Federal Memo Casts Cloud Over Maine’s Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

July 12th, 2011 by admin Leave a reply »

The announcement comes just weeks after the U.S. Department of Justice issued a strongly-worded memo warning that dispensaries could come under federal prosecution, even in Maine and the 15 other states where medical marijuana is legal.

“We find ourselves these days in a somewhat different environment that makes us confused, frightened and just perplexed on where all this is going,” says Tim Smale. Smale and his wife operate the non-profit dispensary Remedy Compassion Center in Auburn.

He says they decided to get into the business in 2009, encouraged by the change in the White House, as well as a memo released by then-deputy Attorney General James Ogden in October that law enforcement would not focus on individuals complying with existing state laws on medical marijuana.

A month later, Mainers voted to expand the state’s medical marijuana law to allow for dispensaries. “And we responded to that call with our time, our money and our hopes and expectations that we would be able to do this unfettered by government inteference, and only would receive government support,” Smale says.

Smale says that his dispensary has been helping more than 100 patients with health issues, such as pain and prescription drug dependency, since opening in May.

But Maine U.S. Attorney Thomas Delahanty says that contrary to what some might think, the federal government has not releaxed its position on medical marijuana.

“There hasn’t been any change in the federal law, and if they’re entering in this business they know

Article source: http://www.mpbn.net/News/MaineNewsArchive/tabid/181/ctl/ViewItem/mid/3475/ItemId/17193/Default.aspx