A Year After Congress Voted To End War On Medical Pot, Raids Continue In California – La Times

Congress has declined to change that even as it has approved the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, as the provision has come to be known. The city of Oakland is invoking that amendment in demanding federal prosecutors drop their bid to seize marijuana and other assets from Harborside Health Center, the nations largest dispensary, which has generated a tax windfall for the cash-strapped city. NEWSLETTER:Get the day’s top headlines from Times Editor Davan Maharaj >> Across San Francisco Bay, in Marin County, local officials cheered when a federal judge declared in October that the continued prosecution of a dispensary was an affront to the new law only to learn on Friday that prosecutors plan to continue the fight through an appeal. Complicating matters are the several states that now permit the sale of marijuana for recreational use. The Obama administration has opted to allow that experiment to continue unabated. So operations in California, like Harborside, that target patients seeking the drug to treat ailments can still be prosecuted while shops in Denver that unabashedly cater to college students on weekend binges operate freely. Over the summer, Farr and Rohrabacher accused the Justice Department of illegally misappropriating federal money to continue those prosecutions, calling on its inspector general to launch an investigation. The department has yet to respond. Federal officials have argued in court that their prosecutions dont violate the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment because the occasional bust doesnt impede the state from allowing the use of medical marijuana. After the judge in the Marin County case rejected that argument as tortured, prosecutors are left with the argument that the sales in question are not clearly in compliance with California law, which was written very broadly.

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