California Congressmen to Feds: Stop Prosecuting MMJ Businesses

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Two California congressmen said U.S. attorneys seeking to seize two dispensaries in the state have gone rogue and are breaking federal guidelines.

Reps. Sam Farr and Dana Rohrabacher sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking that the Department of Justice stop prosecutions and forfeiture actions against those following state laws. A federal spending bill passed in December includes a provision telling the DOJ that it shouldn’t interfere with state laws concerning marijuana.

A DOJ spokesman last week said dispensaries and their owners remain targets for federal raids because the rule doesn’t apply to businesses or people. Rather, the spokesman said the law only allows states to freely operate their own medical marijuana programs.

A Farr spokesperson earlier this week that the DOJ stance “defies logic.

Reps. Farr and Rohrabacher said in the letter to Holder that “we can imagine few more efficient and effective ways of ‘impeding the ability of states to carry out their medical marijuana laws’ than prosecuting individuals and organizations acting in accordance with those laws.”

U.S. attorneys have brought forfeiture cases against longtime California dispensaries Berkeley Patients Group and Harborside Health Center. Both cases have been stalled as the cities in which they reside appeal. Both cities say losing the businesses would create a public health crisis.