Federal law enforcement has been brutal on medical marijuana providers who are operating legally under state laws across the country. And not only have they likely enjoyed using all their military-grade equipment to bash in doors and look intimidating while doing it, they’ve also made off with some serious loot. A new proposed piece of legislation seeks to change at least some of that.
Civil asset forfeiture allows the government to seize property that they believe was used in the commission of a crime, or that is the fruit of a crime. In other words, if you run a medical marijuana dispensary and you have your office decorated with nice furniture—they can take it. If you used your earnings to buy a house and car—they can take that too. And if you are a property owner and happen to rent to a dispensary—they can take your building.
Insane. the Feds have been making it as difficult as possible to run a 100% legal business in many states, if your business just happens to be a medical marijuana dispensary.
According to NORML, the proposed legislation would apply in states where medical marijuana statutes have been passed and in situations where dispensaries are in compliance with that state’s laws.
Representative Barbara Lee, the bill’s sponsor says, “As a long-time supporter of the rights of patients to have safe and legal access to medicine that has been recommended to them by their doctors, this bill will provide clarification to California businesses and security for California patients. The people of California have made it legal for patients to have safe access to medicinal marijuana and, as a result, thousands of small business owners have invested millions of dollars in building their companies, creating jobs, and paying their taxes. We should be protecting and implementing the will of voters, not undermining our democracy by prosecuting small business owners who pay taxes and comply with the laws of their states in providing medicine to patients in need.”
NORML is calling on people to contact their elected officials and urge the passing of this legislation. That information can be found here.
When the people vote to have something in their state, it would be nice if that was respected by the federal government. However, since the feds seem committed to fighting medical marijuana laws en masse, one potential solution, for now, is to hit them with some of their own medicine—federal law.
Many people are so discouraged with what they see as the government’s desire to squash all medical marijuana movements, that they resort to buying on the black market even when they may have a legitimate cause for marijuana treatment. However, without the proper approval in place, you will face criminal charges if caught in possession or cultivating pot.