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   Feds seek Michigan medical marijuana documents
Posted by DrReefer.com on December 28, 2010, 9:29 pm

By John Agar
Source: The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS – The federal government wants the state Department of Community Health, which oversees the state's medical-marijuana program, to provide records for seven people under investigation in the Lansing area.

The Department of Community Health hasn't complied with a subpoena because of potential civil and criminal penalties for violating confidentiality under the medical-marijuana law, court records showed.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John Bruha asked a judge to order the state agency comply with the request for information by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration investigators. He said the DEA on June 4 sought “copies of any and all documents, records, applications, payment method of any application for Medical Marijuana Patient Cards and Medical Marijuana Caregiver cards and copies of front and back fo any cards located for the seven named individuals.”

The state Attorney General's Office, as counsel for Community Health, was “reluctant” to comply with the request unless ordered to do so by a judge, court records said.

Under the law, Community Health maintains a confidential list of those who have obtained registry identification cards. Disclosure of the information is a misdemeanor.

Bruha said that “the (medical-marijuana law) notwithstanding, the cultivation, possession and distribution of marijuana remains illegal under federal law. … State medical-marijuana laws do not, and cannot, supersede federal laws that criminalize the possession of marijuana.”

He said that a “state-created confidentiality provision … must yield to the enforcement power of the federal agency.”

The DEA said the information is being sought in connection with drug-law violations and “specific and limited in scope.”

The names of those under investigation are redacted in court documents.

The Obama administration says it will not pursue medical marijuana growers who abide by state law.

E-mail John Agar: jagar@grpress.com

http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapid ... medical-marijuana_do.html

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