Medical marijuana dispensaries win the battle against what has been determined as an illegal federal crackdown.
Medical marijuana patients, their doctors, and medical marijuana dispensaries had a big win this week against the federal government’s war on marijuana.
A federal court in California ruled that the DEA’s interpretation of a recent medical marijuana bill "defies language and logic," "tortures the plain meaning of the statute" and is "at odds with fundamental notions of the rule of law."
The bill in question is the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, which Congress attached to last year’s spending bill.
The amendment determined that the Justice Department (namely, the DEA) cannot use federal funds to prevent states that have legalized medical marijuana "from implementing their own state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana."
According to The Washington Post, advocates and lawmakers on both sides of the issue of legalizing marijuana agreed “that the bill basically prevented the DEA from going after medical marijuana dispensaries, provided that such dispensaries were acting in compliance with state law.”
So, in this case, states rights prevailed and were protected…almost. In a leaked memo, it is clear that the DEA interpreted the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment quite differently than anyone in Congress who read it and put it into law.
The Justice Department decided that the amendment’s purpose was to prevent actions against actual states for legalizing medical marijuana, but the individuals or businesses that carry out the medical marijuana laws are still subject to the DEA’s pursuit of criminal and civil actions, as marijuana is illegal under federal law.
This purposeful twisting of the text has been ruled as “counter-intuitive and opportunistic” by Judge Charles Breyer of the U.S. District Court in northern California, when he ruled in favor of what the amendment actually means.
Breyer’s ruling has determined that the original meaning behind the amendment will be upheld in the 23 states that have legalized medical marijuana.
But will the DEA finally comply with the ruling or pull another Kim Davis and defy the court? We ask because the drug enforcement agency has a historically corrupt culture. Last month, we reported that it is nearly impossible to fire a DEA agent for serious misconduct, as agents have been known to buy prostitutes with confiscated drug money, among other illegal activities.
With now 58 percent of Americans in favor of legalizing marijuana, isn’t it time to start talking about disbanding the DEA? Sound off below!
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC its affiliates, or its employees.
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