Feds Crackdown on Pot Clinics
US$1.3 Billion in annual sales for California alone.
400,000 estimated daily users.
Tens of thousands of jobs created.
Serious facts. But when it's about medical marijuana, it becomes surreal. Amusing bordering on funny.
But the U.S. Justice Department isn't laughing. They are cracking down on landlords of California's medical pot dispensaries. Landlords of these dispensaries are being given notice that unless these sites are closed, they could face eviction, jail time of 40 years, forfeiture of property and imposed fines.
Under federal law, selling and profiting from distributing marijuana is illegal.
Because of the this, cities across the state are presently not registering and issuing permits for dispensaries.
Basically under the current state of the law, it is legal to buy and use medical pot but it is illegal to sell it. This impacts hundreds and thousands of patients in need of the medical treatment. The situation is convoluted, it sounds like a plot for a Cheech and Chong movie.
Voters in California approved a ballot measure permitting pot consumption for medical purposes in 1996. They were the first state to do so. Sixteen states including Washington, D.C. have followed suit.
In Long Beach, the court decided that it could not proceed with the permits because they “are preempted by federal law from doing anything that would facilitate the distribution of marijuana,”. This, according to assistant city attorney, Michael Mais.
The City Council will be discussing the ruling next week and decide if it could appeal this to the state Supreme Court.