Americans for Safe Access (ASA), a medical marijuana advocacy organization, filed suit in federal court on Thursday challenging the Obama Administration’s attempt to undercut local and state medical marijuana laws in California.
ASA argues in its lawsuit that Obama’s Department of Justice (DOJ) has “instituted a policy to dismantle the medical marijuana laws of the State of California and to coerce its municipalities to pass bans on medical marijuana dispensaries.” The DOJ policy has involved aggressive SWAT-style raids, criminal prosecutions of medical marijuana patients and providers and threats to local officials for merely implementing state law.
"Although the Obama Administration is entitled to enforce federal marijuana laws, the 10th Amendment forbids it from using coercive tactics to commandeer the lawmaking functions of the state," said ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford, who filed the lawsuit Thursday in San Francisco’s federal District Court.
ASA Joe Elford, ASA: “This case is aimed at restoring California’s sovereign and constitutional right to establish its own public health laws based on this country’s federalist principles”
"This case is aimed at restoring California’s sovereign and constitutional right to establish its own public health laws based on this country’s federalist principles," Elford said.
The ASA lawsuit, which seeks declaratory and injunctive relief, was filed on behalf of its 20,000 members in California who are directly and adversely affected by the DOJ’s actions.
California’s four U.S. Attorneys announced in a highly unusual press conference on October 7 that the DOJ would be engaging in a multi-pronged attack on the state’s medical marijuana laws involving enforcement action against state-compliant producers and distributors, as well as threatening their landlords with criminal prosecution and civil asset forfeiture.
In addition, the same four U.S. Attorneys have been sending threatening letters to several municipalities across California in an attempt to undermine the passage of local medical marijuana regulations.
On July 1, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California sent a letter to Chico Mayor Ann Schwab stating the city’s proposed ordinance regulating medical marijuana dispensaries would violate federal law. U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner also warned Chico’s city attorney, city manager, and police chief that council members and staff could face federal prosecution for attempting to implement such a law.
As a result, the Chico City Council voted on August 2 to rescind its medical marijuana dispensary ordinance.
On August 15, the Eureka City Council got a letter from the U.S. Attorney for the Northern Distirct of California threatening that its regulation of medical marijuana dispensaries violates federal law. Similar to the Chico letter, the Eureka letter said that the city’s publicly vetted licensing scheme “threatens the federal government’s efforts to regulate the possession, manufacturing, and trafficking of controlled substances.”
The letter added that “If the City of Eureka were to proceed, this office would consider injunctive actions, civil fines, criminal prosecution, and the forfeiture of any property used to facilitate a violation of [federal law].” Because of these threats, Eureka suspended implementation of its local medical marijuana ordinance.
The federal actions announced on October 7 by U.S. Attorneys have also detailed the regulatory efforts of local governments in Arcata, El Centro, Sacramento and other municipalities across the state.
Less than a week after the DOJ press conference, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) conducted an early morning raid on October 13 at Northstone Organics, a fully licensed cultivation collective in Mendocino County. The DEA handcuffed the collective’s founder and his wife and cut down all 99 plants, which were each zip-tied and legally registered with the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department. Mendocino has one of the most tightly controlled medical marijuana cultivation ordinances in the state, overseen by Sheriff Tom Allman.
Several local and state officials have publicly blasted the Obama Administration’s tactics. Mendocino County Supervisor Josh McCowen called the DEA raid on Northstone “outrageous,” and said “The elimination of of dispensaries that operate legally and openly will endanger patients and the public.”
Last week, the co-author of California’s Medical Marijuana Program Act, State Senator Mark Leno, “urge[d] the federal government to stand down in its massive attack on medical marijuana dispensaries.”
On October 21, State Attorney General Kamala Harris renounced the federal government’s tactics, saying “an overly broad federal enforcement campaign will make it more difficult for legitimate patients to access physician-recommended medicine,” and urging “federal authorities in the state to adhere to the [DOJ’s] stated policy” of allowing California to implement is medical marijuana laws without federal interference.
Although the lawsuit accuses the Obama Administration of commandeering California’s legislative function and interfering with local laws meant to distinguish between medical and non-medical use, it does not challenge the federal government’s authority to adopt and enforce marijuana laws.
The lawsuit states that “It is, rather, the … misuse of the government’s Commerce Clause powers, designed to deprive the State of its sovereign ability to chart a separate course, that forms the basis of the plaintiff’s claims.”
The 2nd District Court of Appeals decided by a vote of 3-0 that when the police think they smell marijuana in a large package they MUST get a search warrant before opening the package. In the case before the court fed ex workers called the police when they sniffed what they thought was a strong odor of marijuana in a package they had received for shipment.
When the police arrived they claimed that there was a strong odor coming from the package that smelled to them like marijuana. The police then opened up the package and arrested and charged the accused with various drug offenses. The defendant argued that the evidence must be suppressed because the police needed to obtain a search warrant before searching the package.
The police and District Attorneys office argued that under the “plain smell” theory the police did not need a warrant. They argued that just like police can seize evidence of criminal activity if they “view it” under the “plain view” doctrine, the court of appeals should permit law enforcement to seize evidence of crimes if they can “smell” that the substance is illegal without the need for a warrant.
The court of appeals disagreed and ruled that the police must obtain a warrant before opening the package in question. The result is the evidence was suppressed and all charges against the defendant were dismissed.
In September 2011, New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly ordered all NYPD officers to stop charging people with misdemeanor marijuana violations based on improper searches. This could lead to the reduction of tens of thousands of marijuana arrests every year in NYC. Since New York decriminalized small amounts of marijuana over three decades, possessing under 25 grams is only a criminal offense if it is publicly visible. Since the mid-1990s, officers have abused this legal loophole by tricking people – mostly young people of color – into publicly revealing marijuana concealed in a pocket or handbag by demanding they “empty their pockets.” The police then make the arrest for “public view” for what should legally be a non-criminal civil citation. The new policy directive comes on the heels of a 2011 DPA report highlighting the enormous costs of marijuana arrests in New York and a public pressure campaign led by the Drug Policy Alliance, the Institute for Juvenile Justice Reform (IJJRA) and Alternatives, and VOCAL New York.
First off, no one likes abortions. Some people joke that they are pro-abortion but that’s just a response to anti-choice ignorance.
Being “pro-life” means being pro laws that force women to give birth. It is a “nanny state” solution. It is fascist. It is big government at it’s worst. It is everything that true libertarians should be against, at least at the national level. This is a religious conservative position, not a typical libertarian position.
Women who choose abortions suffer with making hard choices. Not that it matters what the reason is… It’s her body! But if it is a choice of health, forced birth is especially fucked up. Miscarriage and stillbirth are still much higher percentages than people assume in modern society. And if you’re going to use a “god” excuse, maybe that is the plan for the fetus, since your god supposedly plans everything out. How do you know to presume what your god wants? The God of Abraham has killed millions upon millions, not quite the pro-life deity.
You can be personally against abortion and not be against laws that force birth. You are still pro-life. Like when Herman Cain said it should be the mother’s choice but he’s pro-life. In that statement, he is pro-choice. But he prefers to talk out of both sides of his mouth to gain maximum ratings. It’s the politician way.
Once again, pro-life means wanting laws that force birth. Forced birth means tax dollars hiring government agencies to make certain that every pregnancy is carried to term. That means miscarriage is case to be investigated. It means that birth control is also cause for ending possible life (even when used for other purposes). It also can follow a slippery slope down the masturbation path as well as any sex that is not for the purpose of procreation (whether oral, manual or anal sex).
If you call yourself “pro-life”, realize that you want these government laws to force birth. It does not reflect a personal position on what you would do. It reflects what you think everyone should do.
Someone reblogged this comic, insisting that their god was the unpleasant truth part. That is the absolute most twisted up way to distort an obvious commentary on how religion and god is the comforting lie part.
It’s like it was purposely switched around just to be an ass.
I really hate flame wars so I shouldn’t be even blogging this but I already did the other rant.
I really don’t want to offend anyone personally so I’m going to move on.
The lyrics to this song seem exactly against everything about republicans, conservatives and Herman Cain. Apparently, the singer, Krista Branch, is very conservative but some of the lyrics appear otherwise. (She did a song for Glenn Beck’s shitty rally. *vomits*)
Did she even write this song? It’s probably written vague on purpose. Well, of course, more fans = more money.
Here are some verses:
Pay no attention to the people in the street
Crying out for accountability
Make a joke of what we believe
Say we don’t matter ’cause you disagree
Pretend you’re kings, sit on your throne
Look down your nose at the peasants below
I’ve got some news, we’re taking names
We’re waiting now for the judgment day
You preach your tolerance, but lecture me
Is there no end to your own hypocrisy
Your god is power, you have no shame
Your only interest is political gain
You hide your eyes and refuse to listen
You play your games and abuse the system
You stuff your pockets while Rome is burning
I’ve got a feeling that the tide is turning
Seriously, someone wrote these lyrics in support of conservatism? Is there no end to your hypocrisy?
No. No, there isn’t. I guess it wasn’t a rhetorical question after all.
If i came to you and said i believe in the tooth fairy, as a grown adult, would you ridicule me?
What if i came to you and said the tooth fairy left me a note.. well.. not really a note. it was like a memo. or actually i dreamed it was a memo. yes she spoke to me while i was asleep. Anyways she said that if you didn’t believe in her you were going to be tortured and burn in hell forever. also that just by having teeth you are evil. You need to go have all of your teeth removed.
I then proceed to show you my mouth, devoid of teeth, because a voice in my head told me to do it.
Would you ridicule me?
Now suppose everyone else believed something similar. Some groups believe that you only remove molars. Other groups hate the molaronly group and think that you should remove kanines. these two groups have been in conflict resulting in millions of deaths for 2000 years.
would you ridicule me?
Now if you don’t believe in the tooth fairy, the group in power passes legislation to keep you out of public office, to reject any teaching that teeth are beneficial, and also take out baby teeth at birth because its deemed holy.
Would you ridicule me?
Well, i think at some point, you might. Because you’re walking around without a damned set of teeth. That’s bad. Its just as bad as walking around thinking everyone that doesnt believe the same as you is going to burn eternally in hell. it’s just as bad as thinking that by saying magic words a mysterious third party will literally alter the universe just for you because you said magic words. Its dangerous to believe that you can do whatever the hell you want morally, including endorsing slavery, genocide, murder, stoning, rape, forced marriage, and a host of other laws that present the moral standard of God, and you still get to go to heaven.
”—GuitarGuru2001, explaining how the idea of god looks to a nontheist. It’s a metaphor that’s still sure to offend people.