- About About
Medical Patient Resources Becoming a State-Authorized Patient Talking to your doctor Which conditions qualify? The Medical Cannabis Patient’s Guide for U.S. Travel Patient's Guide to CBD Patient's Guide to Medical Cannabis Guide to Using Medical Cannabis Condition-based Booklets Growing Cannabis Cannabis Tincture, Salve, Butter and Oil Recipes Leaf411 Affordability Program Tracking Treatment & Gathering Data with Releaf App Medical Professional Resources CME for Medical Professionals Cannabis Safety Medical Cannabis Research
- Legal Legal
Advocacy ASA Chapters Start an ASA Chapter Take Action Campaigns No Patient Left Behind End Pain, Not Lives Vote Medical Marijuana Medical Cannabis Advocate's Training Center Resources for Tabling and Lobby Days Strategic Planning Civics 101 Strategic Messaging Citizen Lobbying Participating in Implementation Movement Building Organizing a Demonstration Organizing Turnout for Civic Meetings Public Speaking Media 101 Patient's History of Medical Cannabis
- News News
Policy Model Federal Legislation Download Ending The Federal Conflict Public Comments by ASA Industry Standards Guide to Regulating Industry Standards Reports 2020 State of the States Medical Cannabis Access for Pain Treatment Medical Cannabis in America Recognizing Science using the Data Quality Act Fact Sheet on ASA's Data Quality Act Petition to HHS Data Quality Act Briefs ASA Data Quality Act petition to HHS Information on Lawyers and Named Patients in the Data Quality Act Lawsuit
- Join Join
In a major victory for medical cannabis patients and providers, a federal judge in California has ruled that the prosecutions of medical cannabis defendants must be consistent with the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment. While lawyers for Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana (MAMM) and its founder Lynette Shaw were not successful in completely dismissing the federal injunction against them, Judge Breyer ruled that enforcement of the injunction must be consistent with the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment.
The Amendment was signed into law back in December 2014 and prohibits the Department of Justice from spending funds to interfere with the implementation of state medical cannabis programs. ASA worked throughout 2014 on Capitol Hill to ensure that the bill passed the House and also survived in the Senate. In 2015, ASA led the effort to ensure that the amendment be reauthorized by the House by a vote of 242-186 and worked to get Senator Mikulski to introduce the bill in the Senate Judiciary Committee where it won by a margin of 21-9.
ASA is still digesting the full legal impact of the decision, but it seems apparent that the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment is not merely symbolic legislation, and has meaningful impact in preventing the federal crackdown on state-legal medical cannabis conduct. What is absolutely clear is that Judge Breyer's decision means that the Amendment "forbids the Department of Justice from enforcing this injunction against MAMM to the extent that MAMM operates in compliance with state California law.” In other words, as long as providers adhere to state law, the Amendment prevents DOJ from shutting down state-legal providers. ASA congratulates Lynette Shaw and MMAM and salutes their legal team for their successful legal argument.
It is important to note that this case is not binding in other federal jurisdictions, and judges in other jurisdictions could rule otherwise. Earlier this year, a federal judge in Washington State refused to dismiss the Kettle Falls Five case when presented with a motion invoking the Amendment. However, the judge in that case had determined that there was a strong likelihood that the defendants had violated state law, and there was not a similar determination made in the MAMM case. One should keep in mind that in the Kettle Falls Five case, the local prosecutor refused to bring charges against them because the supposed violation of state law was a technical matter based on conflicting provisions regarding home cultivation and collective gardens, and they were brought into unambiguous compliance with state law following an inspection by local officials prior to their federal raid. Please take a moment to help the recently sentenced Kettle Falls Five defendants who are now seeking commutation of their sentences by signing this White House petition.
The ruling by Judge Breyer in this is one of the biggest victories for patients, however, much work is still needed to finally end the federal crackdown on state-legal medical cannabis conduct. To permanently fix this situation, Congress needs to pass the CARERS Act. Please take a moment to urge your Members of Congress to sign on CARERS to the war on patients once and for all.