Tag: Drug Enforcement Administration

We Care Not For Your State Law

When Washington and Colorado legalized pot earlier this year, we wondered how the Feds would react.

Wonder no more:

Federal agents raided several medical marijuana dispensaries Wednesday in Washington — a state which just decriminalized the drug last year.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Seattle office confirmed in a brief statement that “several search warrants were executed today involving marijuana storefronts” in the Puget Sound region around Seattle.

It gave no further details, and the number of raids remained unclear Wednesday evening.

One of the dispensaries was the Bayside Collective in Olympia, the state capital, where seven government vehicles converged Wednesday morning.

Agents with guns drawn seized business records and about $2,500 worth of marijuana intended for cancer patients, Casey Lee, who works at the clinic, told NBC station KING of Seattle.

This was a result of a “two-year investigation”, according to the Feds. Unless that two year investigation found illegal trafficking, I’m thinking they would have been better off spending two years smoking pot than investigating it.

A gun-draw raid on a business selling marijuana to people with cancer in compliance with state law. Your federal government, people! Your civil liberties law professor President! This is your drug czar who claims we need to move away from a war mentality!

Leave the Drugs, Take the Money

So we’re selling guns to Mexican drug cartels. What’s the next step? Laundering their money, apparently:

Undercover American narcotics agents have laundered or smuggled millions of dollars in drug proceeds as part of Washington’s expanding role in Mexico’s fight against drug cartels, according to current and former federal law enforcement officials.

The agents, primarily with the Drug Enforcement Administration, have handled shipments of hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal cash across borders, those officials said, to identify how criminal organizations move their money, where they keep their assets and, most important, who their leaders are.

The officials said that while the D.E.A. conducted such operations in other countries, it began doing so in Mexico only in the past few years. The high-risk activities raise delicate questions about the agency’s effectiveness in bringing down drug kingpins, underscore diplomatic concerns about Mexican sovereignty, and blur the line between surveillance and facilitating crime. As it launders drug money, the agency often allows cartels to continue their operations over months or even years before making seizures or arrests.

As with Fast and Furious, the excuse is that they were trying to figure out how the cartels do business. Indeed, we have operations like this going on in many countries. But where are the results? The open war in Mexico gets worse and worse, the bodies pile up, the government gets more corrupt. If we’re not breaking the cartels, we’re just … laundering money.

Now. Compare and contrast:

Stationed in Deming, N.M., [Border Patrol agent Bryan] Gonzalez was in his green-and-white Border Patrol vehicle just a few feet from the international boundary when he pulled up next to a fellow agent to chat about the frustrations of the job. If marijuana were legalized, Mr. Gonzalez acknowledges saying, the drug-related violence across the border in Mexico would cease. He then brought up an organization called Law Enforcement Against Prohibition that favors ending the war on drugs.

Those remarks, along with others expressing sympathy for illegal immigrants from Mexico, were passed along to the Border Patrol headquarters in Washington. After an investigation, a termination letter arrived that said Mr. Gonzalez held “personal views that were contrary to core characteristics of Border Patrol Agents, which are patriotism, dedication and esprit de corps.”

Gonzalez is not alone. There are a number of agents and cops who have been fired for joining LEAP, expressing support for medical marijuana or questioning tactics like … oh, let’s think of something crazy like, say, providing guns and money to cartels. Popehat has a good take on it, arguing that the Border Patrol has crossed the line to deeming any dissent against our numerous “wars on whatever”, even in a private conversation, as unpatriotic.

I would go further. I think the Drug Warriors are scared. For four decades, we’ve danced to their tune. But now, half of American favor legalizing pot and 16 states have legalized it for medical use. Two of the Republican presidential candidates have openly called for ending the War on Drugs. And even hardened warriors like Gingrich are calling for treatment instead of prison.

But think about what’s at stake. Prosecutors, cops and federal agents have built their careers on this war. An entire prison industry has swelled to house those arrested in it. At our encouragement, Mexico is six years into what amounts to a civil war. There are thousands out there who wonder what they’re going to do without the War on Drugs.

And so, dissenters must be fired, legal clinics must be threatened and raided, research must be quashed and tactics must get more extreme. Because the one thing we can’t do is acknowledge that we’re wrong.

Roh roh, Shaggy. Issa wants special prosecutor to investigate Fast & Furious.

It now looks like operation “Fast & Furious”, the famous “Gunrunner” scheme that I pointed out long ago, when the facts started dribbling out, despite a concerted effort by the LSM to keep the story and the reason & role the 2nd Amendment haters the members of Team Obama behind it under wraps, was a run around to affect American public opinion and help the left roll back defeats to disarm the people at large, is panning out into a scandal for Team Obama, and an international one at it:

The stench from Washington is getting stronger. Rep. Darrell Issa has called for a special prosecutor to get to the bottom of the festering mess known as Operation Fast and Furious.

Hatched somewhere in the bowels of the Justice Department, that misbegotten scheme had the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives deliberately allowing high-powered guns to “walk” from Arizona and elsewhere into Mexico: Our agents turned a blind eye toward the straw purchasers who were funneling the weapons to the drug cartels.

The (dumb) idea was to trace cross-border arms trafficking, and so prove the (false) claim that 90 percent of the guns seized in Mexican drug war zones originate in the US. (The real figure is closer to 17 percent.) But, as Issa’s Oversight and Government Reform committee continues its investigation, that pretension has evaporated — and a major international scandal has been born.

Marisela Morales, the Mexican attorney general, estimates that at least 200 Mexicans have been killed with Fast and Furious weapons — among them, a powerful Barrett .50 caliber sniper rifle that took down a federal helicopter. Morales, who calls the program a “betrayal” of her country, told the Los Angeles Times that she first learned about Fast and Furious from news reports, and that US officials still haven’t briefed their Mexican counterparts on it.

More and more people are actually accepting the obvious conclusion, left when all other avenues that have been explored have lead to dead ends, that the sole remaining purpose for this operation was so the Obama administration could blame non-existing lax US gun policies for deaths in Mexico, as the blatantly false media campaign to convince people that 80% of the guns used in the drug wars there came from the US. This was being done so they could then demand they be allowed to add and enforce tighter controls that would violate 2nd Amendment rights that would otherwise never pass muster, in order to again take the lead in the fight to disarm the people, after their agenda recently suffered a humiliating defeat in the SCOTUS. This is obviously what Obama told us was under works to get them back in business on taking guns away from people during one of his speeches.

Attempts by the LSM to ignore the story and by the Obama Administration to avoid disclosing the facts have not succeeded in preventing us from learning the facts, and we are finally getting calls for a special investigation. As Holder and other higher ups behind this all now claim amnesia, frustrated officials in the Mexican government, whom it seems where not a willing participant as was first suspected, whom weren’t even briefed are themselves asking for answers. Maybe they should involve the criminal court in The Hague. I would love to see the left’s reaction to that one.

She shouldn’t feel lonely: The administration has been notably unforthcoming to everybody on this one. Eric Holder’s Justice has engaged in a rearguard battle against Issa’s committee — turning over subpoenaed documents only slowly and heavily redacted, making witnesses unavailable and transferring or retiring implicated officials such as former ATF head Kenneth Melson. Issa has publicly accused Holder & Co. of “gaming” congressional investigators.

Yet the drip, drip, drip of revelations continues. A third “Fast and Furious” gun has now been linked to the murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, whose death in Arizona last December at the hands of Mexican bandits started to crack the scandal open.

In addition to the ATF and the FBI, other agencies already implicated include the Drug Enforcement Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the IRS. Other tidbits suggest involvement by higher-ups at the Department of Homeland Security and the White House itself.

It’s a scandal, and the stench seems to come from all the way to the top. And it’s going to be fun to watch the left now pretend there is nothing here or better yet, defend what now appears to be turning into a real international crime. How are they going to blame Bush? Can I say I told you so , already?

Escalating the War on Pot

You know what? Obama is kind of a dick sometimes:

The Department of Justice sent out a memo today instructing the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration and leading officials in the U.S. Attorneys Office to treat medical marijuana shops as top priorities for prosecutors and drug investigators.

The memo, authored by Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole, “clarifies” a memo released in 2009 that declared medical marijuana sales in states that have legalized it to be a low priority for law enforcement and prosecutors. The so-called “Ogden memo” first appeared to drug law reformers as evidence that Pres. Obama was dialing back the war on drugs. The DEA and U.S. Attorneys office continued to go after state-legal grow operations and marijuana shops after the memo was first circulated, leading reformers to conclude that Obama was lying when he said on the campaign trail that he had no interest in going after medical marijuana.

The Ogden memo advised DEA’s and USA’s to back off from legal pot shops unless they were tied to organized crime or other illegal activities, like prostitution. It wasn’t followed by everyone, but there was a drop in busts. What they’re doing now is narrowing the Ogden memo so that it just means that law enforcement officials won’t drag actual patients with tubes dangling into prison. But they will go after anyone who grows or sells it, even if the are specifically authorized by the state: Here’s a direct quote:

Persons who are in the business of cultivating, selling or distributing marijuana, and those who knowingly facilitate such activities, are in violation of the Controlled Substances Act, regardless of state law. Consistent with resource constraints and the discretion you may exercise in your district, such persons are subject to federal enforcement action, including potential prosecution. State laws or local ordinances are not a defense to civil or criminal enforcement of federal law with respect to such conduct, including enforcement of the CSA. Those who engage in transactions involving the proceeds of such activity may also be in violation of federal money laundering statutes and other federal financial laws.

In other words, you could end up getting smacked with RICO because your wife runs a legal, licensed medical marijuana shop.

It is clear that Obama does not have the stones to do the right thing (not that this is any surprise). And it is equally clear that the federal law enforcement industrial complex is too deeply committed to this. DEA agents, US attorneys, the IRS — these guys are evaluated by how many people they bust and put in jail, not how much justice they create.

Enough. It’s time to rally the troops behind the Paul-Frank bill that would end this disaster. It’s time to return marijuana law to the states, where it should have been all along. Maybe the bill doesn’t have a chance. But it will force Obama and his fellow travelers to admit that they have a hard-on for taking medicine away from sick people, that they have zero respect for the states and for individual liberty.

I’m tired of this battle being fought in the dark, with secret memos and nebulous laws. It’s time to turn on the spotlights and make these fuckers run for cover.