SAN FRANCISCO, May 3, 2002 – US Judge Charles Breyer has issued a summary judgement for the government in its case against the Oakland Cannabis Buyers Club plus two other Bay Area cannabis clubs.
In his decision, Breyer rejected the clubs’ interstate commerce clause challenge, noting that marijuana distribution is economic activity and is accordingly considered interstate commerce under previous Ninth Circuit precedent. He dismissed the notion that clubs could invoke substantive due process rights, indicating that these could at most apply to individual patients, not distributors. He also rejected the clubs’ “joint user” defense and ruled that they were not entitled to an evidentiary hearing.
An appeal to the Ninth Circuit is expected.
Breyer has given the clubs until May 24th to respond as to whether they will voluntarily comply by desisting from marijuana distribution. A final injunction will not be issued until after he hears the government’s response on Jun 7th.
In the meantime, however, the DEA may well interpret Breyer’s decision as a green light for immediate action against other clubs. A survey by California NORML shows there have been more arrests for medical marijuana than for terrorism in California since Sept. 11th.
Public protests are planned in the event of further raids. For info on demonstrations, phone the CAN hotline (888) 929-HEMP – www.safeaccess.org.