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Huge Victory for Patients in California

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 2:34 am    Post subject: Huge Victory for Patients in California Reply with quote

Huge Victory for Patients in California!

Impact will be felt across the country as the medical marijuana issue continues to gain momentum

The San Diego Superior Court ruled in favor of patients today, as the attempt to overturn California's medical marijuana law was soundly defeated. Judge William Nevitt, Jr. ruled that there is no "positive conflict" between federal and state law, and that the voluntary identification (ID) card program does not interfere with the purpose of Proposition 215 (Compassionate Use Act or CUA). This ruling upholds Proposition 215 and SB 420, and confirms the protections provided to patients under state law. This is a huge victory for patients in California and across the country with an affirmation that states can exempt qualified patients from criminal penalties, despite federal policy that prohibits all marijuana use.

In his ruling, Judge Nevitt concluded that "[n]either the CUA nor the MMP (Medical Marijuana Program) is preempted by the Supremacy Clause, by the CSA (Controlled Substances Act), or by the Single Convention."

Judge Nevitt also ruled that the provision of the MMP that authorizes the implementation of a voluntary ID card program is not an amendment to the CUA. Furthermore, Judge Nevitt ruled that the MMP "does not add or take away from the CUA," and "does not interfere" with the stated purpose of the CUA, "[to] ensure that seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes..."

This ruling is similar to the tentative ruling that was issued November 15, 2006, and a resounding victory for patients in California and across the country. As we move forward with implementation of laws in California and ten other states, pass laws in even more states, and work toward safe access for every U.S. resident that needs to use it medically, we can stand on the success of this lawsuit. This affirmation clearly recognizes that states can pass laws that protect their people without conflicting with federal laws that are out of step with the vast majority of the country.

This ruling is the result of a lawsuit filed by San Diego County on February 1, 2006, and later joined by San Bernardino and Merced Counties. Americans for Safe Access and member patients joined with the ACLU Drug Law Reform Project and Drug Policy Alliance and successfully intervened in the lawsuit on August 4. A motion was then filed on September 1, which was argued by ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford, culminating in this landmark ruling.

ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer declared that, "for the tens of thousands of seriously ill Californians who depend on medical marijuana, this victory could not be more significant.” 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.


Kris Hermes
Legal Campaign Director

P.S. ASA is funded entirely by individuals like you. If you haven't already, please take a moment to make a donation to ASA today. Every dollar counts -- no matter how large or small! Make a donation, become a member, or sign up to become a monthly sustainer simply by clicking here.

Kris Hermes
Legal Campaign Director
Americans for Safe Access
1322 Webster Street, Suite 402
Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: 510-251-1856 x307
Fax: 510-251-2036

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