January 17 By O’S News Service The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has confirmed the right of federal agents to take down California cannabis dispensaries. As reported by Denny Walsh of the Sacramento Bee:
“An appellate court on Wednesday upheld three lower court decisions, including one in Sacramento, rejecting a challenge by medical marijuana dispensaries, their landlords and customers to enforcement of the federal government’s zero tolerance of marijuana. Dispensaries sought injunctions to prevent authorities from enforcing the federal Controlled Substances Act against dispensaries and collectives operating under the terms of California’s Compassionate Use Act, which allows marijuana to be used as medicine in accord with a physician’s recommendation. In an unpublished order, a three-judge panel of the 9th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that those parts of the U. S. Constitution cited by the dispensaries do not apply in a matter such as this, and cited a 2007 9th Circuit opinion as precedent. An injunction ‘would compromise a governmental interest in enforcing the law’ and would therefore be inappropriate, the panel’s memorandum concluded.
Dale Gieringer of California NORML noted:
In an unpublished opinion, the 9th Circuit rejected the lawsuit brought by NORML attorneys Matt Kumin, David Michael and Alan Silber claiming there is a fundamental right to use medical marijuana. Appellants contend that the Ninth Amendment and the substantive due process component of the Fifth Amendment together protect a fundamental right to “distribute, possess and use medical cannabis” in compliance with California state law. But this argument is squarely foreclosed by Raich v. Gonzales (Raich II), 500 F.3d 850, 864-66 (9th Cir. 2007). In Raich II, we rejected the notion that “the Due Process Clause embraces a right to make a life-shaping decision on a physician’s advice to use medical marijuana . . . when all other prescribed medications and remedies have failed.” Id. Although we noted in Raich II that the passage of time coupled with changing social views may alter the fundamental rights analysis,1 id. at 865-66, a prior holding of this court may only be overturned through en banc consideration, see United States v. Parker, 651 F.3d 1180, 1184 (9th Cir. 2011).
Attorney Bill Panzer added:
“No one should be discouraged about this decision. The suit was a dead-bang loser from its inception (which I pointed out when it was first filed). It essentially contained two arguments —one that was admittedly clever but with an obvious fatal flaw that could not be overcome, and the other that had already been argued up to the Supreme Court in Raich/Monson and lost. It has been quickly and summarily dismissed by every court that looked at it. Unfortunately, I fully expect it to receive the same treatment from an en banc review. What I found very disturbing about this suit was the full court press to collect money from the ‘plaintiffs’ and activists in support of this legally meritless suit.”
And here is the judges’ unpublished memorandum.