California marijuana dispensaries must all shut down within 45 days or be destroyed by the federal government.
Yes, it has come to this, the Obama administration has chosen to drop all pretense of justice or rationality and is going for the jugular. U.S. Attorneys have sent out letters to multiple Marijuana dispensaries across California warning them that if they do not close shop in 45 days, they will face federal prosecution and confiscation of their property. The president of hope and change has just launched the largest campaign against the will of Californians and the rights of marijuana patients. The U.S. Attorneys are scheduled to announce the details and full reach of the crackdown at a press conference on Friday.
So far, at least 16 California dispensaries have received letters which state that “under United States law, a dispensary’s operations involving sales and distribution of marijuana are illegal and subject to criminal prosecution and civil enforcement actions” and that “real and personal property involved in such operations are subject to seizure by and forfeiture to the United States.” In typical arrogant form, the letters are very explicit in their disregard for state rights and threaten actions “regardless of the particular uses for which a dispensary is selling and distributing marijuana.” Another way of saying the choice of California voters doesn’t matter, Tenth Amendment be damned.
In the 15 years since the creation of California’s medical marijuana law, there has been no such blatant attempt to shut down the whole thing. Foreshadowing this latest move, on Tuesday the IRS determined that California’s largest marijuana dispensary, Harborside Health Center, was not allowed to do standard business tax deductions. The decision stuck Harborside, which is the planned setting of an upcoming medical marijuana reality show, with a $2.4 million tax bill on top of the $3 million it has already paid.
The IRS decision has put the dispensary in danger of going out of business, but the real danger is the reasoning behind the ruling. The IRS has interpreted a 1982 tax code prohibiting business deductions for traffickers of illegal substances as applicable to marijuana dispensaries. This sets a precedent that the government could use to go after every single dispensary in the nation for tax evasion. It certainly would not the first time the feds have used the IRS to do their dirty work.
U.S. Attorneys have also sent letter to a number of landlords of marijuana dispensaries in California ordering them to evict their tenants; and the plan is just getting started. The letters, described as “extremely threatening” state that “property involved in [medical marijuana] operations, including real property, is subject to seizure by and forfeiture to the United States.” Which is another way of saying ‘Kick out marijuana dispensaries or we will take your property and the money you made legally renting it.’ Classy. To add insult to injury, the letters threaten additional penalties if the location is within 1000 feet of school, parks or playgrounds.
While the federal government has used a strategy of severe but empty threats against dispensaries in the past to get some to shut down, this time things look significantly more grim. Raids have been on the rise and previously less involved agencies like the ATF and the IRS are beginning to play a prominent role. A week ago medical marijuana patients lost their Second Amendment rights, now the constitutional property rights of innocent landlords are being voided and the dispensaries that filed thorough tax returns are being given the Al Capone treatment by the IRS. It is time to demand justice, and vote out those lawmakers who will not stand up for their constituents. It is clear that President Obama’s real answer to the marijuana petition is a big, fat middle finger.
Disclaimer: These opinions and statements made in these posts are solely the authors and do not necessarily represent the opinion of 420 Petition and its parent company.