Court Rejects Medical Marijuana Suit; Others Fighting Back on Behalf of Growers, Distributors and Users

To say the fight in support and against medical marijuana in Los Angeles is heating up would be inaccurate because that would imply it ever cooled down.

But watching the news both in California and in other states shows that supporters of this legitimate business industry, including our Los Angeles medical marijuana lawyers, are making some strides in dispelling the incorrect rumors about the industry and getting other states to follow California’s lead.

In Arizona recently, a U.S. District Court judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by Arizona officials that sought to clarify whether it’s voter-approved medical marijuana law trumps federal drug laws. It was an unusual request by the governor, who was seeking clarification about whether the state’s law or the federal law should rule supreme.

Los Angeles medical marijuana supporters should be happy that a judge refused to consider the issue because had she not tossed the lawsuit, a ruling in favor of federal law could be applied to every state that has medical marijuana laws in place. Often, one case can be cited as a reason to apply it to other cases, even if they are in different states. And there are plenty of people in California, as well as Washington D.C., who want to step on the will of the voters.

In dismissing the lawsuit, the judge said the state wasn’t able to show that its workers were at risk of federal prosecution based on the proposition passing or if state officials had intended to fully implement the law.

The law just passed in 2010 and would require state workers to issue identification cards to people who have medical conditions that require marijuana use. The state’s health department also gained authority to issue permits for dispensaries.

Officials are now deciding whether or not to appeal the ruling or begin licensing medical marijuana dispensaries. The state strategically filed the lawsuit in May, just days before the permit process was set to begin.

Although dispensaries have yet to be authorized, nearly 18,000 people statewide have gotten permission to use marijuana for various medical ailments. About 15,000 of them have asked for permission to grow the plant themselves.

The state’s lawsuit came at a time when federal prosecutors in all 15 states that have legalized medical marijuana, including California, began their politically based move of threatening federal drug charges against those involved in the industry.

Throughout Los Angeles, this led to those renting space to dispensaries kicking them out for fear they would be brought up on federal drug charges. Many businesses that serve the most sick residents were forced to close as a result.

Civil rights leaders have called on Arizona’s leadership to begin implementing legislation that was handily passed by voters. Would-be dispensary owners also have civil lawsuits pending against the state because of the calculated delays.

Our Los Angeles medical marijuana lawyers hope that this situation gets resolved in Arizona soon so the nearly 20,000 patients who need medical marijuana as a prescribed drug can begin getting help for their illnesses.

The CANNABIS LAW GROUP offers experienced and aggressive representation to the medical marijuana industry in Los Angeles, throughout Orange County and elsewhere throughout Southern California. Call 714-937-2050 for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.

More Blog Entries:

Other States Attempt to Follow California’s Legal Medical Marijuana Path: December 31, 2011
Los Angeles Medical Marijuana Supporters Heading to the Polls: December 21, 2011
Additional Resources:

Judge dismissed medical marijuana suit by Arizona, by Mary K. Reinhart, Arizona Republic News