Saturday, June 22, 2013

Cotter Puts Kabosh On Medical Marijuana In Montana


Feds Bust Legal Operations, Operators Cry Foul

June 22, 2013  At the very moment the Montana legislature was in session working on tweaking the states medical marijuana law, the feds dressed in hazmat suits raided legal medial marijuana greenhouses and dispensaries.  The Obama administration appointed U.S. Attorney General is taking aim at legal medical marijuana saying, in so many words "It is illegal under federal law, we don't care what the voters and the states say."

When the guys in the blue suits and shiny badges raided California pot growers they gave all of the business fair warning.  Not the case in Montana.  In fact, the Montana growers, who were performing their duties under color of state law, had no idea the feds were going to pull the plug on the state program.

Mike Cotter, acting for the federal government, charged the growers with federal crimes which could amount to life sentences.  He was not content to stop with growers.  He also charged their accountants, landlords and even some of their spouses. Despite a memorandum handed down by Deputy Attorney General, David Ogden, Cotter knows best.

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The heavy hand of the federal government dictating what is best within each state has been a contentious issue since the civil war.  Unlike slavery, an evil institution, the attack on legal medical marijuana operations is hardly cut and dry.  The federal government says weed is bad stuff.  The state bureaucrats, having been fully apprised and likely even sampled the product over their tenure, don't agree.  Citizens in various states don't agree, either.  Many think throwing the book at marijuana operations is no way to win the war on drugs.  Instead, they have elected to license the distribution for medical purposes and tax the reefer out of marijuana sales.  The tax dollars do more good than having legal pot sellers in prison on the government's dime.

While the federal government continues to spend tax money on spraying chemicals in Colombian jungles instead of building schools, some states have chosen to capitalize on the industry.  The revenues from sales help law enforcement concentrate on serious crime.  The revenues have been applied to everything from better schools to better law enforcement.  Substantial evidence exists marijuana is a viable alternative to stronger narcotics for patients resistant to less addictive medications.

Yet, Uncle Sam knows best.  They have to fill the private prisons owned by GEO Group, Inc. and other purveyors of prison for hire companies.  Cotter breaks the Obama memorandum issued through Eric Holder's office indicating no charges would be filed against medial marijuana companies operating within state law.

Undocumented immigrants understand the federal government's violation of Obama directives all too well.  After promising to attack the anti-immigrant institution which is turning the border into a battle zone and destabilizing Mexico, ICE refused to honor directives by it's own superiors.  Those directives required ICE to defer prosecution for many undocumented workers who qualify under a strict set of standards.  ICE frequently ignores the memorandum, insisting on sticking to self set quotas by deporting record numbers of  immigrants, the majority of whom don't even have a traffic ticket.

The federal government's refusal to respect orders and guidance from the President have forced Congress to take the matter up as a legislative issue.  Likely, the solution to the medical marijuana proposition lies in new federal laws which restrict over-reaching federal officials from intrusion into legal state enterprises.

Having set the precedent of ignoring orders handed down by Home Land Security, it is now easy for federal officials to ignore the guidance of their own departments.  While medical marijuana operators face life in prison, federal officials who ignore the orders of their superiors, including the orders of the President of the United States, run free.  Who, then, is in charge of our country?


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