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Federal Pot Crackdown Hits Colorado—Memos Fly From DOJ to Suthers to Hickenlooper

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Colorado now joins the list of medical marijuana states that have been warned off by The United States Department of Justice, having received a letter from U.S. Attorney for Colorado John Walsh Tuesday.

Up until recently, most states with legal medical marijuana have been operating under the guidance of what is known as the Ogden memo, wherein the Department of Justice advised states that while it had the right to prosecute anyone involved in the marijuana trade—whether legal or not—it would not do so as long as individuals were in clear and unambiguous compliance with relevant state laws.

In the past few months, however, various U.S. Attorneys have written to state officials in California, Washington, Montana, Hawaii and now Colorado advising that if the feds view state laws as being contrary to federal laws, which virtually all of them are, the feds may indeed choose to prosecute purveyors of medical marijuana and even state employees involved in the regulation of medical marijuana.

From Suthers' letter to Hickenlooper:

"These letters indicate that while the Department of Justice will not focus its limited resources on seriously ill individuals who use marijuana as part of a medically recommended treatment regimen in compliance with state law, it does maintain its full authority to vigorously enforce federal law against individuals and organizations that participate in unlawful manufacturing and distribution activity involving marijuana even if such activities are permitted under state law. Of great concern is the fact that some of the letters make clear the U.S. Attorneys do not consider state employees who conduct activities under state medical marijuana laws to be immune from liability under federal law."

Specifically, Walsh writes to Suthers that it is illegal for anyone to rent space to someone who will use that space to manufacture or distribute marijuana.

Mike Saccone, communications director for Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, said this morning that Suthers has been concerned for some time with the number of people currently licensed to use medical marijuana in Colorado and with the demographics of that group, which tends toward young and male.

He said the demographics have changed as regulations have enabled more people to be licensed for marijuana use.

In virtually all the federal memos, the point is made that the feds will probably not prosecute "seriously ill" people using marijuana as part of their medical treatment.

Reading between the lines, it seems that both the Department of Justice and Suthers think that not everyone using medical marijuana is doing so because of serious illness.

In fact, Suthers' memo to Hickenlooper notes that Colorado's ever changing regulations have led to explosive growth in the number of people using medical marijuana—currently about 123,000 people are, according to Suthers, "...claiming to be using marijuana for medical purposes."

The question of who is seriously ill and who isn't comes up again and again. At the end of the day, it seems that determination may be made by law enforcement officials rather than doctors and patients themselves.

Department of Justice spokesperson Jeffrey Dorschner did not return a call and an email in time for publication. The governor's office also could not be reached for comment this morning.

Walsh's letter to Suthers also raises concerns about pending legislation regarding investment funds, which was killed in the House, but may be back in the Senate. Walsh made it clear that legislation allowing people to invest in medical marijuana businesses would not be legal and that people involved in such funds would be subject to prosecution.

Walsh also makes it clear that DOJ will consider prosecution of businesses involved in large-scale production and sale of "medical marijuana infused product."

"Clearly Colorado is in danger" of a federal law enforcement crack down, said Laura Kriho, spokesperson for the Cannabis Therapy Institute.

"Suthers was thrilled to be able to write this memo to the Legislature," she said. "He has wanted to shut this down since the beginning. He clearly thinks there are a lot of patients who are not seriously ill. That determination should be up to the doctor," she said.

Kriho found it ironic that Suthers has participated in a lawsuit to exempt Colorado from federal health care legislation but seems to welcome federal involvement in Colorado's medical marijuana laws.

"The fear factor introduced in these memos is incredible. They say they are going to go after property owners and maybe even state employees. Who do we look to for support? Normally you would look to the state attorney general to defend the state's position but it doesn't look like we will get that support from Suthers," she said.


News Hawk- Jacob Husky 420 MAGAZINE
Source: coloradoindependent.com
Author: Scot Kersgaard
Contact: Contact us
Copyright: The American Independent News Network
Website: Federal pot crackdown hits Colorado—memos fly from DOJ to Suthers to Hickenlooper
 

Lady Leeann

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Has Suthers even looked into the effects of marijuana at all? You would think that he would before he speaks/acts. It is truly a shame that the government would rather us use adictive "legal meds." instead of an all natural non-adictive one. I think that they should have to research an item completely before they decide to be against or for it. Have you ever seen a person on ritalin? They let people give that to their children! Where is our country trying to take us? Do they want us to be an adictive society to where we will do or pay what ever they want to get the drugs "they" have us hooked on. Let alone the side effects of most of them. "take this drug to help with depression... side effects can include hallucinations, suicidel thoughts, etc." or "take this one for high blood pressure.....side effects may include liver damage, heart problems, etc." Really! In the words of Laurance Peters - "There are two kinds of failures: Those who thought and never did, and those who did and never thought.". Are we a country of failures? Theres something to think about.
 

demp5294

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Their is list of the excepted addictions the government can except Cannabis is not on it.
 

medic420

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Okay, I have a question that I would have thought that would have been asked by now. Why has no one been asking the man in charge what is his take is on the question of the Fed's crack down is? The man in charge is Pres. Obama. He did send down the memo once to his US DA., why not ask him to once again to do the same and more, it is going to be an election year very very soon. I have not seen any ad's yet of anyone campaigning for the office but we all know they are coming. He has supported it before (somewhat) why not corner him again and get him to come out in full support of it. Dr Oz did a okay good at getting the ball rolling in main stream day time show, but I have not heard any more talk about it since then. My state (Missouri) has a bill stuck in the speaker of the house pocket and he wont release it and that has been for several years now. I cant utter a word about any of this because of my current job position (medical Field) in fear of being black balled in the field and not being able to get a new job when I get fired for voicing my option. So I look every day for someone to help out, there is some relief in sight and that is that IL is currently trying to pass the bill and hope that MO will see it and pass it as well. I see ever day how people of every walk of life are slowly killing them self by taking tons and tons of pills for this and that and them the cost of all those medications are making it impossible for them to pay there bills, or even worse not being able to live there life in a some what normal state and not be wasted due to there current medications and have no quality of life. So I say we need to call out President Obama and ask him to put a stop to all the harassment that is being done by the Fed's, and step up to the plate and help out those that need the help.
 

demp5294

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He now will screen his open forums to try and stop all the questions on Cannabis :peace:
 
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