Patrick Nightingale – a former Pittsburgh district attorney and founder of PKN Law – issued a statement this week warning all users, growers and distributors of legitimate medical marijuana in the US that arrest and incarceration may be imminent. Nightingale says that state laws that permit the sale and use of medicinal pot such as those in Oregon, California and Colorado may not be enough to protect against arrest by federal agents.
“Despite initial forward progress with medical marijuana legislation in 17 states, the federal government has been ignoring these state level laws for more than a year now, resulting in the arrest and incarceration of many law-abiding citizens.”
Nightingale pointed to reports of federal crackdowns on medical marijuana dispensaries in California and Colorado within the last week alone. In some cases warnings are being issued to cease operations, while in other cases arrests have been made and charges filed.
“It’s important to understand that even if you live in a state that has medical marijuana laws on the books, and even if you’re operating 100% within the regulations of those laws, you can still be tried and imprisoned. Lots of people are losing their jobs, their livelihood and even their personal freedom because they don’t understand the paradox of current medical marijuana legislation in the United States.”
In a recent article on the subject, Nightingale discusses the contradictory nature of the problem in reference to the general rationale behind the War on Drugs that marijuana has no medical value;
“US Patent 6630507 is especially hypocritical considering that the recent medical marijuana movement was largely based around the same types of medical benefits clearly noted by the US DHHS. In fact, it was precisely these benefits that led 16 States to pass medical marijuana legislation after significant public support.”
The US DHHS currently holds a patent on medical marijuana medicine, Nightingale points out.
But despite these hypocrisies, Nightingale warns that there’s a difference between maintaining principles and staying out of jail:
“The federal government is at odds with state laws regarding medical marijuana and is aggressively pursuing cases against people involved in this industry. Whether you agree with this confusing policy or not will have no impact on the likelihood that you’ll be arrested and convicted of federal drug crimes.”
When asked what options medical marijuana users and distributors have, Nightingale’s response was simple:
“You can do one of two things; accept the risks and continue undeterred, or discontinue involvement in or use of medical marijuana altogether. In either case, get out there and tell your lawmakers that this double-standard is not acceptable. Otherwise, the federal government is going to continue to railroad state laws, with good people getting hurt along the way.”
PKN Law is a Pittsburgh based law firm representing those who have been charged with drug crimes, white collar crimes, DUI, felony cases and gun crimes. To get an immediate consultation, to schedule an interview with Patrick Nightingale or to order a press kit, please visit http://www.patricknightingale.com, or call 412-454-5582.