The feds have promised to come down on Massachusetts dispensaries as they “pop up” under the new state medical marijuana laws. According to the Boston Herald, special agent in charge of the DEA’s New England Division, John J. Arvanitis said they will do what they need to in order to enforce federal law.
The DEA is in the business of controlling drugs, and to them, marijuana remains a Schedule I substance, classified alongside heroin as one of the most addictive drugs out there, and with no medical benefits. While the new medical marijuana law of Massachusetts says differently, pot is still an illegal substance under federal law, and it seems the feds won’t be bowing to state laws telling them otherwise.
“Marijuana is still a controlled substance,” said Agent Arvanitis. “DEA is committed to investigating individuals who are involved in the distribution of marijuana. DEA goes to where the information and evidence take it. If we become aware that individuals are involved in marijuana distribution, we’ll investigate it.”
Next year, as the new law authorizes, up to 35 medical marijuana dispensaries will open. And with the feds cracking down in other states, taking advantage of “vague” laws and prosecuting with no rhyme or reason, those soon to be involved in Massachusetts medical marijuana trade should be cautious.
At least one future dispensary-operator isn’t worried. John Napoli hopes to open a dispensary at his downtown Boston hydroponics store Boston Gardener.
“Before it was banned in the 1930s, cannabis was available at every pharmacy in Massachusetts,” he told the Globe. “I think we’re headed back in that direction. The DEA will eventually follow the people’s lead.”
While he may be right about the eventually part, for now the DEA is fighting state marijuana laws.
The federal enforcement of marijuana laws has been sporadic and chaotic. They aren’t executing sweeping raids and it seems that there is no specific violations they are chasing. Hitting a dispensary in this state, a user in another state—they seem to just be operating haphazardly.
Still, we can likely expect this enforcement to come to a head, and the recent legislation changes in Colorado and Washington could spur the climax we are looking for.
If you are caught in possession of pot or even accused of growing or distributing marijuana, I may be able to help. You have rights. Contact me today to discuss your legal options.