At least one owner of a Colorado medical marijuana business raided by federal agents last year has been arrested and another has been indicted.

Thumbnail image for kid in handcuffs.jpg

 

 

DENVER — At least one owner of a Colorado medical marijuana business raided by federal agents last year has been arrested and another has been indicted.

Agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service and Diplomatic Security Service carried out several arrests on Friday, said a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Denver. But prosecutors wouldn’t release their names or describe the nature of the case, saying that was part of a sealed indictment that could become public Monday.

Federal authorities in November raided more than a dozen sites, many of them in medical marijuana dispensaries in Denver and Boulder, confiscating piles of marijuana plants and cartons of cannabis-infused drinks and edibles. Although prosecutors still haven’t disclosed the reasons for them, the raids sent a strong message to Colorado’s marijuana industry in the weeks before the state legalized recreational sales of the drug.

The arrests included that of Denver attorney and dispensary owner David Furtado, who on Friday was seen in video taken by KUSA-TV being led away by agents with his arms behind his back. Neither Furtado nor his lawyer returned calls seeking comment.

An attorney for another targeted dispensary owner, Gerardo Uribe, said his client had been indicted but it wasn’t immediately clear if he was arrested.

Attorney Sean McAllister said he did not know what charges Uribe could face.

“My client continues to assert he conducted his business in a way that was consistent with Colorado marijuana laws,” McAllister said. “He intends to vigorously defend himself.”

Court filings related to the case of Hector Diaz, a Colombian man arrested on a weapons charge during the raids, describe both Uribe and Furtado as “targets in a long-term investigation into marijuana distribution, money laundering and other offenses.” Uribe is further described in the documents as “the head of a marijuana drug distribution organization.”

Diaz had been staying at Uribe’s home in an upscale Denver suburb when he was arrested. Prosecutors said Uribe’s father, Gerardo Uribe Sr., confronted agents at the door “holding a firearm he was slow to relinquish.”

Investigators who searched the younger Uribe’s email found a photo they said shows Diaz posing with two semi-automatic rifles and two handguns while wearing a U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency cap, according to the court filings. Diaz’s attorney has asked a judge to dismiss the case against him, saying among other arguments that prosecutors violated his Second Amendment rights.

CONTINUE READING…

We have to just say NO, to “drug testing”…

 

pee-cup

 

While sitting here thinking of my friends in pain who are trapped into slavery thru the Corporations they work for via “workplace drug testing”…who are condemned to use ONLY narcotics via the pharmaceutical industrial complex via so called “pain clinic’s” and doctors who are trapped in the prescribing business AND the drug screening business, which is equal to drug trafficking via legal means, 

I am wondering why,

just why not say NO!

*The Feds cannot force you to take a drug test for employmentThey can and do force drug testing upon “pain patients” and parolees which is another issue of it’s own.

This is done by the Corporations themselves.  Insurance Companies are involved  as well of course the Corporations who make the “testing kits” and at the same time they are making “pass your drug test kits” which people run out and buy in order to succumb to the Industrial and Insurance related Complex.

WE HAVE TO JUST SAY NO…

Our Father’s and Grandfather’s went to war and lost their lives for our freedom by the thousands, and I could start a whole new issue on that subject alone, but I will save that for another day.

 

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5moSy-Ooouk&w=335&h=188&hd=1]
GATEWOOD GALBRAITH SPEECH

 

The question here is are we willing to consume less to have more freedom?

We can effectively turn the prohibition around and “prohibit” them from invading our privacy, and entering our property without a search warrant, (symbolically), just by refusing or saying NO to their test.

I have never passed a drug test for Cannabis/Marijuana.

I also have never failed one for any other non-prescribed drug.

Do not worry about passing your next drug test.

DO start looking for other ways and means of making an income such as working for small privately owned companies which are few and far between but do still exist.  You can also sub-contract yourself, or work independently.

If you are lucky enough that you have already obtained a job and passed your drug test then just hope like hell you don’t get picked on too soon.

If you have not found a job yet, then DO NOT work for a company which is telling you that you must succumb to “random drug testing” or “pre-employment drug testing”.

This could effectively be a type of “civil disobedience” which is actually legal to do.  Again, “just say no” to drug testing.

If EVERYONE followed this one rule, it would not take long for  “drug testing” to disappear much like the “inspection stickers” for vehicles in the 1980’s did in Kentucky when everyone was so poor they could not afford to make their vehicles pass the test.  Eventually  they gave up and ended it.  (Just imagine what would happen if all these people could not pay their electric bill for one month.  It is true that you would not have electric for that period of time but it is also true that the electric company would not be getting near as much income for that period of time).  Most people CAN survive without electric for a month.  That has been proven by the people themselves who have suffered loss due to storms, etc.,

If you are unemployable you have a reason to file for disability.  Not that you will be approved, but just think of the paperwork put upon the SSA if everyone that failed a drug test filed for disability.  And then when they do not approve it, appeal the decision.  You can keep them “dancing” for a while – just depends upon how far you want to take it.

If they DO NOT end the drug testing at that point it could cause even more black market businesses to appear just for the fact that they can’t fill the Industrial Complex with legal worker’s.

The Industrial Complex cannot afford to loose it’s slaves so therefore I do not think it would take too long to accomplish the goal of ending “drug testing” policies.

And just like everything else the poorest of the people will be the one’s affected the most in this decision and have to suffer the “worse” before it gets better.

BECAUSE, they do not drug test politicians nor doctors or lawyers….

I guess it comes down to the sad fact whether or not you want to have freedom and live on beans and soup, or be a slave and eat commercial hamburgers.

I do not want to suggest that everyone absent mindedly quit their jobs tomorrow with no plans on how to sustain themselves.  However, making alternative plans for an income is always a good idea regardless.

 

sheree

This has been “something to think about” ,

Smkrider

 

*According to Henriksson, the anti-drug appeals of the Reagan administration “created an environment in which many employers felt compelled to implement drug testing programs because failure to do so might be perceived as condoning drug use. This fear was easily exploited by aggressive marketing and sales forces, who often overstated the value of testing and painted a bleak picture of the consequences of failing to use the drug testing product or service being offered.”[36] On March 10, 1986, the Commission on Organized Crime asked all U.S. companies to test employees for drug use. By 1987, nearly 25% of the Fortune 500 companies used drug tests.[37]

**THC and its major (inactive) metabolite, THC-COOH, can be measured in blood, urine, hair, oral fluid or sweat using chromatographic techniques as part of a drug use testing program or a forensic investigation of a traffic or other criminal offense.[91] The concentrations obtained from such analyses can often be helpful in distinguishing active use from passive exposure, elapsed time since use, and extent or duration of use.

***Drug testing in order for potential recipients to receive welfare has become an increasingly controversial topic

We have to just say NO, to “drug testing”…

USMJP1 2100x700

While sitting here thinking of my friends in pain who are trapped into slavery thru the Corporations they work for via “workplace drug testing”…who are condemned to use ONLY narcotics via the pharmaceutical industrial complex via so called “pain clinic’s” and doctors who are trapped in the prescribing business AND the drug screening business, which is equal to drug trafficking via legal means, 

I am wondering why,

just why not say NO!

*The Feds cannot force you to take a drug test for employmentThey can and do force drug testing upon “pain patients” and parolees which is another issue of it’s own.

This is done by the Corporations themselves.  Insurance Companies are involved  as well of course the Corporations who make the “testing kits” and at the same time they are making “pass your drug test kits” which people run out and buy in order to succumb to the Industrial and Insurance related Complex.

WE HAVE TO JUST SAY NO…

Our Father’s and Grandfather’s went to war and lost their lives for our freedom by the thousands, and I could start a whole new issue on that subject alone, but I will save that for another day.

 

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5moSy-Ooouk&w=335&h=188&hd=1]
GATEWOOD GALBRAITH SPEECH

 

The question here is are we willing to consume less to have more freedom?

We can effectively turn the prohibition around and “prohibit” them from invading our privacy, and entering our property without a search warrant, (symbolically), just by refusing or saying NO to their test.

I have never passed a drug test for Cannabis/Marijuana.

I also have never failed one for any other non-prescribed drug.

Do not worry about passing your next drug test.

DO start looking for other ways and means of making an income such as working for small privately owned companies which are few and far between but do still exist.  You can also sub-contract yourself, or work independently.

If you are lucky enough that you have already obtained a job and passed your drug test then just hope like hell you don’t get picked on too soon.

If you have not found a job yet, then DO NOT work for a company which is telling you that you must succumb to “random drug testing” or “pre-employment drug testing”.

This could effectively be a type of “civil disobedience” which is actually legal to do.  Again, “just say no” to drug testing.

If EVERYONE followed this one rule, it would not take long for  “drug testing” to disappear much like the “inspection stickers” for vehicles in the 1980’s did in Kentucky when everyone was so poor they could not afford to make their vehicles pass the test.  Eventually  they gave up and ended it.  (Just imagine what would happen if all these people could not pay their electric bill for one month.  It is true that you would not have electric for that period of time but it is also true that the electric company would not be getting near as much income for that period of time).  Most people CAN survive without electric for a month.  That has been proven by the people themselves who have suffered loss due to storms, etc.,

If you are unemployable you have a reason to file for disability.  Not that you will be approved, but just think of the paperwork put upon the SSA if everyone that failed a drug test filed for disability.  And then when they do not approve it, appeal the decision.  You can keep them “dancing” for a while – just depends upon how far you want to take it.

If they DO NOT end the drug testing at that point it could cause even more black market businesses to appear just for the fact that they can’t fill the Industrial Complex with legal worker’s.

The Industrial Complex cannot afford to loose it’s slaves so therefore I do not think it would take too long to accomplish the goal of ending “drug testing” policies.

And just like everything else the poorest of the people will be the one’s affected the most in this decision and have to suffer the “worse” before it gets better.

BECAUSE, they do not drug test politicians nor doctors or lawyers….

I guess it comes down to the sad fact whether or not you want to have freedom and live on beans and soup, or be a slave and eat commercial hamburgers.

I do not want to suggest that everyone absent mindedly quit their jobs tomorrow with no plans on how to sustain themselves.  However, making alternative plans for an income is always a good idea regardless.

 

sheree

This has been “something to think about” ,

Smkrider

 

*According to Henriksson, the anti-drug appeals of the Reagan administration “created an environment in which many employers felt compelled to implement drug testing programs because failure to do so might be perceived as condoning drug use. This fear was easily exploited by aggressive marketing and sales forces, who often overstated the value of testing and painted a bleak picture of the consequences of failing to use the drug testing product or service being offered.”[36] On March 10, 1986, the Commission on Organized Crime asked all U.S. companies to test employees for drug use. By 1987, nearly 25% of the Fortune 500 companies used drug tests.[37]

**THC and its major (inactive) metabolite, THC-COOH, can be measured in blood, urine, hair, oral fluid or sweat using chromatographic techniques as part of a drug use testing program or a forensic investigation of a traffic or other criminal offense.[91] The concentrations obtained from such analyses can often be helpful in distinguishing active use from passive exposure, elapsed time since use, and extent or duration of use.

***Drug testing in order for potential recipients to receive welfare has become an increasingly controversial topic

pee-cup1.jpg

Prohibitionists are Overstating Feds vs. State Marijuana Legalization Case to Media

by David Borden, December 10, 2012, 02:54pm

Posted in:

A mostly great piece in Rolling Stone this weekend, "Obama’s Pot Problem," missed the mark on the federal preemption question — can the feds shut down Washington and Colorado’s legalized regulation systems? Tim Dickinson wrote the following on that subject:

[T]he administration appears to have an open-and-shut case: Federal law trumps state law when the two contradict. What’s more, the Supreme Court has spoken on marijuana law: In the 2005 case Gonzales v. Raich contesting medical marijuana in California, the court ruled that the federal government can regulate even tiny quantities of pot – including those grown and sold purely within state borders – because the drug is ultimately connected to interstate commerce. If the courts side with the administration, a judge could issue an immediate injunction blocking Washington and Colorado from regulating or taxing the growing and selling of pot – actions that would be considered trafficking under the Controlled Substances Act.

But a former Bush administration official quoted in the New York Times on Thursday, former DOJ civil division head Gregory Katsas, made the opposite prediction. Katsas was "skeptical" that a preemption lawsuit would succeed, according to the Times. Why? Perhaps because it’s not just that the feds can’t force states to criminalize drug possession, as Kevin Sabet selectively pointed out to Dickinson. It’s also the case that they probably can’t directly force the states to criminalize sales either. The Controlled Substances Act in fact leans against federal preemption of state drug policy, as pointed out in a law professors brief on preemption submitted in a California case this year.

Dickinson also pointed out that federal officials had used threats to prosecute state employees involved in implementing regulations for medical marijuana. In my opinion the US Attorney letters were deliberately vague — scary enough to influence state officials, but in most if not all cases stopping short of explicitly making that threat. A better piece of evidence, I think, is that in 16 years of state medical marijuana laws, no federal prosecutor has ever tried to actually invalidate such a law in court, not even after the Raich ruling. Why not? They must not think they have a slam dunk case. And if preemption is not a slam dunk for medical marijuana, then it’s not a slam dunk when it comes to legalization either, although there are additional arguments to throw against full legalization.

The reality is that no one knows how this will turn out if it goes to court. Raich established that federal police agencies can use their powers in medical marijuana states to continue to criminalize marijuana federally, justified by the Interstate Commerce Clause. But that is not the same as having the power to forbid states from granting exceptions to the states’ own anti-marijuana sales laws, which in legal terms is what the regulatory frameworks do, and plenty of smart lawyers are skeptical that they can do that. This is not a slam dunk either way.

CONTINUE READING HERE….

Prohibitionists are Overstating Feds vs. State Marijuana Legalization Case to Media

by David Borden, December 10, 2012, 02:54pm

Posted in:

A mostly great piece in Rolling Stone this weekend, "Obama’s Pot Problem," missed the mark on the federal preemption question — can the feds shut down Washington and Colorado’s legalized regulation systems? Tim Dickinson wrote the following on that subject:

[T]he administration appears to have an open-and-shut case: Federal law trumps state law when the two contradict. What’s more, the Supreme Court has spoken on marijuana law: In the 2005 case Gonzales v. Raich contesting medical marijuana in California, the court ruled that the federal government can regulate even tiny quantities of pot – including those grown and sold purely within state borders – because the drug is ultimately connected to interstate commerce. If the courts side with the administration, a judge could issue an immediate injunction blocking Washington and Colorado from regulating or taxing the growing and selling of pot – actions that would be considered trafficking under the Controlled Substances Act.

But a former Bush administration official quoted in the New York Times on Thursday, former DOJ civil division head Gregory Katsas, made the opposite prediction. Katsas was "skeptical" that a preemption lawsuit would succeed, according to the Times. Why? Perhaps because it’s not just that the feds can’t force states to criminalize drug possession, as Kevin Sabet selectively pointed out to Dickinson. It’s also the case that they probably can’t directly force the states to criminalize sales either. The Controlled Substances Act in fact leans against federal preemption of state drug policy, as pointed out in a law professors brief on preemption submitted in a California case this year.

Dickinson also pointed out that federal officials had used threats to prosecute state employees involved in implementing regulations for medical marijuana. In my opinion the US Attorney letters were deliberately vague — scary enough to influence state officials, but in most if not all cases stopping short of explicitly making that threat. A better piece of evidence, I think, is that in 16 years of state medical marijuana laws, no federal prosecutor has ever tried to actually invalidate such a law in court, not even after the Raich ruling. Why not? They must not think they have a slam dunk case. And if preemption is not a slam dunk for medical marijuana, then it’s not a slam dunk when it comes to legalization either, although there are additional arguments to throw against full legalization.

The reality is that no one knows how this will turn out if it goes to court. Raich established that federal police agencies can use their powers in medical marijuana states to continue to criminalize marijuana federally, justified by the Interstate Commerce Clause. But that is not the same as having the power to forbid states from granting exceptions to the states’ own anti-marijuana sales laws, which in legal terms is what the regulatory frameworks do, and plenty of smart lawyers are skeptical that they can do that. This is not a slam dunk either way.

CONTINUE READING HERE….

States Legalizing Marijuana Will Violate Federal Law, Trigger Constitutional Showdown: DEA, Drug Czars

 

The Huffington Post | By Matt Ferner Posted: 10/15/2012 3:13 pm EDT

 

On a Monday teleconference call, former Drug Enforcement Agency administrators and directors of the Office of National Drug Control Policy voiced a strong reminder to the U.S. Department of Justice that even if voters in Colorado, Oregon and Washington pass ballot measures to legalize marijuana use for adults and tax its sale, the legalization of marijuana still violates federal law and the passage of these measures could trigger a “Constitutional showdown.”

The goal of the call was clearly to put more pressure on Attorney General Eric Holder to make a public statement in opposition to these measures. With less than 30 days before Election Day, the DOJ has yet to announce its enforcement intentions regarding the ballot measures that, if passed, could end marijuana prohibition in each state.

“Next month in Colorado, Oregon and Washington states, voters will vote on legalizing marijuana,” Peter Bensinger, the moderator of the call and former administrator of the DEA during President Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan administrations, began the call. “Federal law, the U.S. Constitution and Supreme Court decisions say that this cannot be done because federal law preempts state law.”

Bensinger added: “And there is a bigger danger that touches every one of us — legalizing marijuana threatens public health and safety. In states that have legalized medical marijuana, drug driving arrests, accidents, and drug overdose deaths have skyrocketed. Drug treatment admissions are up and the number of teens using this gateway drug is up dramatically.”

Bensinger was joined by a host of speakers including Bill Bennet and John Walters, former directors of the While House Office of National Drug Control Policy; Chief Richard Beary of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP); Dr. Robert L. DuPont, founding director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and who was also representing the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and several others.

In response to the drug warriors calling out Holder again to take a strong public stance against these marijuana legalization measures, Mason Tvert, co-director of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, the group behind Colorado’s Amendment 64 said to The Huffington Post:

We believe anything claimed by participants on the call today needs to be taken with many grains of salt. These people have made a living off marijuana prohibition and the laws that keep this relatively benign substance illegal. The nation wastes billions of taxpayer dollars annually on the failed policy of marijuana prohibition and people like Bill Bennett and John Walters are among the biggest cheerleaders for wasting billions more. The call today should be taken as seriously as an event by former coal industry CEOs opposing legislation curtailing greenhouse gas emissions. They are stuck in a certain mindset and no level of evidence demonstrating the weakness of their position will change their views.

This is an election about Colorado law and whether the people of Colorado believe that we should continue wasting law enforcement resources to maintain the failed policy of marijuana prohibition. Our nation was founded upon the idea that states would be free to determine their own policies on matters not delegated to the federal government. The Controlled Substance Act itself acknowledges that Congress never intended to have the federal government fully ‘occupy the field’ of marijuana policy. We hope the Obama administration respects these state-based policy debates. If Amendment 64 is adopted by the people of Colorado, there will be sufficient time before any new businesses are established for state and federal officials to discuss the implications.

Today’s call elaborated on a September letter that nine former DEA heads sent to Holder strongly urging him to oppose Amendment 64 in Colorado, Initiative 502 in Washington and Measure 80 in Oregon. “To continue to remain silent conveys to the American public and the global community a tacit acceptance of these dangerous initiatives,” the nine said in the letter to holder obtained by Reuters.

A month before the 2010 election in California, Holder vowed to “vigorously enforce” federal marijuana laws and warned that the government would not look the other way and allow a state marijuana market to emerge. California’s Proposition 19 was narrowly defeated in 2010 and the pressure is on Holder again to voice opposition to these 2012 measures.

When pressed by a reporter during a Q & A following the call if the group was at all surprised that Holder had not yet made a statement about the measures, former drug czar John Walters replied, “I think it’s shocking. All you have to do is say things that this administration has already said. It would help enormously and I think it would defeat these measures.”

Both Colorado and Washington’s pot ballot measures are quite popular with voters, according to recent polling and have been backed by an increasingly diverse group across a range of ideological perspectives.

In Colorado, if marijuana is legalized it would be taxed and regulated similar to alcohol and tobacco. It would give state and local governments the ability to control and tax the sale of small amounts of marijuana to adults age 21 and older. According to the Associated Press, analysts project that that tax revenue could generate somewhere between $5 million and $22 million a year in the state. An economist whose study was funded by a pro-pot group projects as much as a $60 million boost by 2017.

CONTINUE READING……(VIDEO)

States Legalizing Marijuana Will Violate Federal Law, Trigger Constitutional Showdown: DEA, Drug Czars

The Huffington Post | By Matt Ferner Posted: 10/15/2012 3:13 pm EDT

 

On a Monday teleconference call, former Drug Enforcement Agency administrators and directors of the Office of National Drug Control Policy voiced a strong reminder to the U.S. Department of Justice that even if voters in Colorado, Oregon and Washington pass ballot measures to legalize marijuana use for adults and tax its sale, the legalization of marijuana still violates federal law and the passage of these measures could trigger a "Constitutional showdown."

The goal of the call was clearly to put more pressure on Attorney General Eric Holder to make a public statement in opposition to these measures. With less than 30 days before Election Day, the DOJ has yet to announce its enforcement intentions regarding the ballot measures that, if passed, could end marijuana prohibition in each state.

"Next month in Colorado, Oregon and Washington states, voters will vote on legalizing marijuana," Peter Bensinger, the moderator of the call and former administrator of the DEA during President Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan administrations, began the call. "Federal law, the U.S. Constitution and Supreme Court decisions say that this cannot be done because federal law preempts state law."

Bensinger added: "And there is a bigger danger that touches every one of us — legalizing marijuana threatens public health and safety. In states that have legalized medical marijuana, drug driving arrests, accidents, and drug overdose deaths have skyrocketed. Drug treatment admissions are up and the number of teens using this gateway drug is up dramatically."

Bensinger was joined by a host of speakers including Bill Bennet and John Walters, former directors of the While House Office of National Drug Control Policy; Chief Richard Beary of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP); Dr. Robert L. DuPont, founding director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and who was also representing the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and several others.

In response to the drug warriors calling out Holder again to take a strong public stance against these marijuana legalization measures, Mason Tvert, co-director of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, the group behind Colorado’s Amendment 64 said to The Huffington Post:

We believe anything claimed by participants on the call today needs to be taken with many grains of salt. These people have made a living off marijuana prohibition and the laws that keep this relatively benign substance illegal. The nation wastes billions of taxpayer dollars annually on the failed policy of marijuana prohibition and people like Bill Bennett and John Walters are among the biggest cheerleaders for wasting billions more. The call today should be taken as seriously as an event by former coal industry CEOs opposing legislation curtailing greenhouse gas emissions. They are stuck in a certain mindset and no level of evidence demonstrating the weakness of their position will change their views.

This is an election about Colorado law and whether the people of Colorado believe that we should continue wasting law enforcement resources to maintain the failed policy of marijuana prohibition. Our nation was founded upon the idea that states would be free to determine their own policies on matters not delegated to the federal government. The Controlled Substance Act itself acknowledges that Congress never intended to have the federal government fully ‘occupy the field’ of marijuana policy. We hope the Obama administration respects these state-based policy debates. If Amendment 64 is adopted by the people of Colorado, there will be sufficient time before any new businesses are established for state and federal officials to discuss the implications.

Today’s call elaborated on a September letter that nine former DEA heads sent to Holder strongly urging him to oppose Amendment 64 in Colorado, Initiative 502 in Washington and Measure 80 in Oregon. "To continue to remain silent conveys to the American public and the global community a tacit acceptance of these dangerous initiatives," the nine said in the letter to holder obtained by Reuters.

A month before the 2010 election in California, Holder vowed to "vigorously enforce" federal marijuana laws and warned that the government would not look the other way and allow a state marijuana market to emerge. California’s Proposition 19 was narrowly defeated in 2010 and the pressure is on Holder again to voice opposition to these 2012 measures.

When pressed by a reporter during a Q & A following the call if the group was at all surprised that Holder had not yet made a statement about the measures, former drug czar John Walters replied, "I think it’s shocking. All you have to do is say things that this administration has already said. It would help enormously and I think it would defeat these measures."

Both Colorado and Washington’s pot ballot measures are quite popular with voters, according to recent polling and have been backed by an increasingly diverse group across a range of ideological perspectives.

In Colorado, if marijuana is legalized it would be taxed and regulated similar to alcohol and tobacco. It would give state and local governments the ability to control and tax the sale of small amounts of marijuana to adults age 21 and older. According to the Associated Press, analysts project that that tax revenue could generate somewhere between $5 million and $22 million a year in the state. An economist whose study was funded by a pro-pot group projects as much as a $60 million boost by 2017.

CONTINUE READING……(VIDEO)

Oakland goes to court for embattled pot dispensary

stephen deangelo

 

LISA LEFF | October 10, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO — An Oakland medical marijuana dispensary that bills itself as the world’s largest gained an unusual ally Wednesday in its fight to stop federal prosecutors from shutting it down: the city government.

The city of Oakland filed a federal lawsuit in San Francisco that seeks to prevent the U.S. Department of Justice from using its property seizure powers to get Harborside Health Center evicted. The suit, thought to be the first a local government has brought on behalf of a pot shop, alleges the Justice Department knew about Harborside for years and exceeded the legal deadline for taking action against it.

It also claims federal officials are overstepping their authority by interfering with the process Oakland has established for licensing and monitoring dispensaries to make sure they operate in accordance with state law, City Attorney Barbara Parker said.

“We find it to be a very important issue from the standpoint of public health and public safety,” Parker said. “We spent a lot of time, money, developing the regulatory scheme, issuing the permits, using our resources to do the inspections.”

The Oakland City Council approved the filing of the lawsuit, she said.

Harborside serves about 100,000 medical marijuana users a year, sells about $20 million worth of pot and marijuana products, and pays $3 million in federal, state and local taxes annually, of which about $1.2 million goes to Oakland, executive director Steve DeAngelo said. He called the city’s intervention “heartening and encouraging.”

U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag initiated a forfeiture proceeding in July on the property Harborside has rented in downtown Oakland since 2006, as well as its sister shop in San Jose. Haag said at the time that the dispensaries violate federal law by selling marijuana, even though medical marijuana is legal in California.

The owners of both properties have gone to state court to force out the dispensaries, but DeAngelo has counter-sued and so far been able to stay in business, said his lawyer, Henry Wykowski. DeAngelo, who has four years remaining on his Oakland lease, also is fighting the U.S. attorney’s claims, and a hearing before a federal magistrate is scheduled for Nov. 1, Wykowski said.

Over the past year, Haag and California’s three other federal prosecutors have brought similar actions against landlords throughout the state that lease space to dispensaries, most of which have been evicted or closed on their own.

CONTINUE READING…

Richard Lee Endorses Ohio Medical Cannabis Amendment

By Steve Elliott ~alapoet~ in Legislation, News

Monday, April 16, 2012 at 8:04 am

Cannabis icon Richard Lee, in one of his first statements since the raid on Oaksterdam University, has endorsed the Ohio Medical Cannabis Amendment. 

"Can you imagine seeing your life’s work raided and seized?" Lee asked in a telephone interview. "Many patients like me can."

At age 27, while working as a lighting technician, Lee fell off a scaffold and broke his back. A paraplegic, he must now use a wheelchair. Standard prescription pills didn’t ease the pain, but medical cannabis did.

On April 2, the DEA, IRS, and U.S. Marshals raided Richard Lee’s famed cannabis trade school, Oaksterdam University, in Oakland, California. Since opening in 2007, Oaksterdam has provided cannabis industry training to about 15,000 experts and activists, and is fully compliant with state and local law.

Although Lee was detained during the raid, he was not arrested, but still fears prosecution.

Because of prohibition, a conviction involving cannabis can result not only in jail time, but also in the denial of federal benefits such as college loans, public housing and professional licenses.

"Medical cannabis prohibition is unjust and counterproductive," Lee said. "Because I believe what I have done is moral and ethical, I am standing up for my rights: My right to use medical cannabis to alleviate my suffering; my right to be free of discrimination and interference from the state with regard to my use; my right to access goods and services to enable my use.

"In short," Lee said, "I’m standing up for my rights by endorsing the Ohio Medical Cannabis Amendment."

Lee noted that the U.S. Justice Department may well have had a much more difficult time targeting him if he and his school had been protected by a similar amendment in California.

The Ohio Medical Cannabis Amendment is a proposed citizen-initiated amendment to the Ohio Constitution, slated for the ballot in the fall of 2012. It focuses on extending to patients eight rights based on the Bill of Rights within the Ohio Constitution.

The amendment also establishes an Ohio Commission of Cannabis Control to not only support, uphold and defend these rights, but also to regulate medical cannabis in Ohio.

Getting the OMCA on ballot will require the collection of 385,000-plus signatures by July 4, 2012. Thousands of people have contacted the campaign to help and securing funding for a complementary paid signature effort is the only obstacle left in getting on the ballot this year.

"Imagine election day 2012," Lee said. "All eyes are trained on Ohio – a perennial swing state during a high profile presidential race. Five million voters affirm the right to use cannabis as medicine. This may represent one of the strongest statements that cannabis reform has ever had the opportunity to make.

"I ask all Ohioans and reformers to stand with me, stand together and stand up for the right to use cannabis as medicine," Lee said. "Support the Ohio Medical Cannabis Amendment and help get it on the ballot in the fall." CONTINUE READING…

image

Richard Lee is giving up his downtown Oakland-based pot businesses after a federal raid bankrupted him.

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Above:  U.S. marshals stand at the entrance of Oaksterdam University in Oakland, Calif., on Monday, April 2, 2012. The federal agents raided the medical marijuana training school at the heart of California’s pot legalization movement. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

OAKLAND, Calif.—The founder of a Northern California medical marijuana training school said Friday he was giving up his downtown Oakland-based pot businesses after a federal raid bankrupted him.

Richard Lee has been instrumental in pushing for ballot measures to legalize the drug, giving more than $1.5 million as the lead financial backer of a 2010 initiative to legalize the drug in the state. He said he will now focus solely on his advocacy work.

"I am now in this legal situation, so it’s better for me to step aside," Lee said.

Internal Revenue Service and Drug Enforcement Administration agents on Monday raided Oaksterdam University, Lee’s home and a medical marijuana dispensary he also founded. The purpose of the raids hasn’t been disclosed.

Oaksterdam University offers classes to would-be medical marijuana providers in fields ranging from horticulture to business to the legal ins-and-outs of running a dispensary. It does not distribute marijuana.

Agents confiscated marijuana, computers and files from Lee’s businesses, making it difficult to continue operations, he said. The university has held some classes since the raid and is soliciting donations to stay up and running. Oaksterdam Executive Chancellor Dale Sky Jones is working to put together a new leadership team for the school, he said.

Lee said the agents who came to his home Monday morning showed him search warrants but did not tell him what they were seeking or the purpose of their investigation.

"It was something we’ve always feared, but we’ve always known it’s a part of the politics of this issue," Lee said.

Federal prosecutors in San Francisco, who have been leading a months-long crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries, did not immediately return messages seeking comment. Lee said he was not interrogated but simply detained while the agents conducted the raids. He was not arrested.

Lee said his decision to step back from the businesses was not part of any deal with investigators.

"We don’t know if it will make any difference at all to them," he said.

But the 49-year-old paraplegic and former roadie said he hopes the raid will make a difference in promoting the pro-marijuana legalization agenda.

A street protest drew several hundred demonstrators to downtown Oakland within a few hours of the raids, and more than 18,000 have signed Lee’s online petition on Change.org demanding an end to the federal crackdown on medical marijuana in California.

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