1. Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.
    PLEASE HELP
    Dismiss Notice

Federal Court tells DEA to Stop Harassing Medical Marijuana Providers

Rating:
5/5,
  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    In a scathing decision, a federal court in California has ruled that the Drug Enforcement Administration's interpretation of a recent medical marijuana bill "defies language and logic," "tortures the plain meaning of the statute" and is "at odds with fundamental notions of the rule of law." The ruling could have a broad impact on the DEA's ability to prosecute federal medical marijuana cases going forward.

    At issue is the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment to last year's government spending bill. The amendment lists the states that have medical marijuana laws, and mandates that the Justice Department is barred from using federal funds to "prevent such States from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana." Pretty straightforward, right?

    When the legislation was passed, advocates and lawmakers on both sides of the issue agreed that the bill basically prevented the DEA from going after medical marijuana dispensaries, provided that such dispensaries were acting in compliance with state law. The DEA, however, didn't see it that way. In a leaked memo, the Justice Department contended that the amendment only prevents actions against actual states -- not against the individuals or businesses or business that actually carry out marijuana laws. In their interpretation, the bill still allowed them to pursue criminal and civil actions against medical marijuana businesses and the patients who patronized them.

    The DoJ's reading of the amendment infuriated its sponsors. They called for an investigation into the Department of Justice's "tortuous twisting of the text" of the bill, saying it violated common sense. Yesterday, judge Charles Breyer of the U.S. district court in northern California agreed.

    Breyer goes through the arguments against the DoJ's case, referring to the floor debate as well as the plain language of the bill. But, "having no substantive response or evidence, the Government simply asserts that it 'need not delve into legislative history here' because the meaning of the statute is clearly in its favor," Breyer writes. "The Court disagrees." He called the DoJ's interpretation of the amendment "counterintuitive and opportunistic."

    Seeing it as perhaps the final nail in the coffin of the DEA's years-long involvement with California's medical marijuana program, medical marijuana advocates are cheering the ruling. "It's great to see the judicial branch finally starting to hold the Justice Department accountable for its willful violation of Congress's intent to end federal interference with state medical marijuana laws," said Tom Angell of Marijuana Majority.

    Dan Riffle of the Marijuana Policy Project agreed. "This is a big win for medical marijuana patients and their providers," he wrote in a statement, "and a significant victory in our efforts to end the federal government’s war on marijuana. Federal raids of legitimate medical marijuana businesses aren’t just stupid and wasteful, but also illegal."

    The ruling could discourage the DoJ from creative interpretations of the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment going forward, which should let medical marijuana businesses and their patients in 23 states breathe a sigh of relief.Lynette Shaw, owner of the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana, the dispensary whose case was at issue in the federal ruling, told the San Francisco Chronicle that “we won the war. And I’m the first POW to be released.”

    The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.



    By Christopher Ingraham - The Washington Post/Oct. 20, 2015
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...-stop-harassing-medical-marijuana-providers/?
    Photo: LA Times
    Newshawk Crew

    Share This Article

    About Author

    Beenthere2Hippie
    BT2H is a retired news editor and writer from the NYC area who, for health reasons, retired to a southern US state early, and where BT2H continues to write and to post drug-related news to DF.

Comments

To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!
  1. jondough
    My brain is so fucked up from meth abuse I cant smoke weed anymore without feeling severely mentally disabled. I miss getting high.
  2. Aloha
    amen. i would go as far as to say that it's none of your business what i put in my body sick or not but it takes a cold heart to go after those who are actually sick. i guess most DEA goons haven't come to terms with the idea of medical marijuana
  3. trdofbeingtrd
    It's about fucking time. Thank you for posting this. Damn I get so mad when I think about how people (like my dad) can live a better life because of cannabis but those narrow minded ignorant fucks want to keep it illegal.