The federal government wants the department that oversees the state of Michigan’s medical marijuana program to provide records for seven individuals under investigation by the Drug Enforcement Agency.
The Department of Community Health hasn’t yet complied with the subpoena because there are potential civil and criminal penalties for violating confidentiality under the state’s medical marijuana law, the Grand Rapids Press reports.
Assistant U.S. Attorney John Bruha said the DEA on 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 of any cards located for the seven named individuals” back on June 4. But the state Attorney General’s Office was reluctant to comply with the request unless a judge ordered to do so.
Attorney General Eric Holder announced a policy last October that said the “focus of federal resources should not be on individuals whose actions are in compliance with existing state laws.” But medical marijuana advocates have complained that DEA agents have continued to conduct raids on those that advocates say are in compliance with state laws.
The Senate last week confirmed Michele Leonhart to lead the Drug Enforcement Administration, giving the agency its first permanent leader in over three years. Seizures of marijuana nearly doubled between fiscal year 2008 and 2009, according to DEA statistics.