Tuesday, November 3, 2009

N. California's Top Federal Prosecutor: 'Really Not A Change At All' In Medical Pot Enforcement

By Steve Elliott in Chronic City

​Ah, "guidelines." They're a little more lax than "rules," which are a little looser than "laws." When it comes to guidelines, that's their strength -- and that's their weakness. Whereas laws and rules are "broken," guidelines can simply be "ignored."

That truism is abundantly illustrated by this week's statements from George W. Bush appointee Joseph Russoniello, federal prosecutor for the northern district of California. "I think it's unfortunate that people have for some reason picked up on this as a change in policy," Russoniello told Mission Local, "because it's really not a change at all."

When asked if federal officials will halt investigation, prosecution, and Drug Enforcement Agency raids of medical marijuana operations in California, Russoniello replied, "The short answer is no."

An Oct. 19 memo from Deputy Attorney General David Ogden told federal prosecutors in California and the other 13 states that have legalized medical marijuana that law enforcement should focus their efforts on major drug trafficking networks, rather than patients and providers "in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws."

Read the rest at Chronic City in the SF Weekly blog, "The Snitch": Chronic City: N. California's Top Federal Prosecutor -- 'Really Not A Change At All' In Medical Pot Enforcement | Digg story

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