Day After Lawsuit Filed Against DEA, U.S. Congress Decides To Question Agency

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One day after the Union of Medical Marijuana Providers filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court, Central District of California (case CV07-07951) challenging the DEA's tactic of sending threatening letters to hundreds of owners of Commercial Property who rent to Marijuana Providers, the House Judiciary Committee will question the agency about the practice.

The DEA, who has declared war on California's Medical Marijuana Law, began the draconian tactic of sending letters to Commercial Property owners who rent to legally authorized Medical Marijuana Providers this summer. In the letter, the DEA informed the owners of these properties that if they continue to rent to dispensaries they may face federal prosecution which could result in a possible prison sentence for up to 20 years as well as seizure of their property.

The Union of Medical Marijuana Providers which was formed in part, as a direct result of the DEA's letter writing campaign, as well as L.A.'s Arts District Healing Center, have been aggressively litigating this issue in both state and federal court for the past several months (state case in Los Angeles Superior Court, case 07K21837). Just yesterday, December 6, 2007 they filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court, Central District, which requested that the Court issue an injunction stopping the DEA from continuing to send these letters.

"When I saw Representative Conyers statement regarding the DEA's abuse of their power in order to thwart California's law, I knew that our legal efforts were beginning to pay off," said James Shaw, Executive Director of the Union. "The DEA has alienated too many citizens with their heavy-handed 'above the law tactics' for too long. We welcome all the support we can find in our efforts to ensure our rights are protected."

Steven Schectman, the Union's chief counsel said he has contacted Representative Conyers office today in order to provide his staff copies of the litigation that was filed in both state and Federal Court. "I am hopeful we can support the Judiciary Committee in any way possible. As a result of our research and investigation of the DEA's threatening letter campaign, in preparation of our litigation, we have become the most knowledgeable group, outside the DEA, who best understands the scope and import of their tactics. We are here to help."

The Union of Medical Marijuana Providers (UMMP) is a legal advocacy group based in Los Angeles, California. The Union's membership comprises legally compliant cooperatives, collectives, and caregiver groups throughout the State of California. UMMP was founded in 2007 to address the shared concerns of legally compliant medical marijuana patient groups.


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James Shaw
Union of Medical Marijuana Providers
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Steven Schectman
Union of Medical Marijuana Providers
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