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Colo. Lawmakers Ask DOJ to Stop Medical Marijuana Raids
03-11-2010, 12:35 AM,
#1
Colo. Lawmakers Ask DOJ to Stop Medical Marijuana Raids
Colo. Lawmakers Ask DOJ to Stop Medical Marijuana Raids

Posted By Stephanie Woodrow On March 8, 2010 @ 12:46 pm In News | 1 Comment

Four Colorado state lawmakers have sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking him to stop raids on the state’s medical marijuana industry, The Denver Post reports [1].

In October 2009, the Justice Department said [2] medical marijuana prosecutions against seriously ill people are not a Justice Department priority, although federal law still prohibits all marijuana use.

In the letter, the lawmakers — state Sens. Chris Romer (D) and Nancy Spence ® and state Reps. Beth McCann (D) and Tom Massey ® — asked the Attorney General to halt the raids while they draft legislation that would govern the state’s medical marijuana industry. The four lawmakers also wrote that they continue to support federal prosecution of illicit drug operations.

The full text is available via a Denver blog [3]:

Dear Attorney General Holder, As you know, the Colorado General Assembly is currently considering several bills designed to establish a legal framework to effectively regulate medical marijuana. Federal DEA raids of medical marijuana businesses, however, are complicating our legislative efforts.

While we realize it is unrealistic — and frankly unwise — to ask the Justice Department to suspend investigation or prosecution of those engaged in the trafficking and distribution of “recreational” marijuana, we hope you will consider imposing a moratorium on medical marijuana sector raids. These raids discourage dispensary operators, caregivers, growers and patients from providing testimony or recommendations to state lawmakers, hampering our ability to develop a workable and realistic regulatory arrangement for medical marijuana.

Again, we strongly support the efforts of state and federal law enforcement as they investigate, arrest, and prosecute the violent gangs and other criminal enterprises engaged in the illegitimate importation, production, and distribution of black market drugs. However, we believe it is a mistake to put the activities of the legitimate medical marijuana community in the same category as these criminal conglomerates.

We appreciate the Administration’s recognition of the very complex waters we are attempting to navigate between the Colorado Constitution and federal drug policy, and ask for your patience as we attempt to find that rational middle ground.

Thank you in advance for your assistance, and we look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Chris Romer
State Senator

Tom Massey
State Representative

Nance Spence
State Senator

Beth McCann
State Representative

Cc: President Barack Obama
Governor Bill Ritter, Jr.
Attorney General John Suthers
US Attorney David M. Gaouette
Resident Agent in Charge Tom Gorman, DEA
Special Agent Jeffrey Sweetin, DEA
Senate President Brandon Shaffer
Senator Joshua Penry
Senator John Morse
Speaker Terrance Carroll
Representative Paul Weissmann
Representative Mike May
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