November 9, 2011
California Lawsuits Fighting Back For Sake Of Medical Marijuana
Lawsuits filed in California's four federal judicial districts are attempting to stop U.S attorneys from shutting down dispensaries.
Medical marijuana advocates are hoping to win court orders that will stop U.S. attorneys from closing dispensaries.
The lawsuits are the second legal challenge to the stepped-up enforcement efforts that the four prosecutors announced a month ago.
One of the attorneys who filed the lawsuits said that plaintiffs plan to ask the judges to temporarily restrain orders that will stop the crackdown.
The lawsuits argue that the federal government's threats to prosecute dispensary owners and their landlords conflict with an agreement that led a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit by patients.
The government said in that case that it would not use federal resources against medical marijuana patients who complied with state law.
The lawsuits were filed Friday against U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Drug Enforcement Administration head Michele Leonhart and each of the four federal prosecutors.
The U.S. attorneys said at their news conference that they would target dispensary operators and growers who were violating state law.
The prosecutors have taken different enforcement approaches, including sending letters to dispensary landlords threatening to seize their property.
Currently, 16 states and the District of Columbia allow the sale of marijuana to patients with a doctor's prescription.
California was the first state to authorize public sales in 1996.
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