Asset Forfeiture the Tactic of Choice in Cali

We have discussed asset forfeiture in the weeks gone by, and the subject is still hot in California.  In a recent interview Reuters News gleaned some insight into why the federal government likes the asset forfeiture tactic when opposing medical marijuana.
“The Justice Department’s Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, told Reuters that it requires less manpower to combat marijuana businesses by mail and civil actions than it does to bring criminal prosecutions. “We can get on the Internet, identify a store and have someone drive by and find out if it is operating. That is a whole lot different from conducting a criminal investigation, going out and making buys and conducting surveillance. These are two very different balls of wax,” he said. The letters and lawsuits [which are the heart of asset forfeiture] have “so far been extremely effective in securing the closure of about 200 illegal marijuana storefronts in our district,” Mrozek said.

“Baldwin, the Miami lawyer, was not surprised. Few property owners are going to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend against a government lawsuit to keep a tenant, let alone risk losing their investments, he predicted. “Most of these things are going to end up with the landlord kicking out the offending enterprise,” he said. “It’s like a flank attack against these stores that leaves them in the most disadvantageous position possible.”

“NORML’s St. Pierre said the federal government “has not sufficiently broadcast this threat (of eviction) as a deterrent,” so a lack of widespread awareness among landlords in California and other states may soften its impact on the industry. He said that when marijuana businesses are kicked out of one property, “they will simply move next door and the whole process, as we’ve seen time and time again, simply starts over.” Although authorities have made public the strategy of targeting landlords, they have not made a national campaign of it, and so far only landlords who rent to marijuana shops have received warning letters.”

This is part of an interesting article that will add to your understanding of asset forfeiture. Find it here.

[image: Google images California]

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Author: DavidB

a heathen, but hopefully not an unenlightened one

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