The Feds Force the Fringe to Crouch encore from October 2011
Exclusive Fringe Report to the Free and Brave
Medical Marijuana is doing well in California, and a lot of people who would be out of work otherwise are making a living because of it. So many Americans doing something is what democracy is about, and people paying taxes are certainly what a capitalist democracy is about. But, the feds are slow to get that. The success of med can has drawn the ire of the U.S. Attorneys.
Among the tactics being used by California’s four U.S. Attorneys to intimidate and chill the thriving medical marijuana commerce in California is a threat from Laura E. Duffy, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California, who has “expansively” interpreted a law making it illegal to advertise illegal drugs (and F* the 1st Amendment). Duffy is interpreting the law to mean that the press is violating the law when it allows an advertiser to advertise an illegal drug. The penalties are four years in the jug. Medical Marijuana is legal in California, but not the United States, which creates a weird fourth dimension in the law, which the U.S. Attorneys are blind to.
Is the Sierra County Prospect at all frightened by this hard stance taken by the U.S. Attorney? Hell yes! The feds function like a massive Cyclops, generally confused by the many little ants at its feet, but terrible and unrelenting should you have the misfortune to come to their attention. The feds could shake and shatter and leave your poor Fringe Editor with jelly for bones, and the Prospect just a digital stain on the information highway. We are in the Eastern District, link is HERE, which is very busy busting “marijuana manufacturers.” Let’s hope they don’t start going after cow manufacturers next.
U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy Doesn’t the thought of having her invade your nightmares cause something to run down your leg?
The Prospect isn’t currently advertising for medical marijuana dispensaries; we do advertise Hanya Barth, a physician who, under medically indicated instances, does recommend cannabis to some patients, but so far the feds haven’t menaced anyone for advertising doctors.
Even so, what if a dispensary wanted to advertise in the Prospect, should we refuse, or should we take the ad? Emiliano Zapata, champion of the poor people of Mexico, is credited with saying “it’s better to die on your feet than live on your knees” but your Fringe Editor is willing to live in a crouch, not exactly on my feet like in a really free country, but standing enough to be in denial of the police state we do live in.
But, what does being a crouching editor mean? The law is not clear, it isn’t even clear that the press can be charged for running such an ad. Further, there is no clear delineation of what constitutes advertising an illegal drug.
For example, take this potential ad from Harborside, which has been busted by the feds for not paying enough income tax on the drug the feds claim is illegal to sell.
The ad, which was taken without their request from their website, and which was not submitted for advertisement, and for which we received no compensation, but which we use simply as an example,
Acer Palmatum, Japanese Maple
doesn’t really advertise the use of med can at all, it simply shows a shadowy Japanese Maple leaf. Would we be in violation of using speech not protected by the 1st Amendment? Brrrrrrr, we don’t want to find out!
There is a rumor that some Sierra County Residents get their med can from the Sacramento or Grass Valley Area. Here is a website from a dispensary which our readers might potentially use.
Likewise blah blah they didn’t ask us to use them etc. This ad would say nothing at all about medical cannabis, and indeed these folks look like they’re about to do something completely legitimate and legal, like give someone an ass whoppin’ dose of morphine IV or maybe carefully shove something up someone’s somewhere.
Finally, there’s this one, from the Florin Wellness Center who never requested we advertise them, which of course we aren’t we’re using their publically available website in a news story. Their graphic is more graphic, clearly showing the Japanese Maple leaf drug dealers apparently use to symbolize their illegal trade. We would likely be afraid to run an ad for Florin Wellness Center, not because we are afraid of wellness, but because we are afraid of the feds.
We hope the Free and Brave will understand if we don’t want our lives destroyed for our own good. If you see your Fringe Editor crouching around the county, you’ll know he’s being as free as he dare be.
By the way, Zapata, at 40, was ambushed by Federales posing as supporters, and his body turned in for a reward. (Shhhhh, long live the revolution!)
Emiliano Zapata on a Ten Peso Mexican bill
Notice: The Sierra County Prospect encourages its readers to manage their health in the way determined best by themselves and their healthcare provider, and to do so at a crouch if necessary.