Medical Pot Under Attack: CA Federal Judge Rules Against Effort to Protect Legal Dispensaries

 In yet another blow to California's medical marijuana program, U.S. District Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong ruled Monday againstThree Bay Area medical marijuana dispensaries, a landlord and a patient seeking a temporary restraining order to prevent feds from prosecuting legal marijuana growers and providers in Northern California. They also demanded a declaration that enforcing the Controlled Substances Act unconstitutionally "prevents plaintiffs and similarly situated individuals from obtaining medical marijuana with a doctor's recommendation," which she denied.

The plaintiffs were responding to California U.S. attorneys' September declaration to shut down medical marijuana dispensaries and prosecute businesses, landlords, and  even patients. They had received a letter giving them 45 days to shut down before being subject to "criminal prosecution, imprisonment, fines, and forfeiture of assets, including the real property on which the dispensary is operating"

 Under the California Compassionate Use Act, state residents may use medical marijuana without being prosecuted by the law, but federal law still holds the plant in the Schedule I controlled substance category, which, by definition, means marijuana has no medical value.  

According to Court House News:

 JCiting the Supreme Court ruling in Gonzalez v. Raich, Armstrong noted that the "plaintiffs' purported fundamental right conspicuously omits any reference to 'marijuana.'

 In Raich, the plaintiff claimed she had a "fundamental right" to "make life-shaping medical decisions that are necessary to preserve the integrity of her body, avoid intolerable physical pain, and preserve her life."

 Judge Armstrong rejected this argument.

 "Although the number of jurisdictions that have medical marijuana laws has increased by six, the fact remains that the majority of states do not recognize the right to use marijuana for medicinal purposes," Armstrong wrote.

 "Moreover, as to those states that have not legalized medical marijuana, there is no allegation or evidence of a pattern of non-enforcement of laws proscribing its use. Finally - and significantly - it is difficult to reconcile the purported existence of a fundamental right to use marijuana for medical reasons with Congress' pronouncement that 'for purposes of the [CSA], marijuana has no currently accepted medical use at all.'" (Brackets in complaint.)

Sigh. Medical marijuana has many currently accepted medical uses, and Congress' and the Courts' refusal to recognize them is part of the government's game, as NIDA and the DEA maintain a monopoly on medical marijuana research that only allows for NIDA - led,  inherently anti-weed  (and anti-science) studies. 

Anderson also said:

Because the Supreme Court has held that courts cannot consider the efficacy of medical marijuana as a basis to challenge enforcement of federal drug laws, Armstrong said the plaintiffs face an "insurmountable challenge." 

True. So long as there is no currently accepted medical research, marijuana will have no "no currently accepted medical value" 

AlterNet / By Kristen Gwynne

Posted at November 30, 2011, 9:28am

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