President Obama campaigned yesterday for U.S. Senator Michael Bennet at the Fillmore Theater in Denver, but the real excitement occurred outside the theater, where dozens of medical marijuana patients and supporters gathered to express their frustration with the recent DEA activity in their state. Many held signs that read “Stop Arresting Patients” and “Stop Rogue DEA Raids,” referring to the DEA blatantly ignoring the change in policy made by the Obama administration this past October.
Over the past few weeks the DEA has entered and confiscated thousands of dollars worth of medical marijuana from two Colorado medical marijuana labs (Denver’s Full Spectrum Laboratories and Colorado Springs’Genovations). Most recently the DEA arrested licensed medical marijuana grower Chris Bartkowicz, who was conducting a medical marijuana growing operation in the basement of his suburban Denver home. Bartkowicz now sits in jail facing five to forty years in prison and fines of up to $2 million.
Yesterday’s protest was organized and led by Sensible Colorado’s executive director Brian Vicente, who aptly points out that “at the most fundamental level, it’s just a blatant and ridiculous waste of resources to go after an individual who was absolutely growing for medical purposes.” Vicente went on to say that the “U.S. Attorney needs to get out of the dark ages,” and that “his comments are representative of decades past.” They sure are. Right on, Mr. Vicente.
Photo: Lenny Montana