[Posted by WLS]
This isn’t about a debate over whether there should or should not be valid state laws authorizing the distribution and use of medical marijuana.
The fact is that marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance by act of Congress, making it illegal for any and all purposes. It is a federal felony to DISTRIBUTE or POSSESS WITH THE INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE any Schedule I controlled substance. It is a misdemeanor to possess it with the intent to use it.
The Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution means that state laws cannot override that federal statute so long as it is on the books. Convince Congress to change the law — fine. Until then, MJ distribution is illegal, whether medicinal or otherwise.
Now to the LAT story today on the DEA raid. Here’s the paragraphs that are so pathetic:
Federal agents raided a Culver City medical marijuana dispensary where they spent more than four hours this afternoon, serving a search warrant that resulted in no arrests but left the shop in disarray.
Drug Enforcement Administration agents arrived about noon at Organica Collective in the 13400 block of Washington Boulevard, said Sarah Pullen, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles office of the agency.
“Marijuana remains a controlled substance, and it is illegal under federal law to possess, dispense or cultivate marijuana in any form,” Pullen said of the purpose of the raid.
The federal operation came on the same day an appellate court in San Diego ruled that federal law does not preempt the state’s law allowing the use of medical marijuana — a ruling touted by supporters of California’s medical marijuana law as a significant win.
What Court? What is the basis of the decision?
Read through the LAT article 2, 5, 10 times and you won’t find another mention of it.
The reference seems to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the law enforcement activity undertaken by DEA, which is described in the most “horrifying” details by LAT Staff Writer Tami Abdollah — I guess her salary is cheap enough that it wasn’t necessary to lay her off. And the LAT is getting journalism worth every penny they are paying her.
So, what court decision came down today?
It seems that the California Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Diego ruled against the City of San Diego, which had brought a civil suit to invalidate the state ID Card program which is being used as a foundation for California’s medical marijuana laws. San Diego argued that because distributing marijuana is illegal under federal law, the state ID card program is also invalid. The California state appeals court held otherwise, saying federal laws banning the distribution of marijuana don’t invalidate the ID law.
The bottom line on that is, for good or ill, state appellate courts have absolutely zero ability to determine what is or is not valid federal law. So long as Congress deems that marijuana distribution, for medicinal purposes or otherwise, is illegal — its going to remain illegal and DEA is going to continue to raid these dispensaries.
Explanation for the pathetic reporting in this story? I don’t know. Maybe the LAT fired so too many editors.