A government gone amuck – threatening to seize the buildings of law-abiding landords in Los Angeles

Via Cannabis Culture Magazine [Thanks, Jay], it appears that the DEA has threatened asset forfeiture against the building owners where medical marijuana dispensaries are housed in Los Angeles! This is an extremely chilling step, and a tactic designed to get the landlords, in fear of losing all their property, to act as agents of the DEA and evict the dispensaries.
Here’s the letter they’re sending:

(Sent by Certified Mail July 6, 2007) DEA, LA Field Division, 255 E. Temple St, 17th Fl, LA 90012 (213) 621-6700
The DEA has determined you own, or have under your management or control, a building located at [ADDRESS]. The DEA has determined there is a marijuana dispensary, [NAME], operating on the property.
This is a violation of federal law. Federal law 21 U.S.C. Sec. 56 (a)
“It shall be unlawful to knowingly and intentionally rent, lease or make available for use, with or without compensation, a building, room, or enclosure for the purpose of unlawfully manufacturing, storing, distributing, or using a controlled substance.”
Federal law takes precedence over State law. It is not a defense to this crime or to the seizure of the property that the facility
operating on the property is providing “medical marijuana” under California law including the provisions of California Prop. 215. Violation of this law is a felony crime, and carries with it a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.
In addition, federal law allows for the seizure of assets, including real property, which have been used in conjunction with the distribution of controlled substances. Specifically, 21 U.S.C. 881 (a) (7) states:
“The following shall be subject to forfeiture to the United States and no property right shall exist in them: All real property, including any right, title and interest (including any leasehold interest) in the whole of any lot or tract of land which is used in any manner or part, or to facilitate the commission of, a violation of this sub-chapter.”
This letter shall serve as notice that, after a thorough investigation, the DEA has determined there is a marijuana dispensary operating on the above described property. By this notice, you have been made aware of the purposes for which the property is being used.
You are further advised that violations of federal laws relating to marijuana may result in criminal prosecution, imprisonment, fines and forfeiture of assets.
For further information, please contact Acting Group Supervisor
Deanne Reuter at (213) 621-6789.
Sincerely, Timothy J. Landrum, Special Agent in Charge.

This is unacceptable. It is a violation of American principles, and should be an outrage to every property owner in this country.
Here is my letter.

(Sent by Certified Blog July 14, 2007)

To: Karen P. Tandy, Administrator
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration
2401 Jefferson Davis Highway
Alexandria, Virginia 22301

The PEOPLE have determined you administer, or have under your management or control, certain buildings and/or facilities located at the following addresses:

2401 Jefferson Davis Highway, Alexandria, VA
400 2nd Avenue West, Seattle, WA
450 Golden Gate Ave., San Francisco, CA
255 East Temple Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
4560 Viewridge Avenue, San Diego, CA
Westmount Place, 3010 North 2nd Street, Phoenix, AZ
115 Inverness Drive East, Englewood, CO
317 South 16th Street, St. Louis, MO
John C. Kluczynski Fed. Bldg., 230 S. Dearborn St., Chicago, IL
10160 Technology Boulevard, East, Dallas, TX
1433 West Loop South, Houston, TX
3838 N. Causeway Blvd., Three Lakeway Center, Metairie, LA
75 Spring St. S.W., Atlanta, GA
431 Howard Street, Detroit, MI
Phoenix Building, 8400 NW 53rd Street, Miami
800 K Street, N.W., Washington, DC
Wm. J. Green Fed. Bldg., 600 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA
99 10th Avenue, New York NY 10011
JFK Federal Bldg., 15 Sudbury Street, Boston, MA
Metro Office Park, TLD Bldg., 17 Calle 2, Guaynabo, PR

The PEOPLE have also determined that you administer 227 domestic offices and 86 foreign offices.

The PEOPLE have determined that there is a coordinated campaign being conducted from those locations, using public funds, to deprive individuals of their rights and their lives.

This is a violation of the United States Constitution, the founding principles of our country, and of natural law.

The United States Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution state (in part):

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Ö That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, Ö That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Amendment IV: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Amendment VIII: Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

This letter shall serve as notice that, after a thorough investigation, the PEOPLE have determined that there are violations of these core American principles (among others) being promoted, coordinated and undertaken at the above described properties.

This letter further serves as notice that those properties belong to the PEOPLE, and have been assigned temporarily to your management based upon their use for Constitutionally lawful activity in service of the people. If all activity in violation of the rights of the people does not immediately cease, such property shall be seized and returned to its rightful owners — the PEOPLE.

It is not a defense to this action or to the seizure of the property that the activities conducted are generally compliant with federal law. The Constitution takes precedence over federal law, particularly when such federal law has been created in violation of Constitutional principles and by way of false information promoted by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

This letter also serves as notice that all funds appropriated for the use of the Drug Enforcement Administration and related activities, whether encumbered or unencumbered, shall be immediately seized and placed in escrow for the use of the PEOPLE. As Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, you may appeal the decision by placing a non-refundable bond equal to 20% of the seized assets and providing proof that none of the funds have been or will be used for activities contrary to the will and benefit of the PEOPLE.

You are further advised that the activities of you and your staff related to the encouragement of black market criminal enterprises, the deaths of American citizens, and the theft of personal property may result in criminal prosecution and imprisonment.

For further information, please read the Constitution of the United States.

United States of America

P.S. Happy Bastille Day.

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