Drug Law

Are Feds Finally Recognizing Medical Marijuana?

| by NORML

While states like Michigan, New Mexico and Rhode Island have recipriocity for out-of-state medical cannabis patients, to date NORML was not aware of a AUSA recognizing such (though, on occasion, we’ve seen the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) not act upon medical cannabis patients caught with small amounts of their medicine).

This may well be another change under the current Obama administration as both the Clinton and Bush 2.0 administrations prosecuted state authorized medical cannabis patients caught up in federal arrests.

PRESS RELEASE – AUGUST 2, 2009 – FROM JOHN MCCALL, ATTORNEY

On June 30, 2009 in the Federal District Court of New Mexico, Assistant US Attorney John Anderson agreed, on the record, to Honor the Medical Marijuana Recommendation of Charles Smith of Shasta Lake, California. Federal District Court Magistrate Judge Lorenzo Garcia further agreed to accept the State’s proposed recommendation of a Conditional Discharge upon provision of Mr. Smith’s Medical Marijuana Recommendation to the US Attorney’s office. This historic moment occurred during the federal Government’s prosecution of cases related to the Annual Rainbow Gathering that occurs in different states around the country and involves a large Federal Law Enforcement presence. The cases were prosecuted as civil collateral forfeitures and the records have been transferred to the Central Violations Bureau for the Federal Government. Five Medical marijuana recommendations were honored including those from Wyoming, California, Hawaii and Washington State. This is the first time in modern history, in which it is known that the US Attorney and the Federal District Court agreed to accept medical marijuana recommendations and licenses in order to dismiss marijuana possession charges.

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This judge looked an inmate square in the eyes and did something that left the entire courtroom in tears:

This historic series of events followed the filing of a law suit by Bryan Krumm of New Mexicans for Compassionate Use in New Mexico Federal District Court in 2008. During those proceedings members of New Mexicans for Compassionate Use were able to speak to Justice Department representatives about the statements in March of 2009 by Eric Holder, US Attorney General, that medical marijuana would no longer be prosecuted. After this conversation in May of 2009, Attorney General Holder came to New Mexico in June of 2009 and again gave a public presentation on the matter stating that legally established medical marijuana distribution operations and legally sanctioned medical marijuana users (all under state laws), would not be prosecuted by the Federal Government. During the proceedings it was revealed that the AUSA’s prosecuting the cases in New Mexico told Defendants that they were not returning the medicine and that they would be prosecuted if they were caught with Marijuana in the National Forest again. During discussions with the US Attorney and his Assistants at the Court, long time Federal Criminal Defense Attorney Judy Rosenstein discovered that the US Attorney for New Mexico, Gregory J. Fouratt, was not involved in that decision to impose conditions on the Defendants.

Contact Attorney John McCall for more information on this case. Charles Smith has given permission for this information to be released to the public and is available, somewhere in the woods around Shasta Lake, if you want to find him and talk to him about his experience.

You can go to Youtube Lisa Law for video of the Rainbow Gathering and Law Enforcement activities.