Three medical marijuana groups have teamed up to support Mendocino County officials in their effort to fight a sweeping federal subpoena filed in October, seeking “any and all records” for the county’s medical marijuana cultivation program, otherwise known as County Code 9.31. On December 21st, Mendocino County filed a motion in San Francisco federal court to quash the Justice Department’s subpoena, and today Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the Emerald Growers Association (EGA), and California NORML filed a joint amicus ‘friend of the court’ brief in an attempt to protect the private patient records being sought. A hearing in the case is scheduled for 2pm on January 4th, before federal District Court Judge Richard Seeborg in San Francisco.
“Despite telling Americans that medical marijuana patients are not being targeted, the Obama Administration’s contempt for them and its intent to undermine California’s medical marijuana law has been laid bare with this subpoena,” said ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford, who co-authored the amicus brief filed today. “Mendocino County is completely justified in its refusal to cooperate with the grand jury subpoena and we’re proud to support the county officials in that effort.” The amicus brief called the subpoena “needlessly broad” and argued it would have “serious and longstanding repercussions” by “reveal[ing]privileged and confidential medical information…[and]undermin[ing]the County’s considered and thoughtful attempts to regulate medical marijuana pursuant to state law.”
In what has turned into one of the fiercest battlegrounds between California officials and the Obama Administration, the U.S. Justice Department has aggressively gone after one of the only cultivation registration programs in the state. Before the program was shut down in March due to threats of federal injunctions from U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag, registrants were allowed to collectively grow up to 99 plants and were sold zip ties for $50 per plant to show they were being cultivated in compliance with state law.
– Read the entire article at The Weed Blog.