California medical marijuana patients, storefront dispensaries, and their landlords are marshaling forces to stave off a massive federal crackdown against them, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune. Yesterday, the cause's largest advocacy organization sued the U.S. attorney general and the top federal prosecutor in Northern California. There's a growing move by California Attorney General Kamala Harris and others to develop defensible statewide regulations for collectives, which are trapped between state and federal law.
This week, several supporters of 2010's unsuccessful Proposition 19 to legalize marijuana for recreational use said they were drafting a 2012 ballot initiative that would impose controls on California's loose-knit medical cannabis industry. The moves come after California's four U.S. attorneys on Oct. 7 announced a campaign to shutter commercial marijuana dispensaries, accusing producers and distributors of using the state's 1996 medical marijuana law as a cover for reaping huge profits. In the federal lawsuit filed in San Francisco, Americans for Safe Access claims the Obama administration is attempting to subvert state and local medical marijuana laws. The advocacy group, which has 20,000 members in California, argues that the administration has “instituted a policy to dismantle the medical marijuana laws of the state of California and to coerce its municipalities to pass bans on medical marijuana dispensaries.”