Feds Attack California's Medical Marijuana Trade
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Feds Attack California's Medical Marijuana Trade
Posted by CN Staff on June 07, 2012 at 04:20:10 PT
By Dan Whitcomb
Source: Reuters
Los Angeles -- Federal authorities opened the latest front in their war on California's massive medical marijuana industry this week, filing property forfeiture lawsuits in a bid to shut down three dispensaries and sending warning letters to 34 people.The moves by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles are the latest in an ongoing crackdown on what federal prosecutors say is a flourishing network of illegal cannabis suppliers operating across California under the cover of the state's medical marijuana law.
Authorities have now targeted more than 220 dispensaries -- deemed "marijuana stores" by prosecutors -- or indoor cultivation houses in the seven-county Central District of California alone, U.S. Attorney's spokesman Thom Mrozek said.Most have been closed or are facing eviction or have been the subject to additional federal law enforcement actions, he said. The Central District of California represents the largest federal law enforcement jurisdiction in the country."Because there are so many in our district we could not go after all of them at once, so we've developed a strategy based on geographical areas," Mrozek said. "We're methodically going through our district."The forfeiture lawsuits were filed on Monday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles against a pair of buildings in the Los Angeles suburb of Santa Fe Springs, one of which houses two dispensaries.Letters were also sent to 34 other property owners or store operators in the Los Angeles area giving them 14 days to come into compliance with federal law or face civil or criminal actions.The drive by federal prosecutors to shut down dispensaries has caused friction between the U.S. government and California, which in 1996 became the first state to decriminalize medical marijuana. Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have followed suit.The possession or sale of marijuana is illegal under federal law, which does not have an exemption for medical purposes.California Attorney General Kamala Harris, in a November interview with the New York Times, said the federal campaign had "only increased uncertainty about how Californians can legitimately comply with state law."Harris also said federal authorities were "ill equipped to be the decision makers as to which providers are violating the law."But Mrozek said federal prosecutors believed that the dispensaries were operating outside of California law, which he said permits only primary caregivers to dispense marijuana and bars sale of the drug for profit."Our position is that they are in violation of federal law, but also in violation of state law because they are operating as for-profit enterprises and they are not functioning as a primary caregiver," he said.Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Steve Gorman and Leslie GevirtzSource: Reuters (Wire)Author:  Dan WhitcombPublished: June 6, 2012Copyright: 2012 Thomson ReutersCannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #3 posted by Richard Zuckerman on June 11, 2012 at 16:04:59 PT:
Interstate commerce clause litigation:
Defendants should raise the interstate commerce clause jurisdiction challenge in the trial court, for appeal. Meanwhile the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear two separate cases on the interstate commerce clause, [1] the case, and [2] the Obamacare health care law challenge, one friend-of-the-court brief of which asserts this issue. The cases described in the above article should be raised for appeal as a third case for the U.S. Supreme Court to grant (even though The Court has already agreed to hear the first two)!!
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Comment #2 posted by afterburner on June 07, 2012 at 08:50:02 PT
Black Market 'Primary Caregivers'???
"But Mrozek said federal prosecutors believed that the dispensaries were operating outside of California law, which he said permits only primary caregivers to dispense marijuana and bars sale of the drug for profit."If the dispensaries are operating outside California state law, why don't you let the state of California prosecute them? Also, if patients have to turn to the black market because their dispensary was shut down, are the black market operators primary caregivers? Is it a crime to force a desperately ill patient to drive 100 miles to get their medicine? It should be!"The possession or sale of marijuana is illegal under federal law, which does not have an exemption for medical purposes."Lies! Don't anybody tell Barbara Douglass, George McMahon, Elvy Musikka, Irvin Rosenfeld, or the anonymous medical cannabis patients of the federal government's own Compassionate Investigational New Drug program, which dispenses 8-9 ounces of medical "marijuana" per month. Equal justice!!!
Compassionate Investigational New Drug program
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Comment #1 posted by runruff on June 07, 2012 at 05:51:44 PT
splitting hairs and stupid on purpose.
Here we go again! Splitting hairs for justice. Maintaining job security. I saw this same thing in the military and in the BoP. In the federal prison system the prisoners call it Backward on Purpose. No one gets called out, or blamed for incompetence or waste. The system rewards such behaviours with what is known as "clean up cash". They simply add the messes and their clean-up cost to the next budget. It actually helps them increase their budget by wasting.Splitting hairs is another way to increase the budget. Making a peck equal a bushel on paper. You will find more con men in the federal employ than you will find behind bars.Their obstinate refusal to recognize states rights or to recognize any useful benefits from cannabis or to admit that is a harmless plant all stems from job security and budgets more than ignorance. They know. They also know that to admit the truth will mean that the "E" ticket ride at the federal Dizzyland will be over.
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