The federal intimidation train rolls on. After stops in Rhode Island, Washington, and Colorado – among other states – it now comes to Arizona. The state’s federal prosecutor, Dennis Burke, has warned the state’s health director that patients, caregivers, and cultivators are still breaking federal law – no matter what Arizona law says.
Potentially more significant, Burke had special words of caution to those who are in the business of growing marijuana even if they have a cultivation license from the state. And he said even those on the periphery — including property owners, landlords and organizations which finance dispensaries — risk not just federal criminal prosecution but also having their assets seized.
While federal threats are becoming commonplace when it comes to medical cannabis, the mention of assets is more ominous. The DEA isn’t big on actually bringing cases to court, but they have no problem seizing every last penny they can ring from those they raid.
The DEA will bad-mouth and threaten medical marijuana but the more the programs expand, the more cash and property the feds can seize. In fact, if medical cannabis was outlawed in every state tomorrow, what would become of the DEA budget? Without dispensaries and collectives putting convenient signs in front of their businesses announcing their presence , how would the DEA find businesses to raid?