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As Colorado gets ready for what will likely be a contentious political battle over Rep. Tom Massey‘s HB10-1284, Massey and three of his colleagues in the legislature (Sens. Romer and Spence, and Rep. McCann) are signing a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking him to place a temporary moratorium on the DEA’s raids of Colorado medical marijuana facilities until the state can sort out the pending legislation. Westword’s Michael Roberts reports:
The letter, which is also copied to President Barack Obama and a slew of Colorado officials, makes it clear that Massey, Romer and fellow signers Nancy Spence and Beth McCann don’t want all marijuana-related activities by the DEA stopped. Still, they feel it’s wrong to treat legitimate medical marijuana entrepreneurs in the same way.
This follows a similar letter that Congressman Jared Polis (D-Boulder) wrote to the Attorney General’s office last month.
The letter from Massey, Romer, Spence and McCann is below the fold.
Dear Attorney General Holder,
As you know, the Colorado General Assembly is currently considering several bills designed to establish a legal framework to effectively regulate medical marijuana. Federal DEA raids of medical marijuana businesses, however, are complicating our legislative efforts.
While we realize it is unrealistic — and frankly unwise — to ask the Justice Department to suspend investigation or prosecution of those engaged in the trafficking and distribution of “recreational” marijuana, we hope you will consider imposing a moratorium on medical marijuana sector raids. These raids discourage dispensary operators, caregivers, growers and patients from providing testimony or recommendations to state lawmakers, hampering our ability to develop a workable and realistic regulatory arrangement for medical marijuana.
Again, we strongly support the efforts of state and federal law enforcement as they investigate, arrest, and prosecute the violent gangs and other criminal enterprises engaged in the illegitimate importation, production, and distribution of black market drugs. However, we believe it is a mistake to put the activities of the legitimate medical marijuana community in the same category as these criminal conglomerates.
We appreciate the Administration’s recognition of the very complex waters we are attempting to navigate between the Colorado Constitution and federal drug policy, and ask for your patience as we attempt to find that rational middle ground.
Thank you in advance for your assistance, and we look forward to hearing from you.
Cc: President Barack Obama
Governor Bill Ritter, Jr.
Attorney General John Suthers
US Attorney David M. Gaouette
Resident Agent in Charge Tom Gorman, DEA
Special Agent Jeffrey Sweetin, DEA
Senate President Brandon Shaffer
Senator Joshua Penry
Senator John Morse
Speaker Terrance Carroll
Representative Paul Weissmann
Representative Mike May
H/T to Jersey Transplant