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Medical Cannabis Advocates Say Feds Are Targeting Medical Cannabis Users

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Mont. - Medical cannabis advocates say a memo released from the U.S. Attorney's office goes against the Department of Justice's low-priority stance against medical cannabis. The memo was released in February and says the feds will target marijuana traffickers even if they're doing it for medical purposes.

Doug Chyatte with Montanans For Responsible Legislation knows all about medical cannabis and what federal officials think about it. After all, he's been reading memos about it and talking to insiders for years. Chyatte says, "We're (medical cannabis users and caregivers) a community under attack, as of this week."

The questions focus on two Department of Justice memos. We'll start with the "Ogden" memo that came out two years ago. It was written by Deputy Attorney General David Ogden, and mirrors president Obama's 2009 declaration that medical marijuana prosecution is a low priority.

The memo doesn't say the feds won't prosecute but does list several things that could trigger a federal response, including selling medical marijuana to minors, and having large amounts of marijuana.

The issue over having large amounts of marijuana is inconsistent with state or local law. Advocates think it could be the reason grow centers, like the one in Helena, were targeted in raids this week around Montana. The Helena grow operation housed over 1,500 marijuana plants.

The second memo has come to be known as the "Haag" memo. It was written this February by Melinda Haag, a U.S. Attorney for the northern district of California. It says "large-scale [operations]... threaten the federal government's efforts to regulate... controlled substances."

It goes on to say prosecuting people involved in the marijuana trade - whether medical or recreational - is a core priority.

Chyatte thinks this goes against what Obama promised in 2009 and what the Ogden memo states. Chyatte says the Haag memo, "Came out that says anybody involved in a commercial caregiver operation, any dispensary owner and any landlord that rents to a dispensary owner or a caregiver is subject to criminal prosecution."

The raids have left Montana's medical marijuana community wondering whether they'll end up in federal courts and if the feds will continue to hit dispensaries and take away their medicine, even though the memos claim the feds won't target legitimate patients.

News Hawk- Jacob Husky 420 MAGAZINE
Source: nbcmontana.com
Author: Christian Hauser
Contact: Contact Us
Copyright: Bonten Media Group
Website: Medical Cannabis Advocates Say Feds Are Targeting Medical Cannabis Users
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