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Polis Presses Ag On Pot Raids

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Polis Presses AG on Pot Raids




Holder Says Federal Agents Have Other Priorities and That Only Certain Cases Would Merit Action.


WASHINGTON - Rep. Jared Polis on Thursday quizzed Attorney General Eric Holder about federal enforcement of marijuana laws in states such as Colorado, which have approved it for medical use and are seeing a growing number of dispensaries.


In his first appearance as a new member of the House Judiciary Committee, the Boulder Democrat, who recently held a "coffee with your congressman" event at a coffee shop adjoining a dispensary in Nederland, quizzed Holder about comments from a federal Drug Enforcement Administration agent suggesting the Justice Department was planning to raid dispensaries in Colorado.


Not so, Holder said, citing higher enforcement priorities and pointing to a directive by the deputy attorney general outlining the specific criteria under which the feds would take an interest in shutting down dispensaries operating legally under state law.


"There are a variety of factors that are contained within the memo . . . that United States attorneys and assistant United States attorneys are supposed to apply, supposed to consider, when trying to make the determination about whether or not federal resources are going to be used to go after somebody who is dealing in marijuana," he said.


Polis seemed satisfied with the answer.


"I would certainly encourage that the question of whether or not it's consistent with state law certainly be left to state enforcement actions," the lawmaker said.


Polis' questions were in reference to comments made by the DEA's head agent in Colorado, Jeffrey Sweetin, after the arrest of a man with a large growing operation in his Highlands Ranch home.


Sweetin contends Christopher Bartkowicz, 36, was operating outside of state law by having far more plants than he had patients he was serving. That, plus Bartkowicz's prior criminal record and his operation's proximity to a school, led the DEA to his doorstep.


After the arrest, Sweetin said he believes dispensaries are illegal under federal law and said the deputy attorney general's memo does not prevent him from raiding them if he thinks there's a reason to do so.


Sweetin later said he wouldn't raid a dispensary unless there were "aggravating factors."


Polis is co-sponsoring a pending bill that would allow defendants charged with drug possession in federal court to argue that they were in compliance with state medical-marijuana laws.

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plus Bartkowicz's prior criminal record


Excuse me what does this have to do with anything?


If he served his time for whatever offense he was sentenced to previous to becoming a caregiver why should this make him a target for the DEA?


Thats a scary statement there "since he has a criminal record"does not give the DEA carte blanche to raid this guys grow this is some straight up b u l l s h i t. :angry:

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Another statement by this DEA agent that pisses me off is that "he believes" that dispensaries are illegal so if you believe in unicorns that makes them real as well? :huh:


Its not what this agent believes its how the law is written end of story he is not judge and jury for anybody. ;)

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exactly! Most those agents are ignorant and don't care to know. As far as I know our state MM law doesn't say exactly if dispensaries are allowed or not, I don't know about other states how that's regulated, though I think in CA it's mentioned right in the law, if I remember, they have dispensaries instead of caregivers. The same theme is running through every incident I'm reading about, the problem is the conflict between state and federal law. I'm told there are people working on that as we speak. There's some directive supposedly that will be presented to the police, too, to make them stop harassing those who are legal.



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Good to know, and King has hit the nail on the head in both of his posts on here....

Maybe the DEA will find and capture all suspicious unicorns and use them to ride during any subsequent raids to save on the cost of gasoline... darn, I wish we could move the vote up to an earlier date and get people with brains into office.

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Just because someone has a criminal record that does not mean that they are no longer afforded the rights everyone else is (outside of firearms)if the law does not prohibit people with criminal backgrounds to assist sick people by growing cannabis then this should not be used as a factor as to why they were investigated in the first place.

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I agree with you Kingpinn, someone that has served their time has also paid the price for whatever they had done. They shouldn't lose any rights unless it was a violent crime committed with a gun in the first place, otherwise they did what they did and paid for it. Our laws shouldn't permit someone to have to pay for the rest of their lives if they are released, then by all means, they should be released from all of it.




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