Life Not Groovy for Licensed Pot Sellers

New Mexicans left fearing both feds and criminals
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 10, 2009 7:27 AM CDT
Young marijuana plants are shown Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2009, in Seattle.    (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
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(Newser) – New Mexico has started handing out licenses to nonprofit medical marijuana producers and distributors in an effort to avoid the kind of dispensary free-for-all seen in California—but that's not making those involved sleep any easier. Marijuana is still illegal under federal law, meaning growers, distributors and users—fearing both arrest and robbery—are still in the shadows despite the state's hopes of helping patients openly gain access to the drug.

The Marine who delivers the drug to licensed "compassion centers" has been told that he will be arrested if caught at Homeland Security checkpoints, despite Attorney General Eric Holder's announcement earlier this year that medical marijuana distributors who comply with state laws won't be prosecuted. "I’m so totally paranoid I can’t stand myself," one woman—currently the only person in the US with a state license to sell marijuana—told the New York Times.  Rhode Island and several other states with legalized medical marijuana are considering following New Mexico's lead.