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?

Joe Klare

5 Responses

  1. MrNorml

    Arizona would make sense. It is enforcing Federal law on immigration within state lines. Why wouldn’t the Feds pick it as a test case – for distributors as AZ law requires. Nearly every “patient” in AZ will have to buy from a distributor who has met rigorous criterea. They will be larger-scale operations. By Arizona law.
    As for ‘getting lots of money to fight’ that really isn’t true – the cost is large too. They aren’t wrong for enforcing a valid law. It is the law that has to get changed. Don’t yell at the cops/prosecutors; yell at the legislators who create and remove and change laws.
    I think most people would agree that marijuana is not really wrong. States seem to be saying that with med. mar. laws. If the feds left it up to to the states, lots of bad would get through (Mexico’s drug wars are not really pot-related) but if pot were legal it would help Mexico and let people decide what paraquat to spray on their plants. Anyhow, yell with your vote. Better yet, write to your representatives. Letters and calls get more attention than actual votes, since each call etc. represents x% of actual votes. So vote with your hands.

  2. David Aquarius

    Our gov, Christine Gregoire is trying to placate the MJ community for her veto of SB 5073. She kept some parts of the bill alive but vetoed the larger part.

    She’s coming out in favor of changing the scheduling of cannabis but only to Schedule 2, not 3 or 4 which would take the Feds out of the cannabis enforcement business. At Schedule 3 or 4, states would be allowed to write their own laws on cannabis and allow hemp to be legalized and grown.

    It remains to be seen if Gov. Gregoire will be true to her word. I fear she’s just blowing smoke to placate her base while she courts favor with the Obama Administration. It’s no secret she wants a job, perhaps Solicitor General.

    In the meantime, here in WA the laws are as confusing and meaningless as ever and the two USAtt’s that started this mess are still active and are still goons.

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