A federal court in California has recently ruled that the Drug Enforcement Administration’s interpretation of the state’s new medical marijuana legislation is completely incompatible with the law’s fundamental meaning.
According to the legislation, the Justice Department is prohibited from using federal funds to prevent those acting in accordance with state law from exercising their right to use, distribute, possess, or cultivate marijuana for medical purposes. While this seems fairly straightforward, the DEA’s interpretation of the law was different. The DEA, absurdly, has so far taken this to mean that they cannot prevent the actions of actual states who carry out the law, but that they can still go after individuals and businesses who sell and use medical marijuana. Federal raids on legitimate business have been common occurrences under this creative interpretation.
The DEA’s actions have outraged the bill’s sponsors, who claim that their interpretation of the law is opportunistic, counterintuitive, and a “tortuous twisting of the original text,” among other scathing accusations. U.S. District Court judge Charles Breyer agreed with this criticism, perhaps finally ending the DEA’s lengthy involvement with medical marijuana in California. While it should have been plain before, there is now no question that it is illegal for feds to harass legitimate medical marijuana businesses.
This is a huge win for medical marijuana patients and their providers. These law-abiding citizens can now breathe a sigh of relief as they carry on with their business.
To view the full court decision, please click here.
Harassed by the Feds? Let Us Defend Your Rights
The Supreme Court has made the law clear. If you have been harassed by the DEA for lawfully owning medical marijuana or selling it through a legitimate medical marijuana business, contact the Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys at Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP. We are prepared to be the experienced and uncompromising advocate you need to make sure that your rights are protected. We have tried more than 200 cases in court and have had hundreds of case dismissals.
To receive your free legal consultation, please call Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP toll-free at (800) 462-7160. We are available to assist clients throughout Southern California.