Medical Marijuana Is The Law — Any Questions?

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director May 18, 2009

    How do you say: “Game, set, match” in southern California? Here’s how:

    High court won’t hear county’s marijuana challenge
    via SignOnSanDiego.com

    The U.S. Supreme Court will not take up San Diego County’s challenge to state medical marijuana laws.

    For more than three years the county has been fighting in court to overturn state laws that require counties to issue medical marijuana identification cards. The county contends federal law, which does not recognize medical marijuana usage, trumps the state law.

    The county has lost that argument in state trial and appellate courts, and the state Supreme Court declined to take up the case, too. The county’s last, long-shot chance was to have the U.S. Supreme Court take up the case.

    San Bernardino and Merced counties initially joined the suit, but Merced eventually dropped out. The high court also rejected San Bernardino’s petition to take up the case.

    In other words, the oft-heard prohibitionist refrain that federal law trumps state medical marijuana laws has no legal merit.

    None. Nada. Zero.

    To anyone who has followed the unethical actions of the San Diego and San Bernardino Supervisors over the past three years, the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear their appeal shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, the counties’ vapid arguments had previously been struck down — unanimously — by the Superior Court of the state of California the 4th District Court of Appeals.

    In addition, the Legislative Counsel of California, the state Attorney General’s Office, and a majority of the California legislature had also previously determined that local politicians and law enforcement were obligated to uphold the provisions of California’s medical marijuana laws.

    Finally, California’s constitution is also quite clear on this point — mandating that police have a sworn duty to uphold state law, not to enforce federal statutes.

    Let’s be blunt: San Diego and San Bernardino’s protracted lawsuits — lawsuits that arguably cost county taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars and jeopardized the health and safety of thousands (if not tens of thousands) of citizens — were never about resolving legal ambiguity.

    Rather, it was about the arrogance and recalcitrance of those who willfully chose to abuse their power and position to hamstring the will of the voters, the legislature, and the courts.

    And while this particular legal battle is now over, our outrage shouldn’t be.

    127 responses to “Medical Marijuana Is The Law — Any Questions?”

    1. Ryan says:

      Wow, absolutely stunning.

      Let’s keep pushing back guys. If we work hard enough, we can finally win this ridiculous battle once and for all.

    2. Mark B. says:

      Hello Friends,
      I wrote these guys an email informing them I would boycott their fair city from my vacations. And said that until they respected the voters of Calif. wishes, I would not spend another dime in their county. I received some wishy washy answer about how they were doing the right thing.NOW they can eat their words and their fool headed ways. We all deserve respect.They want a WAR against use and they should not be let off the hook.Lawsuit???? Kick in the teeth?????
      Peace Out!

    3. David C. says:

      Time to light one up for VICTORY!!

      “Let’s be blunt” indeed!

    4. Adam Huddleston says:

      First comment!
      And this is a good day for smot pokers.
      Things are lookin’ better, fellas.

    5. Randy80302 says:

      I have sent this to all of my media contacts. Let the outrage begin.

      The pols in San Diego have been jerking our chain for years. Their voters should notify them that it is time to respect the will of the voters.

      It is 2009, it is long past time for the politicians to realize that Willie Horton was 25 years ago.

    6. Darryl H says:

      Why can’t we have the same laws all over the country? Why the disparity from state to state? I thought this was the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA! Here in Arkansas we are no closer to having legal assess to medical marijuana than putting a man on the sun!
      I am so proud that the courts in California are seeing that the people voices are strong and that medical marijuana has a place in that state among others, but we need the President to give ALL sick and hurting people all over this country the ability to use medical marijuana and it needed to happen yesterday! There are people that are running out of time from being forced to use pharmaceuticals to relieve pain and in turn making them selves sicker from said legal drugs to wait for the Government to make up there damn minds about this issue. I for one am damn tired of waiting!!! Congrats California because it is about time.

    7. Tony says:

      WooooHoooo, so glad to hear this,but its only a step in the right direction there is more to do by educating people on the facts and only facts,,we still need to contact our state reps and let them know how we will be voting and a BIG THNX for all that you guys at NORML do for the cause!!!!

    8. Bill says:

      I wish the major broadcasting networks would provide coverage of the wasteful spending that is taking place. It is obvious that the actions taken by San Bernardino and Merced counties had no legal bearings and their only hope was to make it to the U.S. Supreme Court. Everything about the medical marijuana laws is just that LAW, trying to discount the legality is incredulous and they should be exposed for the money wasted, the illigitamacy of their argument, and the false propaganda that supports their case.

    9. Jeff says:

      Wow…time to spark tis Joint :]

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