The DEA’s dartboard


We are a bit perplexed by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s recent medical marijuana raids. Wasn’t there some sort of federal edict passed down last fall telling the DEA to leave dispensaries and caregivers alone in states with medical marijuana laws, as long as they are not in violation of those laws?

So, what criteria is the DEA using to select its targets? In media reports, Jeffrey Sweetin of the DEA keeps referring to the amount of profit involved, which is curious. If a caregiver has a boatload of patients legally, why wouldn’t a sizeable profit be expected?

Another factor seems to be publicity. Chris Bartkowicz was targeted by the DEA recently after appearing on a TV news program boasting about how much pot he grows. Again, we don’t recall any language in Amendment 20 prohibiting that.

“Technically, every dispensary in the state is in blatant violation of federal law,” Sweetin told The Denver Post. “The time is coming when we go into a dispensary, we find out what their profit is, we seize the building and we arrest everybody.”

When reached by Boulder Weekly, Mike Turner of the DEA was clearly backpedaling to do damage control after Sweetin’s inflammatory comments.

“We don’t have any plans to start targeting marijuana dispensaries unless there are extenuating circumstances,” he says, citing things like money-laundering, violent crime and weapons violations. “We’re not focusing on this on a day-to-day basis. It’s not like we’re patrolling the streets looking for marijuana dispensaries.”

Turner assures us that they did their homework before raiding Bartkowicz’s home, and that it wasn’t just because he was bragging on TV.

But he adds, “If we turn on the television and see a large-scale marijuana operation, that’s cause for concern and may cause us to look into it.  … We can’t just turn our backs on that.”

When pressed about the particulars of the state’s marijuana laws — which DEA officers should know, if they are going to be targeting those who violate them — Turner floundered.

“I’m not that versed,” he said. “I’m not an attorney.”

Well, that’s reassuring.

He also told Boulder Weekly that the demand probably exceeds the supply in Colorado, and that pot is probably flowing in from other states and countries to supply all of our new dispensaries with product.

Turner mentions Mexico, obviously, but also Canada as likely sources of Colorado’s weed.

Unwanted vaginal intrusion

This just in from something called the Christian Communication Network: The group Personhood Colorado has reportedly submitted enough signatures to land an anti-abortion measure on the ballot.

There they go, trying to get their fingers into your wombs again.

The proposed amendment to the state Constitution would define the term “person” as “every human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being.”

“Our grassroots, volunteer campaign will continue to be a success, because we are working towards a very worthy cause — protecting the lives of innocent Colorado citizens,” trumpets Gualberto Garcia-Jones, co-sponsor of the amendment. “The 79,817 signatures are an indicator that the people of Colorado are determined to protect innocent life; we will not rest until every child is protected by love and by law.”

Well, if that’s true, they won’t be resting for a long time, because the last time they brought this amendment to voters it was overwhelmingly rejected. The vast majority of Coloradans don’t want to interfere with women’s right to choose, particularly during the first trimester and in cases of rape or incest.

Besides, no one can legislate love.

And we are thrust again into the argument of when life starts. Birth? Conception? Daddy’s hard-on?

Hey, here’s an idea. Instead of legislating morality and trying to control other people’s civil rights, instead of telling women what to do with their bodies and trying to set public policy based on religious grounds, why don’t you people mind your own business and take a volunteer job helping to support all of the children that are already being born into disadvantaged environments?