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Medical Marijuana Raids Create Fear, Uncertainty In Montana‎

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
Medical marijuana providers around Montana braced for possible indictments the day after federal drug raids. Here are the facts - federal officials executed 26 search warrants in 13 cities and towns across Montana.

Montana's U.S. Attorney's office says the raids were the result of an 18-month investigation into what it claims are illegal, large-scale drug trafficking operations. No talk about possible charges in the raids, but many say the office has brought fear into the medical marijuana community. That has patients worrying if they'll be able to get their medicine.

Chris Lindsey, a medical marijuana attorney, thinks the raids have one bottom line message. Lindsey says, "I think the message is be scared. We don't care how you operate. We're going to come in with our guns drawn. We're going to shove you down in the mud. We're going to put you in handcuffs for hours while we rifle through all of your personal information."

The DEA, FBI, ATF and local law enforcement cleared out at least 10 medical cannabis businesses in cities from Kalispell to Billings. Lindsey says there's no rhyme or reason for which businesses were targeted. "It doesn't appear that it was any particular policy or any particular business plan. These are individuals that come from all walks of life. From all different parts of the state." Lindsey said.

Linsdey says many are questioning the timing of the raids. After all, Monday was also the day a state senate committee failed to pass a bill that would have repealed the medical marijuana initiative.

Tuesday federal officials said the raids were the result of an 18-month long investigation. Besides taking marijuana plants, cell phones and computers, agents looked at bank accounts held by medical marijuana providers. Search warrants show they were looking for $4 million.

In a news release, the U.S. Attorney for Montana says his office will decide whether to seek indictments for manufacturing and distributing marijuana and failing to follow rules for depositing large amounts of cash in banks. U.S. Attorney Michael Cotter wouldn't talk on camera, but issued a statement. Cotter says in the statement, "Twenty-six search warrants were carried out yesterday where there is probable cause that the premises were involved in illegal and large-scale trafficking of marijuana. When criminal networks violate federal laws those involved will be prosecuted."

Two months ago Attorney General Eric Holder was in Missoula and said prosecuting marijuana crimes was not a priority, all while the 18-month-long investigation was ongoing.

There have been similar raids in other medical marijuana states like California, Nevada, and Colorado. Even without any indictments yet in Montana some of the businesses raided will not be able to reopen without their cash or their equipment.


NewsHawk: Jim Behr: 420 MAGAZINE
Source: nbcmontana.com
Author: Christian Hauser
Copyright: 2011 Bonten Media Group
Contact: NBC Montana
Website: Medical Marijuana Raids Create Fear, Uncertainty In Montana
 

free2blaze

New Member
but wait... the drug czar said the drug war was over right? I mean just recently I saw a video where he replied to Norm Stamper that they ended the drug war like two years ago, oh wait that was just the term "drug war", I wonder what they are calling it now, the medical war?
 
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