Federal Crackdown on Pot Sales Reflects a Shift
function share_this(num) {
 tit=encodeURIComponent('Federal Crackdown on Pot Sales Reflects a Shift');
 site = new Array(5);
 return false;

Federal Crackdown on Pot Sales Reflects a Shift
Posted by CN Staff on October 08, 2011 at 06:56:10 PT
By John Hoeffel, Los Angeles Times
Source: Los Angeles Times
California -- The Obama administration's crackdown on California's highly profitable medical marijuana industry represents a dramatic departure from the low-key approach it has long pursued.California's four U.S. attorneys said Friday that they are taking aim at large-scale growers and dispensary owners who are raking in millions of dollars while falsely claiming that their medical marijuana operations comply with state law, which does not allow for-profit sales.
In the early days of President Obama's tenure, Atty. Gen. Eric Holder announced that prosecutors would not target medical marijuana users and caregivers, as long as they followed state laws. But as the risk of prosecution diminished, storefront dispensaries and enormous growing operations proliferated in California, often in brazen defiance of zoning laws and local bans."That is not what the California voters intended or authorized, and it is illegal under federal law," said Andre Birotte Jr., the Los Angeles-based U.S. attorney for the Central District. "It does not allow this brick-and-mortar, Costco-Wal-Mart-type model that we see across California."The step comes as the Obama administration has been steadily ratcheting up enforcement efforts. Last month, a federal firearms official sent a letter to gun dealers warning them against selling to medical marijuana users. The last bank in Colorado willing to handle money from dispensaries closed those accounts last week, concerned about federal prosecution. And the Internal Revenue Service has begun to order some dispensaries to pay millions of dollars in back taxes and penalties, ruling that they can't deduct expenses because their business is illegal.The prosecutors, who held a news conference in Sacramento to underscore their commitment to the campaign, said they are trying to enforce federal laws while respecting the intent of the state's voters, who passed the nation's first initiative to allow marijuana for medical purposes.Birotte noted that his Southern California region is home to the highest concentration of dispensaries in the nation. "We have yet to find a single instance in which a marijuana store was able to prove that it was a not-for-profit organization," he said.Medical marijuana advocates, including state Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), decried the intensified enforcement effort. "The concern here is that the intimidation factor will directly impact safe and affordable access for patients," he said.The sudden escalation has baffled advocates who note that the use of medical marijuana now has broad popular support, as shown in nationwide polls. "From a political perspective, it's hard to see how this serves Obama's interest," said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. "It feels like it's being driven by law enforcement and anti-drug folks."The threat of stepped-up federal prosecutions could accomplish what city and district attorneys have so far struggled to achieve. The prosecutors are targeting landlords who rent to marijuana operations and could lose their property through civil forfeiture. "That hits right in the sweet spot because it deals with money," Birotte said.The tactic was employed by the Bush administration in 2007. Many dispensaries were forced by landlords to move, but — able to pay top-dollar rents in a lousy economy — they easily found new locations. But Birotte said that this time, prosecutors intend to follow through with forfeitures. To underscore that, he announced that he has filed lawsuits to seize buildings in Wildomar, an unincorporated part of Montclair and Lake Forest. The Lake Forest strip mall has eight dispensaries.The state's four federal prosecutors have each also sent dozens of warning letters. Birotte has focused on 38 dispensaries in 13 cities where dispensaries are not allowed and where local officials have pleaded for help. He gave them two weeks to start ending pot sales. In Northern California, the prosecutor is focusing on pot stores within 1,000 feet of schools and playgrounds, an approach that could threaten many dispensaries in dense Bay Area cities.The prosecutors also announced some indictments. Birotte said an indictment unsealed this week seeks the forfeiture of $14.7 million, accusing six people linked with NoHo Caregivers in North Hollywood of dealing in up to 700 pounds of marijuana a month and selling to affiliates in New York and Pennsylvania."They're showing their muscle: 'Here we are, we're here, we're coordinated, you guys better watch out,'" said Matt Kumin, a lawyer who specializes in medical marijuana. "The total amount of cannabis that is cultivated in California is not going to go down. It just goes back underground."Birotte said the new strategy was not triggered by any specific event but was inspired by a stream of complaints from California law enforcement officials. The crackdown announced Friday came after months of consultation between the U.S. attorneys and Justice Department officials in Washington. The prosecutors acknowledged that they are not getting more money or prosecutors.Steve Cooley, the Los Angeles County district attorney, predicted that intense coordination with federal prosecutors would make a huge difference. "It's advancing in the right direction from our perspective," he said. In Los Angeles, Jane Usher, a special assistant city attorney, said her office intended to work closely with Birotte's. "We're gratified that they see what we see, which is what began as an opportunity to help seriously ill patients has evolved into storefront drug sales and trafficking," she said.California's attorney general, Kamala Harris, declined to discuss the announcement. Her office is revising the medical marijuana guidelines that Jerry Brown issued in 2008 when he was attorney general. Those guidelines note that state law does not allow "collectives, cooperatives or individuals to profit from the sale or distribution of marijuana" and advises that storefront dispensaries "may be legal."Medical marijuana advocates were also perplexed that a federal department reporting to Obama is launching a crackdown that promises to be more fearsome than any under former President Bush. They believe that Obama betrayed a commitment he made as a candidate who casually joked about smoking marijuana and has strayed from the issues he was elected to address."They're wasting money they don't have," Leno said. "This is not the issue of the day. This doesn't create jobs. This does not keep the security of the nation intact. It doesn't clean the environment."Leno said he believed the Obama administration has missed an opportunity to end the 15 years of legal chaos that began in 1996 when California voters passed Proposition 215. "If anything, they should be demonstrating leadership in resolving the conflict between federal and state laws," he said. "Until we deal with that, we're going to be going around in circles here."Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)Author: John Hoeffel, Los Angeles TimesPublished: October 7, 2011Copyright: 2011 Los Angeles TimesContact: letters latimes.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives 
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help 

Comment #23 posted by ekim on October 12, 2011 at 09:59:45 PT
sorry runruff 
wishing good thoughts for you guys
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #22 posted by museman on October 11, 2011 at 10:51:54 PT
As much as I want to like the man, the position of 'world leader' that the office of the president is, is just too unreal and demanding for anyone to set right, or use well.I have deliberately shied away from comments about Obama, because I know many folks who put a lot of hope into his potential, and I don't feel like rubbing salt into the wounds.Ultimately though this is a showcase of the real deal with politicians -they all belong to an exclusive club which has become so divorced from reality that they will go down fighting trying to make the square peg fit in the round hole.Compromise is the name of the game, regardless of the sacrifices of liberty, justice, public welfare, and general ability of the population to feel good. And the compromises are all to the real 'leaders' of the mammon club - all law is to ensure the solvency of the rulers, and the curriculum of the status quo is all about maintaining control over the general, collective consciousness -and they created some clever -though insidious means of doing it.War. Economics. Religion. Class distinction. 'Academic superiority.' -and many others.I for one am done with the vote. In my 60 years on this planet, I have put it to the test. I have contributed many hours of volunteer work over the years, starting with the 'Young Republicans' including the 'Independents,' the 'Democrats' the 'Peace and Freedom' and finally the 'Greens' 3 of the people I voted for got elected; Carter, Clinton, and Obama. As far as can see, the only difference might be with Carter, but he serves he same state as the others, so I am not so sure abut him anymore either.Even the initiative process has been all but taken over by special interest groups who have the funding to make the populace believe -through media production- whatever is necessary to get their agendas on the ballot and the various 'legislatures' around the country have been using OUR money to fund their initiatives (which are never about liberty, freedom and justice for the people, but some attempt to destroy what the people labored for).There is nothing left in this system that is worth saving. The Constitution was a 'foot in the door' of liberty, but Amerikans bought '911' hook, line, and sinker, so only the few who have always known spoke out, and the current regime is building on the foundation of fascism, not constitutional liberty - they had to orchestrate circumstances to justify the destruction of our constitutional liberties. The constitution is dead. In its place is a modern version of old 'archy' power, with modern Roman Legions enforcing it at the point of threat of being maimed, murdered, or imprisoned.I used to think that we could have a 'people's constitutional convention' and bring the document up to date, but it's too late to save it now, it has been corrupted beyond saving, and we will have to come up with something new and better when the political/economic engine throws a rod through the block.To blame a politician - without understanding that every single one of them is playing for the same team -is part of their strategy. Look how they used Bush to play us into this one! Keep the people divided, and they are easier to control.Ultimately they are all just men and women with identity problems, that should have been treated at an early age, but was instead fostered and treated as if it were proper and right, so that many of these poor misguided creatures who are racking up some incredibly huge karma actually believe they are right to cause all the destruction an suffering in the world. It won't go well for their kind in the near future. So pity the politician -there will be no place for them in the world to come, that the collective, global consciousness is now birthing.LEGALIZE FREEDOM
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #21 posted by Oleg the tumor on October 11, 2011 at 06:48:32 PT:
Business As Usual in DC
Now that the Administration is facing an uphill battle on the jobs bill, it looks to me like he's courting federal employees and law enforcement for support, tying Cannabis to World Terror. What a sad, sad thing to see.Legalize Freedom!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #20 posted by afterburner on October 10, 2011 at 09:49:42 PT
Add my condolences over your loss of Sisko to a vicious killer, disguised as a neighbor. Over the last many years, I have had many encounters with my unneighborly neighbors, including a death threat.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #19 posted by Hope on October 09, 2011 at 10:27:56 PT
Jerry, Linda. I'm so sorry. That's horrible! I'm grief stricken for you.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #18 posted by museman on October 09, 2011 at 10:21:24 PT
Man, I am so sorry. Sisko was a cool dog! Just another dumb beer swizzling, tea-party redneck with a gun. We have a few of 'em around here. All the local cops come from that gene pool.
 and so....Neanderthals are getting a last gasp second wind. Look for more injustice, backed by the wonderful political elitists that too many americans continue to blindly support, no matter how much of their corruption gets revealed.To all the supporters of false law, and false authority, false value, and false morality and ethics, Stop, OR YOU WILL BE STOPPED!Do you think that the rest of the worlds people, who are waking up, are going to have much patience with your stubborn clinging to failed systems even as they fall right on you, or on your neighbor?Don't anybody talk about the 'honor' and 'law and order' in the same breath. Don't go on about the integrity of any of our politicians -they are all every one corrupt and feeding off the less fortunate whom they have socially engineered to be their servants and slaves.We the people have only one recourse and that is to profoundly say no to them. And the only way that will be accomplished is to STOP WORKING FOR THEM! We need, at the very least, to have a peoples strike, to let them know we aren't going to play along with their agendas.Wall Street is being occupied. Denver. Many other towns and cities around the country are seeing the movement of people who recognize that they have to stand up now. We even have a small contingency occupying Cave Junction.People who aren't lawyers and part of the exclusive 'law' club need to run for political office.Unfortunately, most of us people who would do better just by showing up than any of these thousands of 'professional' politicians have ever done, are way busy dealing with survival, health and welfare (since the fed - who all swear to do just that serve, protect and provide for the general welfare -is not doing it -far from it!) to justify the time to play the silly campaign game, and surely have no funding to compete with all the political hands in the pockets of the uber-rich. But that's one of the ways these posers perpetuate their positions, by ensuring that real people are too busy, and cannot reasonably afford the kind of sacrifice it would take to step up to the plate.Anybody who can afford to run a campaign for political office, is already part of the club.Talk about a catch 22! And they really think they have us over a barrel -as if their 'law' trumped reality. We have a collective choice; take the reigns of power, or wait until the Spirit and Nature causes so much damage to the systems they simply cannot function anymore.Seems that though there are many more awake than ever, there are still those who, as Bob Dylan warned; are "...stand(ing) in the doorway, and block(ing) up the hall."They are easy to spot; they urge compromise, they say that their system of 'law' will persevere, and that you 'Can't fight city hall' they verbalize at great lengths about the nuances of 'how law works' even though thousands of years of evidence confirms that it doesn't. They say 'If you don't vote, you have no right to speak out.' -even though the 'vote' is one of the biggest jokes ever perpetrated by any government upon the governed. They go on about how 'democracy' is the 'great experiment' of freedom. Well that is an outright lie, just like the outright wrongness and error that is exemplified in the existence of class separation of any kind, but yet embraced by the social 'leaders' as if it were an edict of God.My mother, who is in her 80's was originally a "Goldwater Republican" from Arizona, told me two days ago that we 'Need a revolution.' If my mother can see that, I just don't buy anyone's excuses why it isn't a national movement right now!Which do you want; liberty, or money? A simple choice. Make it so we can get on with the scheduled remake.LEGALIZE FREEDOM
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #17 posted by runruff on October 09, 2011 at 08:58:56 PT
Pets are family members!
My Dear Wife is inconsolable.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #16 posted by FoM on October 09, 2011 at 08:31:58 PT
I am so sorry. If anyone every shot a dog of mine it would flip me out. I am so sorry. I know some people seem to love guns but this is one reason why I hate them.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #15 posted by greenmed on October 09, 2011 at 08:19:22 PT
It is so sad to read what happened to Sisco. Shooting a family pet is just plain mean and shows great disrespect for life.Please be careful of that guy and avoid him when you can.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #14 posted by runruff on October 09, 2011 at 07:03:16 PT
Just as a side note, OT
One of my neighbors a blood thirsty Jethro type shot and killed our precious Sisko the white blue eyed wolf dog. He was our sweet Buddy-Boy for nine years. He participated in Dog walk for the blind and many other humane causes. He is a local celeb. He is gone now, shot through the heart by a neanderthal. He was arrogant and unapologetic He called us and said " come get your dead dog out of my driveway"!If you want to in our behalf, we have letter writing campaign among other things. Here is his name and address"Lanny Burnside 955 Logan cut Drive Cave Junction Or. 97523. We now hear rumors that he is a child molester and we are
 notify the DA. We want him out of our neighborhood!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #13 posted by runruff on October 09, 2011 at 06:53:03 PT
The forth amendment is a joke. I have been busted twice. i have dozens of friends who have been busted. Each time many constitutional rights were violated. Each time the cops perjured themselves in court and lied. Every time the judge will believe anything the cops say even if nine cops testify and each one tell a completely different story,as in my case. The WoD has changed America from the icon of rights and freedoms to a third world style dictatorship.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #12 posted by Tim on October 09, 2011 at 05:25:27 PT:
if unable to access via previous post...
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #11 posted by Tim on October 09, 2011 at 05:22:48 PT:
“Constitution Free Zone”
What is happening to the 4th Amendment search and seizure laws? “Does our Constitution really matter?” When considering “Constitutional Free Zones” we have to ask if this is an example of where the lines regarding our constitutional rights are eroding. ...(story continues at link)
Search and Seizure
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #10 posted by Tim on October 09, 2011 at 05:11:55 PT:
anyone who discusses?
So now the federal government will violate yet another Constitutional right? Freedom of speech??? I will speak as much as I want to about whatever I want to anyway, no matter what!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #9 posted by The GCW on October 08, 2011 at 18:42:52 PT
(I see this is spoken about in #7 & 8)TEXAS REPUBLICANS HAVE TO TAKE THE PRIZE!-0-U.S. Drug Policy Would Be Imposed Globally By New House BillThe House Judiciary Committee passed a bill yesterday that would make it a federal crime for U.S. residents to discuss or plan activities on foreign soil that, if carried out in the U.S., would violate the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) -- even if the planned activities are legal in the countries where they're carried out. The new law, sponsored by Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) allows prosecutors to bring conspiracy charges against anyone who discusses, plans or advises someone else to engage in any activity that violates the CSA, the massive federal law that prohibits drugs like marijuana and strictly regulates prescription medication."Under this bill, if a young couple plans a wedding in Amsterdam, and as part of the wedding, they plan to buy the bridal party some marijuana, they would be subject to prosecution," said Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, which advocates for reforming the country's drug laws. "The strange thing is that the purchase of and smoking the marijuana while you're there wouldn't be illegal. But this law would make planning the wedding from the U.S. a federal crime."CONT.By Radley Balko, The Huffington Post - Friday, October 7 2011
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #8 posted by FoM on October 08, 2011 at 11:47:19 PT
Afterburner We Should Know Our Enemies
Excerpt from Afterburner's Link:The new law, sponsored by Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) allows prosecutors to bring conspiracy charges against anyone who discusses, plans or advises someone else to engage in any activity that violates the CSA, the massive federal law that prohibits drugs like marijuana and strictly regulates prescription medication.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #7 posted by afterburner on October 08, 2011 at 11:13:32 PT
Think The Feds Are Not Trageting Us? 
Check this out:Radley Balko Radley.Balko
U.S. Drug Policy Would Be Imposed Globally By New House Bill.
House Bill Us Drug Policy.
First Posted: 10/7/11 01:01 PM ET Updated: 10/8/11 11:15 AM ET.
Follow  Drug War ,  Drug-War , House Judiciary Committee , Rep. Lamar Smith , Amsterdam , Conspiracy , Federal Law , Lamar Smith , Lamar Smith Drug Law , Lamar Smith Drugs , Marijuana , United States Drug Policy , Us Drug Policy , Us Drug War , War On Drugs , Canada News
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #6 posted by FoM on October 08, 2011 at 11:01:21 PT
Related Article About MMJ Dispensaries
Top Cops and Growers Don't Want California Marijuana Dispensaries***October 8, 2011Driving north on California Highway 101 through the tiny towns of Sonoma, Mendocino and Humboldt Counties, you can easily identify the mom and pop marijuana dispensaries. They are highly visible, open sign lit, tax paying businesses, open to the public.Despite the black curtain, darkened parlor exterior of these ‘dispensaries,’ there is nothing clandestine or underground about this business.With a medical marijuana card in hand, you can walk into a dispensary and legally purchase Weed.In the ‘Emerald Triangle’ of the north, it's not unusual to find every other home in some small towns, dedicated to the growing of marijuana. This cottage industry is putting big agricultural grows out of business.URL:
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by FoM on October 08, 2011 at 08:57:15 PT
I don't understand it all but my dream has been to lose the profit in a weed like other weeds. I am using the word weed instead of herb but I use herbs that really are just weeds and very inexpensive. A number of years ago I grew my own like Valarian root, St. John's Wort, Lemon Balm, Scullcap and a few more like them. Cannabis should be treated the same way.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by josephlacerenza on October 08, 2011 at 08:41:06 PT
All that the government has to do to make all this medical marijuana madness go away is to reschedule cannabis! It is the only politically viable solution. I would appease reformers and allow the government to appear tough on DRUGS! If cannabis is rescheduled there will be NO MORE pot shops, no medical cannabis. You will NEVER see a bud, just a pill! And, if you do not have health insurance, say goodby to your access to your medical cannabinoids. The intention was never for you to have the tools to heal yourself, look to what happened in the U.S. during the allopathic medicine vs homeopathic medicine debate!The idea is to put cannabis in the medicine cabinet and LOCK it! No different than the top 1% pulling up the ladder behind them, YOU are not to succeed unless WE say, and can make a buck off you! If you can treat yourself at home, what do you need a health care system/insurance for? The whole pharma industry would crumble.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by FoM on October 08, 2011 at 08:08:38 PT
I can still hope though. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by HempWorld on October 08, 2011 at 07:47:30 PT
Dear FoM,
Federal Law, will NEVER be changed, it is in the hands of the mob.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by FoM on October 08, 2011 at 07:00:40 PT
Federal Law
It would be wonderful if the Federal Law would be changed. That would solve many of these problems. 
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment