Oakland’s Plans for Mega-Medical Marijuana Growing gets Attention of DEA

August 4, 2010 – OAKLAND — The nation’s top narcotics watchdog, the Drug Enforcement Administration, has requested information about Oakland’s ordinance permitting large-scale medical pot growing facilities.

DEA spokesman Rusty Payne said agents wanted to know if the ordinance on the city website was a draft or a final version.

He would not specify why the agency wanted the information, but the inquiry raised speculation that the new plans have put Oakland in the agency’s cross hairs.

Payne downplayed the speculation but said, “Anytime there is large-scale marijuana cultivation, it is something that would interest us.”

Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan said the DEA has sought information but offered no feedback. She co-sponsored the ordinance with Councilmember Larry Reid.

Agents requested copies of the ordinance from Kaplan’s office.

They then called for details and a timeline for the plan from Oakland administrator Arturo Sanchez, who will oversee the permitting process once the application process begins after September.

Kaplan said the DEA told her that the agency is collecting information from other cities that allow medical marijuana in an attempt to review the patchwork of laws in the absence of federal guidelines.

Marijuana is illegal under federal law.

But a 2009 memo by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder signaled that going after medical marijuana users and growers is a low priority as long as the local industry conforms to state medical cannabis measures.

There is some question about whether Oakland’s industrial-level cultivation violates California law and what it will mean for the city if California voters approve a statewide measure to make marijuana legal in all its uses.

Payne said the DEA is investigating Colorado dispensaries that are in violation of the state’s medical marijuana laws and have tried to use them as a shield for illegal operations. By Angela Woodall. Source.

One response to “Oakland’s Plans for Mega-Medical Marijuana Growing gets Attention of DEA”

  1. It is hard for me to imagine that grown people go out of their way to stop the very thing this country is meant to represent, liberty. Whatever happened to our right to the pursuit of happiness if nothing else. People should be able to go about their personal business as long as they aren’t a danger to others. And the glass pipes and marijuana do not seem that dangerous to me.

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