MMJ Low Priority, Oregon’s New U.S. Attorney Says

May 22, 2012

The pro­lif­er­a­tion of dispensary-style med­ical mar­i­juana oper­a­tions in Ore­gon con­cerns the state’s new U.S. Attor­ney, but she said she’s unwill­ing to devote much time or money to pros­e­cut­ing a crim­i­nal activ­ity that’s low on her list of pri­or­i­ties. U.S. Attor­ney Amanda Mar­shall said the num­ber of dis­pen­saries in Ore­gon has been grow­ing. Her office esti­mates the state hosts at least 100, most of which are in the Port­land metro area. In 2010, Marshall’s pre­de­ces­sor joined his coun­ter­parts in other med­ical mar­i­juana states by send­ing warn­ing let­ters to oper­a­tions it felt were the most egre­gious offend­ers of the state’s med­ical mar­i­juana law, threat­en­ing them — or their land­lords — with civil asset for­fei­ture if they didn’t close shop. The prob­lem, Mar­shall said, is that Oregon’s med­ical mar­i­juana law was passed with­out any enforce­ment power or extra money for local agen­cies to crack down on the worst actors. “I don’t know that the law itself is the prob­lem, so much as the lack of over­sight in terms of the med­ical mar­i­juana grows and dis­tri­b­u­tion,” Mar­shall said Fri­day. “When you look at it, you’ve (had) a hand­ful of pros­e­cu­tions and you’ve got over 100 dis­pen­saries, there’s no over­sight. “They passed this law, and there’s no addi­tional resources or fund­ing mech­a­nisms for law enforce­ment.” Med­ical mar­i­juana took cen­ter stage in Ore­gon pol­i­tics last week when it emerged as a flash­point in the Demo­c­ra­tic pri­mary for state attor­ney gen­eral. For­mer interim U.S. Attor­ney Dwight Holton had crit­i­cized the state pro­gram as a ”train wreck,” mobi­liz­ing mar­i­juana advo­cates to lobby against him. It’s impos­si­ble to tell whether the issue played a role in Holton’s loss to retired judge Ellen Rosen­blum, but it accounted for at least one-quarter of Rosenblum’s fundrais­ing. Mar­shall said she wouldn’t use the words ”train wreck” to describe Oregon’s law. “I’m not here to say this law is good or bad or to sug­gest future leg­is­la­tion or future pol­icy direc­tion,“ said Mar­shall, who took office in Octo­ber. ”Peo­ple say, ‘You’re the U.S. attor­ney, are you going to go after med­ical mar­i­juana?’ No I’m not. I don’t care about med­ical mar­i­juana.“ The state’s law, passed in 1998, allows patients to pos­sess 24 ounces of mar­i­juana. In 2010, Ore­gon vot­ers rejected a bal­lot mea­sure that would have legal­ized California-style dis­pen­saries. Cannabis club own­ers say their prop­er­ties aren’t dis­pen­saries but havens for cannabis users to obtain and use the med­i­cine they would oth­er­wise have to grow them­selves, have grown for them or buy on the black mar­ket. They say mar­i­juana avail­able at cannabis clubs often comes from autho­rized grow­ers who donate it. To Mar­shall, the threat isn’t from can­cer patients grow­ing plants in their win­dow boxes for per­sonal con­sump­tion. Rather, it’s drug traf­fick­ing oper­a­tions that move bales of mar­i­juana from Ore­gon and California’s fer­tile grow­ing cli­mate to the East Coast, where it retails for $5,000 per pound. “Pounds and pounds and pounds of mar­i­juana are being shipped out of Ore­gon, not to sick peo­ple need­ing cards but to drug deal­ers who are sell­ing it, who are laun­der­ing money, who are evad­ing taxes,” she said, “and it’s dan­ger­ous busi­ness.” Vot­ers didn’t know what they would get when they approved the law in 1998, Mar­shall said. They approved six plants per patient, believ­ing the yields would be suf­fi­cient for per­sonal con­sump­tion, she said. “Peo­ple weren’t think­ing about the plants that we saw pulled out of the ground in South­ern Ore­gon that pro­duced 10 pounds of man­i­cured, smok­able mar­i­juana bud,” Mar­shall said. “These peo­ple are mas­ter gar­den­ers. “I wish I could grow toma­toes like that.” Source: States­man Jour­nal (OR) Author: Nigel Duara Pub­lished: May 21, 2012 Copy­right: 2012 States­man Jour­nal Con­tact: letters@​statesmanjournal.​com Web­site: http://​www​.states​man​jour​nal​.com/

d8c4e6880d9.bin .jpg 150x88 MMJ Low Priority, Oregon’s New U.S. Attorney Says

See more here:
MMJ Low Pri­or­ity, Oregon’s New U.S. Attor­ney Says

Leave a Comment