Civil Asset Forfeiture

Bill Would Stop the DOJ From Using Forfeiture to Shut Down Medical Marijuana Suppliers


Yesterday Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) introduced a bill that would stop the Justice Department from using civil asset forfeiture threats to close down medical marijuana dispensaries that are operating in compliance with state law. "For more than a year," Americans for Safe Access notes, "the DOJ has been engaged in a campaign to undermine the implementation of state law by threatening real property owners with asset forfeiture if they do not promptly evict their state law-compliant medical cannabis businesses." Many dispensaries in states such CaliforniaColorado, and Washington have closed as a result of these threats. Lee's bill, the States' Medical Marijuana Property Rights Protection Act, would add the following language to the Controlled Substances Act:

No real property, including any right, title, and interest in the whole of any lot or tract of land and any appurtenances or improvements, shall be subject to forfeiture under subparagraph (A) due to medical marijuana-related conduct that is authorized by State law.

Deciding which conduct is authorized by state law may be trickier in California than in Colorado, but here's a crazy idea that might just work: Why not let state officials make that call? The Obama administration should have no problem supporting this bill, since it has repeatedly said the Justice Department won't be using its scarce resources to target state-authorized medical marijuana suppliers. Except that policy was never really carried out. Quite the opposite, in fact

You might think legislation aimed at promoting federalism, protecting property rights, and curtailing asset forfeiture abuse would attract Republicans, but so far all the co-sponsors are Democrats. Drug warriors have been warning us for decades that marijuana impairs memory, and the clearest example is the way it makes conservatives forget their principles.

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  1. states rights…what is she, racist?

    1. +nice

  2. You know what would stop the DOJ from using asset forfeiture in this way?

    The President stopping the raids and removing marijuana from Schedule I.

    Too bad for all of us that he is incapable of keeping his campaign promises.

    1. Or Congress writing a law that does the same.

      Lee’s approach is totally ass backwards. You don’t need to change the tools of enforcement. Just change the fucking law they are enforcing.

      1. Political posturing. It looks like she is standing up for ‘the right thing’ but it has failure written all over it. She knows it and the drug warriors know it. After it is all over and done with, the drug war will be indistinguishable from what it is now.

    2. If he thought it would help him win reelection, he would do that. Obviously, he doesn’t think that it will. Also, he doesn’t want to ruffle the feathers of his comrades at the DEA.

      1. Legal weed is more popular than Obama. He serves a constituency other than the American voter.

    3. It’s racist of you to judge him.

      1. we are all racists now, I mean us whiteys, especially older male middle or upper class whiteys living in whitey neighborhoods, so it doesn’t matter

        1. Older male middle or upper class whiteys have always been racist, you just didn’t know it because of, uhm, false conciousness mumble mumble upbringing mumble mumbe white priveledge.

    4. I would like to point out that drug prohibition under a libertarian interpretation is unconstitutional.

  3. How is marijuana not a divisive KULTUR WAR issue?

    1. I don’t think that any issue is inherently a culture war issue. And just about any issue can be made into one.

      So, it is not a culture war issue, because it is very fundamentally about the most basic rights and liberites. And it is a culture war issue because it is associated with the 60’s, libertinism and is perceived to be more supported by the left.

      1. Oh, and you forgot to mention abortion. You’re really slipping.

        1. Because the right of the most vulnerable human beings to the protection of the law *isn’t* very fundamentally about the most basic rights and liberties.

  4. Did I see a D by her name? Well, good luck with getting any of her ‘comrades’ to vote with her on that one.

    1. Did you read the article?

      “You might think legislation aimed at promoting federalism, protecting property rights, and curtailing asset forfeiture abuse would attract Republicans, but so far all the co-sponsors are Democrats.”

      D’s are the only ones supporting this.

      1. Jesus, joe, the fucking administration is the problem. The Democratic administration. If the party gave a shit about this, what about those two years where they could’ve passed anything they wanted?

        Holy shit am I tired of this partisan bull. Our rights get crushed all over the place, and all some people can do is talk about how their side only crushes on odd days.

      2. Oh joe, you pathetic fucking piece of partisan scum. Why don’t you kindly fuck off, you Napoleon-complexed loser?

      3. There hasn’t been a vote. When I see it passed, by a majority of dems, then I will say that I am wrong. Until then, I don’t beleive that there are enough Ds or Rs that will vote for it to pass it. They all have their heads too far up the arse of government bureaucracy.

      4. D’s are the only ones supporting this.

        Not the one who could make it happen with a phone call.

        1. the Congresswomen is conflating activity with action – she is undertaking a paper drill that she knows will go nowhere. She gets to say to constituents “see, I introduced a bill and everything”, knowing full well this will get nowhere.

          1. That kind of crap happens all too often. On both sides of the aisle, of course.

          2. Eh that is unfair.

            Ron Paul pushes all sorts of stuff that goes nowhere….and he knows full well that it will go nowhere.

            I do not question his integrity when that happens.

        2. They are not going to pass it, period, it is all a token gesture. Cali cannot afford to give up any of its precious revenue and there will be no bills passed to diminish it by one dime. Cali wants the feds out of their dispensary businesses, they had better start voting for Libertarian leaning candidates at the state and national level. Otherwise, it is business as usual, or worse.

      5. You can vote yes on a bill (presumably would signifying support) without co-sponsoring it.

        Lets see how this plays out before you get your dirty hacky hack hack hands on it.

  5. Why just asset forfeiture? Why not put up a bill that immunizes individual users and providers who comply with medpot laws from federal prosecution?

    1. Because that’s even less politically tenable, and this probably won’t pass as it is.

      1. Hey joe, are you allowed to go on rides at the fair, or are you too short even for that?

    2. How will we make up for the lost revenue? What about roads and bridges, and the children?

      1. raise taxes on the richest suppliers. Come on; you knew that.

        1. I fogetted

      2. “…make up for….”

        You mean ‘pay for’. Tax cuts and lost revenues have to be ‘paid for’. Get your newspeak straight there Hyperion.

        1. I keep forgetting that everything belongs to the government and that they just let us keep some of it because they are so benevolent. I’m just some type of disgruntled misfit and cannot fit into and appreciate our statist utopia that has been provided by our dear leaders.

  6. In the grand tradition of bipartisan compromise, Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell will lock arms and fight tooth and nail to keep this from ever seeing the light of day.

  7. Many dispensaries in states such California, Colorado, and Washington have closed as a result of these threats

    I did not get a hat tip for the Washington state closures and I am Ok with that.


      Also I like how the Wenatchee World article is an AP story out of Spokane even though the closures were in Wenatchee.

      Fucking worst local paper in the world.

  8. That dude is talking some serious smack now. Wow.

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