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Federal Warnings Hit Medical Marijuana Boom


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The feds have said they won't go after the individual patients but will go after the retail level sales at dispensaries and compassion centers.

 

So why would so many in Michigan be pushing for dispensaries and compassion centers knowing full well the feds will come down and come down hard.

 

We don't even have a fully enacted law as it is and yet we have groups wanting to push the limits that could very well cause enough blow back that the general public would go along with a repeal of our law.

 

http://www.npr.org/2011/05/28/136726993/buzz-kill-federal-warnings-hit-medical-pot-boom?ft=1&f=1001

 

May 28, 2011 from WRNI

 

From California to Arizona, Colorado to Maine, states across the country are legalizing the sale of medical marijuana. Recent warnings from U.S. attorneys, however, are making local governments rethink their plans.

 

Seth Bock stands in what's supposed to be one of Rhode Island's first medical marijuana stores. His group was going to install grow lights and a ventilation system this week, but not anymore.

 

"We can't really invest any money into the carpentry and the building process until we know that this will go on," he says.

 

But that could take a while. Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee has put the program on hold indefinitely. The reason: a letter he received from the U.S. Attorneys' Office that said Rhode Island's so-called compassion centers could face federal raids, fines or criminal prosecution if they open.

 

"The U.S. attorney was very direct," governor's spokesman Michael Trainor says. "The governor believes that if we proceed on the present course, he'd be putting the compassion centers and people associated with compassion centers at great risk."

 

Rhode Island's letter is similar to those sent to at least eight other states with medical marijuana programs. Advocates believe the threats are a dramatic change from the Obama administration's original stance on medical marijuana. The Justice Department has refused to clarify its decision, saying only that its policy remains the same. It says the U.S. attorneys assigned to each state have "discretion" about how to enforce that policy.

 

The Ogden Memo

 

What the policy is, exactly, depends on how you interpret what's called "the Ogden memo."

 

"In 2009, the Department of Justice indicated that it would be a low priority to prosecute anyone who was complying with state medical marijuana laws," Jay Rorty of the American Civil Liberties Union explains. He says the 2009 memo from then-Deputy Attorney General David Ogden made advocates think the federal government wouldn't interfere with state medical marijuana stores.

 

U.S. Attorney Michael Ormsby from Washington state disagrees with that interpretation. "I think the ACLU takes that statement out of context," he says. According to him, the memo means the federal government won't go after patients who are growing their own marijuana — but retail stores were never part of that exception.

 

"We're talking, in some instances, about thousands of dollars a week being generated by these enterprises," he says.

 

It's a problem familiar to Colorado's Attorney General John Suthers. He says Colorado's more than 800 dispensaries are probably not what the federal government had in mind when it issued the Ogden memo.

 

"We've had just a plethora of retail dispensaries develop. We've got grow operations; we're now at 125,000 patients," he says. "And it's a joke."

 

That's why he asked his U.S. attorney for advice. Suthers guesses that the letters from other U.S. attorneys are an attempt to prevent more states from becoming like Colorado.

 

Meanwhile, States Have Patients

 

How each state interprets those letters is different. Some are going ahead with their programs despite the warnings. Others are in the same limbo as Rhode Island, where patients are getting frustrated.

 

"I don't know about you, but I feel mad. Do you?" Ellen Lenox Smith is a familiar face at the podium in the Rhode Island State House. She testifies in favor of dispensaries at every opportunity, with her wheelchair and service dog nearby. She says marijuana helps lessen the pain of her two incurable diseases. She grows her own plants, for now.

 

"I have to wonder, as I progress with my two conditions, where am I going to be headed? What happens when I can no longer grow? Where am I supposed to turn?" she says.

 

For now, the answer to Lenox Smith's question is unclear, as states weigh the new risks of opening dispensaries. Local governments are looking to a lawsuit filed by the governor of Arizona to clarify the federal government's stance on state marijuana programs. Meanwhile, the sale of the drug continues to follow a pattern of fits and starts across the country.

 

Related NPR Stories

Ariz. Takes Justice Dept To Court Over Medical Marijuana May 28, 2011

 

(yes I removed the word pot from title)

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Guest Happy Guy

Here's a quote from a very highly paid... Dispensary Lobbyist. They sure know how to pick em! Of course she grows her own plants for now, that makes her real mad. She will be much happier when she can't anymore. LOL The dispensary greed heads made their bed and it has bugs in it. Federal bugs.

 

"I don't know about you, but I feel mad. Do you?" Ellen Lenox Smith is a familiar face at the podium in the Rhode Island State House. She testifies in favor of dispensaries at every opportunity, with her wheelchair and service dog nearby. She says marijuana helps lessen the pain of her two incurable diseases. She grows her own plants, for now.

Edited by Happy Guy
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The feds have said they won't go after the individual patients but will go after the retail level sales at dispensaries and compassion centers.

 

So why would so many in Michigan be pushing for dispensaries and compassion centers

. . . . . . knowing full well the feds will come down and come down hard ?

 

We don't even have a fully enacted law as it is and yet we have groups wanting to push the limits that could very well cause enough blow back that the general public would go along with a repeal of our law.

 

Great question EG ! The simplest answer: Greed. imho

 

At the expense of a select few patients lives, being destroyed ? This is a huge injustice and needs to be addressed out here in the open. If there is any compassion or Justice for Patients.

Edited by solabeirtan
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Great question EG ! The simplest answer: Greed. imho

 

At the expense of a select few patients lives, being destroyed ? This is a huge injustice and needs to be addressed out here in the open. If there is any compassion or Justice for Patients.

 

I don't know any or have ever met a legitimate patient(s) who can afford $20.00+ a gram or, $400.00+ an oz medication from a dispensary.

 

When this subject came up a few months back (again) I contacted reps in Lansing about dispensaries and this is one of the replies i got back. (spoiler alert no support for them)

 

========================================================================================================================

Re: Greetings From Rep. xxxx

From:

"District0xx@house.mi.gov" <District0xx@house.mi.gov>

To: "Edward Glen" <xxxxxxx@yahoo.com> 3/24/2011 10:26 AM >>>

 

Dear Mr. xxxxx,

 

Thank you so much for contacting my office regarding medical marihuana in Michigan. I am honored to serve as your State Representative, and I sincerely appreciate hearing from my friends and constituents.

 

 

As you know, the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act was approved by Michigan voters on November 4, 2008. Safe access to legal medical marihuana is important and I fully support the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act as passed into law.

 

However, my colleagues and I have discussed this matter and would decline supporting a dispensary system in Michigan both as residents and politically.

 

If you would like to inquire about medical marihuana dispensaries at the Federal level, I would urge you to contact your U.S. Congressman, Sandy Levin. His district office can be reached at (586) 498-7122 and his Washington D.C. office at (202) 225-4961.

 

 

Again, thank you for your concern, and please feel free to contact me or my staff by phone at (517) 373-xxx or by email at xxxxxxxxxx@house.mi.gov if you have any further questions.

 

 

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

xxxxxxx xxxx

State Representative

xxst District

N-795 House Office Building

P.O. Box 30014

Lansing, MI 48909-7514

877-347-8031 toll free

517-373-xxxx office

517-373-xxxxfax

xxxxxxxxxx@house.mi.gov

 

District House

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im believe our federal government is basically saying, you legal MMJ states are ok as long as things are kept Private.

 

If you allow businesses to open and become public, then they will step in and go to work.

 

seems the smart and logical thing to do here in Mi, is to leave the law as it is basically currently written, where the omition of any vergabe outlining any type of dispensory as legal, simply isnt there, thus making a public type business outside the act of the MMA.

 

that is my contention and im sticking to it.

 

 

take the law in its entirty, one is left the the lone conclusion, the omittance of verbage on any type of despensory is not a mistake, or simple oversight. it is purposfull, and the intent is to say, they are not legal, and are not covered under the MMA 08 law.

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if it goes private/underground again per state... when they investigate and then raid a few thousand folks a year per state eventually they will have arrested everyone willing to not comply-patients and CG's only the dying will be allowed Cannabis preparations only from a Pharma corp. not homegrown

Edited by MORE COWBELL
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Great question EG ! The simplest answer: Greed. imho

 

At the expense of a select few patients lives, being destroyed ? This is a huge injustice and needs to be addressed out here in the open. If there is any compassion or Justice for Patients.

i don't understand how opening a dispensary can destroy some patients lives? It is a store, if you grow your own corn, you won't go to Meijer to get it. But that doesn't make Meijer bad at all.

 

No one forces anyone to use a dispensary, and the owners are the ones gambling with the feds, so let em.

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i don't understand how opening a dispensary can destroy some patients lives? It is a store, if you grow your own corn, you won't go to Meijer to get it. But that doesn't make Meijer bad at all.

 

No one forces anyone to use a dispensary, and the owners are the ones gambling with the feds, so let em.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

If this is truly about the PATIENT, and only the PATIENT, why would we try to limit the PATIENTS access to their Meds ??

 

Grow it themselves.

Have a Caregiver grow it for them.

Buy it from a Dispensary.

Buy it from a Pharmacy.

Buy it off the streets.

 

The more options available to the PATIENT the better...... right ??

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

If this is truly about the PATIENT, and only the PATIENT, why would we try to limit the PATIENTS access to their Meds ??

 

Grow it themselves.

Have a Caregiver grow it for them.

Buy it from a Dispensary.

Buy it from a Pharmacy.

Buy it off the streets.

 

The more options available to the PATIENT the better...... right ??

Well that's exactly my point. Maybe I just didn't understand the original post. More options the better.

 

And with the announcement that the Feds are now licensing 55 grow locations, it is pretty obvious there is a change brewing, and it won't be good for any of us.

 

And if you think Dispensaries are expensive, wait till a pharmacy starts selling it.

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Well that's exactly my point. Maybe I just didn't understand the original post. More options the better.

 

And with the announcement that the Feds are now licensing 55 grow locations, it is pretty obvious there is a change brewing, and it won't be good for any of us.

 

And if you think Dispensaries are expensive, wait till a pharmacy starts selling it.

 

 

You have a link to this

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Guest Happy Guy

Actually the post was inaccurate. There are 55 places registered to work with drugs like marinol.

 

http://medicalmarijuana.com/medical-marijuana-news/title.cfm?artID=91

 

 

Cedar

That still is not right. They are guessing. The say 'it appears' because that is what they want you to believe. These permits are for medical research into what cannabis plants can do to help sick people. It's exactly what we asked for and needed. It is very good news. Pretty hard to see a bad side to letting research companies finally do their studies in the United States. The federal government here is finally opening their eyes and embracing the cannabis plant as real medicine.

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