A remnant of former U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag’s legacy has dissipated as the federal government has finally agreed to dismiss its forfeiture action against Berkeley Patients Group (BPG), a model medical cannabis dispensary. Haag was a long-time nemesis of the cannabis community and we certainly didn’t shed many tears last year when she announced her resignation as a federal prosecutor in the Northern District of California.
After a series of preliminary rulings and appeals in the years since, and a Congressionally-enacted law barring federal prosecutors from interfering with state medical cannabis laws, the feds are finally giving up the case.
“In the end, compassion and sensibility prevailed,” Victor Pinho, BPG’s communications director, told Marijuana.com. “We share this victory with the entire California medical cannabis community and the patients we’ve had the privilege of serving over the past 17 years.”
BPG has enjoyed strong support from local elected officials during its court battle with the federal government. The city itself filed a claim to become a party in the case, though that was denied by a federal judge. But the judge did grant its request for a stay on the seizure of the BPG property while that ruling on standing was appealed, however, allowing the dispensary continue to operate in the meantime.
This important federal court victory is another step in the right direction for our nation, and another sign that cannabis prohibition’s days are numbered. Recent federal reforms have paid dividends for the cannabis community and we are poised to see more reforms, particularly after more states legalize cannabis this November, as we move towards finally ending federal prohibition.