As our Los Angeles medical marijuana lawyers have said from the beginning, the recent explosion of interest by federal prosecutors in California’s medical marijuana industry has to be a political issue.
Most medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles are operating legitimately and following the law. And despite the perception that local political leaders and law enforcement officials try to spread on the public, these business aren’t trying to avoid regulation.
In fact, because of recent efforts by cities and counties throughout California to shut down the medical marijuana dispensary industry, rogue dispensaries are opening up, not paying local permit fees and can undercut prices as a result. It’s bad for business and it gives all legitimate businesses a bad name.
And along with that kind of bad publicity, federal prosecutors have used their power of intimidation in recent months to threaten medical marijuana users and businesses into shutting down. The pressure has gotten to landlords, who have kicked out legitimate businesses based on threats of civil or criminal prosecution by the feds.
Local leaders, not wanting any problems with the federal government, have bowed down to the pressure as well, agreeing to suspend permitting practices and ban new dispensaries in their cities or counties until court cases that are still up in the air are settled.
Counter Punch, a political web site, recently wrote about the battle between President Barack Obama and the medical marijuana industry. The author writes that the recent pressure directed from federal prosecutors is part of a “shock and awe’ campaign from the president, who is gearing up for a re-election campaign.
The article is critical of California’s medical marijuana industry, writing that the problem is that there isn’t enough regulation, which has brought out loopholes and court case challenges that has caused mayhem in the industry.
The author writes that criticism that California’s laws are too broad, such that he obtained a medical marijuana card outside a medical marijuana festival without showing any medical history to a physician, though he admits he has had cancer and has been treated with chemotherapy. His partner, with no serious illness history, also has a card.
The author, a lawyer and supporter of marijuana for recreational or medicinal use, states that nearly one million people are arrested and prosecuted for marijuana use or possession each year. He argues that the drug should be made legal so that the country doesn’t have to have this debate in the first place.
But he warns supporters of the medical marijuana industry not to be upset about what’s going on because the system has been played by many people — “patients” getting medical marijuana cards without real proof and rogue dispensaries opening up shop without permission. This was bound to make the government suspicious and bring on unwanted scrutiny.
The author does make some points and those are the same points medical marijuana supporters are trying to make today. Many want regulation. The more legitimate the industry is, the less critics and disruption there likely is to be. Prescription pain medication has become more of an issue than medical marijuana, yet that industry is not facing the same scrutiny.
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 949-375-4734 for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.
More Blog Entries:
From California to Colorado, Feds Move in and Try to Disrupt Medical Marijuana Industry: January 18, 2012
Obama’s War on Medical Marijuana, by Norm Kent, Counter Punch