US attorney: Growing, using medical pot still felony

May 23rd, 2011 by admin Leave a reply »

May 19

US attorney: Growing, using medical pot still felony

By John Richardson
Staff Writer

Maine’s U.S. attorney has told state lawmakers that Maine’s medical marijuana law contradicts federal law, and that the U.S. Department of Justice reserves the right to prosecute Mainers who cultivate and distribute the drug, even if they have state approval.

U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty sent a letter, dated Monday, in response to a request from the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee, which recently endorsed changes to the Maine Medical Marijuana Act.

Committee members met briefly with Maine Attorney General William Schneider on Wednesday afternoon to discuss legal issues. They are expected to move forward with the amendments.

“It changes nothing. We’re still working on going forward with it,” said Rep. Deborah Sanderson, R-Chelsea, a committee member and the sponsor of the new medical marijuana bill.

The bill, which has not yet been considered by the Legislature, would make it optional for medical marijuana patients to register with the state, among other things. All patients must register under current law.

Delahanty said in his

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