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How Do The California US Attorney Guidelines For Federal Raids Apply To Montana?


gavel marijuanaby Kate Cholewa

There are guidelines for federal marijuana prosecutions? Apparently so. This is good news as many medical cannabis businesses are eager to comply with the rules that they are informed of.

Cal NORML has obtained a February 2011 memo outlining the California U.S. Attorneys’ guidelines for federal medical marijuana prosecutions in California. As U.S. Attorneys get their marching orders from the federal government, one would hope that federal policy in California isn’t different than federal policy in Montana. If that is so, does it mean that the federally-raided Montana cannabis businesses were doing, or thought to be doing, one or more of the following, all named as triggers for federal police action?

* evidence of more than 200kg or 1000 plants sold in a year

* cultivation on federal or tribal land

* profits used to fund other illegal activity

* targets have significant criminal backgrounds

* targets have ties to street gangs

* stores linked to physicians providing baseless recommendations

* sales to people under 21

* use of, or PRESENCE OF, any firearm

We don’t know.

We also don’t know why federal guidelines would be kept secret. Secret rules are harder not to break.

Nonetheless, here they are, and with luck, this could be the beginning of actual, articulated federal policy for states with medical marijuana laws.

(We’d like to assume that the guidelines won’t change just because people know them. )

Take the guidelines to heart.

Courtesy of the fine folks at The Montana Cannabis Industry Association


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  1. Stores selling to people under 21, for really? MI lets patients apply for a medical card at the age of 18, even younger with parental approval/endorsement…

    Presence of a firearm gave me a hoot as well, why don’t we subject party stores who sell tobbaco n booze with a firearm present to the same level of federal scrutiny too? Oh right, because they need it for self defense against the criminals who are willing to point at gun your face for a small chunk of cash.

    Everybody needs a form of self defense, and in this age we have GUNS. Like our forefathers recognized, we should all have the right to bear arms! This goes back to patients not being able to get a CCW (whatever happened to that?). So if you cannot legally own a gun because of having a criminal record due to the federal prohibiton of marijuana then uhh, let us have our guns please for when the Rooskies, Iran, and NK invade. Thanks

  2. Why would those “guidelines” apply in MT when they didn’t in CA. It would appear none of those criteria were satisfied in at least most of the recent raids in CA.

  3. The fed gov. Is a nonprofit org buiness is buiness create a 2cent tax payed from each states comsumtion of not more are held less the the 1/4 oz their not greedy each state pays a 2cent tax per capaial sale total in a 1/4 annual year tax only apply to bisness holders an patinats personal growers exzempt AMEN

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