An advocacy group for medical marijuana users sued U.S. Justice Department officials Thursday, charging that the federal government has violated the Constitution in cracking down on California marijuana dispensaries.
In seeking an injunction to curb federal raids and enforcement actions in California, Oakland-based Americans for Safe Access charged that "the federal government has instituted a policy to dismantle medical marijuana laws of the State of California."
The lawsuit, naming Attorney General Eric Holder and Melinda Haag, the U.S. attorney in San Francisco, said federal prosecutors are coercing "municipalities to pass bans on medical marijuana dispensaries" and threatening "Draconian penalties" against local officials.
The lawsuit also singled out Sacramento U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner, charging that the top prosecutor for the Eastern District of California intimidated city officials in Chico with threats of federal prosecution if they passed an ordinance regulating local dispensaries. The Chico City Council decided to rescind approval of a plan to permit local marijuana stores.
The suit charged that the federal actions constituted an "unlawful assault on state sovereignty" under the 10th Amendment to the Constitution.
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