Pro-marijuana Montana legislator investigated by DEA
Category: News | Posted on Mon, February, 6th 2012 by THCFinder
In a case that has implications for Colorado and other medical marijuana states, Montana legislator Diane Sands has come under investigation by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, but she doesn’t know why. She suspects the investigation is related to her advocacy of liberalized marijuana laws.
She told the Colorado Independent that she has no involvement in medical marijuana beyond her work in the legislature. The Missoula Democrat, though, has been very outspoken in the legislature, advocating for liberalized medical marijuana laws and also advocating for the federal de-listing of marijuana, so that it becomes an issue that can be decided by individual states.
“Because of the federal supremacy clause, federal law always trumps state law,” she says. “We fought a civil war over this. There is nothing a state can do to make marijuana legal, or even to make medical marijuana legal, but there is a process to change that at the federal level. Now that so many states have made medical marijuana legal, the federal government should remove marijuana from Schedule One of the Controlled Substances Act, and let the states regulate marijuana as they see fit,” she says.
“I don’t believe I should be investigated by the DEA for saying that. Any suggestion that the federal government is investigating me is very chilling. I’m an historian, so yes, I connect present activities to past activities, such as the Sedition Act of 1918 and the McCarthy hearings. When you have government officials investigating lawmakers because of how they pursue their official duties, you have a problem,” she contends.
“It is outrageous and absurd that the DEA would investigate a state lawmaker for doing her job: crafting state laws. When he ran for president, Barack Obama said he would not circumvent state medical marijuana laws. The president needs to keep his word and order the Justice Department to back off, and to focus on real crime instead of targeting medical marijuana providers and interfering with states’ democratic processes,” said Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies for the Marijuana Policy Project. “This could have a chilling effect on lawmakers who want to be involved in regulating medical marijuana in any state.”
“This is part of the continuing witch-hunt in Montana,” said Jim Gingery, executive director of the Montana Medical Growers Association. “They have already successfully intimidated law-abiding
businesspeople, and now they are attempting to intimidate any politician who is opposed to full prohibition. This is just the tip of the iceberg,” Gingery said. “They will try to discredit anyone involved in medical marijuana in Montana.”
Sands said her name came up when a DEA agent asked a witness whether Sands was involved in a drug conspiracy case under investigation. That person’s attorney told Sands that her name had come up.
KOCI station cancels medical marijuana radio show
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Mon, February, 6th 2012 by THCFinder
It's always sad to see something like this happening, no show should be shutting down because of federal influence, the people shouldn't have to worry about these things.
COSTA MESA – The "Cannabis Community" radio program on KOCI FM/101.5 was canceled by the station's management shortly before it was to air 11 a.m. Sunday.
As a non-profit, community radio station, KOCI "is required to remain neutral on controversial topics," General Manager Brent Kahlen said in an email to the Register.
"Cannabis Community" was hosted by U.S. Army veteran Robert Martinez, the former president of the Newport Mesa Patients Association, a medical marijuana provider. Last month, the United States Attorney's Office sent letters to Martinez and about three dozen other owners and operators of medical marijuana stores in the city, ordering them to close shop as part of a federal enforcement operation.
"In light of Martinez's difficulties with federal authorities in recent weeks, KOCI management felt it was in the community interest that the radio station no longer broadcast the 'Cannabis Community,'" Kahlen wrote.
Ten minutes before the broadcast on Sunday, Martinez said KOCI legal counsel Barry Jorgensen told him "Cannabis Community" had to be moved to a new time slot.
Later, he learned the show would not air at all, he said.
"We were all blow away," Martinez said Sunday afternoon. "It was mind-boggling. ... I'm sitting here still flabbergasted."
Martinez and the scheduled guest of Sunday's show, Sue Lester, sent out a press release Sunday afternoon that said federal officials influenced the station's decision.
Kahlen and Jorgensen both said that was not true.
Kahlen said that he did not speak directly to Martinez.
Jorgensen conceded he had communicated with Martinez in an "inelegant manner," and apologized for the misunderstandings in the statement from KOCI.
Kahlen said KOCI remains committed to providing fair access to all points of view.
Federal authorities recently raided three medical marijuana establishments in Costa Mesa and ordered the rest to be shut down.
Mayor Gary Monahan said he supported regulating medical marijuana dispensaries on a Jan. 8 broadcast of "Cannabis Community" from his bar, Skosh Monahan's.
Kahlen said he had received good feedback about the program in emails.
KOCI has been on the air for 3 1/2 years. As of two years ago when the last ratings poll was taken, the community station had 42,000 listeners across Costa Mesa, Newport Beach and Corona del Mar.
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