|The Constitution is Dead - Long live the Big Brother State.|
The U.S. Supreme Court has given approval to the Feds to seize private property.
The Drug War Gone Insane
The Obama Justice Department is planning to confiscate the private property of California landlords who rent to medical marijuana dispensaries
The federal government is intensifying its efforts to smother California’s pot industry by targeting not only medical marijuana dispensaries and growers, but also those who do business with them.
The latest possible targets: landlords and property owners who rent buildings or land where dispensaries sell or cultivators grow marijuana.
The U.S. attorneys from California’s four federal districts are preparing to unveil in the coming days their latest effort to push a coordinated statewide marijuana enforcement strategy. That approach includes the seizure of land or buildings leased to medical marijuana operations that may be legal under state law but remain illegal under federal statutes, reports California Watch.
William Panzer, an Oakland attorney who co-authored Proposition 215, the 1996 ballot initiative that legalized medical marijuana in California, said the days are numbered for the current model for medical marijuana dispensaries.
"It's an effective strategy because they're basically saying to landlords, 'If you don't do this, then you lose your property, and we could also come after you criminally,' " he said.
The tactic stems from a February 2011 memorandum by the state’s four top federal prosecutors that outlines for the first time a uniform approach to enforcing federal marijuana laws in California. The document, reviewed by California Watch, offers guidance and insights into the thresholds for prosecution.
Initiated by the state’s U.S. attorneys, the statewide enforcement strategy places an emphasis on federal investigations that target “leaders and organizers of the criminal activity as opposed to lower-level workers.”
The memorandum outlines guidelines for civil forfeitures for those who indirectly participate – like landlords or property owners – in marijuana operations.
Two San Francisco-area property owners who lease space to medical marijuana dispensaries recently received warning letters from Melinda Haag, the U.S. attorney in San Francisco. One such letter, obtained by California Watch, gives one property owner a 45-day notice to end marijuana operations or face Federal seizure of the property and money received from the dispensary operator.
U.S. attorneys in San Diego and Sacramento have initiated similar communications in their respective districts, spokeswomen from both offices confirmed. Law enforcement sources said they expect federal prosecutors will send more letters in the coming weeks to locations around the state, including to property owners who rent their land to marijuana growers.
“This is sea change stuff. This is a big deal,” said one federal drug official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the matter before the official announcement.
Officials with the U.S. attorneys’ offices declined comment.
|Obama's Justice Department to seize private property. |
The Constitution has no meaning, the Bill of Rights has no meaning.
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