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Medical Marijuana Groups Support Mendocino’s Refusal To Cooperate With Feds


mendocino county feds records medical marijuanaMedical Marijuana Groups File Brief In Support Of Mendocino’s Refusal To Turn Over Cultivation Records To Feds

San Francisco, CA — 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.

The Mendocino cultivation program had been of longstanding interest to the Obama Administration. In 2010, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) raided the legal crop of Joy Greenfield, who was the first cultivator to register with the Sheriff’s Office in the widely popular program that raised hundreds of thousands of dollars of new revenue for the county. No arrests were made in the Greenfield raid, but all of her and her patients’ medicine was destroyed. The DEA then raided the registered farm of Matt Cohen and Northstone Organics in October 2011, destroying medical marijuana that was meant for hundreds of patients across the state.

A federal subpoena for the records of 17 patients held by the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) was quashed in 2007, after the Oregon Attorney General successfully defended the OMMP and the privacy rights of patients in federal court. However, last year the Justice Department was successful at obtaining the records of 7 unknown patients from the Michigan Department of Community Health, after State Attorney General Bill Schuette.failed to defend the privacy rights of Michigan patients despite such protections explicitly outlined in state law. California Attorney General Kamala Harris has not yet commented on the federal subpoena in Mendocino County.

“It was not enough for the Justice Department to shut down Mendocino’s cultivation program,” continued Elford. “It seems the federal government will stop at nothing to crush attempts by local officials to regulate the cultivation of medical marijuana.” In a previous statement, coalition partner EGA said that these latest federal actions “undermine and chill the County’s ability to effectively regulate cannabis cultivation,” and “endanger the public health, welfare and safety of Mendocino County residents.”

Further information:
Coalition amicus brief filed today: http://AmericansForSafeAccess.org/downloads/Mendocino_Amicus_Brief.pdf
Mendocino County’s motion to quash: http://AmericansForSafeAccess.org/downloads/Mendocino_MTQ.pdf
Federal grand jury subpoena: http://AmericansForSafeAccess.org/downloads/Mendocino_Subpoena.pdf

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With over 50,000 active members in all 50 states, Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is the largest national member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research. ASA works to overcome political and legal barriers by creating policies that improve access to medical cannabis for patients and researchers through legislation, education, litigation, grassroots actions, advocacy and services for patients and the caregivers.


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Johnny Green


  1. The way to make it high cost to the Feds is to keep filing legal briefs. Once they get you in prison you are screwed since you will either work for pennies a day or suffer greatly.

  2. A lot of people have first hand knowledge but the government has ways to shut you up. The reason they collect data on everyone is so they can blackmail everyone. With the millions of laws on the books everyone is breaking numerous laws and don’t even know it.

    People are brainwashed into thinking that it costs the government a lot of money to lock people up, not knowing that prison slave labor is big business. Do a google search on Unicor if you don’t believe me.

  3. Operation Fast and Studious could be the government’s plan to stage school shootings as a pretense to confiscate our guns. They probably know how unstable people are becoming with their dastardly behavior over marijuana.

  4. my impression is melinda and co. realize they are disliked and are losing and are getting desperate so now they’re getting meaner. this in turn is upsetting a lot of people who voted for it so now they are fighting back. guess who’s gonna win, not Melinduh

  5. i can tell you the feds have a horse in this race and they will do all they can to kept their involvement concealed, but I have 1st hand knowledge if you are willing to look into it. I can only tell you what I know, as I do not have the funds to prove what I have to say but the info I have is ligit, and their are peple who are serving time in prison that can back me up. well the ball is in your court.

  6. Matthew Cunningham on

    I think its important to make it a high cost to the Feds to enforce its Treason against its Citizens

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