Despite Obama admin’s promise, DEA continues raids on medical marijuana growers

(RAW STORY)   On Thursday, a Denver news station interviewed Chris Bartkowicz about his medical-marijuana operation in the basement of his home. Bartkowicz, confident of his compliance with state laws, boasted of its size and profitability.

“I’m definitely living the dream now,” he told 9News.

The following day, the dream was over.

MARIJUANADrug-enforcement agents raided his home, placed him under arrest, and carried off dozens of black bags of marijuana plants and growing lights.

The Obama administration promised in October that the federal government would respect state laws allowing the growing and selling of marijuana for medicinal use, but the Drug Enforcement Agency sent a loud message with the arrest of Bartkowicz.

“It’s still a violation of federal law,” said Jeffrey Sweetin,  the DEA special agent in charge of the Denver office. “It’s not medicine. We’re still going to continue to investigate and arrest people.”

The United States Attorney’s office will decide Tuesday if charges will be filed against Bartkowicz.

In an interview from his jail cell, Bartkowicz said he believes the DEA is making an example of him. He would never have exposed himself if he believed his business was illegal.

“If I knew what I was doing was illegal, I would have never made a public display of myself,” he said. “I would not have put myself in the line of fire if I was knowingly violating the law.”
Sweetin wasn’t surprised by Bartkowicz’ confidence.

“According to him and according to what he’s seen on the news, he probably believes he is legal,” Sweetin said.

And according to Sweetin, it isn’t just growers who face arrest. The dispensaries are next on the list.

“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. They’re violating federal law; they’re at risk of arrest and imprisonment,” he said to The Denver Post. “Technically, every dispensary in the state is in blatant violation of federal law.”

Deputy U.S. Attorney General David Ogden told federal agents in an October memo to not target people in “clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana.”

Sweetin said the memo does nothing to change federal law, which makes marijuana illegal.

The difference between the Obama administration’s stated mission to end the “war on drugs” and the actual enforcement of that policy by DEA agents may not come as a surprise to those who have seen the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s (ONDCP) budget for fiscal year 2011.

“We’re not at war with people in this country,” Obama’s drug czar Gil Kerlikowske told The Wall Street Journal in May.

But according to 2011 funding “highlights” released by the ONDCP (PDF link), the Obama administration is growing the drug war and tilting its funds heavily toward law enforcement over treatment.

During the interview in his jail cell, Bartkowicz said he realized his arrest is the center of a national debate and defended his right to publicly declare his business.

http://rawstory.com/2010/02/obama-admins-promise-dea-continues-raids-medical-marijuana-growers/

19 Responses to Despite Obama admin’s promise, DEA continues raids on medical marijuana growers

  • Mr. Sweetin, a tax feeder, has obviously never heard of the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, nor does he understand the plain English of current Commander-in-Chief, President Obama.

    “It’s not medicine.” Really! Are you going to stick to that, Mr. Sweetin, because you’re killing what’s left of your credibility with this inane statement.

    Hey, DEA, you want to make some really huge busts? Track some CIA planes coming in from Central America!!!

  • Revolution is the Solution!!

  • It is up to the state to mobileize the national guard to arrest federal employees of the DEA for violating state law. It is time for the states to take action against the Federal Government who don’t want people to get well. they want them to continue to poison themselves with big pharma drugs that make you sicker and don’t cure anything. They want the CIA to be the sole marketeer of drugs on the streets of america to finance their black ops.

    At least that is what it looks like to me.Why else are the Feds interested in pot?

  • ” They want the CIA to be the sole marketeer of drugs on the streets of america to finance their black ops.

    At least that is what it looks like to me.Why else are the Feds interested in pot?”

    Bingo.

  • “carried off dozens of black bags”

    That much? Or does state law a humongous ‘personal use’ allowance?

  • They did the same thing in CA…arrest honest operators and place in stead their CIA controlled criminal gangs to make real profit and to create a problem that needs to be solved.

  • As I believe the constitution specifically forbids the federal government from taking states rights. No power unless specifically mentioned is granted to the federal government. This would seem like a good test case. “Government isn’t the solution it’s the problem”

  • Mr. Sweetin obviously never heard of the Fall of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, either . . .

    “Whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends,
    it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it.

    . . . it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government,
    and to provide new Guards for their future Security.”

    – Thomas Jefferson,
    Declaration of Independence, 1776

  • The 3 most profitable “businesses” of the last 200 years, in order…

    “illegal” drugs, war, “legal” drugs (big pharma).

    The same people monopolize all 3, at any cost.

    google “it wasn’t Muslims”

  • Shalom and Namaste,

    As a Modern American Shaman Priest, it is my act of christian duty to offer the anointing of my God as a sacrament of initiation for those who have not come unto the presence of God. Kaneh Bosm as mentioned in the book of Exodus is the plant Cannabis and it is God who is being mocked by it’s being regarded “illegal” upon any portion of the Earth. The fact that it’s upon the planet, means that we all possess it, and you want to then say it’s only “Logical” that we make it “Illegal”!

    Am I the only one that has recognized the boisterous blasphemy that these Nazi militant officer’s are projecting by their enforcing laws which violate our rights to act as religious persons and violating our right to minister to the ill, with what substance we have religiously received in order to religiously/medically give to others thru our religious compassion to heal and comfort those who simply Ask us.

    Ask and ye shall receive. . . But sirs! how long have they been asking and you have been throwing them into jails instead of comforting the children of God? How long will it continue?? 1 every 37 seconds is being caste away by our “government” for acting in the sovereignty of their God, and practice of their religion which is to take into one’s own possession the sacred entheogen which upon consecration allows the new creation vessel to re-engineer their relativity unto God and man, as their worshipful act of life and faith. How such holy ideals can be outright attacked by gestapo styled tactics in any American City should be the biggest craze of media right now! Every time some guy pops up sincerely speaking about how God has led him to use cannabis, to grow cannabis and to give cannabis to others at a cost to support that man in Gods work, they should be thanked! They are healing portions of the social venue that doctor’s can’t get to, that police can’t frighten or that politicians have nothing in common. The simple use of Cannabis is a consciousness leveling evolvement, it allows men and women to recognize the issues which have caused their fears and their reactions. We are able to understand better what our roles are as people. There is no “disease” caused against our society by the use of Cannabis as much as their is the stir of panic when police gather. When they are seen getting ready to raid a house a few blocks away or hearing about who it was that got shot this weak by the police or what group of people were harvested for what everyone has been doing for so long that police are the only one’s we can see in the world that actually believe the state has the authority to make a religious substance illegal!
    Who will listen? Who will stop this War of Elitism! They don’t want you to think.. they don’t want you to focus.. they don’t want you to have entheogens because you will evolve into to much! They want slaves, they want consumers and employees and members of banks, not religious people free of the sinful desires that cause us to hate our neighbor enough to arrest them for doing what their God has drawn upon them. Judge no man! We must judge our own selves!.. Fine.. you choose not to eat, I won’t judge you.. but if I choose to eat, why do you judge me and yourselves? Judge not, lest ye be judged! There was only one Judge and that Judge died and was in my life ressurrected, and it is that authority which has Christed me thru the marriage supper of Gods anointing; the fire baptism of the Cannabis Tree! Everyone is deserving!

  • Where was the county Sheriff while this illegal seizure was taking place? The DEA operatives should have been immediately arrested and incarcerated for their violation of state law. The sheriff of any county is the ultimate law enforcer in his/her district and it is past time they they began to “grow a pair” and fulfill their oaths of office – or risk being removed from office at the earliest election and replaced with someone who understands this basic tenet of law.

  • Cannabis is in the Bible many times.
    Tree of Life,
    Spikenard,
    Comforter,
    anointed Oil,
    Pulse,
    Num 11:7 the seeds of Cannabis.
    Ezek 47:12 The leaves are for Medicine, Cannabis leaves.
    Prov 3 King Solomon tells Us what you get from the Tree of Life.
    Rev 22:2 tell Us how the Tree of Life will Heal you.
    Rev 22:3 tells Us there will be no more Curse, (Opiates)
    Prov 15:4 tells Us in Hebrew, that A Medicine eaten is a Tree of Life.
    But everyone only reads it like this, A Wholesome Tongue is a Tree of Life, But Wholesome in HEBREW means Medicine. Look it up in a Concordance.
    King Solomon call this Cannabis plant SPIKENARD and he wrote 8 Chapters in Sonds of Solomon, this one BOOK is only about the Cannabis Plant.
    Now for the people that don’t Believe,
    Rev tells Us Satan will come in your forhead or HAND, what we are see everyone talking Opiates, this is the other Plant in the Bible.
    The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, the Thorns, Bitter Drink,Wormwood,
    Opium,Poppy Plant,this is Satan’s Plant in the garden.
    Opiates are just poison and you will surely Die.
    Cannabis will heal you.
    Two Plants one will kill you, one will Heal you.
    What is the Saint’s prayer in Rev?
    Cannabis is from God and it is in the Bible, Jesus gave Us the Comforter, King Solomon called it Spikenard or Tree of Life.
    What are the Seven Spirit’s of GOD? Read Rev ch 5 to see what they are, then go to Prov 3 and see how King Solomon got six Spirit’s from the Tree of Life.
    Power only comes from Jesus. But the Tree of Life gets you HIM.
    1 Cor 12:3 Paul tells Us only with the Holy Ghost or Spirit can a Person call Jesus Lord. Only by the Holy Ghost, what is Cannabis? the Tree of Life.
    Because Opiates are the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

  • What a putz. You want a real drug bust to bef up your resume? Go to Afghanistan and follow the CIA around for a while. Those poppy fields are cranking. BTW, the original reason for making pot illegal was not what has been suggested. Pot was used to make sails for ships,cloths and a host of other products. It was seen as serious competition from the synthetics arena. Must as alchohol was “prohibited” not because you would drink it. The first automobiles RAN ON ALCOHOL. There was no gasoline, which is nasty and a waste byproduct in oil refining.

  • Jct: “Yes we can!” “You can take that to the bank!” Har har har. http://johnturmel.com/kotp.htm has the Obama-McCain Saddleback debates where I interlaced my responses. And I’m also the Canadian who made them drop 4000 marijuana charges in 2003.

  • Get Sweetin fired, Denver. He’s a parasite helping to rob Americans of their rights, their health, and the fruits of their labor.

  • Yes. It is true, and can be substantiated by our own government; CIA has used Afghanistan for illicit drug trade and continue to do so. They use these monies for covert operations. It has been claimed by many that legalizing a relatively harmless substance as marijuana would impede the black money CIA raises selling drugs on our streets.

  • Where in the Constitution does it give the Federal government the authority to confiscate plants grown by an individual for use within the state he resides in?

  • aha that mother fucker is smoked out, having over 200 plants at his house
    Chris your the shit man ……..people like you are the reason i wanna learn to grow bomb bud =]

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