Medical marijuana listed in Craigslist adsPosted: Updated:
RICHLAND, Wash. -- It seems like you can buy anything on the Internet these days, but what we found on one popular website may surprise you.
Just type "MMJ" in the search box on Craigslist, and a whole list of ads pop up, to"medical marijuana" patients.
"There's a lot of first amendment issues going with what is posted on Craigslist," says Richland Police Captain Mike Cobb. He says while the posting may not be illegal,selling the drug is.
"is it legal to sell marijuana? No it is not. It is legal to be a provider. But you can provide for only one person at a time. And you cannot charge for your product," says Cobb.
In Washington, according to RCW 69.51A. you can only provide medical marijuana for one patient at a time, besides yourself, and must wait at least 15 days between patients.
"You have to judge them on a case by case basis, but they don't strike me as legitimate," says Benton County Deputy Prosecutor Arthur Bieker of the online ads.
Bieker prosecutes many drug cases. He says State and Federal laws contradict each other and leave lots of room for confusion. He says for every legitimate medical marijuana patient, there are dozens of others trying to scam the system. He says an example of this law's failure can be seen in Oregon, and our law makers haven't learned from their mistakes.
"A provider (in Oregon) can grow for up to 100 people, as long as he has the proper paperwork," Bieker says.
"What we know for absolute fact is that plantation marijuana finds itself in Washington, seven pounds at a time in duffel bags," Bieker added.
Bieker says it appears some of these ads are trying to beat the system by calling the feel for their service a "donation."
"Lets not call it profit, lets not call it a sale, lets not call it delivery. Well its all of those things," says Bieker.
However, prosecuting these ad posters is a whole new realm of murky territory. On the internet, jurisdiction lines are unclear. City municipalities can go after the poster, and so can county prosecutors and of course the Federal Government. The problem is, its not on top of anyone's priority list.
"No law enforcement office has enough staff hours to pour over Craigslist every single day, I know we certainly do not," says Cobb.