Riverside Asks Feds For Help Enforcing Medical Marijuana Laws

More bad news out of Riverside.

As we previously reported on our Marijuana Lawyer Blog, a case out of Riverside will go to the California Supreme Court to determine if cities and counties can legally ban medical marijuana dispensaries.

Now, as if that wasn’t enough of an assault on the medical marijuana industry, The Press-Enterprise is reporting that city leaders have reached out to federal authorities to help enforce medical marijuana restrictions there.
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Medical marijuana in Riverside is a hotbed of controversy, much like in other places throughout the state. Despite voters making it known that they wanted medical marijuana to be an option as pain medication in 1996, cities and counties have decided to try to go against the will of the people.

Our Riverside medical marijuana lawyers have been able to represent many Riverside medical marijuana dispensaries, collectives and patients who have been caught up in this political nightmare. All of these groups have rights under state law that must be upheld.

In Riverside, as if the mounting pressure from the federal government wasn’t already enough, city leaders have decided to specifically asked federal prosecutors to enforce the government’s marijuana ban in their city.

In Riverside, medical marijuana dispensaries have been forbidden by local zoning laws.
Since 2010, the city has sought to shut down businesses by filing civil lawsuits against them. The city brags they have shut down about 30 small businesses this way.

Even though medical marijuana is legal under California law, city leaders have decided they don’t want to help patients who may require this medication to help stop the pain from debilitating illnesses. The major conflict comes with federal law, which states that all marijuana is illegal.

Local dispensaries have been shut down in recent weeks and prosecutors have sent out warning letters in an attempt to intimidate businesses. Federal authorities have said they will file civil or criminal actions against operators as well as landlords who provide office space.

City leaders have decided they want this to happen in Riverside. Despite a court case that is still pending that determines whether any of this action is legal or not, they are trying to rid the city of these businesses before the court case is decided. Using misstated facts, the city attorney and police chief told federal prosecutors that the businesses are for profit and attract crime. I guess they must want every convenience store or late-night business shut down as well.

City leaders are begging for federal help because federal authorities carry certain authority, such as seizing assets, that local law enforcement cannot do. The crackdown on legally operating medical marijuana dispensaries is causing patients to seek illegal sources for their medication.

In essence, while law enforcement agents believe they are stopping crime by involving the government and shutting down these businesses, they are actually encouraging crime. Medical marijuana patients have chosen this form of medication because it’s often less expensive and has fewer side effects. But authorities continue trying to stop this industry from thriving for no justifiable reason.

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:

Riverside Medical Marijuana News: California Supreme Court to Review City’s Ban: January 24, 2012
Additional Resources:

Riverside: City asks feds’ help in marijuana enforcement, by Alicia Robinson, The Press-Enterprise