The Supreme Court decision allowing the federal government to prosecute medical marijuana users is unlikely to lead to an abrupt change in law enforcement, says the San Francisco Chironicle. “The DEA (federal Drug Enforcement Administration) could come in any time before and mess with the patients, and they can do that now,” said Mike Barnes, a leader of the statewide Medical Cannabis Association. Medical marijuana advocates said local law enforcement agencies generally leave them alone.
Some federal law enforcement officials agreed that the ruling shouldn’t change much. “The reality is, we don’t have the time or resources to do anything other than going after large-scale traffickers and large-scale growers,” said U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott in Sacramento. “We have had cases where there have been claims of medical marijuana, but they involved hundreds and hundreds of plants — not somebody growing a couple plants in their back yard.” California’s Department of Health Services, which was preparing to start a voluntary registry of medical marijuana identification cards, said it would now review the ruling before rolling out the program. San Francisco Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi will wait before moving forward with a broad range of regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries. San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris said that if patients can’t get marijuana at dispensaries, they might turn to drug dealers. “We’re exposing the frail and the elderly to unsafe situations,” she said.