[THS] Federal Officials Threaten Crackdown on Medical Pot Growers
The Harder Stuff in news and commentary
ths at psalience.org
Thu Dec 9 22:04:16 CET 2010
Federal Officials Threaten Crackdown on Medical Pot Growers
Obama administration officials oppose plans by the city of Oakland to license and tax
industrial sized medical cannabis producers, according to a published report this
week by CaliforniaWatch.org, the website of the Center for Investigative Reporting.
Sources at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the United States attorneys
office in San Francisco said that federal officials would likely pursue criminal or civil
litigation against local marijuana growers as well as Oakland city officials if they
decide to move forward with plans to license medical cannabis farming. Oakland
would be on the hook for violating state and federal law, an unnamed administration
official told the website.
Oakland City Attorney John Russo confirmed that DOJ officials are opposed to the
citys licensing plan. Theyve expressed their concerns that the path Oakland is
taking is in violation of the law, Russo said in a prepared statement.
Russo had previously voiced objections to the legislation, and had issued a memo to
members of the City Council in August raising legal concerns about the plan, The Bay
Citizen reported on Tuesday.
Oakland officials are seeking to license up to four industrial sized medical marijuana
grow operations. The permits do not set limits regarding the quantity of cannabis
that licensed producers may cultivate at each given site. City officials began accepting
applications from prospective growers in November.
It has been estimated that the four facilities could yield the city between $4.8 million
and $7.7 million per year in tax revenues.
According to the California Watch report, federal officials are also planning to initiate
a broader crack down on marijuana production and distribution statewide. The story
reports that DOJ and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officials met with
Californias four U.S. attorneys on November 10 to develop a plan to deal with some
of the loopholes and gray areas in the states medical marijuana program.
The administrations threats raise questions regarding its previously stated position
that, As a general matter, pursuit of [federal law enforcement] priorities should not
focus federal resources
on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous
compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana.
By Paul Armentano | Sourced from AlterNet
Posted at December 8, 2010, 4:28 pm
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