Feds announce dispensary crackdown in California; NEIL ROCKIND hopes Michigan isn’t next target

Federal officials announced a crackdown on pot dispensaries in California on Friday, prompting at least one local lawyer to voice concern over the use of federal resources against “local, small businesses.”

“It seems to me that there’s a drug war to be fought in Mexico and on the Mexican/United States border,” said Southfield-based attorney Neil Rockind, who has represented defendants in local medical marijuana cases.

“We see the casualties of that drug war, and if federal resources are to be spent anywhere, they should be spent fighting that drug war … as opposed to being diverted or used against local small businesses.”

Prosecutors announced that dozens of medical marijuana dispensaries in California must shut down within 45 days or face criminal charges or seizure of their assets.

Not all dispensaries are being targeted, at least initially — officials are going after dispensaries that are near schools, parks, and other places where children gather.

When asked if he was concerned that federal officials could focus on Michigan, Rockind said he “hope(s) not.”

“I hope that the local small businesses and others in Michigan are not affected by any Department of Justice policy,” he said.

“The people who have the power have the discretion on whether to exercise it or not. I’d like to see (local medical marijuana caregivers) left alone to comply with state law.”

Rockind also hopes that the announcement does not lead to a trickle-down effect in which caregivers and patients could be targeted.

“I shudder at the idea that the caregivers and/or patients could somehow become the target of the federal government,” he said.

“One of the things that is frustrating for me is that the federal government is not a machine unto itself. It has a plug that goes into the wall that can be pulled off, and it has an on/off button. It is an entity, but it works at the direction of the people. The people who are directing it, I would hope and would certainly implore  to leave the medical marijuana community alone and focus their efforts elsewhere.”

via Oakland Press


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