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Justice Department Says It Can Still Prosecute Medical Marijuana Cases

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Justice Department Says It Can Still Prosecute Medical Marijuana Cases

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By Timothy M. Phelps, Tribune Washington Bureau (TNS)

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department says a congressional restriction on medical marijuana enforcement does not apply to individual cases like proceedings against three dispensaries in the San Francisco Bay Area.

In December, Congress added an amendment to a spending bill ordering the Justice Department not to interfere with states that allow the sale of medical marijuana from implementing their laws.

Patrick Rodenbush, a spokesman for the Justice Department, said in a statement Wednesday that it did not believe the amendment applies to cases against individuals or organizations.

Rather, he said, it stops the department from “impeding the ability of states to carry out their medical marijuana laws,” contrary to some claims from people being prosecuted that the amendment blocks such prosecutions.

The narrow interpretation of the law is of particular interest in the Bay Area, where the Justice Department has initiated forfeiture proceedings against three medical marijuana dispensaries it considers to be in violation of federal law.

Henry Wykowski, a lawyer for the dispensaries, said, “I think that the amendment is vague and it hasn’t been interpreted by any court yet. But the language can be read more broadly to encompass such prosecutions.”

(c)2015 Tribune Co., Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

Photo: Frederic J Brown / AFP

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7 Comments

  1. Joseph Kelsall April 3, 2015

    Why would it want to?

    Reply
  2. Rodger Malcolm Mitchell April 4, 2015

    Now, if only the Obama administration had been as tough on crooked bankers as it is on users of medical marijuana . . . but then, these folks aren’t as rich as the crooked bankers.

    Reply
    1. mamasnothappy1 April 4, 2015

      Remove Obama from this conversation, and you have it about right.

      Reply
  3. David April 4, 2015

    Because if they end parts of the war on drugs they will have to lay off loyal govt. workers, and mind you these are the kind that are so loyal they have no moral compass to sway them from their duties. And that would raise unemployment. Maybe they could find another use for these govt. workers destroying some other peoples lives for no reason that could keep them on the dole. It is just one more way I was drastically disappointed in Obama. I will likely go back to voting for 3rd party candidates in the next presidential election.

    Reply
    1. mamasnothappy1 April 4, 2015

      What does the President have to do with it?

      Reply
  4. mamasnothappy1 April 4, 2015

    This is theft. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Reply
  5. Jmz Nesky April 5, 2015

    Then if that’s the truth and they can over ride the votes of the people then they ALL need to be ousted and replaced by Nation loving representatives who listen to the public.. They’re exhibiting nothing less than contempt for this nation’s law..
    The states have determined that medical marijuana is necessary because their voters chose to save lives over policy then these goose stomping Nazis come in and tell use that THEY can buck the law because their DC.. Well, we can certainly vote DC out of our lives as well.

    Reply

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