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Holder: Federal Interference In Medical Marijuana A Low Priority


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Could of fooled me...

Holder: Federal Interference In Medical Marijuana A Low Priority




It's easy to get whiplash trying to keep up with federal medical marijuana policy, and my neck's hurting again after hearing the latest from Attorney General Eric Holder. Holder on Thursday repeated the support of the Department of Justice for the Ogden Memo, the 2009 policy statement which deprioritized the prosecution of medical marijuana providers who are following state law.

"What we said in the memo we still intend, which is that given the limited resources that we have, and if there are states that have medical marijuana provisions ... if in fact people are not using the policy decision that we have made to use marijuana in a way that's not consistent with the state statute, we will not use our limited resources in that way," Holder said in his usual convoluted (dare I say tortured?) fashion, reports Lucia Graves at Huffington Post.

Holder's pained expression and body language as he deals with the question speak volumes. The Administration is caught between a rock (federal marijuana laws) and a hard place (the cannabis vote), which means "break out the fancy footwork" every time the subject comes up.


An interesting question at this point is if the continued wails of dismay from the medical marijuana community -- sizable numbers of whom, during the 2008 election, had lined up behind Obama and his seemingly medicinal cannabis-friendly (or at least reasonable) stance -- is finally starting to once again impact the Administration's stated policy.


Holder's comments came in response to a question from Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) during a hearing on the DOJ's scandalous program of handing out weapons to Mexican drug cartels.


Polis -- a longtime friend to the medical marijuana community-- asked about the recent federal saber rattling and crackdown on California dispensaries, where the state's four U.S. Attorneys have forced hundreds of collectives to close down in the past two months. The shutdowns have come largely as a result of threatening letters sent by all four U.S. Attorneys' offices, threatening landlords with property seizure, dispensary operators with eviction, and both with imprisonment.


Polis asked whether Colorado dispensaries could expect to get different treatment.


"It's my understand [California] did not have a functional state-level regulatory authority," Polis said, "Colorado does have an extensive state regulatory and licensing system for medical marijuana, and I'd like to ask whether our thoughtful state regulation ... provides any additional protection to Colorado from federal intervention."


Holder's vague response did give Polis reason to hope for better treatment of Colorado colletives, at the same time hinting that California's regulation of the shops is seen as ineffective.


"Where a state has taken a position, has passed a law and people are acting in conformity with the law -- not abusing the law -- that would not be a priority with the limited resources of our Justice Department," Holder said.


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Its all political wording. I keep saying a federal change is coming soon. We have what now 3 or 4 governors asking for re scheduling with more to follow, its an election year and they are trying not too alienate the medical marijuana voters, how does that happen? Concession without looking soft or as giving in. The fed is going to ok the states laws but demand it be distributed through pharmacies or at best licensed and regulated dispensaries. Writings on the wall folks, I see change coming soon but I believe it will wipe out the care giver/ home growing operations.

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Agreed with Resto. The present mmj status nationwide reminds me of 1979, think it was, that President Jimmy Carter signed a law allowing homebrew beer and wine production for the first time since Prohibition. Reversing that had been hard-fought for decades by the alcohol industry of course. Similar to today, homebrewers cannot brew or sell products in retail stores, privately only. Enter the mmj laws across the country... again as Resto points out, currently cannabis dispensaries in Michigan are suppressed (mostly) whereas CG/PT private transfer is permitted by our MMMAct.

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Yah, I think its about making room for Big Pharma to roll out their canna-based drugs.


The Fed and States want to keep local small businesses, who are currently servicing the MMJ market, from stealing Big Pharma's future profits.


E.g. Why even let small businesses open shop when Walmarts coming to town anyway?


Let's just say the Feds are against it, before they were for it, but not after they were for being against it again for sure.....

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If the voters of a state choose to pass a law allowing 'dispensaries' then that state should be allowed to to have those dispensaries without interference from the Federal government.


Just as we here in Michigan should be able to rely upon our MMMAct to use MMJ without Federal intervention.

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This was an astonishing moment in this ongoing investigation by the House Oversight Committee. Surely caught Holden a bit offguard. Mr Jared Polis is intruduced as the newest member of the committee. It's worth checking out. He is introduced here by the Chair for the first time and his 5 minutes were well used. Worth checking out it is right at the beginning of this tape here:


Jared Polis v Holder OK this gets you there then click on "Operation Fast and Furious" hearing: Part 3"


Another quick summary of some of the other content discussed :S King v Holder - fox

Edited by solabeirtan
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