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ASA sues Obama Administration for interfering with state, local medical marijuana laws

Saturday, November 26, 2011 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: Obama administration, medical marijuana, health news

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(NaturalNews) The battle continues to rage between the individual states and the federal government over the legalized cultivation and use of medical marijuana. Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the nation's largest medical marijuana advocacy organization, has now filed a lawsuit against the Obama Administration's Justice Department for aggressively trying to subvert state and local laws by shutting down legal medical marijuana dispensaries.

California, Oregon, New Mexico, Colorado, and a handful of other US states all have laws on the books that permit the growth, possession, and use of medical marijuana in some way, shape, or form. But the federal government still ignorantly classifies the natural plant as a Schedule I narcotic under the Controlled Substances Act, a tenet of the "War on Drugs" that has been a source of much conflict over the past several years.

This ongoing clash between state and federal law has led to numerous federal raids of medical marijuana growers and distributors, particularly in the State of California where medical marijuana laws are among the most lenient, and where the plant is most utilized. The federal government also routinely intimidates local officials to try to get them to ban medical marijuana dispensaries.

In a most recent raid, for instance, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) stormed Northstone Organics, a fully-licensed marijuana cultivation collective in Mendocino County, Cal. Agents reportedly cut down all 99 of the group's marijuana plants, and handcuffed the owner and his wife with zip-ties.

With a lawsuit, ASA hopes to finally put an end to this type of federal government oppression of medical marijuana both in California, and in the other states that have legalized the plant.

"Although the Obama Administration is entitled to enforce federal marijuana laws, the Tenth Amendment forbids it from using coercive tactics to commandeer the law-making functions of the State," said ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford, who filed the lawsuit in San Francisco's Federal District Court.

"This case is aimed at restoring California's sovereign and constitutional right to establish its own public health laws based on this country's federalist principles."

For the first time ever, a recent Gallup poll shows that most Americans now support legalizing marijuana. Fifty percent say that general marijuana use should be legalized, while only 46 percent say it should remain illegal (http://www.gallup.com/poll/150149/Record-Hig...).

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