Federal Judge Issues Permanent Injunction Against Three Northern California Medical Marijuana Cooperatives
U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer this week issued a permanent injunction that requires three Northern California medical marijuana cooperatives to "immediately halt distribution" of the drug, the Sacramento Bee reports (Wilson, Sacramento Bee, 6/13). The three cooperatives include the Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative, the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana and the Ukiah Cannabis Buyers Club (San Francisco Chronicle, 6/13). The court order, dated and filed Monday in San Francisco, will allow the cooperatives to "appeal all the issues" related to the use of medical marijuana to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, according to Robert Raich, an attorney for the Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative. Under Proposition 215, a ballot measure approved by California voters in 1996, patients with chronic diseases such as cancer and AIDS can use medical marijuana to treat pain. However, federal law prohibits cultivation, distribution or possession of marijuana, "and federal authorities have been using every tactic available to them to stop the gains made by California's pro-pot brigade." The permanent injunction will allow the federal government to avoid "charging and trying the drugs criminally before California jurors who might have voted for Proposition 215," the Bee reports. Although the cooperatives expected Breyer to issue the injunction, they said that the order will force patients who do not grow marijuana to "go out to the streets and be exposed to the criminal element, as well as the danger of getting medicine of questionable quality," Raich said (Wilson, Sacramento Bee, 6/13).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.