Federal agents and local Denver police raided several marijuana grow operations this week. There was not much said, officially, about the raids, other than a statement from James Gothe, DEA group supervisor in Denver.
“It's a very large and successful investigation," Gother told The Denver Post. "We're assisting."
Whether these grow operations were all illegal grows or were state-licensed is not known at this time. But Mason Tvert, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project, suspects that they were likely all illegal.
“Federal, state, and local law enforcement officials have only engaged in this type of activity when they suspect state laws are being violated,” Tvert said. "No details have been released, so it’s too early to say whether that is the case and whether any state laws have been broken. If they were, the individuals involved will face the consequences. If they weren’t, law enforcement will have some explaining to do."
The fact that there is even a question about the legality of the grow sites is due to the fact that, despite laws in Colorado, the Federal government in the United States still does not recognize marijuana as a legitimate medicinal substance, classifying it as a “Schedule I” drug, along with heroin and meth.
That conflict was what brought doctors to a federal court in California recently. Several doctors testified that the classification of marijuana as having “no currently accepted medical treatment use” flies in the face of reality in medicine.
The fact that the Federal government is currently turning a blind eye to legalization in places like Washington and Colorado leads one attorney to argue:
“ …the action taken by the Department of Justice is either irrational, or more likely proves [that] marijuana does not fit the criteria of a Schedule I Controlled Substance.”