by Big Buddha
… and the lies continue.
Late Thursday afternoon the DEA sent out 23 notices to medical marijuana collectives located in Western Washington state. The intent of these letters was to notify 23 pot shops… and warn them that if they did not cease operations within 30 days, they would be arrested, their marijuana would be seized and the landlord’s property would be confiscated.
When word got out of the DEA’s most recent letter writing campaign aimed at crushing the spirit of both the collective owner, and the intent of the law. The first question on everyone’s mind was who receiving these letters? As both the Washington State U.S. attorney’s office — and the Drug Enforcement Administration — had shown strong support for these unwarranted threats; the obvious question is who are these 23 collectives?
While Western Washington has been a little late to the “Feds v. State” mmj game, Mr. Matthew G. Barnes — the DEA’s ‘main man’ in the Seattle area, threatened that there would be many “more letters” to follow. The sinister tone of these letters is aimed at undermining the property owners – and their sense of constitutional rights. As such, the ominous subtext to these letters – is that should the property owner decide not to kick out their current tenant. They will be criminally prosecuted and face the very real likelihood – they would also lose their property through the forfeiture process.
These letters sent out by the US attorney’s office, were similar in nature to the ones written and sent to many of the medical marijuana collectives in Colorado, Northern California and Oregon. These letters have sparked a much-needed debate surrounding the 10th amendment. As the federal actions have more often than not – collided – with state medical marijuana laws, which have been voter approved. The feds claim to be targeting marijuana superstores and those which may be too close to schools, despite the states regulations that have disallowed collectives from locating closer than 1000 feet to any K-12 institution.
“I am confident that once notified of the ramifications and penalties associated with renting a property for marijuana distribution purposes, property owners will take appropriate steps to rectify the situation on their own. The DEA will not turn a blind eye to criminal organizations that attempt to use state or local law as a shield for their illicit drug trafficking activities,” Barnes said in a statement. source
Washington’s medical marijuana situation is a bit of a strange bird. In 2011 the Washington state legislature had managed to pass a law that would have legalized medical marijuana and the collectives that distribute it. But as Gov. Chris Gregorie was not on board with the whole “medical marijuana” idea, he vetoed the law. As a direct result of this, the state of Washington was left with one of the more under regulated medicinal pot industries in the entire country.
Now – in the state of Washington, 10 patients can gather together in order to grow a 45 marijuana plant “collective gardening co-op.” Washington’s marijuana law permits their local municipalities to regulate these rapidly growing pot operations. With more than 140 collectives operating in the greater Seattle area the city has gone to great lengths to make sure that they are properly regulated and licensed, in addition to pain all of their taxes. As initiative 502 fires up a heated debate within the state of Washington the timing of the DEA’s announcement to crack down on Washington state medical marijuana industry is no coincidence.
This post originally appeared on Marijuana.com and was republished with special permission.