In a huge legal win, a federal judge in San Francisco has issued a landmark ruling that could serve to halt the DEA’s overly liberal interpretation of laws that have allowed them power to conduct search and destroy missions for medical marijuana.
In possibly the first-ever federal decision of its kind, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer, slapped more than the DEA’s wrists. His decision stated that the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment clearly prevents the Justice Department from spending taxpayer money to hunt and chase marijuana users in states that have established medical marijuana programs.
The federal ruling comes from a case involving the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana founder, Lynette Shaw, who was forced to close down her medical marijuana dispensary in 2011 after the Justice Department served her with a federal injunction.
Fortunately, Judge Breyer’s decision not only allows Shaw to re-open her dispensary, but it could also allow other marijuana-related operations which have been subject to similar bans to establish their businesses.
In the past, President Obama repeatedly said the federal government would use minimal resources to strike at dispensaries. The Obama Administration has unofficially made it part of their policy to neither indict nor raid medical marijuana dispensaries and growers.
“What you’re seeing now is Colorado, Washington through state referenda, they’re experimenting with legal marijuana,” the president said in response to a question from YouTube host Hank Green. “The position of my administration has been that we still have federal laws that classify marijuana as an illegal substance, but we’re not going to spend a lot of resources trying to turn back decisions that have been made at the state level on this issue. My suspicion is that you’re gonna see other states start looking at this.”
Now we seem to be even closer to what he hinted toward for years.
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.