Fresno County Sheriff, Margaret Mims, is attending the annual High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Conference in Washington, D.C. this week. She says she plans to discuss her frustration over a recent shift in federal drug policy. The federal government is no longer persecuting marijuana growers that are complying with state laws. Every year, Sheriff’s deputies expend exorbitant resources eradicating marijuana gardens, many of which comply with the California Compassionate Use Act, and until last year, weren’t in violation of Fresno’s medical marijuana ban.
Mims told Abc30:
“We need to see the federal government step up and make a decision on whether or not they are going to keep marijuana as a schedule 1 drug. As long as it is, it will continue to be illegal federally, which creates confusion and makes it very difficult for local law enforcement to do their job,”
It wouldn’t cause any confusion if the sheriff’s department simply complied with California law. But Mims has taken it upon herself to disregard voters and enforce federal marijuana laws. Instead of fighting the criminals who commit burglaries and home invasions at grow sites, the Sheriff’s Department long ago decided to punish innocent marijuana patients and providers, instead.
Defense attorney Brenda Linder has challenged many of the sheriff’s department’s cases in court and has several lawsuits pending against Fresno County over its medical marijuana crackdowns. She says full legalization is imminent and that Mims and Fresno County are on the wrong path.
“It’s going to happen one way or another, and it’s going to become legalized in California,” said Linder. “And the longer that they fight it here, the further back in regulations they are going to get.”
“It’s increasing criminal activity, not diminishing it,” she said.
But Mims remains clueless:
“It’s drug trafficking plain and simple, and that’s what we need to stop,” she said.
Meanwhile, in Colorado, the state is making so much revenue from legal cannabis sales, they may pay residents back.