U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner: Dispensary Profits Irked Us


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The United States attorney for California's Eastern District, Benjamin Wagner, broke his silence regarding his office's near-five-month old crackdown on California dispensaries Friday, in an interview with the national editor of the Hearst Newspapers Washington Bureau.

The crackdown has eliminated safe access to the life-saving drug for tens of thousands of sick and dying throughout the state, and cost thousands of jobs and millions in tax revenue, NORML reports.

The Department of Justice's take: "no regrets".

Marijuana businesses became too brazen between the Ogden Memo of 2009 and the Cole Memo of 2011, Wagner said. "We were alarmed by the explosive growth of these large commercial operations. These huge dispensaries are focused on profits."

U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California - Benjamin Wagner
  • U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California - Benjamin Wagner
So it's not because marijuana is federally illegal, but because some were making money doing it, eh, Comrade Wagner?

"It's not about a moral crusade ... A lot of people in this state may think prosecuting marijuana cases is the only thing we do," he said.

Which invites the question: What do our U.S. Attorneys do? Has one fraudulent lender gone to prison for robo-signing California families out of their homes?

Wagner's office used to issue near-weekly press releases about his marijuana case-load in the Central Valley via the his office's "Press Releases" web page. As of press time, that page is a broken link. It's high time to find out exactly how our U.S. Attorneys are using extremely limited resources each year.