12:11 PT:
US Attorney's mindset
Tell me, why do they even bother to ask Former US Attorney Bill Mercer's opoinion anyway. We already know what that Prohibitionist knucklehead is gonna say.
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