US Government is violating the law by getting in the way of medical marijuana, says federal court
A federal judge in San Francisco passed a milestone verdict, which, from this moment on, could be of benefit to the medical marijuana community. This ruling was made after the continuous misinterpretation of a 2014 federal amendment, by the DEA. An amendment that was intended to put an end to the complete seek-and-destroy, federal government, missions in medical marijuana states.
On October 19th, U.S. District judge Charles Breyer sharply criticized the DEA by issuing an unexampled ruling against them for the endless actions made by the Department of Justice even though the Rohrabacher – Farr amendment, attached on last year’s budget, strictly prohibits them from spending money on arrests connected with medical marijuana use in states with established programs for medical marijuana.
Judge Charles Breyer’s verdict involves a case in which the founder of Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana in Fairfax, Lynette Shaw, was punished with federal injunction, leading to the closure of her dispensary in 2011. Thankfully, the judge’s ruling allows Shaw, and other medical marijuana operations, to reestablish their dispensaries.
One year of confusion passed on whether the Rohrabacher – Farr amendment prevents the federal government from money usage to prohibit states from medical marijuana legalization, or if it puts an end on their fund – spending to prosecute medical marijuana businesses and patients in the states where it is legal.
DOJ’s spokesperson, earlier this year, told The Los Angeles Times that the amendment only halts the government from “Impeding the ability of states to carry out their medical marijuana laws” but it does not offer protection to medical marijuana community.
Congressmen Farr and Rohrabacher disagreed with this statement and submitted a letter to now ex – Attorney General Eric Holder, explaining that “The purpose of our amendment was to prevent the Department from wasting its limited law enforcement resources on prosecutions and asset forfeiture actions against medical marijuana patients and providers, including businesses that operate legally under state law” and also asking him to “bring your department back into compliance with federal law by ceasing marijuana prosecutors and forfeiture actions against those acting in accordance with state medical marijuana laws”.
Although, back in August, the U.S. Inspector General implied that he will launch an investigation concerning the Justice Department’s loose interpretation of the amendment, there is no such information if such investigation is ongoing.
Nevertheless, Judge Breyer’s ruling – which affirms that the congressional law “forbids the Department of Justice from enforcing this injunction against MAMM to the extent that MAMM operates in compliance with state California law” – straightens out the meaning of the amendment. This verdict could set a criterion for the entire nation, as attempts are made to renew the amendment.