After asking the clubs whether they would comply with an earlier ruling that the distribution of marijuana is illegal and receiving no reply, Breyer granted the government’s request, saying he was doing it in lieu of forcing the government to pursue marijuana patients and distributors in criminal court.

“In light of the serious penalties faced by the individual defendants in a criminal proceeding and the unavailability of a medical necessity defense, the court concludes in its discretion that civil enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act in the circumstances of these related cases is appropriate,” Breyer wrote.