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Correspondence Second Column

How Significant is Breyer’s Order in MAMM Case?

We had asked if US District Judge Charles Breyer’s order blocking enforcement of the injunction closing down the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana would similarly block DEA participation in and funding of Inter-Agency Drug Task Forces.

Attorney Greg Anton
Attorney Greg Anton

From Attorney Greg Anton:  

Yes —it means the Feds cannot interfere with state medical marijuana laws, including inter-agency actions.  So far the ruling applies to Northern California. It will soon apply in the 32 states named in the order. In December it will probably apply to 40 states, as per Senator Cochran’s draft appropriations bill.

From Attorney Zenia Gilg, October 26, 2015:   

I think this is a very significant decision, as it essentially states that Congress means what they legislate, and they are legislating a ban on DOJ action against medical cannabis providers.  Further, next year they will also ban DOJ action against all providers in those states which have legalized it for recreational purposes.  This exceeds simply foreclosing prosecutions, but also curtails civil and equitable actions.  The problem, of course, is it can change on a dime depending on the controlling politicians. Be that as it may, it is a great decision. 

MEMO (Managing Editor Mouths Off)

Breyer’s description of California’s existing medical marijuana program indicates that the whole rationale for the package of bills Jerry Brown just signed was trumped up by law enforcement and the league of cities.  The existing CA program is “robust” enough for Judge Breyer. BTW, when they say “robust,” they mean “punitive.”

From Attorney Haile Cynical: 

I suspect neither Breyer nor anyone else looked too closely at MAMM…  Larry Bragman has been Lynette Shaw’s lawyer and supporter for more than a decade —long before he became mayor of Fairfax.  If the feds really were motivated, I believe they could make both an arguable case that MAMM was out of compliance and that California has inadequate regs…  The interesting question now is whether the government will take Breyer up to the Ninth Circuit.

By Fred Gardner

managing editor, O'Shaughnessy's.