Citing Eureka and Arcata, Medical Marijuana Advocacy Group Sues Federal Government

Hank Sims / Monday, Nov. 7, 2011 @ 4:12 p.m. / News

As of today, the Department of Justice is getting some blowback on its concerted supercrackdown against California’s medical marijuana laws.

Americans for Safe Access — a national organization that advocates for reform of marijuana laws on medical grounds — filed suit today against the DoJ in all four of the state’s federal judicial districts. The Northern California version of the lawsuit (download a PDF here) specifically singles out the DoJ’s actions against the medical marijuana regulatory frameworks in the cities of Eureka and Arcata.

These include legal threats that federal prosecutors allegedly leveled directly at Arcata city officials:

On August 23, 2011, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California, Melinda Haag, met with Arcata’s City Attorney Nancy Diamond and Arcata Police Chief Tom Chapman and warned them that the City’s actions violate federal law and that the government may take action against local officials, including injunctive relieve to prohibit further City implementation of medical marijuana regulations, as well as criminal sanctions. This prompted the Arcata City Counsel [sic] to suspend the issuance of medical marijuana permits to the four medical marijuana collectives currently in the application process on October 5, 2011.

The Americans for Safe Access suit argues that the federal crackdown violates the Tenth Amendment. The group will also stage a protest at the state Capitol building Wednesday.

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