A licensed medical marijuana provider in California sued the Justice Department, Attorney General Eric Holder and the Drug Enforcement Administration this week following a raid of the dispensary’s Los Angeles store in October, according to a report by Courthouse News Service.
No Grey Sky is seeking an injunction against the Justice Department and DEA, contending that Holder is acting “in excess of the government’s authority granted by the Controlled Substances Act” by threatening to shut down the dispensary. The lawsuit also names Michele Leonhart, Drug Enforcement Administration administrator, and Andre Birotte Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California.
No Grey Sky’s complaint states that it is in compliance with all state laws regarding distribution and that its business is “vital to the safe and affordable distribution of medical cannabis to patients suffering from chronic and acute pain, life-threatening and severe illnesses, diseases, and injuries.”
The complaint cites a 2007 statement by Barack Obama in which the then-presidential candidate said: “I would not have the Justice Department prosecuting and raiding medical marijuana users; it’s not a good use of our resources.”
“Plaintiff relied on those statements and the DOJ’s policy of non-enforcement of conflicting federal law to support the growth of a local industry that is considered a national model for safe access. Now, over five years later, the federal government is attempting to act beyond its authority in seeking forfeiture of property connected with the plaintiff’s dispensary,” the complaint states.
No Grey Sky claims that closure of its business will force its patients to buy marijuana illegally for legally sanctioned use.
Seventeen states and the District of Columbia permit the use and sale of marijuana for medicinal use. Despite Obama’s earlier statement, a number of U.S. Attorney offices across the country have begun cracking down on medical marijuana dispensaries.