Sorry folks, it won't let me edit and it posted odd. Hope you understand it anyway! pr
|Lanny's MAPP Newsletter
October 7, 2011
President Obama has unleashed
his attack dogs from the DOJ today.
If you haven't read about it,
two articles about it are below.
I have been getting a lot of calls.
People are confused and they are scared.
This is indeed a crisis situation.
We will be holding an Emergency MAPP meeting.
Saturday, October 8 at 7:30 p.m.
THCF Medical Clinic
647 Main St
We will discuss what happened, what it means, how it will affect patients and what we can do about it.
One thing you can do in the meantime, is email President Obama about the horrible thing he has done.
MAPP has set up a website making it very easy to send the President an email. Go to:
Let's harness our energy and really do something.
Feds Crack Down on Medical Marijuana in California
By JULIAN BROOKES
As a presidential candidate, Barack Obama said thefederal government shouldn't waste its time goingafter medical marijuana users and dispensaries operating legally under state laws. Likewise, early in President Obama's term, Attorney General Eric Holder indicated that his Justice Department had higher priorities than busting medical pot shops. So ... what's up with the feds announcing a major pot crackdown in California?
The state's four United States attorneys announced at a news conference in Sacramento today that they've dailed up efforts to curb marijuana farming and retail sales of pot under the state's 15-year-old law. Federal prosecutors have sent out letters ordering dozens of medical marijuana dispensaries to shut down in 45 days or face criminal charges, AP reports. They're not going after every shop in the state, but targeting those located close to schools, parks, sports fields and other places where there are a lot of children (which, come on, covers a lot of ground) and what U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner called "significant commercial operations."
What's going on? In an email sent out just before the news conference, Ethan Nadelmann of the pro-medical marijuana Drug Policy Alliance said, "The Obama administration's latest moves strongly suggest that their medical marijuana policies are now being driven by over-zealous prosecutors and the anti-marijuana ideologues who dominated policymaking in past administrations.... Instead of encouraging state and local authorities to regulate medical marijuana distribution in the interests of public safety and health, his administration seems determined to re-criminalize as much as possible."
Collectives await word of crackdown By Ryan Sabalow
Federal prosecutors held an 11 a.m. news conference in Sacramento today to discuss how the four California U.S. Attorneys' offices were going to crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries. An earlier version of this story provided an incorrect time. North state medical marijuana shops are waiting for a morning news conference in Sacramento today to learn how federal prosecutors will follow through on a statewide pot dispensary crackdown launched Thursday.
In letters to at least 16 dispensaries elsewhere in the state, federal prosecutors warned the stores must shut down in 45 days or face criminal charges and confiscation of their property, even if they are operating legally under the state's 15-year-old medical marijuana law.
Redding has 16 dispensaries. None of the letters went to north state shops, said Dale Gieringer, coordinator of the California chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law.
"However, a flock of new (Department of Justice) letters will be announced tomorrow," Gieringer said.
Eric Berg, a Redding attorney who represents some collectives in town, said he doesn't think any local shops will be targeted.
Berg said federal authorities have indicated they're primarily concerned with large-scale collectives and growers who are operating more as for-profit businesses than legitimate places for patients to acquire and use doctor-recommended medicine, like the collectives he represents.
"I am sure Mr. Obama has no desire to interfere with that," Berg said.
The four U.S. attorneys refused Thursday to confirm the closure orders to The Associated Press, which obtained copies of the letters that a prosecutor sent to at least 12 San Diego dispensaries. The federal prosecutors sent out a news release later in the day announcing a 11 a.m. news conference today in Sacramento. The release said the federal attorneys will "outline actions targeting the sale, distribution and cultivation of marijuana."
The letters obtained by the AP said federal law "takes precedence over state law and applies regardless of the particular uses for which a dispensary is selling and distributing marijuana."
"Under United States law, a dispensary's operations involving sales and distribution of marijuana are illegal and subject to criminal prosecution and civil enforcement actions,"according to the letters signed by U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy in San Diego. "Real and personal property involved in such operations are subject to seizure by and forfeiture to the United States ... regardless of the purported purpose of the dispensary."
The move comes a little more than two months after the Obama administration toughened its stand on medical marijuana. For two years before that, federal officials had indicated they would not move aggressively against dispensaries in compliance with laws in the 16 states where pot is legal for people with doctors' recommendations.
The Department of Justice issued a policy memo to federal prosecutors in late June warning marijuana dispensaries and licensed growers in states with medical marijuana laws could face prosecution for violating federal drug and money-laundering laws.
The policy memo said authorities should still use discretion in prosecuting those labeled as "caregivers" under state medical marijuana laws. Instead, "large-scale, privately operated industrial marijuana cultivation centers" are booming businesses worth millions of dollars and, as such, are open for enforcement, the memo said.
The effort to shutter California dispensaries appeared to be the most far-reaching effort so far to put that guidance into action.
Redding Police Chief Peter Hansen said Thursday his office hasn't been contacted by federal authorities and he, too, is awaiting word on what the prosecutors will do, but the letters shouldn't come as a surprise. Hansen has sent letters to collective owners and their landlords, forwarding along messages from federal authorities, explaining that even if states make medical marijuana legal, the federal government considers marijuana a Schedule 1 drug, similar to heroin. The dispensaries' operators can be arrested and their landlords' property seized, Hansen said.
"I've continually advised them that even though they're permitted in the city of Redding, at any time the federal policy could change," Hansen said. The U.S. Attorneys' letters come just a few days after the Oakland's Harborside Health Center, the largest medical marijuana dispensary on the West Coast, was ordered by the IRS to pay $2 million in taxes after a ruling that the collective cannot deduct standard business expenses, such as payroll and rent, according to the Oakland Tribune.
The Tribune reported the IRS is auditing more than a dozen other dispensaries in California, and banks are refusing to do business with them out of fear federal regulators will prosecute them.
Jess Brewer, the owner of two Trusted Friends collectives in Redding, said if the federal government starts a crackdown on legitimate medical-marijuana centers it's going to hurt one of the only sectors in the local economy that's actually doing well.
While Brewer said he supports federal regulators targeting the marijuana growers and shops abusing the system for profit, he worries they're trying to take away the rights of patients to use marijuana with a doctor's recommendation, which California voters supported when they voted in Proposition 215 in 1996.
Wanted to share this with you all. pr