(Phoenix NewTimes) Federal agents may bust anyone participating in a “large” pot-growing operation, despite Arizona’s voter-approved medical marijuana law, says Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke in a letter to the state.
In a recent letter to Will Humble, the director of the state Department of Health Services, Burke reiterates that the feds will look the other way when truly sick people use marijuana — but that the patients’ suppliers might be inviting trouble.
Burke compounds the schizophrenic stance by stating that federal law “may be vigorously enforced against those individuals and entities who operate large marijuana production facilities. Individuals and organizations — including property owners, landlords and financiers” face legal problems including seizure of their property and other assets.
Problem is, Burke gives no definition of “large.”
From coast (Washington) to coast (Rhode Island), President Obama’s US Attorneys are sending out these threatening letters to squash all attempts at providing safe regulated access to cannabis for medically qualified individuals under state law. The DEA has conducted raids in California, Washington, Nevada, Montana, and Michigan. The IRS is investigating the largest, most successful, best run medical cannabis dispensaries in California
(Is anyone still convinced that Mr. Obama is a friend to medical cannabis? Are there still some “just you wait ’til second term!” true believers out there?)
President Obama said he would not waste scarce federal resources going after sick people and their caregivers.
Obama’s Justice Department said it would not target providers in “clear and unambiguous compliance” with state law.
Raids in Spokane might be slip through that “unambiguous” loophole, as Washington’s law does not specifically authorize dispensaries. Threatening letters to Oakland regarding “megagrow” facilities might address the fact that authorization for such facilities isn’t “clear” under California law.
However, Mr. Obama reveals the true intention is to stifle the development of any viable legal cannabis distribution industry. By sending threat letters to Rhode Island and Arizona, states that have created clear and unambiguous laws for medical cannabis providers to follow, it is obvious that Mr. Obama isn’t opposed to medical cannabis, per se, but terribly opposed to medical cannabusiness.
Politicians (and Mr. Obama is the consummate politician) realize the argument over medical marijuana is over. Polls have consistently shown for over a decade now that there is at least 2-to-1 support for medical marijuana across the country and 3-to-1 support on the coasts. Mr. Obama made a point in his campaign to refer to his mother’s battle with cancer and the dysfunctional US health care system. So he must reiterate that the feds are looking the other way in the cases of sick grandmas smoking a doob to relieve nausea from chemo.
But where would Sasha and Malia’s grandma get that cannabis? From a well-run, safe, secure, adults-only facility that verifies medical cards and IDs, provides a gamut of strain and preparation choices that are inspected and tested, and complies with state law? No, that’s exactly the kind of places Mr. Obama’s US Attorneys are threatening to prosecute.
Instead, grandma has to troll Craigslist, alt-weeklies, or visit activist meetings, hope she can find a kind grower, hope that he grows a strain that works for her, and hope this guy will provide clean safe medicine reliably and consistently. She has to hope the guy doesn’t offer “an ounce a month for $300″ deal that she has to take because she has no other choice. She has to hope she has a way to get to this guy’s house because she’s not too sure she should let him know where she lives. If she needs a tincture or edible preparation she has to know how to make that for herself if she can’t find a grower who can.
Is this the change grandma can believe in?
The opposition to “large” cannabusiness is understandable if you can put aside your compassion for grandma and think like a prohibitionist who believes marijuana is a deadly dangerous Schedule I drug that leads to cocaine, meth, heroin, and the end of Western Civilization. If “large” cannabiz establishes itself, people will become accustomed to safe, secure, well-run businesses that deliver consistent, reliable, tested cannabis products. They’ll appreciate the way these places revitalize sagging economies, provide jobs, and contribute taxes to budget-starved localities. They’ll realize all the scaremongering by the government about what would happen if marijuana was legal, even for sick people, was hysterical propaganda. They’ll begin to wonder why we don’t just legalize cannabis for everyone, create more jobs, raise more revenue, and use these established businesses as the distribution points. Most concerning for a politician, these cannabusinesses will form PACs and start delivering support and financing to pro-legalization candidates in primary elections.
You just know Barack Obama and the $19.5 million in campaign cash from the health care industry he raised in 2008 can’t have that!