Deputy US AG Memo
Clarifies Justice Department Position
On Who They Are At “War” With
Regarding California’s Medical Marijuana Program (MMP) the month of July 2011 seems to be a turning point in how local officials will be viewing their own positions of who is a “suspect of interest” and who is not in the FEDs “war on drugs” …
Federal prosecutors have tightened their stance on states’ medical marijuana laws, saying lax enforcement has created an environment where “large-scale, privately operated industrial marijuana cultivation centers” are booming businesses worth millions of dollars.
The move was applauded Friday by local law enforcement officials.
“It’s about time,” said Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko.
Last fall, Redding city planners approved a zoning ordinance allowing for large commercial indoor medical marijuana growing. There are at least 17 pot collectives, co-ops and dispensaries in Redding. Shasta County has a moratorium on such centers.
Redding Police Capt. Roger Moore said the memo “very well could change things.”
“We want to enforce federal guidelines and regulations,” Moore said. “But we’re kind of caught in the middle. As soon as we get some support and backing from the Feds, we will enforce their wishes.”
Bosenko said he plans to hold conversations with local prosecutors about whether the memo might change how they prosecute his deputies’ marijuana arrests.
“Marijuana still remains illegal under federal law and under state law,” Bosenko said. “We’ll continue to enforce the law.”
Jess Brewer, the owner of Trusted Friends, a medical marijuana collective on Pine Street in Redding, said he doesn’t expect legitimate nonprofit suppliers of medical cannabis like him will see any changes.
Brewer said his office already has received a letter from Redding Police Chief Peter Hansen advising him of the changes, which he said he supports, since they target illicit growers who sell marijuana for profit and instead of for purely medicinal use.
“I think they’re going after illicit vendors, growers and clubs,” he said. “If you’re not doing it right, they’re going to pop you.”