Feds Threaten Crackdown if Makeover Becomes Law
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Feds Threaten Crackdown if Makeover Becomes Law
Posted by CN Staff on April 15, 2011 at 17:04:36 PT
By Jonathan Martin, Seattle Times Staff Reporter
Source: Seattle Times
Seattle, WA -- Washington's top federal prosecutors have threatened to crack down if the state goes forward with a proposal to legalize medical-marijuana dispensaries and growers, putting in jeopardy a bill that has already passed both chambers of the Legislature.In a letter to Gov. Chris Gregoire on Thursday, U.S. Attorneys Jenny Durkan of Seattle and Michael Ormsby of Spokane wrote that the bill would undermine drug enforcement and could result in an array of prosecutions or civil penalties against dispensary owners and growers, as well as against state regulators enforcing the proposed law.
The prosecutors were responding to Gregoire's request a day earlier for "clear guidance" about the legislative proposal, a sweeping expansion of the state's 1998 voter-approved medical-marijuana law."In light of the Department of Justice's guidance, it is clear that I cannot sign a bill that authorizes our state employees to license marijuana dispensaries when the department would prosecute those involved," Gregoire said in a statement Thursday evening. She pledged to work with lawmakers on a new proposal.The bill, SB 5073, is the most sweeping rewrite yet of the 1998 initiative legalizing medical marijuana. It is a response to pressure from municipal governments and police unsettled about a statewide boom in dispensaries, which were neither specifically allowed nor banned under existing law.Durkan and Ormsby's letter indicated no such ambiguity. Citing federal law outlawing marijuana cultivation and sale, they wrote that, in addition to targeting dispensaries and growers, federal agents could go after their landlords and financiers.And state employees who would inspect and audit dispensaries and growers under the bill "would not be immune from liability" under federal drug laws, the prosecutors wrote.Durkan, in a separate statement, said her office policy has not changed. Her staff has not prosecuted medical-marijuana patients or doctors who help them, but her office would prioritize prosecutions involving for-profit marijuana sales, drug-trafficking groups and "doctors who abuse their positions and fraudulently certify individuals as medical-marijuana patients."Supporters of the bill said the letter is no reason to kill the legislation. It is similar to ones sent out by U.S. attorneys in other states that allow medical marijuana, and contains no new information about federal drug-control policy, said Kathleen Taylor, executive director of the ACLU of Washington."It looks like a threat, but it hasn't played out in other states with medical-marijuana dispensaries on the books," she said. "The feds have to say what they've said, but it's all theoretical."Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, the prime sponsor of the bill, said she was encouraged that the measure could still be passed after talking with Gregoire on Thursday evening. She said legislative staffers were working on alternatives. "We're looking at a brand new approach," she said, without elaborating.In addition to legalizing dispensaries, the bill would grant patients strong new protections from arrest and prosecution, a provision long sought by patient advocates. It also would allow community marijuana gardens for authorized patients. If the Legislature were to rewrite it, one alternative could be to require dispensaries and growers to be nonprofits. But the Internal Revenue Service requires an organization to have a lawful purpose to qualify for nonprofit status.Marijuana remains illegal under federal law and cannot be prescribed because it, along with LSD and heroin, is classified as a Schedule I drug.Under the Obama administration, the Justice Department has a largely hands-off approach to medical-marijuana patients. An October 2009 memo, issued shortly after Attorney General Eric Holder took over, says patients who were in "clear and unambiguous compliance" with state laws were not a department priority.But the memo emphasized that "commercial enterprises that unlawfully market and sell marijuana for profit continues to be an enforcement priority."That remains the department's position, spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler said in an email. "We are not going to look the other way while significant drug-trafficking organizations try and shield their illegal efforts from investigation and prosecution through the pretense that they are medical dispensaries," she wrote.Northern California's top federal prosecutor in February had threated to charge operators of a huge commercial marijuana farm licensed by the city of Oakland. Federal agents recently raided dispensaries in Montana, Michigan and California.Earlier this month, Ormsby, the U.S. attorney in Spokane, warned in a news release 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.By some estimates, at least 129 dispensaries have sprouted statewide in the past year and a half, leaving cities and police uncertain whether to crack down on what appear to be illegal sales or to allow much broader access for sick patients who struggle to grow their own, legal medicine. As a result, enforcement varies by city, creating pressure on the Legislature to act.The pending bill would give Washington, one of 15 states that allows medical marijuana, one of the most expansive regulatory arrangements in the nation.It would require testing of marijuana to ensure quality, and license processors of cannabis-infused food. It would also ban medical-marijuana use from being a factor in housing and child-custody issues.A marijuana advocacy group, Sensible Washington, is gathering signatures to put a legalization initiative on the November ballot.Source: 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 #5 posted by museman on April 18, 2011 at 08:54:33 PT
nothing new here
The US Constitution has not been a viable document, outlining 'consent of the governed' since the 1860's.The 'element that has invaded our government' had its placeholders and officers in position before the US Constitution was ever even ratified.When the people consented to war -for any reason- and sent their boys off to become 'american heroes' they validated the false power of what has become an exclusive club of lawyers and their carefully, and deliberate profiling of thugs-as-law to intimidate and frighten the more peaceful less aggressive and confrontational citizenry into compliance.Politicians are so close to 100% lawyer, if you can find one or two who are not, they are either in cahoots -licking the lawyers boots -or on the receiving end of the various 'moral imperatives' that foisted the false authority of 'law' upon us in the first place.There is no 'representative government' -except the representation of the elite power groups that continue to rule planet earth, even after many bloody revolutions to 'water the tree of liberty.'The root of the power of the government resides within the hearts and minds of governed.It is by the belief in the systems they use to employ their power, that they perpetuate and maintain it; economics of propriety; -the belief in 'I-Me_Mine' and the mental invention of 'tokens of value'religion; -the belief in false moral delineations of class and 'social worth' institutionalized conformity; -the one-size-fits-all snafu of the great slave training centers called 'schools.'And more...And it is actually "BY THE (implied) CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED" that they continue to hold power. When we validate their corrupt systems by accepting the parameters THEY chose to allow -the process of 'voting' -as if that were some major power- and the capitulations and willingness to compromise with what our gut tells us is wrong, the we are giving them our consent, and on their terms.The ignorant, lazy, and stupid -apparently need to be governed. The educated, experienced, responsible adults that are supposed to have been created in all those slave institutions, should be able to govern themselves -if they were actually educated, experienced, and responsible.So the question is, are there more stupid, lazy, irresponsible people in america than there are educated, experienced, and responsible people?If so then there is no hope until they can be retaught. And they cannot be retaught as long as the responsible ones allow their children to continue to be indoctrinated in the ways and means of error -perpetuated in the propaganda mills of our public institutions.They cannot be illuminated and their ignorance removed as long as the 'ones who know' continue to support the failed systems of this false, unconstitutional government through their taxes, their jobs, their gasoline burning, and their refusal to look for alternatives to nuclear power, coal and oil burning. AND ALL THE SOLUTIONS would be readily available if not for the LEGISLATIONS -by the lawyer-exclusive-club to keep those solutions out of the hands of the people, and in the control of the corporate 'property rights.' -see TesslaI once stated that (IMO) the 'profession' of law is an abomination before God. There, I said it again. At this point the "I was just doing my job" or "I was just following orders" does not remove the responsibility for corrupt actions and decisions. The best thing people in the world could do for their freedom is to abolish the 'profession' of law, and make law, (or ethical action and decision) the exclusive right and responsibility of the citizen, without some kind of special 'training' to be able to understand the mess the lawyers made of common sense.No politician can 'represent' the interests of the people, when the political engine itself does not even recognize their existence as anything other than statistic!The US Constitution is now moot. It has become modified and tweaked beyond recognition. And a lot of it has happened in my life time. I have witnessed the loss of liberty so great, I sometimes wonder where everyone else has been while all this has been going on? -oh that's right, buying all those houses, cars, and Wide Screen TVs -because that's our reality -as seen on TV.The only option left for thinking, free-minded people is the Truth, the Whole Truth, and NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH!!!!Stop supporting the system, and it will go away. Stop feeding the beast, and it will fade away. Simple (but very difficult when so many have become attached to their 'little piece' of the pie.)LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #4 posted by disvet13 on April 16, 2011 at 12:37:11 PT:
consent of the governed?
so...if the majority votes for something, then it becomes established that is there intent, how does anyone in government take it upon themselves to follow their own agenda and change the intent of the governed? lets all vote for complete legalization, and after it passes, hang the first son of a bitching lawyer that opens his mouth cause he knows whats best for the majority, and big pharmacy, and big oil, and big tobacco, and big alcohol. get out the votes, get it on the ballot, complete legalization....then load your comes the revenuers...stealing Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Just ask George Washington, he had to shoot and kill every damn one of them, now they're back, and they're taking your guns, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. 
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Comment #3 posted by Storm Crow on April 16, 2011 at 11:30:23 PT
The 10th Amendment states.......
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."Our government has been stealing states rights (and our basic human rights) from us for a long time! It's about time for our GOVERNMENT TO READ THEIR OWN CONSTITUTION AND FOLLOW IT! Our politicians need to grow some (in several senses of the phrase) and make their states "10th AMENDMENT STATES" and DEFY the feds on constitutional grounds! There is no politically twistable "implication" or "wiggle-room" on the freedom of states, or the people, to decide their own course- it is plain and clear! ONLY those powers that are "delegated to the United States by the Constitution" belong to the feds! The States are sovereign outside the limitations of the Constitution! It is time WE took back OUR rights! 
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Comment #2 posted by Tim on April 16, 2011 at 08:01:18 PT:
Federal Government and its place
The Federal Government is taking a taking a COMPLETE and TOTAL stand AGAINST our Nation’s Declaration of Independence and Constitution!!! It’s time to stop this. Period.
Oh, yeah… – “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. ….”
It is NOT the Federal Government’s purpose AT ALL to do what they are doing right now. They are NOT supposed to be setting up new laws against the states.
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Comment #1 posted by disvet13 on April 16, 2011 at 05:09:38 PT:
"There Is An Element That Has Invaded Our Governme
A small group of contemptible men have made us a contemptible nation...woodrow wilson. think of it as a virus injected into a computer, the slow proliferation of a thought process into our government. the rich men took over the nations piggy bank the wealth of America, and now they lawyer us to death, following their own agenda's. the only problem with all that lawyering is you pay for it. it was called E.A.J.A.( equal access to justice act) it was when newt gingrich re-invented government in the 1980's, after Reagan bailed out the savings and loans. what does re-invented cost, every lawyer in America bills the government by the hour for any case work, social security, veterans, workers comp etc., and depending on where they are domiciled, at what rate...which in washington dc is right at 150.00 dollars per hour, and in smaller states, 125.00, and they also get the 20-30-40-or 50 percent of the backpay. so whose agenda are all those lawyers following? when it gets right down to it, the only way to get rid of all of the bureaucrats will be when the majority finally votes for complete legalization. then, and only then, will there be an end to lawyers and the rich stealing the rights and liberties established by our forefathers...and i remind everyone, they did it while pointing their guns and saying no more. we need to remember and understand that we are endowed and not slaves to men following their own agenda's.
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