The Obama administration’s latest push against the medical marijuana industry is aimed at the media.
U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said she plans to start going after newspapers, radio stations and other outlets that advertise marijuana dispensaries, reports California Watch.
“I’m not just seeing print advertising,” U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy told California Watch and KQED. “I’m actually hearing radio and seeing TV advertising. It’s gone mainstream. Not only is it inappropriate – one has to wonder what kind of message we’re sending to our children – it’s against the law.”
Though she declined to comment on plans of other U.S. Attorneys in California as far as advertising, she noted they had coordinated their efforts so far. But a spokesman for the Sacramento U.S. Attorney Ben Wagner told the Bakersfield Californian that there were no plans to go after advertising at this point.
The statements by Duffy comes in wake of an announcement by all four U.S. Attorney’s in California, who last week warned dozens of questionable marijuana dispensaries throughout California to shut down or face civil and criminal action.
The top prosecutors vowed to also go after landlords who rent space to the storefront operators of medical marijuana dispensaries, who authorities suspect of using the law to cover large-scale for-profit drug sales, the New York Times reported.
Duffy said she believes the law gives her the right to prosecute media outlets that runs marijuana advertisements, California Watch reported.
“If I own a newspaper … or I own a TV station, and I’m going to take in your money to place these ads, I’m the person who is placing these ads,” Duffy said, according to California Watch. “I am willing to read (the law) expansively and if a court wants to more narrowly define it, that would be up to the court.”
Federal law prohibits people from placing ads for illegal drugs, including marijuana, in “any newspaper, magazine, handbill or other publication,” according to California Watch, which could extend to online ads.
“The good intentions behind that law,” she told California Watch “have almost completely been taken over by people who are trying to use that permission law to get rich, to distribute marijuana and traffic drugs to people who aren’t sick, to our youth and to people who are using drugs on a recreational basis.”
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