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Medical Marijuana: New Northern California US Attorney Hints the Era of DEA Raids May Be Coming to an End

Incoming US Attorney for Northern California Joseph Russoniello held his first press briefing January 31, and during that briefing, he suggested that raiding and prosecuting medical marijuana providers is a waste of resources. That's a bit of a surprise, given Russoniello's history as a hard-line Republican prosecutor, but could augur a new day in Northern California.

https://stopthedrugwar.org/files/sf-us-attorneys-office.jpg
SF US Attorney's Office
Although personally opposed to medical marijuana and openly skeptical that many who claim to be using the herb medicinally are not really ill, Russoniello suggested that trying to prosecute dispensaries out of existence was akin to trying to plough the sea. "The overwhelming majority of people in my view who are so-called patients are not," he said, but he added that cracking down on dispensaries was futile. "We could spend a lifetime closing dispensaries and doing other kinds of drugs, enforcement actions, bringing cases and prosecuting people, shoveling sand against the tide. It would be terribly unproductive and probably not an efficient use of precious federal resources," said Russoniello.

Whether Russoniello's words will translate into policy changes in his office remains to be seen, but they could be a harbinger of things to come. Both Democratic presidential contenders have said they would halt the DEA raids on dispensaries in California, so his office could have few medical marijuana cases to prosecute in any case.

Russoniello has other, higher priorities, including gun crimes, hard drugs, gangs, and child pornography, he said. "Guns which are a scourge to communities, which combined with the twin poisons of gangs and drugs are literally enslaving whole neighborhoods," he said.

Russionello took over as US Attorney for Northern California early last month. He also spent eight years in that position under President Reagan in the 1980s.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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WINDEY SIMMONS
113 79TH ST.
OAKLAND CA.94603

Federal Byrne Grants reduced for State Drug Task Forces

The big news here in Iowa is the reduction of Federal Byrne Grants (JAG) for State Drug Task Forces. Our Iowa U.S. Senators are complaining and may find a way to restore some of the funding. However, this certainly means that resources for drug law enforcement are becoming scarce. So, it may not be a change of heart, but it's entirely possible that budget considerations are forcing federal law enforcement to reconsider their priorities in California.

Carl Olsen
Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church
http://www.ethiopianzioncopticchurch.org/

its about time

its about time

Rough seas and high tides are a threat we can't ignore

According to the article above, U.S. Attorney Russonielo compares going after cannabis dispensaries to trying to plough the sea, as if ocean calming and tidal alleviation were somehow a futile or wasted endeavor. That is an extremely irresponsible statement. The fact is that hundreds of people are drowned at sea each year due to rough waters, and dozens more become fatalities on our beaches during high tides, which also do hundreds of millions of dollars worth of damage each year in this country to piers, sandbars, sea-walls, and other infrastructure and resources in coastal areas. Under the direction of Secretary Canute, OSPSS has been making great progress toward preventing the harmful effects of tidal actions and severe winds. We owe it to our children to make sure that they can grow up in communities where they can enjoy a day at the beach without fear of being swept out to sea, and to the hardworking American fishermen, Coast Guard sailors, and others whose livelihoods are threatened by storms, to make sure that the federal government's mission to plough the seas and shovel sand against the incoming tide remain fully funded in the coming budget year.

Sincerely,

John Sisyphus
Under-Secretary,
U.S. Office of Sea-Ploughing and Sand-Shoveling

John,

Let me ask you a question? Is it in your agency's favor to keep its buget padded from all sides while an overwhelming majority of voters actually believe that marijuana should be decriminalized? One more question if I may... Do you think it's ok to criminalize American youth just because they are experimenting with marijuana while sending these same individuals to fight wars overseas? Is it ok to violate individual freedoms granted to people by the constitution? Also, I wanted to know what right federal government has to raid sick people who smoke marijuana when they grow and smoke their own harvest given that no intra-state trade is involved? From what I learned in school, this is strictly a state matter. Anyway, please don't ignore my questions as I'm sure many other's are wondering the same!

p.s. as far as our youth... if our government would educate the parents to get involved, instead of the children, I can bet the outcome would be totally different.

sincerely,

Igor D.

Socalled drug war near end

A country has the morals it can afford. Even the misguided ones. The whole, socalled drug war , has always been about morals and money. Now the money is going away, and we know the morals were a racist crock. Inhale a breath of relief....carefully.

you got it right feel the compassion

thank you for telling the truth at least you got te guts to tell it.as we all sit and bow to the real oppressors with their religious and govermental ways.knowing they WILLkill and incarcerate any and all who oppose them???? so the question is what to do?? just a few words of thanks thank you very much i liked,felt,live and appreciate your words

Feel the Compassion

right on the money Billy.
Grand slam home run..........

4:41 a.m. February 5,

4:41 a.m. February 5, 2008

LOS ANGELES – Two men have pleaded guilty to federal drug charges in connection with a medical marijuana shop that sold millions of dollars worth of the drug.

James Carberry and James Ealy entered pleas Monday in Los Angeles federal court.

Prosecutors say Carberry ran a shop called the “Yellow House” in West Hollywood that sold marijuana and products such as candy bars and sodas containing pot's active ingredient, THC.

Carberry faces up to 20 years in prison and Ealy could get a year behind bars.

They were indicted last year along with Larry Kristich, who owned the Yellow House and six other marijuana dispensaries around the state. He pleaded guilty last week to distributing more than 15,000 pounds of pot and faces up to 40 years in prison.

California approved medical marijuana sales in 1996 but they're illegal under federal law.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/state/20080205-0441-ca-brf-socal-pots...
---

"Guilty" of serving the ill, providing them with medicinal relief. Punished like a murderer. What an unspeakable atrocity.

They don't get it

See, No smoker should be jailed.

And if there were facilities that dished out the mowie wowie then the dealers wouldn't be dealers they'd be smokers.

And everything would work. I don't mind burning ditches as long as I can burn some herb before or afterwords, during isn't bad either!

They just don't get it and want to murder people. They let chemical drugs go rampant which kills hundreds of thousands of people a year, and they punish a plant and its conesuiers, like its even possible of criminalizing a PLANT - It has no fatality rate, it doesn't do what ciggs do to you, what is the point in letting people buy ciggerette if it kills them? They must enjoy killing you, have fun with that. If anyone even remotely understood what smoking a tabacco leaf is suppose to mean then they wouldn't do it in any form like they do now. Hell not only do smokers waste away they pollute too - tossing their crap all over the concrete jungle!

and I thought they were crazy...

We look at middle eastern culture where brutality to women and religion driven fanaticism is widespread however for some reason Americans are having a very difficult time simply looking in the mirror and finding the same elements within our society. I hope Obama will be able to swing public opinion a little bit to the left simply because we are turning out to be as crazy as you know who!

Whats that smell?

Please people lets all put together a civil rights action like Rosa Parks started when she just didn't want to give up her 'seat'. But our 'seat' is our freedom to chose the medication that best suits us in our pursuit of freedom and overall well being.
It's time to think of more news worhty means of drawing attention to our plight. We need to organize a national day to smoke our medication in front of every US federal courthouse and ask to be arrested by a bunch of us who have valid doctors recommendations...Yes I mean we stage a sit-in across the fruited plain and demand the media to televise a bunch of us being arrested and hauled off.
Nothing is going to change with a bunch of us waving signs saying "hurray for our side" and sending letters to deaf ears in the government. None of this has worked for those of us activists who moniter the subject of marijuana thru news services across the world on the net. It's time to get busted for the movement, and I wonder how many of you have the balls or time to really say something to the masses that you are tired of it all. Lets stop the talk and do the Rosa Parks walk and sit anywhere on the bus.
I will offer myself for the common good but what about you folks who are reading this post for the first time? Do you have what Rosa had? Put up or shut up and do something besides running your mouth on injustice to all of us 'herb' users...Sincerely, Craig Bateman, Redding,Ca.

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