First California, then Washington and now it is apparently Montana’s turn to feel the heavy boot of the federal government when marijuana dispensaries in Missoula, Somers, Kalispel and Whitefish were raided over the past two days. A total of 12 search warrants and 4 civil seizures were executed, according to officials who claimed this was the culmination of a year-long investigation, and not at all another piece of the Obama administration’s efforts to snuff out medical cannabis. No arrests have been reported yet.
Federal authorities issued a statement saying that the dispensaries the targeted were “involved in criminal enterprises that have violated the Controlled Substances Act related to marijuana, a Schedule I controlled substance.” Once again, no mention of state law or even a nod to the Tenth Amendment, just an affirmation that the DEA will indeed “continue to enforce all laws under the Controlled Substances Act, including the targeting of drug trafficking organizations involved in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana.” As usual, charges of conspiracy, drug manufacturing and money laundering will be the order of the day for the unfortunate individuals caught in the federal trap. “When criminal networks violate federal laws in Montana, those involved will be prosecuted,” the statement concluded.
In what seems to have become a standard disclaimer with such raids, federal agents behind the raids declared that “individuals with illnesses who are in clear and unambiguous compliance with state law are not the focus of this investigation.” Sadly, these are empty words that do nothing for Montana patients who now won’t get their medicine and do nothing to alleviate the human and economic cost of these actions.
“It would have been nice if we got 45 days,” said Kate Cholewa of the Montana Cannabis Industry Association (MTCIA). “I don’t believe there’s something uglier happening in Montana than there is in California. Why are they doing this here?” she added. Of course, there is no logical reason or train of thought to follow here, President Obama and his Department of Justice have decided that medical marijuana is the enemy and that makes every state program a target, and to hell with what the people think or what our nation’s priorities should be.
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