Medical Pot Backers' Suit Seeks End of U.S. Raids
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Medical Pot Backers' Suit Seeks End of U.S. Raids
Posted by CN Staff on October 29, 2011 at 05:19:55 PT
By John Hoeffel, Los Angeles Times
Source: Los Angeles Times 
California -- Medical marijuana advocates want a federal court to halt the recent raids and threats of prosecution that have significantly stepped up the Obama administration's assault on dispensaries and growers.Americans for Safe Access, an advocacy group based in Oakland, has sued U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric Holder and Melinda Haag, the top federal prosecutor in Northern California, accusing them of violating the Constitution's 10th Amendment by using coercive tactics to interfere with powers delegated to the states.
The four U.S. attorneys in California have dramatically ramped up efforts to shut down medical marijuana operations and have advised cities and counties that they cannot adopt regulations that effectively authorize the distribution of the federally controlled substance."They're not just enforcing marijuana laws, they are doing something extremely unusual in an effort to quash the medical marijuana programs in the various states," said Joe Elford, chief counsel for Americans for Safe Access. "They're not allowed to commandeer the lawmaking functions of the state."Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the Department of Justice, declined to comment.The 17-page lawsuit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco takes aim at a critical issue that remains unsettled even though California voters approved medical marijuana in a ground-breaking initiative in 1996. Because marijuana remains illegal for all uses under federal law, municipalities and states have struggled with how to regulate it for medical use.Federal prosecutors in California have warned some cities against approving ordinances that authorize marijuana cultivation and distribution, such as licensing or issuing permits to dispensaries. A recent California appellate court ruling reached the same conclusion, but other appellate courts in the state have instead ruled that federal law does not trump state medical marijuana laws."The federal government has instituted a policy to dismantle the medical marijuana laws of the state of California and to coerce its municipalities to pass bans on medical marijuana dispensaries," the lawsuit says. "To this end, the government has pursued an increasingly punitive strategy, which has involved criminal prosecutions of medical marijuana providers with Draconian penalties and letters threatening local officials if they implement state law."The lawsuit cites several recent examples of U.S. attorneys telling cities that officials could face federal prosecution. It notes that Chico voted to rescind its recently adopted ordinance after a federal prosecutor met with the city attorney, city manager and police chief. City officials in Eureka received a letter saying that their plan to license large-scale cultivation violates federal law. And a federal prosecutor's warning to Arcata officials led them to suspend medical marijuana dispensary permits.Federal agents this month also raided a collective in Mendocino County that has cooperated with a program to regulate growers, cutting down 99 plants. The lawsuit notes that Mark Perillo Sr., a 48-year-old member of the collective who suffers chronic pain from a degenerative joint disease, was deprived of his share of the harvest."He will be impeded from obtaining his medicine because no other delivery service provides medical marijuana at the same low cost," the suit says.Last week, California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris warned: "An overly broad federal enforcement campaign will make it more difficult for legitimate patients to access physician-recommended medicine in California. I urge the federal authorities in the state to adhere to the United States Department of Justice's stated policy and focus their enforcement efforts on 'significant traffickers of illegal drugs.'"Elford said that Americans for Safe Access would probably seek a preliminary injunction and expects the issue to eventually reach the U.S. Supreme Court. "I do think this is going to move pretty quickly," he said.Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)Author: John Hoeffel, Los Angeles TimesPublished: October 29, 2011Copyright: 2011 Los Angeles TimesContact: letters latimes.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on October 30, 2011 at 07:48:28 PT
Let's Make Marijuana Legal, Free and Inexpensive!
Marijuana Legalization Supported By Those on Front LinesOctober 30, 2011David Nathan is a psychiatrist based in Princeton, with plenty of patients who abuse alcohol, marijuana or both.He is the sort of person we should be listening to when it comes to the war on drugs. Because the people on the front line — cops, judges, shrinks — can see that the hard line isn’t working. They are like the generals who have fought in war and counsel the hawkish politicians against provoking combat.Nathan himself is a clean-cut fellow who measures his words carefully. He grew up in a family where booze was rare and drugs were nonexistent. If he could snap his fingers and eliminate all recreational drugs, he’d do it in a second. And now, he is an unlikely defender of the marijuana movement. Not because he feels any cultural affinity with potheads, but because his years of practice and his study of the medical literature have led him to this conclusion:Marijuana is nowhere near as dangerous as alcohol, and it should be made legal.URL:
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Comment #5 posted by josephlacerenza on October 30, 2011 at 05:32:23 PT
Obama Administration's Response
Obama Administration:
"...Marijuana is the most widely used of the illicit drugs, and clearly not as risky for users or others as cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine..."Be careful, the ONLY politically viable option available to Obama is to move cannabionods/cannabis to schedule 2. This is EXACTLY what pharma wants! Keep up your belly aching and you will need a doctor's prescription for Pfizer's pseudo cannabis."...The question of the medical utility of the cannabis plant or of the chemicals it contains is separate from the question of its availability for recreational use. “Marijuana” does not name a medicine: there is too much variability in the chemical composition of different cannabis preparations for a physician to prescribe it with any assurance about its likely effects on a patient. If someone figures out a way to produce either plant material or extracts with a known and reproducible pharmaceutical profile, and performs clinical studies with that material demonstrating safety and efficacy for the treatment of some condition, that product can and will be approved, in the normal process, by the Food and Drug Administration, and will then be available as a prescription medicine..."
There it is in their own words!More here: get it pharma!!! You will NEVER see another BUD! Do you know ANYONE who produces their own PRESCRIPTION coca?Cannabis does not need to be in ANY CSA schedule! BE WARNED! YOU MAY GET WHAT YOU ASKED FOR! MEDICAL MARIJUANA WILL CEASE TO EXIST IF CANNABIS IN MOVED TO CSA SCHEDULE 2! YOU WILL HAVE TO PAY BIG PHARMA FOR THEIR PREPARATIONS!Medical marijuana has ALWAYS been about a personal access to the HEALING power of cannabis. The freedom to not use PHARMA derived DRUGS!I hope you appreciate this is not as simple as de-schedule cannabis! I do not have medical insurance and would still be a criminal if cannabis is re-scheduled to CSA 2... I would have NO LEGAL access, still! I would have to go to big pharma for something I can produce in my backyard and pay TOP $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$!BIG PHARMA DOES NOT WANTS YOU TO HAVE CANNABIS! THEY WANT YOU TO PAY FOR CANNABIS!
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Comment #4 posted by Paul Pot on October 29, 2011 at 22:21:22 PT:
legalize or bust
Compassionate use is not enough to protect our rights.
It has to be full legalization. Till then the cops will always be in charge of our private lives.
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Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on October 29, 2011 at 09:56:49 PT
great PBS video
This is great, check it out! MontanaPBS, "The Science of Cannabis", apologies if it's already been posted here:
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Comment #2 posted by GentleGiant on October 29, 2011 at 08:09:06 PT:
Bring It On
Sounds like a good lawsuit. Let the games begin. This is exactly what the feds don't want. The lawsuit cites evidence of the feds strong-arming communities and they have evidence of the feds destroying a legitimate collective playing by state rules and all the threatening letters to landowners and business owners. I foresee a fed loss. The feds will cite that they have supremacy power, but there's a problem. The CSA doesn't have a remedy for medical marijuana, a state right. The Bill of Rights, including the 10th amendment were added after the articles of constitution to counter the problems of the Supremacy clause. That's what the federalist wanted. That's why the CSA is unconstitutional. The California Attorney General is right to believe the feds are overstepping their bounds. This is what I mean, the feds have been avoiding lawsuits by not jailing people at the collectives. The feds were avoiding the courts. Finally, we have a lawsuit again. We need more lawsuits. Just keep attacking them. 
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on October 29, 2011 at 07:45:03 PT
Just a Comment
I am very concerned that what has happened in California could really hurt us. I hope I am wrong. Hopefully compassionate use will return and be OK.
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