Federal Judge Rules: Maria-Elena James, Magistrate, United States District Court, Northern California Division, agrees with State Judge and upholds previous ruling. What does this mean? Looking back, about a month ago a State of California Civil Judge made an order stating that Ana Chretien, property owner & landlord of Harborside (Health Center) Medical Marijuana could not lawfully evict Harborside since it is deemed a medical marijuana dispensary, therefore the case was closed. Ana Chretien, thinking the State Judge erred took it a step further and filed moving papers in the United States District Court, Northern California Division in effort to have the State Judges ruling over turned. Ana Chretien, lost again! A Federal Judge agreed with the State Judge and declined to overturn the earlier ruling, thus, Ana Chretien lost. Harborside medical marijuana dispensary is located in Oakland, California.
In the ongoing federal-local battle over state laws that legalize medical marijuana, the court ruling is the latest victory for Harborside Health Center, a 100-plus-employee operation that Oakland City Attorney Barbara Parker has praised for providing “access to safe, affordable and effective medicine.” While the Obama administration initially said it would not target medical marijuana dispensaries in compliance with state law, it has since fluctuated on this position, and pursued increasingly vigorous crackdowns. Legalize.co supports the statement made by Barbara Paker, a true city hero and credit to the citizens of Oakland. To shut down Harborside, the federal government filed a civil action to seize the Oakland and San Jose, Calif. properties Harborside leases for its dispensaries. The owners of the two properties attempted to skirt the federal case by moving to evict Harborside or cease its marijuana distribution. One county judge rejected the move, while another has allowed eviction proceedings to move forward. But U.S. Magistrate Judge Maria-Elena James held Monday that the federal Controlled Substances act cannot be enforced by private parties like these landlords:
Harborside Health Center clearly addressed, the courts which have consistently held that there is no private right of action under the CSA to force compliance.
Moreover, while the Court understands Claimants’ concern over the potential forfeiture of their properties, Rule G(7)(a) is not a means to sever business relationships when they suddenly prove risky or to demonstrate cooperation with the Government.
In other recent news, while President Obama has indicated that enforcing anti-marijuana laws is a low priority for his administration, the federal government continues to prosecute drug providers in states where medicinal use of marijuana is legal. For example, a California man who ran medical marijuana dispensaries outside of Los Angeles received a 10-year-to-life sentence for conspiring to manufacture and distribute the drug. Legalize.co is saddened to think the federal government would sentence a man to 10 years in prison for operating a medical marijuana dispensary, it is a shame they would stoop to this type of selective enforcement in order to set an example. Legalize.co is a law abiding entity and would like to think by being law abiding we will not be sentenced to 10 years for bringing you the news on marijuana reform. From Mexico to Moscow, the World Turns On to U.S. Marijuana Legalization
Panelists include: Michael Greve, professor at George Mason University School of Law; Angela Hawken, associate professor of Public Policy at Pepperdine University; and Troy Eid, lawyer and former U.S.Attorney, District of Colorado (2006-2009). Jonathan Rauch, a Brookings guest scholar, moderates the discussion.