dea emails marijuana
Ending Marijuana Prohibition

Are The Feds Still Gathering Evidence Against Marijuana Companies?

dea emails marijuanaThe federal government has long waged a war against marijuana. Even as marijuana becomes legal in more and more states for recreational use, the feds are still lurking in the shadows. Remember when Barack Obama said he would respect state medical marijuana laws? And remember when Eric Holder said he would respect state marijuana laws (to much fan fare from the marijuana community both times)? Well consider a report that was released detailing how the federal government is still gathering evidence against marijuana companies across the country. Per Marijuana Business Daily:

The federal government has stockpiled more than 1,100 “suspicious activity reports” that could possibly be used to shut down state-sanctioned marijuana companies across the country, according to the report. In just a seven-month period this year, between February and August, banks filed over 475 “marijuana termination” reports, essentially telling the feds that they shut down accounts because of potentially criminal activity.

The suspicious activity reports were born from guidelines for banks and the cannabis industry established by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which were ironically were meant to make it easier for marijuana companies to get bank accounts.

As long as the federal government prohibits marijuana, the feds will always go after the marijuana industry. No matter what the President says, and not matter what the Attorney General says. We can never get complacent, no matter how many states have passed reform. We must keep fighting until federal prohibition ends.

  • wowFAD

    The Attorney General thought he was being clever by issuing these guidelines to banks, instead of simply using the legal power granted to him by the Controlled Substances Act to reschedule cannabis. Removing cannabis from Schedule 1 would have nullified the need for special guidelines and “suspicious activity reports.” I wonder if he’s still “satisfied” with what his office has “done” over the last five years. If simply carrying on the drug war with a slightly more obfuscated paper trail than before was Eric Holder’s goal, he’s achieved it.

    What bothers me is that the banks are the ones responsible for this “stockpile” — they’re the ones writing and submitting the reports. The DOJ guildelines were supposed to facilitate banking for the cannabis industry, not give banks a special letter head to use when denying accounts to cannabis businesses.

    Frankly, I’d like to know what the banks are saying to justify all of these reports. If a cannabis business is compliant with state laws, no action is required. The guidelines specify that an SAR should be submitted when a bank suspects a cannabis business of violating STATE law, not federal. How are so many bankers able to detect state law being violated — 1100 times? I wasn’t aware that the qualifications for working in a bank are the same as for working at the FBI. Are cannabis business owners just terrible at keeping their books balanced properly, or are banks trying to ensure their backsides are covered by submitting an SAR for every cannabis business that applies for an account?

    The perceived “one step forward” of these banking guidelines turned out to be two steps back — par for the Obama administration when it comes to the drug war. I regret feeling optimistic about the guidelines, earlier this year. It would be nice to be wrong about something that turned out *better* than expected.

    • Dusty Relic

      The thing is the guidelines are just guidelines; they have no legal force and provide banks with no safe harbor. So banks are covering their butts. After all, managing risk is what they do.

      • wowFAD

        I just feel bad for HOPING their desire to do business with the fastest growing industry since smartphones would override their instinctual “butt-covering” reflex. I’d hoped greed would outweigh cowardice in their judgment.

        • Cowardice is a component of greed. “The fix is in” is a very old business strategy. The only answer is smaller government – fewer fixes.

          We are not going to win until cannabis gets the same treatment in law as do tomatoes.

          • Kathleen Chippi

            6-15-11 2:02pm – Original Title Board Hearing for “Regulate Marijuana” (A64) CO.
            Bill Hobbs-Deputy Sec of State
            Dan Dominico- Attorney Generals Office
            Jason Gelender- Senior Attorney Office of Legal Counsel
            Mason Tvert- A64 Proponent
            Steve Fox-Director of Public Relations Marijuana Policy Project, DC (on behalf
            of proponent Brian Vicente)
            Mr. Ramie-A64 /Proponents Attorney

            minute 50:55 seconds
            Mr. Ramie (A64 Attorney), “I think it would work if we deleted the word, starting on line 1, with legalization.”

            1 hour, 15 minutes, 46 seconds
            Mr.Fox (DC MPP/A64 co-author, on behalf of A64 proponent Brian Vicente), “Tomatoes are legal. You can buy them anywhere. Tomatoes have been legalized. But as you’ve seen with the medical marijuana system, it is a highly regulated (emphasis added) system by a regulatory agency and that is what we’re proposing. I appreciate that you prefer marijuana over legalization because legalization would be truly misleading as a part of the title.”

            1 hour, 21 minutes, 48 seconds
            Steve Fox (DC MPP/A64 co-author, on behalf of A64 proponent Brian Vicente), “I mean she made our point better than we have, which is legalization is not what this is. She said it clearly and they are going to propose an initiative regarding the legalization of marijuana. What we are doing is regulating marijuana. It’s a significant legal difference and it would be inaccurate to call it legalization.”

            So it’s clear CO does not have legal pot, so says the A64 SCAMpaigners attorneys/authors, the state AG and the CO Appeals Court. The Patient and Caregiver Rights Litigation Project (PCRLP) has a brief in Coats v. Dish Network that is the ONLY hope for the CO Supreme Court to overturn the lower court rulings. But there are 6 other briefs arguing against. It is still a David and Goliath battle. Ruling is expected in early 2015. Then the world will know: Is cannabis lawful (in a state with 2 constitutional amendments that do NOT clearly legalize). Oh and the A64 people: safer, sensible CO?, MPP, DPA, ASA, NORML, NCIA have never filed a lawsuit in CO to help us work through the 2 turds it dumped in our state that are causing the loss of employment, child custody, guns rights, gov, aid, student loans, banking, housing and freedom. That is what wowfab calls legalization. But what can you expect from someone with little to no brain activity.

        • Kathleen Chippi

          LMFAO. Yeah, keep feeling bad.

          • wowFAD

            Ha. Thanks for reminding me how I got to you. You deserved every last word.

  • Alan

    This is why I’ve always liked the MMJ programs in California and Washington. Because of the lack of regulation, they cannot be tracked and shut down by the government with ease.

  • Kathleen Chippi

    “Well consider a report that was released detailing how the federal
    government is still gathering evidence against marijuana companies
    across the country”

    Oh, it’s just begun. Just like all the MED regulations that require every customer in a store is identifiable via video/ID/receipt. They published their results on July 9, 2014. They just got the ‘seed to sale tracking’ up and running and that was the point of all of this over regulation – data collecting for (possible) future prosecution. Having it hang over your head sure must suck but they paid the state big bucks to be protected from the so called ‘black market’ in a so called ‘legalized’ state.

    The (over) tax and (over) regulate people set up a model that makes the MMJ/MJ business licensees informants for law enforcement and if they ‘report suspicious activity’ themselves on patients/caregivers and customers.

    So we have the banks narcing out the stores and the stores narcing out the customers and all of it goes to the feds in a nice wrapped package. Being a pot cop never was so easy.

    • Yes. And see my other comment on this thread. The gist of it:

      We are not going to win until cannabis gets the same treatment in law as do tomatoes.

      • wowFAD

        Good thing you agreed with her — when you don’t, she tries to have you thrown in jail.

        Back in 2012, Kathleen Chippi was in Colorado doing everything she could to hog credit for the legalization initiative. She was vehemently against the language for A64 in favor of her own language. She tried to wrangle support for her version, but CO went with the A64 language, instead.

        Out of bitterness, just a few weeks before the 2012 election, many months after A64’s language was being used ubiquitously around Colorado, Kathleen Chippi filed a legal complaint against it. She tried to have A64 taken off the ballot, but was willing to settle for putting her fellow “advocates” in jail for ignoring her. Worse yet, she keeps insisting CO doesn’t have legalization, but she LIVES there and enjoys the protections of what she calls “fake” legalization.

        And just to put a finer point on it, her ego and vanity are so wildly out of control, she accused the people responsible for this blog of “censorship” because her comments weren’t posted, immediately. In fact, her exact words were that she “got us this far” so she deserved special treatment from Johnny Green. That’s why I felt compelled to point out that we “got this far” in spite of her, not because of her.

        After I jumped her case over her stark, glaring hypocrisy and her audacity in condescending to the people who are responsible for this blog, she called me a coward for commenting anonymously. Given the fact that I live in Georgia, not Colorado, and Kathleen Chippi has proven publcily her willingness to throw other advocates in jail to sooth her wounded pride, I’m quite glad my comments are far-removed from my identity. In Georgia, an innocent man (he didn’t have any drugs) was shot and killed in his home on a drug raid, this fall. Earlier this year, Georgia police threw a grenade through a window into a baby’s crib. The same county shot and killed an innocent Pastor at an ATM, two years prior. It’s pretty obvious why I keep my most fervent advocacy removed from my name/address — I don’t want a parallel investigation spurred by something I’ve SAID to result in my losing my home, my job, perhaps my life.

        Kathleen Chippi lives in Colorado where she insists they don’t have legalization (the legalization she wants credit for achieving). Well I live in the South, and we don’t have anything even slightly ressembling legalization that we can have self-serving semantic arguments about on our way to our non-existent dispensary. I don’t have the freedom Kathleen Chippi does, but she has the gall to turn her nose up at legalization because her name wasn’t at the top of the bill. All while she simultaneously extorts special treatment from other advocates, and despite her attempt to stab the proponents of A64 (and everyone in CO) in the back.

        Just a friendly warning that you want to be careful about who you high-five. With “advocates” like Kathleen Chippi around, Kevin Sabet’s job is exponentially easier.

        • Kathleen Chippi

          Again, since you do not read and so you don’t sound so foolish (like Russ Belville) when you ‘relay’ your hate for me in the future: you have inaccurately accused me of trying to remove A64 from the ballot. NO ONE can remove an initiative from ballot status, period.

          So you sound like an idiot to people who are educated when you say this. I’m sure ignorant people love your misinterpretation of the law and hate for me…but so you don’t sound so dumb next time for intelligent people, feel free to quote me:

          My complaint was based on the criminal act of lying to the voters by the proponents–which is illegal. Had it had been successful, there would have been a cease and desist order for the SCAMpaign to stop lying to the voters (something you seem okay with) so no more “legalize” or “legalization” or “like alcohol” or “end prohibition” or “prevents 10,000 arrests” false promises when marketing–because they were/are all untrue. The proponents (Mason and Brian) could have done up to a year in prison and been fined (I think it was up to 1,000). They would have had to be honest with voters and forced to call it what it is “decriminalized possession of small amounts” that prevents ZERO jail-able offenses from Title 18–the criminal code.

          “Worse yet, she keeps insisting CO doesn’t have legalization, but she LIVES there and enjoys the protections of what she calls “fake” legalization.” and “Kathleen Chippi lives in Colorado where she insists they don’t have legalization”

          Did you forget the title of the article or the content? I know it only addresses the “still federally illegal issue’ and not the state ‘illegal issue’, but get a clue. I told you in the last thread you tried to attack me in. Maybe re-read? http://www.theweedblog.com/respecting-stoner-culture-will-pay-off-for-new-marijuana-investors/#comment-1724231466

          As far as today:

          First: little boy who rides the short bus, I did not wait for fake ‘legalization’ to enjoy anything-I spent 20 plus years educating and smoking better herb then what’s sold to losers with no grower friends or grower experience for 4 times the value and only an idiot who wants to incriminate themselves has gone into a pot shop as all it is is a data gathering (informant) for the feds NCIC.

          1. “Worse yet” is the REALITY that other than myself the CO Attorney General is arguing to the CO Supreme Court in Coats v. Dish Newtork that ALL cannabis (MMJ and MJ) is STILL ILLEGAL at both STATE and federal levels.

          2. The Appeals court has ruled 4 times now that ALL cannabis is ILLEGAL.

          3. And since the proponents and attorneys for A64 testified on public record that they were NOT LEGALIZING at title board hearings–it would seem the courts and the AG are simply in agreement with the LYING SCAMaigners for A64 who marketed “legalization” to idiots like yourself that apparently cannot read or comprehend.

          1 hour, 21 minutes, 48 seconds A64 title board hearing

          Steve Fox (DC MPP/A64 co-author, on behalf of A64 proponent Brian Vicente), “I mean she made our point better than we have, which is legalization is not what this is. She said it clearly and they are going to propose an initiative regarding the legalization of marijuana. What we are doing is regulating marijuana. It’s a significant legal difference and it would be inaccurate to call it legalization.””

          and

          1 hour, 15 minutes, 46 seconds

          “Mr. Fox (DC MPP/A64 co-author, on behalf of A64 proponent Brian Vicente), “Tomatoes are legal. You can buy them anywhere. Tomatoes have been legalized. But as you’ve seen with the medical marijuana system, it is a highly regulated (emphasis added) system by a regulatory agency and that is what we’re proposing. I appreciate that you prefer marijuana over legalization because legalization would be truly misleading as a part of the title.””

          “Well I live in the South, and we don’t have anything even slightly resembling legalization”

          Perhaps because you losers don’t have and are not activists like we were in CO–since before you were born, little boy. Your A64 ‘friends’ were brought here in 2006- and are carpet baggers funded buy Monsanto’s number one murdering/poisoning whore, George Soros. – AFTER a handful of us educated the state in the 1990’s and after the sate was polled by MPP to be ready for MMJ in 1997. Just because losers like you will settle for BULLSHIT, you think we all should dumb ourselves down to your crawling?

          And I’m still wondering–What do YOU have against legalizing pot for ALL PEOPLE for ALL USES–because that is what I have been doing for decades.

          • Been around

            “First: little boy who rides the short bus,…”

            “Perhaps because you losers don’t have and are not activists like we were in CO–since before you were born, little boy. ”

            ———–

            This really can’t be Kathleen Chippi speaking like this, CAN IT? There is NO WAY that ANY public figure would talk like this, is there?

            Am I wrong? Is this truly Kathleen Chippi speaking like this?

          • Kathleen Chippi

            LOL… There is a RUSH song that inspires me that might enlighten you. Well a few. But for all the BS with the course we are now on. First to answer your question:

            FORCE TEN- RUSH

            “Tough times demand, tough talk demand
            Tough hearts demand tough songs
            Tough times demand, tough talk demand
            Tough hearts demand, tough songs demand

            We can rise and fall like empires
            Flow in and out like the tide
            Be vain and smart, humble and dumb
            We can hit and miss like pride, just like pride
            We can circle around like hurricanes
            Dance and dream like lovers
            Attack the day like birds of prey
            A scavengers under cover, under cover

            Look in to the eye of the storm
            Look out for the force without form
            Look around, sight and sound
            Look in, look out, look around

            Tough times demand, tough talk demand
            Tough hearts demand, tough songs demand”

            And why I will continue to fight for legalization for everyone for all uses:

            “Mission”-RUSH

            “Hold your fire
            Keep it burning bright
            Hold the flame ’til the dream ignites
            A spirit with a vision is a dream
            With a mission

            I hear their passionate music
            Read the words that touch my heart
            I gaze at their feverish pictures
            The secrets that set them apart
            When I feel the powerful visions
            Their fire has made alive
            I wish I had that instinct
            I wish I had that drive

            Spirits fly on dangerous missions
            Imaginations on fire
            Focused high on soaring ambitions
            Consumed in a single desire
            In the grip of a nameless possession
            A slave to the drive of obsession
            A spirit with a vision is a dream

            With a mission

            I watch their images flicker
            Bringing light to a lifeless screen
            I walk through their beautiful buildings
            And I wish I had their dreams

            But dreams don’t need to have motion
            To keep their spark alive
            Obsession has to have action
            Pride turns on the drive

            It’s cold comfort
            To the ones without it
            To know how they struggled
            How they suffered about it
            If their lives were exotic and strange

            They would likely have gladly exchanged them
            For something a little more plain
            Maybe something a little more sane

            We each pay a fabulous price
            For our visions of paradise
            But a spirit with a vision is a dream
            With a mission”

            And what we are living with now is nothing more than:

            “BIG MONEY”-RUSH

            “Big money goes around the world
            Big money underground
            Big money got a mighty voice
            Big money make no sound

            Big money pull a million strings
            Big money hold the prize
            Big money weave a mighty web
            Big money draw the flies

            Sometimes pushing people around
            Sometimes pulling out the rug
            Sometimes pushing all the buttons
            Sometimes pulling out the plug

            It’s the power and the glory
            It’s a war in paradise
            It’s a Cinderella story
            On a tumble of the dice

            Big money goes around the world
            Big money take a cruise
            Big money leave a mighty wake
            Big money leave a bruise
            Big money make a million dreams
            Big money spin big deals
            Big money make a mighty head
            Big money spin big wheels

            Sometimes building ivory towers
            Sometimes knocking castles down
            Sometimes building you a stairway
            Lock you underground

            It’s that old-time religion
            It’s the kingdom they would rule
            It’s the fool on television
            Getting paid to play the fool
            It’s the power and the glory

            It’s a war in paradise
            It’s a Cinderella story
            On a tumble of the dice

            Big money goes around the world
            Big money give and take
            Big money done a power of good
            Big money make mistakes
            Big money got a heavy hand
            Big money take control
            Big money got a mean streak
            Big money got no soul”

          • Been around

            … and you use this as a justification or a platform for calling someone a “little boy who rides the short bus” ?

            First and foremost, don’t you think that the use of this language is offensive to those who are riding those “short buses” or the parents of those who ride those “short buses”. You use their affliction or life-challenge as a derogatory attack on another???

            It’s bad enough that you have to resort to name-calling in an attempt to have your stance have impact but you are so offensive in your delivery that I doubt very much that you were successful.
            I don’t know in what capacity you operate e.g. public servant/elected official, concerned citizen, political advocate, etc. but I have NEVER seen someone of intelligence AND integrity resort to choosing terms like you have here.

            Certainly you don’t believe that this approach enhances your posture or your ability to have people align themselves with you and your position, do you? I wouldn’t expect to find this type of talk on the school ground, much less from an adult with ANY type of integrity or consideration for others.

            And to quote lyrics from a musical band to get your point across or to defend your behavior is, well, quite ineffective.

            If you don’t mind, would you be receptive to conveying publicly here just what position(s) you hold in the public realm? If it is just a “concerned citizen”, that is fine because most posters are just that — citizens that choose to convey their own personal take or opinion on a specific subject matter.

            So, once again, do you hold public office or are you speaking for a certain group of concerned citizens?

            Thank you kindly for listening, Kathleen and at least I, and maybe a few more readers, are curious as to your background and just as importantly, why you feel you have to resort to using the terminology you did in responding to another forum poster.

            Thanks again…

          • Kathleen Chippi

            Been around — sorry for your shock–I will gladly explain myself. Apparently you have not read wowfad’s personal attacks on myself for the last few weeks. I’m not gonna rehash it all here because you can read so you can read wowfads paragraphs of hateful personal attacks directed at me right here in the weed blog over at the “Respecting stoner culture will pay off for new marijuana investors”. Read it all. I think my response is tame and appropriate.

            http://www.theweedblog.com/respecting-stoner-culture-will-pay-off-for-new-marijuana-investors/

          • Been around

            Kathleen — Regardless of the “personal attacks” upon you, that is not the gist of my stance around your choice of terms. I have no problem with rebuttals or at times, even responding in a way that seems “parallel” to the words used to respond to you or about you. Once again, it is the choice of terms/phrases that you employed that I have an issue with.

            There is no doubt that you feel strongly about not only the issues at hand, but also around how one talks to you or about you. But you cross the proverbial line when you rebut by using terms and/or phrases that degrade an individual or group of individuals who, by no choice of their own, have been born with a “different path in life” i.e. the individuals who ride “short buses”. THIS is the very crux of my discussion around your writings.

            Obviously, you can choose any “style” of name-calling you choose, for there are an infinite amount, but using a certain group of individuals born with “different opportunities in life” who ride these “short buses” just crosses the line of civility.

            I am sure that if you had a family member born with a “challenge”, you would be more sensitive to what labels you use to place on another person that you disagree with. That’s all I’m trying to get across…

            Peace.

          • Kathleen Chippi

            Thank you for you opinion. Since I chose not to use words like “retard” and since I am speaking about one person who intentionally, imo, has eared my tame response which was not intended as a generalization, I’m good with it.

          • Kathleen Chippi

            “So, once again, do you hold public office or are you speaking for a certain group of concerned citizens?”

            What would make you think I hold public office? I’m sure you can google and find out exactly who I am.

            I speak on behalf of every CO voter who was lied to (and doesn’t yet know it) by AMMR (A20 1997-2000) and sensible/SAFER (A64 2011-2012) — who was told that cannabis (medical or A64) was “legal”, “legalized” or would be “regulated like alcohol” or that CO “ended prohibition”. I hold the lonely position of being the only person or entity in this state that has preemptively sued the state, the CDPHE and the DoR so every single cannabis user won’t be in harms way, as they currently are under 4 Appeals Court rulings against rights and against legalization–so the current law of the land is not legalization, in the court of law and that is all that matters.

  • Johnny,

    If you consider all the moves being made currently and evaluate them as ways to keep Prohibition in place without the expense of jailing customers excessively I think it will all make more sense.

    We are not going to win until cannabis gets the same treatment in law as do tomatoes.

  • massvocals

    Please head up …Everyone ” every citizen” when you vote for cannabis you vote for liberty . this vote will cause a domino effect surly will also free yourselves form the suppressive prohibitionist agenda. Those people though law enforcement , prison fines forfeiture including employment control your very life , When you vote and I for legalization you vote to end the police state diven by drug war laws Made by prohibitionist and free by patriotism is our way please vote 2016 to legalization path for freedom

  • massvocals

    don’t vote for any congress or sen. or president who will not stand up end prohibition and legalize

  • kycountry

    the thing is…….we’re all watched. nothing can stop this forward movement, take pictures, and enjoy the ride…..

  • David

    The Seattle Times reported yesterday that the city of Seattle is seeking legislation through the mayor’s office to begin regulating the cities estimated 300-340 Medical marijuana dispensaries. The city wants all medical products tested and to have standardized packaging and label’s. There was NO MENTION of “folding” the dispensaries into the rec. 502 retail store system. They also announced that they will also begin shutting down retail delivery services, of which there are an estimated 40-50 currently operating within the city. Personally, I’d prefer they leave the medical dispensaries alone entirely but that’s not going to happen. They want all medical dispensaries to have or obtain state/ city licenses. This is encouraging for those of us including myself, that want to see our medical dispensaries remain separate and free of the 502 recreational system and remain open for medical purposes only.