Federal War on Medical Pot Challenged

Federal War on Medical Pot Challenged
Posted by CN Staff on August 21, 2008 at 05:28:01 PT
By Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
California -- A federal judge breathed new life Wednesday into medical marijuana advocates' effort to ward off the federal crackdown on medical pot in California, saying enforcement of U.S. drug laws can go too far if it seeks to interfere with state authority.U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel of San Jose denied a Bush administration request to dismiss a lawsuit by Santa Cruz city and county officials and members of a medical marijuana collective whose drugs were seized by federal agents in a 2002 raid.
The Santa Cruz raid was one of many actions by federal authorities against suppliers of marijuana in California since the state's voters approved a 1996 initiative allowing individuals to grow and use pot with their doctors' approval. Federal prosecutors have shut down medical marijuana dispensaries, threatened to sue the dispensaries' landlords, won convictions against growers for violating federal narcotics laws and sought to punish doctors for recommending marijuana.The U.S. Supreme Court and other courts have upheld the federal actions, except for the government's attempt to strip federal prescription licenses from the doctors. But Fogel said the plaintiffs in the current case may be able to show that the federal government exceeded its constitutional authority by trying to force California to repeal its medical marijuana law.The suit claims federal prosecutors have tried to disrupt the California law by enforcement that targeted critical participants in the state system - doctors who approved their patients' marijuana use, local officials who issued state-approved identification cards to medical marijuana users, local governments whose zoning allowed pot dispensaries, and marijuana suppliers who cooperated with local governments. Federal authorities' goal, the plaintiffs alleged, is to make it impossible for the state to distinguish between medical and recreational use of marijuana and render the state law unenforceable, interfering with California's constitutional power to enact its own laws.Government lawyers denied any such intention and said the suit was baseless. Neither the federal drug law nor any enforcement action has required the state to change its marijuana law or enforce federal laws, they said. Snipped   Complete Article: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)Author: Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff WriterPublished: Thursday, August 21, 2008Copyright: 2008 San Francisco Chronicle Contact: letters sfchronicle.comWebsite: CannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #5 posted by afterburner on August 21, 2008 at 16:30:30 PT
U.S. District Judge Fogel throws down the gauntlet
Excerpt from Federal Court: U.S. Can’t Subvert California’s Medical Marijuana Laws
Newshawk: OverwhelmSam:
In addition to U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, the lawsuit names as defendants U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents involved in the raid of WAMM, and administrators of the DEA and Office of National Drug Control Policy. The court’s ruling is available online at:
]As museman said, "unconstitutional." Now, the lawyers have probable grounds to pursue the issue in higher courts. 
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Comment #4 posted by fight_4_freedom on August 21, 2008 at 14:47:03 PT
What a day full of great news!
Here's some more wonderful news from Michigan.It's official! Michigan medical marijuana initiative will be Proposal 1 on November ballotDear Adam:At a meeting in Lansing this morning, the Michigan Board of Canvassers made it official: MPP's medical marijuana initiative will appear on the November ballot as Proposal 1! This news caps months of waiting since the board certified our signatures back in March. If voters pass Proposal 1 at the polls this November, Michigan will be the 13th medical marijuana state and the first in the Midwest.Would you please consider donating $10 or more today to help protect Michigan's medical marijuana patients from the threat of arrest and jail? The official assignment of our ballot number marks another milestone in a historic, monumental effort in the state. Last year, staffers with MPP's campaign committee the Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care (MCCC) — along with local activists, volunteers, and supporters from across the state — collected nearly half a million signatures from Michigan voters to place the initiative on the ballot. These signatures were certified by the Board of Canvassers in March, sending the issue before the Michigan Legislature. After the legislature opted not to pass the measure into law itself, the initiative was put back before the board ... which today brought Michigan patients one step closer to alleviating their pain without the fear of arrest and jail.Efforts to protect medical marijuana patients, and Proposal 1 specifically, have enjoyed significant support from Michiganders throughout this process. An independent poll released in March, for instance, found that an overwhelming 67% of voters favor its passage. And five other Michigan cities — Ann Arbor, Detroit, Ferndale, Flint, and Traverse City — have already passed local initiatives protecting patients from arrest for simply using their doctor-recommended medicine.But, with the assignment of an official ballot number, we now enter the final stages of this push for a compassionate law, and we'll need substantial resources to see this through to victory. Would you please consider donating $10 or more to MCCC today? With your help and support, we will make history this November!Sincerely,Krystal Martinez
Campaigns Analyst
Marijuana Policy ProjectVOTE YES ON PROPOSAL 1!!!!!I have a feeling I'll be saying that a lot this coming fall!
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Comment #3 posted by OverwhelmSam on August 21, 2008 at 11:53:09 PT
The Implications Are Massive
Wow! I'm completely astonished. This ruling slams a huge door in the DEA's face. They can no longer kiss up to local law enforcement to get information on medical marijauana grows, dispensaries and users. If local police "cooperate" now, they can clearly be sued for violating state constitution, and Federal Law.This ruling will also reverberate through Washington. They will have to repeal medical marijuana enforcement laws and let everybody in jail for medical marijuana go. Oh the shame of those Congresspeople who signed up to put sick people in jail.This is a huge ruling for the power of the States, as the 10th Amendment has never been ruled on.There are actually several questions that will probably be resolved in future cases. Simply amazing! 
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Comment #2 posted by OverwhelmSam on August 21, 2008 at 11:37:20 PT
Their Brief Was Awesome
And, It's evident on it's face that this is what the Federal Government is doing, and not just in California:"Federal authorities' goal, the plaintiffs alleged, is to make it impossible for the state to distinguish between medical and recreational use of marijuana and render the state law unenforceable, interfering with California's constitutional power to enact its own laws."Awesome Analysis! Now it's public record, so if they try anything, nail 'em.
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on August 21, 2008 at 09:31:00 PT
For the first time,
a court has recognized that a calculated plan by the federal government to undercut state medical marijuana laws is patently unconstitutional.Amen!
On a mission from God!
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