Medical Marijuana Advocates in California Suing Federal Government Over Crackdowns

One of the biggest disappointments of the Obama administration has been the failure to stop action against those involved in the growing and distribution of medical marijuana. Following recent crackdowns in California, medical marijuana advocates have filed suit against the federal government. AP reports:

Medical marijuana advocates in California sued the federal government Thursday in an effort to quash a recent crackdown on the state’s storefront pot dispensaries, claiming government officials have overstepped their constitutional authority by not respecting how local officials have chosen to regulate pot stores and growers.

The lawsuit filed in San Francisco by the advocacy group Americans for Safe Access states that recent raids of licensed dispensaries and letters warning city officials they could be prosecuted for trying to regulate medical marijuana cultivation and sales constitute an illegal power grab under the 10th Amendment. The amendment awards to states legislative authority not explicitly reserved for the federal government.

“ASA does not challenge the congressional authority to enact laws criminalizing the possession and/or control of marijuana, as this issue has been resolved in the government’s favor,” Americans for Safe Access Chief Counsel Joe Elford wrote in the complaint. “It is, rather, the government’s tactics, and the unlawful assault on state sovereignty they represent, that form the gravamen of ASA’s claim.”

The suit names Attorney General Eric Holder and Melinda Haag, the U.S. attorney for Northern California, as defendants. Haag’s spokesman, Jack Gillund, declined to comment on the case.

While I disagree with Holder’s actions, to be fair there is no doubt that the systems to provide medical marijuana are also used to allow for more widespread use of marijuana. However, it is hard to find any reasonable justification for outlawing marijuana, and prohibition does not work. The most reasonable response would be to discontinue these efforts and to seek the legalization of marijuana. The California Medical Association has recently called for the legalization of marijuana despite having questions regarding the benefits of medical marijuana. A recent Gallup poll showed fifty percent support the legalization of marijuana, with Republicans and conservatives being most likely to oppose this.

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4 Comments

  1. 1
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