SAN DIEGO, CA — San Diego’s new mayor has ordered local authorities to stop targeting medical marijuana dispensaries in the city, but don’t expect the Feds to cooperate anytime soon.

U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said Tuesday that while she is open to meeting with the new mayor, but selling marijuana – medical or otherwise – remains illegal under federal law.

“We are going to enforce the Controlled Substances Act,” Duffy said Tuesday.

Duffy’s comments came less than a week after newly appointed San Diego Mayor Bob Filner declared an end to the city’s legal war on medical marijuana with a letter to city authorities ordering civil prosecutors to “stop the crackdown on marijuana dispensaries.”

Filner’s declaration received praise from medical marijuana patients and advocates who have seen dispensaries all but disappear from San Diego landscape following the federal crackdownspearheaded by U.S. Attorney Duffy.

“Now we’ve got a mayor who will work with us,” said Eugene Davidovich, coordinator for Americans for Safe Access San Diego. “We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work on an ordinance that will finally bring the safe access to medical marijuana that our patients deserve.”

Local advocates will still have to contend with enforcement carried out by the county and federal governments, yet Mayor Filner’s actions mark a promising shift for the city.

Since 2006, Drug Enforcement Administration agents have conducted aggressive raids, shutting down hundreds of dispensaries over that time, often with the help of local officials.

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