Fri Jun 21, 2013, 02:15 PM
RainDog (28,784 posts)
A Life Sentence...for pot.
The top federal prosecutor in Montana — Mike Cotter, the U.S. Attorney appointed by President Obama in 2009 — (...raided Montana medical marijuana greenhouse and dispensaries, ALL OPERATING UNDER STATE GUIDELINES, and...) charged the growers, their greenhouse workers, their bookkeepers, some of their spouses, and even their landlords who had simply provided buildings to the growers, with decades in prison and in some cases virtual life sentences, all under federal drug trafficking statutes.
The growers all noted they were operating under state guidelines and following the lead of the Ogden Memo.
The defendants pointed to dozens of statements made by Holder and even the President, and specifically the now-infamous Ogden Memo. This was a publicly released document in 2009 document, written by David Ogden, Eric Holder’s deputy, that instructed federal law enforcement officers nationwide to leave medical marijuana growers alone as long as they were abiding by state law. This memo was reported in the national press, and local papers too, as a virtual ceding of jurisdiction by the federal government. U.S. Won’t Prosecute in States that Have Medical Marijuana, heralded a New York Times headline.
...A policy might not have the force of law, but I would argue that a policy is most definitely a promise, especially if it is reasonably interpreted by citizens who are looking for guidance as to how to proceed, and particularly in a case where the Attorney General states that a new set of laws–state laws, as opposed to federal laws–will now serve as the governing code for assessing the legality of a citizen’s conduct. And just because the feds can prosecute, doesn’t mean they should.
So, Cotter believes, against the advice of doctors and scientists, that marijuana is a dangerous drug with no medical benefits. Based upon this erroneous belief, he confiscated property of landlords, after threatening to put them in jail for 20 years. Cotter has no scientific evidence on his side - but he has drug war laws that remain on the books - even if they're not on the books in Montana (he couldn't demonstrate anyone had broken state law.)
THIS is why we cannot exist in this gray area regarding marijuana legalization... because of assholes like Cotter who will do what they can to ruin lives because of their own stupid vendettas brought on by their own reefer madness.
Cotter is not finished. In recent weeks, his office has asked a federal appeals court to increase the sentences of many of the caregivers he put away. They were originally charged with around 80 years in prison; when they pled guilty, Cotter sought to cement the agreements with sentences in the 5-10 year range; but the court would not go along with it in many of the cases, and gave some defendants 18 months or less. Cotter is seeking to have the appellate court overturn these sentences for their leniency. He wants more punishment.
Obama should 86 this asshole.
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Replies to this discussion thread
A Life Sentence...for pot. (Original post)
|Uncle Joe||Jun 2013||#2|
|Uncle Joe||Jun 2013||#8|
|Downtown Hound||Jun 2013||#4|
Response to Downtown Hound (Reply #4)
Fri Jun 21, 2013, 04:48 PM
RainDog (28,784 posts)
6. This is actually about Cotter
I have made it a point to remain as removed as possible from all the mudslinging going on. Serves no good purpose. All it does, for me, is make me less interested in reading DU.
But, the truth is that, during the Kerry campaign, the fights were really bad, too. I left DU for a couple of years because I didn't want to hate the Democratic Party because of what its defenders said in its name. Those who speak for power (and, yes, Obama is power) have a greater responsibility to speak with some sort of understanding for those who feel disenfranchised, imo.
Those who offer critiques should do so within the bounds of reality - as in, the state is not going to dissolve and one person, one president, is not going to be able to entirely alter the course of events that, themselves, are reactions to fears by those in power.
The parameters for power in the U.S. are constantly constrained by career bureaucrats. The system itself perpetuates wrongs, even when people think those wrongs are done for the right reasons.
It's good, however, to talk about these things to help people become of aware of abuses of power in order to collectively demand they stop.
The Drug War is one long-standing example of this truth, grasshopper.
Response to RainDog (Original post)
Fri Jun 21, 2013, 04:37 PM
Hydra (14,072 posts)
5. This is coming from the top
Just like his Christian justification for excluding gays.
I'm really not sure who we voted for anymore. I mean, I'm a cynic, but this is ridiculous.