Medical Marijuana: San Diego County to Sue to Overturn California Law 12/9/05

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The San Diego County board of supervisors voted Tuesday to try to overturn California's Compassionate Use Act, which allows seriously ill people to use marijuana with a doctor's recommendation. While many California counties are grappling with ways to implement the loosely-written law, San Diego County is the only one seeking to turn back the clock on it.

The formal vote came after supervisors last month announced they wanted to sue the state instead of creating registries and identification cards that would help medical marijuana users. At that time, they did not say they would try to overturn state law.

But that's what they did Tuesday on a unanimous vote. "It just seemed logical to us," Supervisor Bill Horn told the North County News Tuesday afternoon. "Why Mickey Mouse around about it?"

Horn and the other supervisors don't like the law. Horn has called it "a bad law," and argued that supporting it would "send the wrong message" to kids. The law would also increase drug abuse, supervisors argued.

According to San Diego county attorney John Sansone, the lawsuit will be filed in federal court sometime this month and will argue that federal law should supersede state law.

Although California voters approved the law by a 10-point margin in 1996 and have shown no signs of wishing to return to the pre-medical marijuana days, San Diego County has proven recalcitrant. Supervisors turned aside pleas from patients and health practitioners to leave the law alone.

"It's totally political," said local nurse practitioner Claudia Little, who sits on the medical advisory board of Americans for Safe Access. "The population is in favor of medical marijuana. The politicians are so far behind the curve here, it's ridiculous. The politicians aren't representing the people, they are just representing a handful of outspoken opponents," she told the News.

Hmmm... can anyone say "recall campaign"?

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Issue #414 -- 12/9/05

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Update and Appeal: DRCNet in 2006 | Feature: Vancouver Keeps Leading the Way on Drug Reform, Despite Bumps in the Road | Feature: Seattle Conference on Drug War Exit Strategies Gets Down to Nuts and Bolts | Feature: Washington Legislature to Consider Bill to Examine Alternatives to Prohibition | Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories | Marijuana: Denver Man to Challenge Pot Arrest After Legalization Ordinance in Effect | Chronic Pain: South Carolina Pain Doctors Lose Appeal, But Get New Sentencing Hearings | Medical Marijuana: Judges Growls at More Possible Prosecution Misconduct in Bryan Epis Resentencing Hearings | Medical Marijuana: San Diego County to Sue to Overturn California Law | Latin America: Prison Sentence for Dying Woman, 79, Sparks International Appeal | Australia: Australian Government Goes After Rave Ecstasy Testing Group | Europe: Czech Lower House Passes Drug Reform Measure, Including Decriminalization of Marijuana Possession and Personal Grows | Canada: With Elections Looming, Conservatives Talk Tough on Drugs | Europe: Dutch Political Parties Call for Regulated Pilot Program to Supply Marijuana to Coffee Shops | Web Scan: After I-75 in Seattle, re-launched web site from Bolivia's coca country | Weekly: The Reformer's Calendar

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