Pages tagged "DOJ"


Medical cannabis news, events, and more from all over the state

Contents (Scroll down for details and links):

News

  • National
  • California
  • Local

Events

  • August 26, 2015 - Improving Analysis and Quality Control of Cannabis Products Using Complementary Analytical Techniques (Online)
  • March 18-22, 2015 - National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference (Washington, DC)

Court Support

  • August 14, 2015 – Court Support for Lynette Shaw (San Francisco)
  • More

Take Action Now

  • Sign the Petition to Ask Your Representative and Senators to Sign on to the CARERS Act!  (National)
  • 5 Things People Can Do to Help Create Safe Access (National)
  • Medical Marijuana: A Patient Survey (California)

ASA Website Spotlight

  • How Safe is Cannabis?
  • The Truth About Medical Cannabis: Regulations in California

Chapter & Affiliate Meetings

  • August 13, 2015 – Brownie Mary Democratic Club of San Francisco (San Francisco)
  • August 13, 2015 - Yuba County ASA (Foothills)
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Three remaining Kettle Falls Five defendants found guilty of manufacturing less than 100 plants, likely to appeal

In an unexpected verdict today, the jury in a widely watched federal medical marijuana case from eastern Washington State, known as the Kettle Falls Five, acquitted the three remaining defendants of all but one charge of manufacturing less than 100 marijuana plants. The charge carries no mandatory minimum sentence and defendants Rhonda Firestack-Harvey, 56, her son Rolland Gregg, 33, and daughter-in-law Michelle Gregg, 36, remain free until sentencing on June 10th at 10am.

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Government continues prosecution despite Congressional ban on interfering with implementation of state law

The Kettle Falls 5Trial starts Wednesday in a widely watched federal medical marijuana case from eastern Washington State known as the Kettle Falls Five. The Obama Administration is aggressively pursuing marijuana trafficking charges against a family of patients who claim to have been growing for themselves in full compliance with Washington State's medical marijuana law. The Department of Justice (DOJ) is also choosing to try them in defiance of a recent Congressional ban on DOJ interference in the implementation of state law.

What: Trial of the Kettle Falls Five, medical marijuana patients growing for themselves in eastern Washington State
When: Jury selection begins Wednesday, February 25th at 8:30am and the trial is expected to run until next week
Where: Room 902, Thomas S. Foley U.S. Courthouse, 920 West Riverside Avenue, Spokane, WA 99201

Last week, the federal government agreed to dismiss charges against Larry Harvey, 71, who has been diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer, but fought against the dismissal of charges against the remaining four defendants. Earlier this month, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas O. Rice denied a motion to dismiss the charges against the Kettle Falls Five based on DOJ funding restrictions established last year by Congress, however the defendants have vowed to appeal.

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US House votes to end funding for federal medical cannabis enforcement

Medical marijuana user Larry Harvey, Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., Americans for Safe Access Executive Director Steph Sherer and Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., speak at a press conference Wednesday in Washington, D.C.The US House of Representatives voted late Thursday night to cut off funding for federal medical cannabis raids, arrests, and prosecutions in states where it is legal. This is arguably the biggest victory yet in the contemporary fight for medical cannabis rights. The vote represents a significant turning point in federal policy and a major victory for Americans for Safe Access (ASA) and the grassroots medical cannabis movement.

(Picture: ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer and "Kettle Falls 5" defendant Larry Harvey in front of the US Capitol for a press conference with four members of Congress)

By a vote of 219 to 189, the Republican-dominated House approved the bipartisan Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment to the Commerce, Science, and Justice (CJS) Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2015. Forty nine Republicans and 179 Democrats voted in favor of the amendment. The CJS bill is the vehicle that funds the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The amendment says that the DOJ is prohibited from using any funds to prevent states from implementing laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical cannabis.

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Congressional vote expected this month to restrict DOJ enforcement against state-compliant patients like the "Kettle Falls 5"

Medical marijuana patient Larry Harvey, 70, traveled to Washington, D.C. last week to persuade Congress to stop funding unnecessary federal prosecutions like his. Harvey is one of the "Kettle Falls 5," a federal medical marijuana case that is scheduled to go to trial as soon as this week in Spokane, Washington. Despite repeated claims by the Obama Administration that it is not targeting individual patients, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has spent more than $3 million so far to prosecute five patients who were each growing less than 15 plants in accordance with state law. If convicted, the DOJ could spend as much as $13 million to send them to prison.

The "Kettle Falls 5" is made up of mostly family members, including Harvey, his wife Rhonda Firestack-Harvey, 55, her son Rolland Gregg, 33, daughter-in-law Michelle Gregg, 35, and friend of the family Jason Zucker, 38. All five are legal patients with serious medical conditions. Larry and Rhonda are retired and have a home in rural Washington State near the town of Kettle Falls. In August 2012, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) raided the property and seized 44 premature marijuana plants. Federal agents also confiscated the family's 2007 Saturn Vue, $700 in cash, their legally owned firearms, and other personal property.

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Vow to continue pressure on Obama Administration to establish comprehensive medical marijuana policy

Medical marijuana advocates are applauding a new memorandum issued Friday by the U.S. Departments of Treasury (DOT) and Justice (DOJ) giving long-awaited guidance to financial institutions, such as banks and credit unions, to provide services to marijuana-related businesses in states where it's legal. A refusal to engage in these services has plagued medical marijuana businesses for years, dating back to the Bush Administration. Due to an aggressive accelerated policy under Obama Administration, States like California, Colorado, Washington, Michigan and others have been forced to deal in large amounts of cash.

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Push Back on the Federal Attack



The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a major new crackdown on medical cannabis patients, providers, growers, and property owners on Friday. US Attorneys told reporters at a press conference in Sacramento that every medical cannabis patients’ cooperative and collective in California is illegal and must close within forty five days – even if they are obeying state law. The DOJ also dusted off a Bush-era tactic by expanding their crackdown to property owners who rent to medical cannabis providers and growers. The DOJ has already started sending letters threatening to prosecute property owners and confiscate their real estate using federal civil asset forfeiture laws.



The Obama Administration’s about face on medical cannabis in California should be a wakeup call for medical cannabis patients and providers in every state. The new crackdown represents the most visible evidence yet of a national medical cannabis backlash. Banks are closing accounts, the Internal Revenue Service is squeezing providers, and state access programs are on hold. And of course, the Drug Enforcement Administration continues to raid medical cannabis dispensing centers and gardens.

Opponents are reacting to the expansion of safe access in sixteen states and the District of Columbia, and to moves by state and local governments to implement medical cannabis laws with meaningful regulations. Federal law enforcement and other opponents know they must move now, or risk having medical cannabis permanently entrenched in local and state law. If patients and advocates fail to check the federal escalation in California, we can expect to see these same tactics in every state where medical cannabis is legal.

Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is calling on medical cannabis patients and advocates to redouble their commitment to the grassroots campaign for safe access. We need to make our voice heard at City Hall, in our state legislatures, and in the District offices of federal lawmakers right now. Elected officials need to know they cannot sweep safe access away, and they also need to know there is a safe political space for supporting medical cannabis. ASA provides a free Advocates Training Center to hone skills in direct advocacy, community organizing, media relations, and more.

ASA also calls on the nascent medical cannabis industry, and the industries that support it, to marshal their substantial financial resources to support the patients’ movement for medical cannabis. Lawyers, consultants, bankers, real estate professionals, merchant service providers, business equipment dealers, and others are needed in the campaign for safe access right now.

The solution to this newest challenge is political. If we rise to the occasion, we can push back this federal attack on medical cannabis and swing the pendulum back in our direction. But to do it, we need the time and resources of our constituency. ASA urges everyone who cares about medical cannabis to join the fight today.

Are you an ASA member? Join today!