9th Circuit affirms dismissal of lawsuits filed by marijuana dispensaries

Jan 15, 2014 5:56 PM

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the dismissal of three cases filed on behalf of marijuana dispensaries seeking to halt federal enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act against marijuana dispensaries.

The U.S. Court for the Eastern District of California in Sacramento was the first district court to reject the lawsuit in February 2012.

“Our responsibility as U.S. Attorneys is to enforce the Controlled Substances Act,” said Benjamin Wagner, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of California. “Today’s decision rejecting the dispensary’s lawsuit is a straightforward application of existing precedent, which merely confirms that the CSA continues to be in full force and effect, regardless of state law.”

Another lawsuit filed by a cooperative in Southern California was also dismissed in March 2012 by a District Judge.

The suits filed by the collectives claimed the federal government could not take legal action against dispensaries because such action would reportedly violate the 9th Amendment (the Equal Protection Clause) and the 10th Amendment (the Commercial Clause). Four different district court judges initially dismissed those suits and the plaintiffs in three of those cases appealed those decisions to the 9th Circuit Court.

Judges with the 9th Circuit reaffirmed the dismissals today in all three appeals in an unpublished opinion.


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