Last Friday Mendocino County announced it was fighting federal grand jury subpoenas demanding that four county officials hand over all documents related to its now-abandoned medical marijuana permitting program. The legal action came even after the county had effectively gutted the program in response to a threat of litigation from the U.S. Attorney's office for Northern California. County officials have speculated that the federal government is planning on going after the more than $1 million the county earned from the program.
Along with the lawsuit filed by the city of Oakland in the threatened federal seizure of the property that the Harborside marijuana dispensary leases, Mendocino County's action may represent a new fight against a federal crackdown that has closed hundreds of medical marijuana facilities in the state.
The legal battles are just the latest chapter in California and the nation's ever-evolving relationship to the drug. Below is "A History of Marijuana in California and America." This illustrated timeline runs from 1911, when Massachussetts became the first state to outlaw marijuana, to just this month, when President Obama said the recent legalization of recreational pot in two states would not be a federal law enforcement priority.