SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Lawyers for the medical marijuana industry are filing for restraining orders meant to keep the federal government from taking action against medical marijuana dispensaries.
The lawyers represent marijuana distributors and medical patients in four different districts in California. One of the lawyers, Matthew Kumin, says, “The government’s irrational policy has reached a breaking point. The federal government said it will not prosecute patients, and yet, they want to shut off their supply. This doesn’t make sense.”
Prosecutors sent out letters in September, warning dispensaries to shut down or face criminal charges. Dispensaries had 45 days to stop sales, which for many ends on Saturday. The court can issue an immediate restraint, schedule hearings to make a decision, or deny the request altogether. If the judge denies the restraining orders, some dispensaries will have to close.
All forms of marijuana remain illegal under federal law despite the use of medical marijuana being allowed in California and some other states. If the federal crackdown is successful, California could lose out on a lot of money brought in by the thriving industry of growers and dispensaries that pay state and local taxes.
If it doesn’t succeed, the marijuana industry could suffer because the Internal Revenue Service has started a crackdown of it’s own, denying some sellers the right to deduct marijuana-related business expenses.
Nov 08, 2011 7:32 AM PST
<em>Tuesday, November 8, 2011 10:32 AM EST</em>