Posts Tagged ‘montana medical marijuana’

Reformed Nazi Twin Singers Renounce Racism; Credit Marijuana

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Photo: Polaris
Lamb and Lynx Gaede, formerly of the white supremacist rock group Prussian Blue.

​It’s only mid-afternoon, but I’m confident this is the strangest story that’s going to cross my desk all day. A pair of twins who caused a media frenzy a few years ago by presenting themselves as the cute faces of white supremacist racism have renounced their former hatred, saying that medical marijuana has helped them see the error of their ways.

Lamb and Lynx Gaede, whose band Prussian Blue was popular back in 2005 among those inclined to like such things, ascribed their unsavory past to having been “home schooled country bumpkins” heavily influenced by their domineering white supremacist mother, reports Neurobonkers.

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Photo: Play Guitar 24/7
The twins back when they were little 13-year-old Nazis about six years ago
Since then the twins, who turned 19 on June 30, have moved to Montana to attend high school, where in her first year Lynx was diagnosed with both cancer (which led to removal of a tumor) and cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS). Lamb developed scoloiosis and back pain, “as well as lack of appetite and intense emotional stress.”
Both of the girls, who sort of became the white supremacist equivalent of the Olsen Twins, began using marijuana after Lynx had a bad reaction to the harsh pharmaceutical narcotics Oxycontin and morphine, which a doctor had prescribed to treat her pain.
“I have to say, marijuana saved my life,” Lynx said. “I would probably be dead if I didn’t have it.”
Lynx became one of the first five minors in Montana to get a medical marijuana card, and Lamb now has one, too. One can only wonder what will become of the girls now that Montana’s conservative Republican-controlled Legislature has all but repealed the state’s compassionate medical marijuana law, approved by 62 percent voters in 2004.
Apparently, the marijuana didn’t just ease the physical pain, but also quelled the psychological hatred that had been inculcated in the girls by their racist upbringing.
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Photo: Alaska Pride
Cute? Yeah, until you listened to their lyrics.
“I’m not a white nationalist anymore,” Lamb told The Daily in the twins’ first interview in five years, reports Aaron Gell. “My sister and I are pretty liberal now.”
“Personally, I love diversity,” Lynx said. “I’m stoked that we have so many different cultures. I think it’s amazing and it makes me proud of humanity every day that we have so many different places and people. We just want to come from a place of love and light.”
“I think we’re meant do do something more — we’re healers,” Lamb said. “We just want to exert the most love and positivity we can.”
The twins now spend their time painting artworks and refurbishing furniture. They plan to enroll in college and said they hope to help legalize marijuana in all 50 states.
Lynx lives in northwest Montana with her mother, her stepfather and her half-sister, Dresden. Lamb, who works as a hotel chambermaid, lives a short drive away.
Both daughters now openly question their mother, April’s fixation with the fate of the white race, as well as her encouragement of their bizarre Nazi-inflected musical career.
“I’m glad we were in the band, but I think we should have been pushed toward something a little more mainstream and easier for us to handle than being frontmen for a belief system that we didn’t even completely understand at the time,” Lynx said. “We were little kids.”

Obama Still Targeting Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

In 2009, the Obama Administration announced a new federal policy regarding marijuana in states in which medical marijuana has been legalized. The policy statement instructed federal prosecutors not to devote federal resources to prosecuting those who use or supply medical marijuana in strict compliance with state law. At the time, Ilya and I praised the new policy, though Ilya was quite skeptical it would make much difference.

Since the policy it was announced, it appears the policy has been difficult to maintain, and prosecutions of medical marijuana distributors has continued, largely because the federal government fears that some marijuana distributors are serving more than the medicinal marijuana market. As the NYT reports, federal prosecutors appear to be escalating efforts to go after marijuana distributors in medical marijuana states.

As some states seek to increase regulation but also further protect and institutionalize medical marijuana, federal prosecutors are suddenly asserting themselves, authorizing raids and sending strongly worded letters that have cast new uncertainty on an issue that has long brimmed with tension between federal and state law. . . .

Letters so far have gone out to governors in Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington, prompting some states — including Rhode Island and Montana, in addition to Washington — to revise or back away from plans to make the medical marijuana industry more mainstream.

In Washington, Ms. Gregoire asked for guidance from the state’s two United States attorneys, Mike Ormsby and Jenny Durkan. In a reply to the governor last month, they said the federal government would prosecute “vigorously against individuals and organizations that participate in unlawful manufacturing and distribution activity involving marijuana, even if such activities are permitted under state law.”

The changes have angered supporters of medical marijuana, who say the federal government is sending mixed signals, even as they argue that it has not technically changed its position.

The Justice Department claims there has been no change in policy. Marijuana has remained illegal under federal law, and prosecutors have continued to pursue larger and more conspicuous dispensaries without much regard for state law, prompting increasing conflict with state officials. In the meantime, state level efforts to decriminalize medical marijuana continue apace. There’s now talk of a ballot initiative here in Ohio. So the federal state tension will continue.

Is there a better way? Yes, but it would be difficult to implement without legislation. Here’s what I suggested in 2009:

The Justice Department has to set prosecutorial priorities, as there are more federal crimes on the books than federal prosecutors can ever hope to prosecute. The aim should be to focus federal resources in those areas where there is a distinct federal interest, or where the federal government has a comparative advantage of state and local law enforcement. Where federal law conflicts with state law, prohibiting activities state laws allowed, federal efforts should still focus on those instances of alleged lawbreaking where there is a distinct federal interest, including spillover effects on neighboring jurisdictions.

The federal government has a legitimate interest in controlling interstate drug trafficking, but no particular interest in prosecuting those who seek to provide medical marijuana to local residents pursuant to state law. So it only makes sense for the Justice Department to tell federal prosecutors to focus their efforts on those who are not in compliance with state law, such as those who use medical marijuana distribution as a cover for other illegal activities, interstate drug trafficking in particular. California should be free to set its own marijuana policy, but the federal government retains an interest in preventing California’s choice from adversely affecting neighboring states.

Ideally, the federal government would treat marijuana like alcohol, retaining a federal role in controlling illegal interstate trafficking but leaving each state entirely free to set its own marijuana policy, whether it be prohibition, decriminalization, or somewhere in between.

http://www.opposingviews.com/i/obama-still-targeting-medical-marijuana-dispensaries

Feds Throw Weight Around On Washington’s Medical Marijuana Bill

The feds are throwing their weight around again when it comes to Washington state’s medical marijuana law. A proposal to rewrite the state’s medicinal cannabis rules attracted federal attention after Governor Christine Gregoire asked for “clear guidance” about the U.S. Department of Justice’s position on state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries, which would be legalized under the new rules.

Gov. Gregoire, who sent the letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday, claims she “became concerned” about a “potential federal crackdown” after speaking with the U.S. attorneys for Eastern and Western Washington, Michael Ormsby and Jenny Durkan, reports Jonathan Martin at the Seattle Times.
The prosecutors claim they are concerned that the proposed legislation “would legalize commercial sales of marijuana,” according to state Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, the bill’s prime sponsor.
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Photo: Seattle Weekly
U.S. Attorney Michael C. Ormsby likes to run his mouth and throw his weight around.
U.S. attorneys Ormsby, who already started threatening Spokane dispensaries last week, and Durkan noted that the U.S. attorney for Northern California was threatening to prosecute operators of a proposed commercial grow farm in Oakland, even though the farm was licensed by that city and legal under state law, Gov. Gregoire said in her letter to the Attorney General.
The bill in question, SB 5073, would create new state licenses for dispensaries, grow farms and cannabis food processors. State licensing of dispensaries is already in place or is currently being implemented in states like Colorado, Maine, New Jersey and New Mexico, as well as in the District of Columbia.
Gregoire’s letter seeks federal input before considering whether to sign the bill. Some political observers of a cynical bent believe the governor may simply be seeking political cover for a spineless veto of all or portions of the bill.
“The governor wants to make sure that if a law goes forward, it’s done in a way that won’t set up Washington state for an endless battle of court cases,” claimed her spokesman, Scott Whiteaker.
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Photo: News Junkie Post
Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles: “Why should our state be treated any differently than other states?”
​ But Sen. Kohl-Welles said she was mystified why the Department of Justice would treat legalized dispensaries in Washington any differently from six other states and D.C., which all currently license and regulate dispensaries.
“Why should our state be treated any differently than other states?” Kohl-Welles rightly asked.
Ormsby, the headline-seeking hot dog of a U.S. attorney in Spokane, last week threatened in a news release to seize property where dispensaries were operating. An estimated 40 dispensaries do business in Spokane.
Ormsby warned that “marijuana stores” are illegal, and threatened property owners who rent to them with forfeiture of their buildings if they refused to evict the dispensaries.
“We are preparing for quick and direct action against the operators of the stores,” Rambo, I mean Ormsby, wrote.
At least 120 dispensaries are operating statewide in Washington, with marked differences in enforcement from county to county. The shops are using a gray area of the voter-approved 1998 medical marijuana law, which neither expressly allows nor prohibits the dispensaries.
Marijuana remains illegal under federal law as a Schedule I substance, but the U.S. Department of Justice has taken a mostly hands-off approach to patients and providers in states where medicinal cannabis is legal since an October 2009 memo issued shortly after Attorney General Holder took over.
That memo famously said that patients and providers in “clear and unambiguous compliance” with state laws were not a priority of federal law enforcement, but a trickle of federal raids has continued to take place, including multiple raids in the past month in Montana and California.
However, the DEA has to our knowledge, so far at least, never raided any state-licensed medical marijuana growers or dispensaries in states like New Mexico and Maine, which explicitly allow and license the facilities through their state health departments.

http://www.tokeofthetown.com/2011/04/feds_throw_weight_around_on_washingtons_med_mariju.php

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