Federal Government Intimidates Landlords to Destroy Medical Marijuana Industry
Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Fri, June, 15th 2012 by THCFinder
If you have followed the progress of the federal medical marijuana crackdown began in earnest last
fall, you know that while there have been armed raids of some dispensaries, the majority of closures
have come from federal intimidation of landlords. The owner of a building housing a medical marijuana
operation will invariably receive a letter from the U.S. Justice Department, telling them of all the awful
consequences they face if they do not shut the business down.
Facing the possible loss of their property under federal asset forfeiture laws, many landlords have
capitulated and closed the dispensary down.
"Filing asset-forfeiture lawsuits against these commercial properties is a very clever way to handle an
otherwise horribly difficult and controversial situation," said Greg Baldwin, a partner at the Miami law
firm Holland & Knight and a former federal prosecutor.
"If you bring criminal charges against these medical marijuana businesses, the federal government gets
pilloried in the press for attacking California law and sick people," Baldwin continued.
How clever of the government to attack sick people while trying to seem like they are not. But is their
subterfuge working? Recent polls show nearly 75% of respondents saying they oppose the federal
medical marijuana crackdown. It’s a very simple thing for people to see; decimating the suppliers of
medicine hurts those who need the medicine.
If the government was cracking down on Walgreens and CVS, the AARP would be up in arms and federal
policy would be quickly amended. Oftentimes it helps to have a rich and powerful lobby behind you.
"It's being done softly,” said Allen St. Pierre, Executive Director of NORML, “because if they tried to go
the harsh criminal route there is a very good chance they would not only fail but become even more
unpopular, something you tend to not want to do going into your last election."
But it’s already unpopular. We just have to make sure those in power know just how unpopular it is.
Medical Marijuana Growers Bankruptcy Case Thrown out by Judge
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Fri, June, 15th 2012 by THCFinder
While the fact that their product is illegal under federal law did not stand them good stead in
bankruptcy court to begin with, in the end the Chapter 11 case of CGO Enterprises LLC was thrown
out of court by Judge Michael Romero of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Denver because they filed
an “incomplete bankruptcy case” and then refused to provide the court with more information.
The judge waited for 42 days for a response from CGO, who filed their case on May 1 st in an attempt to
keep from being evicted from a warehouse in Denver, CO where they grow their plants. In court papers
the company claimed that it owed its landlord some $800,000.
But one has to wonder how far the case would have gone anyway, considering that marijuana
cultivation is illegal under the Federal Controlled Substances Act. “It is well known that the cultivation
and distribution of marijuana for profit would be a criminal violation of the federal Controlled
Substances Act and other narcotics statutes,” said a federal “watchdog,” Richard Wieland of the Justice
Department’s U.S. trustee office, in a court filing.
An attorney for CGO said the company didn’t disagree with the dismissal of the case, but that it did “not
agree with some of the allegations regarding ‘criminal’ activity made in such motion.”
In fact medical marijuana is heavily regulated in Colorado, but in federal court there is really no way
around the fact that it’s illegal under federal law.
The bottom line is that federal law infects just about every aspect of medical marijuana. It dictates
how many states react to medical cannabis, and just how much access patients get. Until federal law is
changed, medical marijuana patients will never truly be free.
And businesses will never be able to take advantage of the laws that “regular” businesses do.
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