Despite the fact that the current presidential administration has stated it is not a priority for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the United States Attorneys Offices throughout the nation to arrest and prosecute people for possession and sale of medical marijuana in places where it is legal under state law, such prosecution still occurs.
According to a recent report from Reason.com, one “rogue” federal prosecutor continues to target a medical marijuana dispensary in California that has been described as the world’s largest of its kind. The claim appears to be that, based upon the vast size of the dispensary, there must be people who are purchasing marijuana, not for medical use, but for recreational use, which is still illegal under California law and is of course illegal under federal law.
As our Orange County medical marijuana attorneys can explain, marijuana is still listed as Schedule I controlled substance on the United States Controlled Substances Act (USCSA) list of schedules. It was added to Schedule I because it was claimed to be highly dangerous with no known medical benefit. We know today, and many knew at the time, this was a ridiculous classification, but to this day, Congress seems unwilling to remove marijuana from Schedule I, so it remains illegal under federal law. There was bill that would have made an official regulation that no medical cannabis dispensary owner could be prosecuted under federal law, as long as it was legal under the respective state law, but that law failed to pass recently.
With respect to the medical cannabis dispensary in California still under attack, it is located in Oakland and serves around 200,000 patients each year and dispenses an average of $25 million worth of medial cannabis annually. There has been no effort to hide the amount of business this dispensary does each year, and the dispensary is fully compliant with California law and all county ordinances, according to its management. However, it is obviously not legal under federal law, but that should not be a problem, given the current administration’s position about federal prosecutions of state-legal dispensaries, but that has apparently not deterred the local federal prosecutor from attempting to shut it down through the use of civil legal actions and civil forfeitures.
The dispensary management says there has never been a direct allegation they have violated any local law, and they have not been charged with any crimes, state or federal, but they have come in to work in the morning to find civil forfeiture notices nailed to the front door. A spokesperson for the dispensary said they have repeatedly asked this federal prosecutor why she is targeting this dispensary, when they not have broken any laws, and they are allegedly given vague answers about how, with so many patients being served, not all of them are likely to have legitimate medical needs, so they are breaking the law.
If you find yourself or your medical cannabis business facing legal opposition for a state or federal agency, speaking with an attorney who actually specializes in medical cannabis cases can greatly increase your chances of a successful outcome.
The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.
The World’s Largest Medical Marijuana Dispensary vs. One Rogue Prosecutor , July 11, 2015, Reason.com
More Blog Entries:
Four Competing California Marijuana Legalization Proposals, April 3, 2015, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog