Medical Marijuana: County Lawsuit Challenging California Law Thrown Out

San Diego Superior Court Judge William Nevitt, Jr. on Wednesday threw out a challenge to California's medical marijuana law, saying there was "no positive conflict" between state and federal law. The ruling came against a lawsuit filed by San Diego County in February and later joined by San Bernardino and Merced counties. County officials in all three jurisdictions were hostile to Proposition 215 (the Compassionate Use Act) and SB 420, which set up a state Medical Marijuana Program (MMP) with a system of county-administered ID cards.

The medical marijuana defense group Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the ACLU Drug Law Reform Project, and the Drug Policy Alliance jointly intervened to block the lawsuit. It was a September 1 motion argued by ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford that resulted in the favorable ruling.

In his ruling, Judge Nevitt concluded that "neither the Compassionate Use Act nor the MMP is preempted by the Supremacy Clause, by the CSA (Controlled Substances Act), or by the Single Convention." Nevitt also found that, contrary to the arguments by the recalcitrant counties, the voluntary ID card program "does not interfere" with the stated purpose of the Compassionate Use Act, which is to "ensure that seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes."

ASA executive director Steph Sherer declared the decision a victory for California's medical marijuana patients. "For the tens of thousands of seriously ill Californians who depend on medical marijuana, this victory could not be more significant," she said. "San Diego Supervisors sought clarification from the courts and now, with this ruling, we encourage San Diego and counties across California to move forward with implementing state law."

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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medical marijuana/Americans for safe access

Joe Elford and ASA deserve a win for their policy. They are trying to reduce the most destructive part of the drug problem. Avoiding the criminal justice system for sick Americans who use herbs to help themselves with ailments! Its bad enough to have a debilitating ailement but then to be arrested for trying to alieviate the symptoms, that is worse then any drug on this planet. Morality suggests that an adult should help themself and not be criminalized in the persuit of reliefe or their physical problem's. The arresting of those people is immoral and just plain wrong! Legislating behaviour is a loosing battle that seems to generate money for the municipalities. Money hungry departments are a real block in the way of reduceing this outreage heaped on sick people. End Prohibition on all substances and the problem with gangs and criminal activity would be reduced by more then 90%. The statistics are their if you would look at europe's reductions after implimentation of more progresive programs and attiudes. Take the billions out of the equasion and their could be all the help for drug addicts we would need from tax monies from medical marijuana alone.
I want to walk down my street at night without being involved in a SWAT action which can turn deadly in an instant. The criminals would be out of business and wouldnt be shooting for no reason should the billions of dollars be removed from the equasion!
This is simple economics. The money is at the core of both ends of the drug war, the criminals want it and the law wants it. The American public is stuck between two insane instatutions. I never thought that the city streets in america would be reduced to a war zone after the advent of agressive SWAT type of policeing. The amount of money generated by criminals over the illegal substances is their reason to shoot anything that moves.
WE THE PEOPLE are STUCK BETWEEN THESE ENDS!!
I just want to be safe and able to be free without all this insanity!

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