Lawsuits have been filed in all four of the federal judicial districts in California (Northern, Central, Eastern and Southern) to gain a temporary restraining order to prevent the feds from going after California patients who are in compliance with Prop 215, which legalized marijuana in the state just over 15 years ago.
On October 7, aka “Black Friday” for the medi-pot industry, the four US Attorneys in California representing each district held a press conference in which they announced they would be crack down on medi-pot dispensaries for violating federal law. Dispensaries were given a little over a month to cease operations or face federal prosecution.
Matthew Kumin, an attorney representing the dispensary and patient interests, told KCBSthat the feds are breaking their 2009 promise that they would not prosecute legal pot patients: “Our patients in the state of California that we represent are in compliance with state law and therefore the government is estopped…from changing their position based on that promise.” (By “estopped,” Kumin is referring to the legal term that bars a party from denying or asserting anything to the contrary of that which has been previously established by that same party as the truth).
“You can’t play fast and loose with the federal court system and this is what we’re alleging they [the feds] are doing by changing their [medical marijuana] position now,” Kumin added.
The operator of a downtown San Francisco dispensary told KCBS that unless the restraining order stops the feds, he’s planning to close shop and fire all his workers come this Saturday after he recently received a letter telling him to shut down by Nov 12.
“We don’t want the DEA showing up and taking all our medicine,” lamented Charlie Pappas of the Divinity Tree Wellness Cooperative located in the city’s rough Tenderloin district.
The U.S. Attorney’s office did not publicly respond to news of the lawsuit; hopefully the restraining order will be able to slow down their unwarranted crackdown on medicinal cannabis in California.