Court tells feds they violated the 10th Amendment while harassing medical marijuana patients and state authorties
This ruling is important because it recognizes the constitutional significance of the fact that the federal government has gone out of it's way to arrest and prosecute legitimate doctors, patients, caregivers, and dispensary owners that have been working with state and local officials. by Dave Stancliff
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
By Dave Stancliff The battle for medical marijuana usage in California took a turn for the people recently when a US District Judge ruled that the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution bars the federal government from targeting the enforcement of federal laws to intentionally subvert state medical marijuana laws.
California's landmark 1996 medical marijuana law has been upheld by U.S. District Court Judge Jeremy Fogel, thus denying a Bush administration request to dismiss a lawsuit by Santa Cruz city and county officials and the Wo/Mens Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM) ,against them.
The ruling is the first of it's kind. It's also the first time a court recognized that a concerted effort by the federal government to sabotage state medical marijuana laws violates the U.S. Constitution.
This ruling is important because it recognizes the constitutional significance of the fact that the federal government has gone out of it's way to arrest and prosecute some of the most legitimate doctors, patients, caregivers, and dispensary owners that have been working with state and local officials.
One example is WAMM. The organization is widely recognized as a model medical marijuana patients collective, and has been fully supported by the City and County of Santa Cruz, and has been functioning smoothly in strict compliance with city and county ordinances and California state law.
The city even allowed WAMM to hold regular meetings to distribute marijuana to it's members on the steps of City Hall. The non-profit organization has been operating now for 15 years.
The feds were taken to task by the ACLU who filed the lawsuit to stop them for targeting medical marijuana providers and patients. The Bush administration wanted to sue city and county officials in Santa Cruz, along with WAMM.
The judge tossed out their lawsuit, and said that the U.S.Attorney General Michael Mukasey, DEA agents involved in the raid of WAMM, and administrators of the DEA and Office of National Drug Control Policy violated the U.S.Constitution.
He noted that these agencies were threatening physicians who recommended marijuana. He also said that they threatened government officials who issue medical marijuana identification cards, and interfered with municipal zoning plans.
The judge also ruled that there was a calculated pattern of selective arrest and prosecutions by the federal government with the intent to render, "California's medical marijuana laws impossible to implement and therefore forced Californian's and their political subdivisions to re- criminalize medical marijuana.
With the judges ruling we now have a potential breakthrough on the war against medical marijuana. It was a wise decision because the marijuana brings the state about $100 million each year in tax revenue, and it is finally saying that Californian's will get their wish's carried out after 12 years of illegal warfare.
There's no doubt it's a setback for Bush and his cronies, who have been so happily violating Californian's pot law since it was passed by a majority of voters. Wamm is now clear to file suit against the feds who raided them back in 2002.
California's top law dog, Jerry Brown passed out new medical marijuana guidelines recently that say even the feds are supposed to honor them. I'll take a wait-and-see approach, but this is still good news. As It Stands, with the Bush regime fading away we can only hope that whoever takes office will allow Californians their liberty and their laws.
Information sources for this article:
1.)Federal Court rules US Government may not deliberately subvert California's Medical Marijuana laws- ACLU Drug Law Reform Project (URL http://www.aclu.org/drugpolicy/indew.html )
2.Santa Cruz vs Mukasey-Order denying government motion to dismiss
filed August 20, 2008
Description:A ruling from U.S.District Court for the Northern District of California,San Jose Division, denying the federal government's motion to dismiss the case holding that the U.S. Constitution bars deliberate subversion by the federal government of state medical marijuana laws.
3.Federal Judge Backs Medical Pot Activists' suit-Cannabis News web site- 8-21-08
Did you like this article? If you did, Thumb It! 43
thumbs so far
The views expressed
in this article are those of Dave Stancliff only and
do not represent the views of Nolan Chart, LLC or its affiliates.
Dave Stancliff is solely responsible for the contents
of this article and is not an employee or otherwise affiliated
with Nolan Chart, LLC in his/her role as a columnist.