The federal government is after you. They do not care if your state government has passed laws allowing you to conduct business, whatever facet of the cannabis business you might be in. They do not care if your customers are patients with Ehler-Danlos Syndrome, multiple sclerosis, or terminal cancer. They do not care if you’ve never been involved in a “real” crime in your life, if you pay your taxes on time, or if you go to church. They do not care if you are the mayor of your town or the hobo on the street.
The only thing that these federal law enforcement agencies care about is their money. Because when they raid you, your house, your business…they are looking for cars, houses, and cash.
When they raid you, they will have a chase car on scene. When the jackbooted thugs break down your door, guns blazing, they will search your house and the entirety of your personal effects. If they find any evidence, any mention, of a bank account, of personal wealth…they will take it.
They will take your money before you can hire an attorney to defend you in a court of law, and they will actively try to keep you from using the federal law that allows the provision of counsel for people who can’t afford it.
They will bankrupt you before they charge you with a crime.
If your mother wrote you a check or sent you a bank note, they will seize your mother’s bank account.
If your child has a piggy bank, or perhaps received a large cash gift for a birthday…they will take that too.
If they suspect you are a “drug dealer” they will time their raid to the best of their abilities to catch you with cash. I have found that law enforcement across the country will routinely and uniquely delay the service of warrants in “drug” crimes to maximize seizure revenue, rather than prevent the “drugs” from being sold to the community.
If you are innocent and you have had your property seized, they will threaten you if you attempt to get your property back. I know dozens of people who were hit with criminal charges after they challenged the civil seizure of their property. They will threaten your citizenship status if you look like an immigrant or associate with anyone who is an immigrant.
If you challenge their seizure of your property, they will use a labyrinth of tricks and pitfalls to undermine your efforts. They will use the law of the high seas, laws designed to deal with violent pirates and terrorists, to persecute you in public and in private.
If you have the temerity to use the money you earn from providing products and services to consenting adults to purchase a nice car or any kind of visible luxury, you are a target.
They will laugh at you when you mention the Constitution or “rights”. Indeed, you may be reported to the FBI or Homeland Security for a “preliminary” assessment that the government does not have the legal obligation to keep a record of. In other words, they can punitively investigate you without telling you or anyone else, and you will have no way to prove what they are doing to you.
They can use the Patriot Act to stalk you and find your property. Because to them, you’re not an American…you’re a cash cow that they can slaughter under the name of “public safety”.
These are people who have no decency, yet occupy positions of power and respect. They will lie, bold-faced and brazen, to a state legislature. Not even the attentions of Congress will provoke respect from them. Agency heads who are invited by Congress to testify on forfeiture abuses have a track record of declining the invitation and sending a subordinate.
These are people who have no problem shredding subpoenaed documents that might prove damaging to them.
They will pay their salaries from the money and property they take from you. They will also buy weapons from the military, because they have the money and the power. They will use tanks and men wearing back masks and machine guns to raid you at night, like the KGB in the Soviet Union.
Some federal agencies have even paid judges directly from forfeiture funds. Impartial justice? I think not.
You will not have a proper record of the property that is taken or who has it. If your property is damaged or destroyed during their raid, they will deny the allegation. If you win your claim, they will claim that they are protected by qualified and absolute immunity.
If you do file a civil rights lawsuit against the government for violation of your rights, get ready for a 5-10 year ordeal. If and when you win your lawsuit, the government will fight the judgment and the payment of attorney’s fees. This is so that other attorneys will think twice before challenging the government.
The issues surrounding marijuana legalizers are not issues of marijuana legalization. They are issues of mercenary law enforcement, people who put on the blue uniform and the badge and go looking for plunder.