Tuesday, February 14, 2012

NORML: Berkeley Patients Group Got A Federal Letter

By David Downs
Tue, Feb 14, 2012 at 9:42 AM

From a report by California NORML Director Dale Gieringer at the behest of Congressman Barney Frank:
"As of this writing, DEA agents are actively investigating numerous other law-abiding, tax-paying San Francisco dispensaries. Across the Bay, the U.S. Attorney sent 1000-foot notice letters to the landlords of two prominent collectives that have been operating for years without complaint under established city ordinances. Both are well known for their active support for marijuana law reform. They are the Blue Sky Coffee Shop in Oakland, operated by Richard Lee, the renowned proponent of California's 2010 legalization initiative, and the Berkeley Patients' Group, one of the oldest collectives in the state, which is ideally located in a fenced lot with excellent security and parking."

Other excerpts:
"While it is still too early to tally the total cost of the DOJ crackdown, it can be estimated that it has so far resulted in the loss of thousands of tax-paying jobs and tens of millions of dollars in tax revenues."

"The DOJ has deliberately undermined local laws and regulations aimed at lawfully controlling the marijuana market. On repeated occasions, DOJ has invoked the threat of federal prosecution to pressure local officials not to adopt laws authorizing marijuana facilities. In Oakland, Isleton and Eureka, DOJ pressured local officials not to approve licensing of large scale production facilities (even though they are currently tolerated in Colorado). In the city of Chico, DOJ pressured the city council to vote down an ordinance that would have allowed regulated dispensaries like those operating in many other communities in the state. Outside of California, tbe DOJ lobbied the governors of Rhode Island, Washington, Delaware and Vermont to scuttle state laws to allow licensed dispensaries. A Montana state legislator, Diana Sands (D-Missoula), says she is being investigated by DEA on account of her advocacy of marijuana reform."

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