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Medical Marijuana Advocates Sue Feds Over California Pot Club Crackdown

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Jars full of medical marijuana at a dispensary. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Jars full of medical marijuana at a dispensary. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

DougSovern20100908_KCBS_0208r Doug Sovern
Doug began his career as a copy boy at the New York Times, and then...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Medical marijuana providers and patients are suing the federal government to keep it from shutting down pot clubs in California.

Attorney Matthew Kumin represents a coalition of medicinal marijuana clients, who are filing suits in the four districts in California where the U.S. attorneys are cracking down on pot dispensaries.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

“They’re filing for a temporary restraining order to stop the federal government from taking action against patients in the state of California who are in compliance with state law,” Kumin said. “This is based on the federal government’s own promise to a federal court judge in 2009 that they would not take action against patients in compliance with state law.”

The medical marijuana dispensaries are facing a November 12 deadline to close their doors.

If the courts don’t step in to stop it, the dispensaries will face federal criminal prosecution if they don’t cease operations by that deadline.

Charlie Pappas, chairman of the Divinity Tree Patients Wellness Cooperative in the Tenderloin, which received a notice to shutdown, said he’s not sure why this move came down so suddenly.

“I really don’t understand why this is going on now. It really makes no sense,” Pappas said.

He said that patients will be forced to buy marijuana on the streets if the clubs shut down.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office had no comment on the suit.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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