City of Oakland Files States' Rights Brief in Defense of Cannabis Co-op 1/15/99

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The city of Oakland filed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief on Monday (1/11) arguing that federal law does not, as the federal government has argued, always trump state law, under the 9th and 10th amendments of the Constitution. The brief was filed in the Ninth Circuit on behalf of the cannabis co-op, which is appealing an October 19th order by District Court Judge Charles Breyer that the club be closed.

The club has since been reopened, but it is no longer providing marijuana to its patient-members. Instead, it is offering grow tips and related merchandise, trying to raise money for its defense. The city of Oakland has long allied itself with the club during this fight with the federal government; at one point, the city even "deputized" the club's personnel as officers of the city in an attempt to take advantage of a loophole in the federal controlled substances act.

The city's brief calls the federal law on medicinal marijuana "legislated truths" and that the voters of California have deemed, by their vote, that access to medicinal cannabis to be "a fundamental liberty interest."

Jeff Jones, the club's founder and director, is hopeful.

"We feel that the 9th and 10th amendment arguments are very strong in this case. We're also extremely pleased that even after we've been shut down by the feds, the city is still behind us 100%, and that they have been willing to do whatever is necessary to make sure that the citizens of Oakland who are suffering from AIDS, cancer, glaucoma and other serious ailments have safe, legal access to their treatment of choice."

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Issue #74, 1/15/99 10th Circuit Overturns Singleton Ruling: Feds May Trade Leniency for Testimony | SNITCH | Voice of the Prisoner | Forfeiture Scandal in Missouri | Report: Prohibition and Public Health | Health Emergency 1999 | City of Oakland Files States' Rights Brief in Defense of Cannabis Co-op | Peyote Foundation Tests Patience of Local Law Enforcement, May Test Arizona Religious Freedom Law | Editorial: Buying Testimony, Perverting Justice
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