Federal Prosecutors Orders Medical-Marijuana Dispensaries in California to Close Shop
On 25.11.11, In Legal Industry, by Blake Houser
Distributors of medical marijuana based in California have been ordered by federal prosecutors to shut down their operations by Saturday. The move came after several weeks of conflict between federal prosecutors and medical marijuana distributors.
During the later part of September, federal prosecutors have announced the start of a hard line campaign against medical marijuana users and distributors, stating that a huge number of for-profit groups were more concerned with generating revenue than with assisting ailing individuals.
A 45-day deadline was established by the federal prosecutors for those medical marijuana dispensaries that were ordered to cease their operations. They indicated that failure to shut down their operations would lead to their prosecution.
However, lawyers acting on behalf of the distributors hit back by filing a lawsuit, claiming that such moves were “unconstitutional.” A couple of them filed in all four federal district courts in California for a temporary restraining order. They said that the government had overturned an earlier decision to not target legal medical marijuana dispensaries.
During an interview with the media about the inconsistent marijuana policies of the government, Matthew Kumin, an attorney for the pro-marijuana organization, NORML, said, “The government’s irrational policy has reached a breaking point. The federal government said it will not prosecute patients, and yet they want to shut off their supply. This doesn’t make sense.”
The current status of the California medical-marijuana industry is shaky. Under the federal law, marijuana is illegal. However, under the California state law, it may be used legally for medicinal purposes. The federal government’s position on the medicinal value of the substance is simple, and that is, marijuana has no proven medical value as claimed by the Controlled Substances Act.