By "Radical" Russ Belville
(Providence Business News) PROVIDENCE – Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee said Monday he has put a hold on the state’s medical marijuana certificate of registration program after receiving notice that it could violate federal law.
The news comes after the U.S. attorney for the district of Rhode Island told the governor in a three-page, hand-delivered letter on Friday that the state law establishing up to three medical-marijuana centers could lead to civil and criminal prosecution.
Chafee explained that the letter “clarified” the U.S. Department of Justice’s position on medical marijuana.
“The Department of Justice previously indicated that it would not focus its limited resources on doctors and their sick patients who prescribe and use marijuana if such use was permitted by state law,” Chafee said in a news release.
Chafee said he has placed a hold on the certificate of registration program, “in light of the U.S. Attorney’s articulate position on closing compassion centers, seizing proceeds and prosecuting business enterprises that market and sell medical marijuana.”
Is there not a governor in any of the fifteen medical marijuana states who will show some leadership and challenge the federal government’s bullying? The feds don’t even acknowledge such a thing as “medical marijuana”! The US Dept. of Justice’s position is that anyone anywhere in the United States in possession of a single joint is committing a misdemeanor worth a year in prison and anyone growing a single plant is committing a felony worth five years in prison.
So merely by having a medical marijuana program, Gov. Chafee, your state is engaging in a conspiracy with hundreds of Rhode Islanders to break federal controlled substance laws.
It’s not the medical marijuana patients the feds care about; it’s the medical marijuana industry. So long as it is a husband tending a pot garden for his wife who’s a patient, it’s all fine. But if it is a businessman tending pot forests for 500 patients, then the feds can’t have it. Those businessmen might build loyal voting blocs and raise substantial money for lobbying and initiative campaigns and primary challengers. And they might show the public an example of what a well-run, tightly-controlled, safe and clean distribution system for legal marijuana would be like. Next thing you know, people start to wonder why we don’t just legalize it for healthy people, too, and raise a bunch of tax revenue.
When the feds raid these compassion centers, they don’t even bother to arrest and charge anyone! No, that would lead to a court trial and the government having to explain to a judge and some news media why drastic measures had to be taken to shut down a place where cancer patients get medicine. Instead they just bust down the doors, smash the cabinets and displays, destroy the security cams and monitors, seize the computers and cash and records, and send everyone on their way. It’s an institutionalized thuggery that would make the mafia jealous.