Feds Question Drive To Revise State Med Pot Law
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Feds Question Drive To Revise State Med Pot Law
Posted by CN Staff on April 14, 2011 at 16:13:00 PT
By Jonathan Martin, Seattle Times Staff Reporter
Source: Seattle Times 
Seattle, WA -- A proposal to rewrite the state medical marijuana laws is in flux after federal prosecutors in Washington expressed concerns about its provisions legalizing dispensaries and grow farms.In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday, Gov. Chris Gregoire asked for "clear guidance" about the Department of Justice's position on state-licensed marijuana dispensaries.
Gregoire became concerned about a potential federal crackdown after speaking with the U.S. attorneys for Eastern and Western Washington, Michael Ormsby and Jenny Durkan. The prosecutors, who did not return phone calls Thursday, were concerned that the proposed legislation would legalize commercial sales of marijuana, said Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, the bill's prime sponsor.They noted that the U.S. attorney for Northern California was threatening to prosecute operators of a proposed commercial grow farm in Oakland, even though the farm was licensed by the City of Oakland, Gregoire said in her letter to Holden.Washington is considering a similar scheme under a bill that has passed both chambers of the Legislature. That bill, SB 5073, would create new state licenses for nonprofit or for-profit dispensaries, grow farms and cannabis food processors.Gregoire's letter seeks federal input before considering whether to sign the bill. "The governor wants to make sure that if a law goes forward, it's done in a way that won't set up Washington state for an endless battle of court cases," said her spokesman, Scott Whiteaker.Kohl-Welles said its possible Gregoire might veto all or portions of the bill. She said legislative and executive staffs were considering potential changes to the bill even as the governor waits for response from Washington, D.C.But Kohl-Welles said she was mystified why DOJ would treat legalized dispensaries in Washington different from six other states and the District of Columbia, which all currently license and regulate dispensaries."Why should our state be treated differently than other states?" she asked.Ormsby, the U.S. attorney in Spokane, last week in a news release threatened to seize property where dispensaries were operating.The U.S. DOJ has taken a largely hands-off approach to medical marijuana patients since an October 2009 memo issued shortly after Holder took over. The memo said patients who were in "clear and unambiguous compliance" with state laws were not a priority. But the memo emphasized that "commercial enterprises that unlawfully market and sell marijuana for profit continues to be an enforcement priority."Earlier this month, Ormsby warned that "marijuana stores" are illegal, and urged property owners who rent to medical marijuana dispensaries to evict their clients or potentially face forfeiture actions. "We are preparing for quick and direct action against the operators of the stores," Ormsby wrote.More than 100 dispensaries have sprouted statewide in the past year and a half, using a gray area of the voter-approved 1998 medical marijuana law that neither specially allowed nor prohibited them.Marijuana remains illegal under federal law and cannot be prescribed because it, along it LSD and heroin, are classified as Schedule I drugs.Gregoire Letter To Attorney General Holder (PDF)URL: Memo from the U.S. Justice Regarding MMJ (PDF)URL: Seattle Times (WA)Author: Jonathan Martin, Seattle Times Staff ReporterPublished: April 14, 2011Copyright: 2011 The Seattle Times CompanyContact: opinion seatimes.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana  Archives 
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Comment #4 posted by Storm Crow on April 16, 2011 at 11:54:02 PT
Please stop insulting nappy-headed toads and piranhas! They deserve better than being compared to the likes of Michele Leonhart! 
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Comment #3 posted by runruff on April 16, 2011 at 06:48:42 PT
Princess Michele?
More like a nappy headed toad with the spiritual awareness of a piranha.
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Comment #2 posted by Had Enough on April 15, 2011 at 13:34:35 PT
Dongenero re: #1
About the Quote from Princess Michele…I think Queen Hillary said the same thing months ago…so did the new Drug Czar Gil…they are well practiced at the art of deception…War Pigs…Prohibitionists always scream “What about the children” Go figure…And Czars belong in Russia…not the USA…************Re-post because it fits so well.Black Sabbath - War Pigs
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Comment #1 posted by dongenero on April 15, 2011 at 13:02:05 PT
DEA head: A thousand dead children -we're winning
Winning! The Washington Post recently reported that the victims of Mexican drug cartel violence increasingly include children, who are being specifically targeted in order to terrorize people and intimidate potential business rivals:  The children’s rights group estimates that 994 people younger than 18 were killed in drug-related violence between late 2006 and late 2010, based on media accounts, which are incomplete because newspapers are often too intimidated to report drug-related crimes.
  Government figures include all homicides of people younger than 17, capturing victims whose murders might not have been related to drugs or organized crime. In 2009, the last year for which there is data, 1,180 children were killed, half in shootings.This article is actually almost a week old, but I did not notice, until it was highlighted by Jonathan Blanks, this astounding quote from America's top drug warrior:  U.S. and Mexican officials say the grotesque violence is a symptom the cartels have been wounded by police and soldiers. “It may seem contradictory, but the unfortunate level of violence is a sign of success in the fight against drugs,” said Michele Leonhart, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration. The cartels “are like caged animals, attacking one another,” she added.
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