Several medical marijuana dispensaries in San Francisco, California have begun the licensing process after a recent state Supreme Court decision nullified a lower court's ruling.
The hold-up had to do with the state appeals court ruling for the Pack vs. Long Beach case, which decided that any city or county regulating medical marijuana was in violation of federal law. The case was widely-disputed among the legalese and marijuana community, and implications of both sides of the case reached nationwide, as would-be marijuana-legal states wondered if they'd be in for similar fights if and when they legalized.
January 18th, Kush Magazine was happy to announce that the California Supreme Court would hear appeals in the Pack case, as well as other important and similar lawsuits. The California Supreme Court's deicison to hear appeals nullified the appelate court's ruling, thus allowing cities such as San Francisco to grant local proposed medical marijuana dispensaries the permits that they'd applied for.
Reports surfaced that there are rumors that the Justice Department will sue cities that continue to regulate medical marijuana. And already happening, "letters from U.S. Attorney for Northern California Melinda Haag have led five San Francisco dispensaries to shut their doors," said the SF Weekly.
In other parts of the country, the story sounds familiar: recently, U.S. Attorney John Walsh sent letters to Denver, Colorado area medical marijuana dispensaries operating near schools with a threat to move to risk forfeiture. Also this week, a judge in Montana ruled that state law would not save dispensaries from federal prosecution. The California letters and rumors, the threats in Montana and the letters in Colorado worry proponents of medical marijuana, and contradict a 2009 document by Deputy Attorney General David Ogden - that has come to be known as the "Ogden Memo" - a statement saying that the Justice Department would not make medical marijuana prosecutions.
Meanwhile, San Francisco City Attorney spokesman Jack Song declared that the "Department of Public Health has resumed its processing of permits" and that the city will "continue processing permits under the City ordinance, pending a decision by the Supreme Court."