California High Court Strikes Down Medical-Marijuana Limits

by on January 21, 2010 · 8 comments

in Civil Rights, Culture, Health

medical marijuanaFrom NBC San Diego / January 21, 2010

California medical marijuana patients won a court battle Thursday.

In a unanimous decision, the state Supreme Court struck down a state law that set an 8-ounce limit on the amount of medical marijuana a patient can possess at one time. The court, in a ruling issued in San Francisco, said the measure approved by the Legislature in 2003 was an illegal amendment of the medical marijuana law enacted by state voters in 1996.

The initiative, known as the Compassionate Use Act, doesn’t set a limit and allows patients to possess the amount needed for “personal medical purposes.” The court ruled in the case of a Los Angeles County patient, Patrick Kelly, who was prosecuted and sentenced to probation for possessing 12 ounces.

Chief Justice Ronald George wrote that the 2003 law illegally amended the initiative because it “effectuates a change in the Compassionate Use Act that takes away from rights granted by the initiative statute.”

The ruling is good news, bad news for patients, Joe Elford, lawyer for Americans for Safe Access, believes.

“The California Supreme Court did the right thing by abolishing limits on medical marijuana possession and cultivation,” Elford, told the Associated Press. “At the same time, the Court may have left too much discretion to law enforcement in deciding what are reasonable amounts of medicine for patients to possess and cultivate.”

Bay City News contributed to this report.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar jettyboy January 21, 2010 at 8:06 pm

Shit, I forgot what I was going to say;)

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avatar Sunshine January 22, 2010 at 7:29 am

hahahahahahahaha, nice one, jettyboy

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avatar fstued January 21, 2010 at 10:04 pm

8 oz would hardly get me through the day Duh What

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avatar Danny Morales January 22, 2010 at 5:05 am

“…but what about the children & lisanob?”- Ugat Dhatrite {:>p

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avatar Sunshine January 22, 2010 at 7:48 am

chalk one up to Chief Justice George. At least he knows the limits went against the original initiative.

Now, as for local law enforcement’s discression as to how much is too much…imho, they simply cannot determine how much is needed by an individual patient for personal use. They just want the bust and the income it generates.

My unsolicited advice: keep your medication under wraps and avoid our local law enforcement’s random discression all together.

Until those that use it medically it can bluntly use it openly in good health , we’ve still got some work to do.

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avatar PSD January 22, 2010 at 11:37 am

So does this also strike down any county-specifc limits on how many plants (both mature and immature) can be under cultivation at once?

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avatar Ernie McCray January 22, 2010 at 3:20 pm

What’s crazy is that this is all about what’s “legal.” I live across the street from a bar and right now a big ass beer truck is parked in the middle of the street and the driver, whistling while he works, earning teamster wages, is unloading barrels and hundreds of bottles of booze with no limits – cuz it’s “legal.” And, since it’s a Friday there will be a whole lot of drunken partying going on and people driving home looking like they’re driving in a slalom race.
And we’ve got to pretend we’re sick like somebody trying to get a day off from work to be able to enjoy a “legal’ toke or two from a supply limited to eight ounces – with “the man” off to the side having the power,on a whim, to interfere with your buzz. There’s a whole bunch of stuff wrong with this picture.

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avatar PSD January 23, 2010 at 5:46 pm

“And we’ve got to pretend we’re sick…” Good point, Ernie.

Medical use presents what, to me, is a thorny issue. On one hand, any progress toward cannabis acceptance is good progress, and herb has undisputable medicinal qualities that make it a suitable treatment for many. On the other, instead of moving society toward lumping recreational users into the same category as alcohol users just having a good time, it creates the potential to portrary them as something more along the lines of El Rushbo abusing prescription drugs. Not to mention it leaves the door open for Big Pharma to keep working on drugs like Marinol to (somewhat) replicate the medicinal effect while largely removing the psychoactive qualities, which they’ll then tout as a viable alternative and therefore a reason to keep the plant illegal. Then we can buy the synthetic version of the natural substance for $100 a pill (with no generics allowed during the copyright period), largely subsidized by insurance companies who’ll then fall back on drug costs as the reason for the latest premium increase…

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