Government threatens dispensaries with shutdown
October 12, 2011
During the last few years, medical marijuana has been basically legal in some states. The very first state to legalize the substance for medical use was California, over 15 years ago. Now, federal attorneys are threatening several dispensaries with legal action if they do not shut down. Formerly, the federal government has had a policy of not interfering with shops operating in accordance with state law. Article resource: 16 California dispensaries facing government shutdown
Threats sent in letters
In California, thousands of dispensaries for medical cannabis exist. The state held more shops than Starbucks stores. This was the lawsuit in 2009. These dispensaries are in charge of paying local, state and federal taxes as they are governed in the state. Federal attorneys appointed to California recently sent mail to 16 dispensaries and landlords, frightening prosecution if the dispensary doors were not shut within 45 days.
Which dispensaries were targeted
Not lots of dispensaries have been hit. Only a few have gotten mail. Lawyers close to the issue believe that the dispensaries were picked because they were not following laws the state of California had passed. This involves any business that was serving more consumers than legally permitted or those operating for profit. All of the 16 San Diego shops also are close to schools, parks, churches, playgrounds and other public areas.
About-face on weed enforcement
Any medical weed dispensaries that were following state laws were not going to be prosecuted by the federal government for the first two years of the Obama administration. According to federal law, marijuana is a Schedule I illegal compound still. That means it is definitely a crime to sell, transport or possess the drug. A lot of the dispensaries in California and Washington have been threatened with shut downs recently though. Time will tell if the government will shut down all shops in California.
Federal versus state law
In threatening prosecution, federal police force officials cite the belief that federal law takes precedence over state law. There is some debate over this issue, but it is a generally accepted tenant of legal controversy. Civil rights cases are the most debated examples.
Since personal cannabis has "broader social and financial implications,” the government is allowed to decide on these cases. That was decided in a 2005 Supreme Court suit.