Login

Login

To access this feature, please Log In or Register for your Casebriefs Account.

Add to Library

Add

Search

Login
Register

United States v. Oakland Cannabis Buyer’s Coop.

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Oakland Cannabis Cooperative distributes and manufactures marijuana for its patients. The United States brought suit to enjoin them from manufacturing and distributing the marijuana.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    Oakland Cannabis Cooperative distributes and manufactures marijuana for its patients. The United States brought suit to enjoin them from manufacturing and distributing the marijuana.

    Facts.

    California enacted the Compassionate Use Act (CUA) “[t]o ensure that seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes.†The United States brought suit to enjoin the Oakland Cannabis Cooperative (OCC), the organization formed to supply the needs of CUA, from manufacturing and distributing marijuana. OCC asserted necessity as a defense and alleged that they were distributing marijuana because it was the only drug that can alleviate the pain and symptoms of OCC’s patients.

    Issue.

    Whether federal courts have recognized a necessity defense for a statute that does not explicitly provide for the defense.

    Held.

    No, the necessity defense is not available under for a statute that does not explicitly provide for the defense.

    Concurrence.

    The majority reaches its’ holding by suggesting that the defense is not available to anyone under the Controlled Substance Act. Instead, the court solely needed to evaluate whether the defense was available to the distributors.

    Discussion.

    Pursuant to the Controlled Substance Act, “it is unlawful for any person to knowingly or intentionally . . . to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense a controlled substance. 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1). Under the Act, marijuana has one except, which allows the Government to violate the act for government approved research projects. § 823(f). The exception does not apply to OCC because it is not conducing that type of project to its patients. Nevertheless, OCC contends that there is an implied exception of necessity.  The court indicates that the statute does not overtly state that there is not a defense, but at the same time, it does not leave doubt that the statute is unavailable. Further, the court refuses to view the omission of the necessity defense as an accident. Therefore, the court holds the necessity is not a defense to the manufacture and distribution of marijuana.



    Create New Group

      Casebriefs is concerned with your security, please complete the following