DEA is Investigating Montana State Legislators Over State Laws

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posted on Jan, 31 2012 @ 03:33 PM
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Diane Sands is a Democratic Legislator from Missoula in the Montana State Legislature. As a lawmaker, she is used to being unpopular at times with some of her constituents. However, I just read an article in the main newspaper for Montana from Sunday 29th of January 2012 that is one of the most deplorable stories I have read in quite some time.

As it is in many states, a controlled substance (considered illegal in other states, and the federal governement) is legal in Montana. It has been for several years. A proposition was voted on by the citizens a few years ago that requested overwhelmingly it be made legal for certain patients. She was apparently one of the representatives who voted to allow it. She has also recently made a statement that the federal government should de-criminalize the use of it, and leave it up to the states to decide. Much like wolves were recently de-listed from the endangered species list thus basically putting regulation concerning them into the hands of the states.

I had to give that background, so we all understand here what has just happened. Sunday's paper featured an article where it was made clear she, along with some other lawmakers from Montana have been under recent investigation by the DEA for their stance on the issue, up to and including the possibility of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.



A possible witness in a federal drug investigation was asked whether Sands might be part of a conspiracy to sell medical marijuana. The questions came from Drug Enforcement Administration agents from Billings who were investigating medical marijuana businesses, and Sands learned about the inquiry from the witness' attorney.

"So now, if you're a state legislator who has been working on medical marijuana laws, you are somehow part of a conspiracy," said Sands, who represents House District 95 in Missoula and works as development director for the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula. "It's ridiculous, of course, but it's also threatening to think that the federal government is willing to use its influence and try to chill discussion about this subject."

Sands isn't the only one with concerns. At least one other legislator declined comment regarding DEA questions about the legislator's duties out of concern over "additional harassment."


Billings Gazette Link to Story

She has apparently been in contact with the ACLU here who also consulted an outside attorney about this. Neither Rep. Sands nor the ACLU are really worried about actual federal charges, since she has done nothing wrong. All she did was be very vocal about something the federal government was against.

The problem that concerns me, and should concern everyone else here, is the US Government using it's agencies and resources to investigate state lawmakers who have opposite views from federal laws. She wasn't discussing overthrowing the US Government. She wasn't speaking out about the current administration even. All she did was help craft state laws which were highly supported by citizens of the state.

This has happened before and Rep. Sands made mention of it. In the 1940's, 1950's and 60's it was considered almost treasonous to speak badly about the US as a citizen. Much less as a lawmaker. The US House of Representatives started a committee called The House Un-American Activities Committee. Anyone subpoenaed by this committee basically had no recourse to anything, and were usually blacklisted. Another similar tactic was used by Senator Joseph McCarthy.

McCarthy basically saw a Communist behind every door, lurking in the shadows and anywhere else, INCLUDING other politicians. Even going so far as accusing members of then president Harry Truman. People were investigated, civil rights trampled on, political careers as well as basically anyone else to cross either this House committee or McCarthy were done for. The FBI under J. Edgar Hoover investigated everyone from presidents on down.

Montana State Representative Sands is comparing these DEA actions to those more archaic investigations, but with a new twist. Federal investigations of State lawmakers just because they don't agree with current federal laws or help craft laws that have different opinions of issues than federal ones is very very wrong. And if it is happening with her, and other members who refused comment to the paper about this, it is definitely happening with everyday citizens.

I would like to remind everyone, this discussion in this thread is about the DEA and federal agencies investigating state lawmakers just because they are outspoken against federal laws. This discussion can not be about what those laws are or what anyone's opinion of those laws are. At no point can we violate the ATS Terms and Conditions.

I was given special permission from the ATS powers that be to even bring this topic up. I had to state some facts which were relevant to this discussion and thread at the start, but they will not be discussed in open discussion. We have been given special permission to to even skirt this issue here. You can be sure the ATS mods and gods are watching this discussion very closely.

It could well affect our ability as a community to discuss sensitive issues in the future based on responses here. I will report any violations I see also to the mods if they don't catch them first. I feel very very strongly that the DEA investigating members of the Montana State Legislature for laws they made or even comments they made is so blatant a violation of our constitution it isn't even funny. And as I said before, if they are looking into lawmakers and they know it..then they most certainly are looking into US citizens illegally.

And please....let's remember to stay on topic and prove how responsible we are as members of ATS with this thread.




posted on Jan, 31 2012 @ 03:38 PM
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it'll be 1984 in a few years



posted on Jan, 31 2012 @ 03:38 PM
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The more I have thought about this over the last 2 days, this is blatant intimidation in my opinion. And if the DEA is doing it over certain matters, what's to say the FBI, Homeland Security or any other Federal agency isn't also using this tactic as well. Not just in Montana but in other states as well.



posted on Jan, 31 2012 @ 03:43 PM
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reply to post by webpirate
 


Its just another example of the federal government overstepping its bounds...

And another reason id love to see Paul in office, to return the rights to the states as it should be



posted on Jan, 31 2012 @ 03:45 PM
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Well, I hate to tell you, but it will be illegal in your state again soon.
We just went though this in Michigan. It no longer matters what the people want, or vote for. The Feds come in and tell you what is going to be. Just proved to me yet again that your vote does not count.



posted on Jan, 31 2012 @ 03:49 PM
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i sent this to the canidate for govenor of montana and the current govenor swizer to see what his opinion on the matter is good to know we can add one more offical thing obama has lied about (not doing raids) thats all ill say about that but montana values its independence very much and does not take kindly to federal involvement in their state in any way shape or form so i would imagine the people of mt might get pretty po'ed about this more for the feds then the issue of illegality (ie feds are worse then social stigmas on illegal things to some Montanans)s&f thanks for brining this to our attention(im in montana and had not seen this yet)



posted on Jan, 31 2012 @ 03:49 PM
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Keep going federal government, you're going to spark a secession and another Civil War. Oh, and the beautiful part about it is that if the right states secede, you'll never be able to get hold of your precious little tanks and aircraft, either XD
edit on 31-1-2012 by AnIntellectualRedneck because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 31 2012 @ 03:53 PM
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Hey S & F for you, wasn't expecting a story from my hometown.
This is ridiculous. I can't believe they'll actually investigate these legislators on these terms. This town (hell the state) have been fighting for years for the legalization of this substance. The majority of the people have voted yes for it but they always find a way to push it back and arrest more people. Now their targeting the the defenders of the people and trying to take them down. I've notice the increase of police, FBI and DEA in this town but this is just stupid.



posted on Jan, 31 2012 @ 03:54 PM
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reply to post by chiefsmom
 


There were comments in the paper online about something similar involving the DEA and this type of legislation in Colorado too, but I haven't as of yet been able to very the facts of that. But it doesn't surprise me at all if it did.



posted on Jan, 31 2012 @ 03:55 PM
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The Federal Government has made it very clear that they do not agree a state has the power to circumvent federal law. We were told this (in no uncertain terms) when we voted on the issue.

The FBI, DEA and other law enforcement agencies bought large advertisements in all the major state newspapers in which they 'advised' the citizens of their belief that this was only going to affect STATE law, and would only preclude prosecution for STATE crimes. The ads went on to say that anyone proven to have bought, sold or even simply used this substance WOULD be arrested and tried for federal crimes while what they did was legal under state statutes. They didn't lie to us this time!

Eventually this issue will have to go before the Supreme Court. On that day, the states will lose some more of what little power they retain.



posted on Jan, 31 2012 @ 03:58 PM
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A missing part of the history books, was the well-known "The War of Northern Aggression", this was the perception of the Confederate states The Civil-War.

If your knee-jerk reaction is Slavery is bad, well you have missed something very crucial from the south's perspective. It was about Federal Government overstepping it's Authority and violating the Balance of Power between State's Rights. Slavery of course is ghastly and inhumane, but this was the pre-text Federal Government had to violate the Constitution and super-cede the Balance of Power.

It is unconstitutional, and always has been for The Federal Government to over-step their Authority and Violate a State's Rights.

Federal Police Next, I'm sure you can guess we have them already under the guise of various 3 letter organizations. Interstate Commerce would be trafficking, but in-state Medical commerce scares the Administration's Healthcare Reform.

Use your mind, not your knee...Jerk



posted on Jan, 31 2012 @ 03:58 PM
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Originally posted by Shangrila
This is ridiculous. I can't believe they'll actually investigate these legislators on these terms.


Indeed. What makes this more unbelievable is that she...the legislator only learned about this from an attorney for a defendant in a legal case. It sounds like the DEA has actually gone so far as to accuse Rep. Sands of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.

That is absurd. All she did was cast a vote. And open her mouth. That's why I can see through this as pure, simple, blatant intimidation.



posted on Jan, 31 2012 @ 03:59 PM
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Originally posted by ManBehindTheMask
reply to post by webpirate
 


Its just another example of the federal government overstepping its bounds...

And another reason id love to see Paul in office, to return the rights to the states as it should be


Hear, hear! Here is the real enemy of this, Big Oil, Big Pharm, and Big Lumber. All lobby heavily against this measure by the States.
Ron Paul for President!



posted on Jan, 31 2012 @ 04:03 PM
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reply to post by Montana
 


I have to be careful with my reply here, but it was also made clear by the US Attorney General that they would look the other way because they had bigger things to worry about. It comes down to money in my opinion. And a few idiots who flaunted the laws in public.

There is a legal Schedule II derivative of this that is currently being marketed. It wouldn't surprise me that the evil "Big-Pharma" had a hand in all of this. And they were behind the DEA's so called "investigation."



posted on Jan, 31 2012 @ 04:13 PM
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It was very interesting to me when a few months after the changes were made to the law, a law enforcement friend of mine informed me that there were 570 registered 'patients', and over 1500 'dispensaries'! Talk about market saturation!
Still, we voted for the change, and I don't feel it is any different than any other law. If someone is breaking the law, LEOs investigate, arrest, and try the suspects. Innocent until proven guilty and all that...
edit on 1/31/2012 by Montana because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 31 2012 @ 04:13 PM
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reply to post by matthewgraybeal
 


You are absolutely correct. I am originally from South Carolina. Everyone knows SC has always had issues with the federal government and has always been pro-states rights. Slavery was morally wrong. But the war indeed only had slavery as a pretext. SC followed by other states succeeded because of the federal governments refusal to allow the states to choose certain things for themselves.

I was a bit surprised when I first moved to Montana to find that they are almost as hard headed as SC is about states rights. I personally don't care what the legislation is about in my opinion in a state. The US government should STAY OUT of a states business!

I understand the need for the concept of the United States, but the federal government will eventually run us all into the ground. Especially when sticking their noses into places it doesn't need to be. Eric Holder was indeed right about 1 thing...They do have way bigger things to worry about that states laws.



posted on Jan, 31 2012 @ 04:21 PM
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reply to post by webpirate
 


I had a wife from Hot Springs Arkansas, whose Mother went to School With Bill Clinton. She was a very knowledgeable woman, and helped explain to me the Southern Perspective, and it did indeed open my eyes.

Man could she cook! Rosemary, the Garlic of the South is all I have to say!



posted on Jan, 31 2012 @ 04:40 PM
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Eventually it all won't matter anyways I'm afraid. The 10th amendment was added to the Bill of Rights to ensure that states had the right to make laws that the federal government otherwise didn't, or hadn't made them on. But we have seen the feds trample on the states ever since the adoption of the Bill of Rights. Congress has used the Commerce Clause for most of the 20th century and 21st now to get around this issue.

And it will continue. Very very rarely has the US Supreme Court sided with the states over a 10th amendment issue. And even then, there have been federal "outs" so to speak. The last time was in 1992's New York v. United States. The court did indeed at least partially side with the state there, but Justice O'Connor wrote in the opinion that the federal government can "encourage" the states into making or following laws using spending power.

Or withholding money. We saw that in 1974 I think it was when the 55 mph speed limit passed. And again with the age 21 minimum legal drinking age. The feds withheld state highway money until the states complied. Again..after the 55 mph limit was removed and again left to the states, there were portions of Montana interstate highways where there was NO speed limit. The law read something like you had to travel at a reasonable and prudent speed.

Again...federal money was threatened to be withheld. Highway money. And trust me. It can be an awful lot. Montana finally gave in and made a 75 mph speed limit for open interstate. However, basically giving the feds the middle finger, they also made fines ridiculous too! Under 10 mph on the interstate for speeding is $20 and no points. Up to under 20 mph it's only $40 and no points. So basically, I can drive 94 mph on the open interstate, and only have a $40 fine and no points. These have all been overt actions by the feds.

They trouble me enough. But the topic of the thread here is dealing with basically covert actions. We know they are going on. But for how long? And as I said before, I'm guessing not just the DEA, but other agencies as well.

It used to only be the mob, lobbyist and special interest groups who influenced lawmakers. Now...it's law enforcement too I guess.


edit on 31-1-2012 by webpirate because: additional thoughts



posted on Jan, 31 2012 @ 05:07 PM
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reply to post by webpirate
 


What if each state were to withdraw from the USA, one by one and slowly form a new government within it's boundaries? Probably would be crushed in the blink of an eye but just saying, how much control can the US govt. have over what started as individual entities who eventually formed a unified government?



posted on Jan, 31 2012 @ 05:24 PM
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Isn't that what a fascist regime does? Arrest anyone that speaks out against them?
A lawmaker no less. This is really scary. These alphabet agencies are starting to
make their own laws. The DEA says there's no medical benefit to marijuana
but big pharma is allowed to start making it and selling it in a spray, the
ATF is running guns to the Mexican drug cartels (so they can come back
across the border and kill American LE) then tells us it's illegal for medical
marijuana patients to own a gun because they are considered drug addicts
and drug addicts can't have guns, the CIA is trafficking drugs and the DEA is
laundering their drug money. And so now they go after someone who might
possibly threaten their ill gotten gains. They are despicably obvious.
No doubt it isn't the first time. They just don't seem to care anymore about
hiding the fact that they've got their own agenda. They are well past destroying
the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. They are terrorists.
edit on 31-1-2012 by orbitbaby because: (no reason given)





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