State Asks Court To Toss SD County Marijuana Suit

State Asks Court To Toss SD County Marijuana Suit
Posted by CN Staff on March 22, 2006 at 06:27:18 PT
By Gig Conaughton, Staff Writer
Source: North County Times 
North County, CA -- State officials formally asked judges to throw out San Diego County's precedent-setting lawsuit seeking to overturn California's 10-year-old medical marijuana law, saying that the only controversy over the law was in the minds of county supervisors.State Attorney General Bill Lockyer's office argued in motions filed Tuesday in Superior Court that San Diego County supervisors simply "disliked" California's voter-approved "Compassionate Use Act," and that there was no legal reason for the courts to entertain their lawsuit.
Nathan Barankin, spokesman for Lockyer, said that the state's position was essentially that the county's lawsuit was simply a request for the courts to rule on the legality of California's law, and involved no actual parties in dispute."Because courts can only hear cases that involve real factual disputes between opposing parties, and because there is no actual dispute here, such a request for an advisory opinion requires dismissal of the charges," Barankin said.He said the courts could rule on the state's motion in May.The county of San Diego, in a move that angered local medical marijuana patients and marijuana advocacy groups, filed a lawsuit in December in federal court seeking to overturn the Compassionate Use Act, which allows the use of medicinal marijuana.The supervisors ---- who have collectively opposed the law since it was placed on the 1996 ballot ---- argue that it should be "pre-empted" by federal law, which says that all marijuana use is illegal and that the drug has no medicinal value.San Diego County lawyers abruptly switched the lawsuit from federal to state court in February, as a tactical move in the hopes of avoiding the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which has been more friendly to marijuana supporters than to opponents in recent rulings.County officials have been waiting for the state's response ever since, but did not return calls Tuesday.However, county Counsel John Sansone said Monday that he would not be surprised if the state asked for a "demurrer," a motion to throw out the county's lawsuit.San Diego County officials and marijuana advocacy groups say the lawsuit is precedent-setting because it marks the first time a county has sued to overturn any of the medical marijuana laws approved by voters in 11 states.Barankin, meanwhile, said Tuesday that the attorney general's office also filed a motion Tuesday asking the courts to throw out San Bernardino County's medical marijuana challenge.San Bernardino supervisors, in a show of support for San Diego County, filed their own lawsuit shortly after San Diego County's action.San Diego County's board has largely ignored California's medical marijuana law since it was passed in 1996, and was actually chastised by its own grand jury in 2005 for doing "nothing" to help implement the law.However, late last year, the state ordered counties to create an identification card and registration program to help medical marijuana patients ---- and law enforcement officials ---- by clearly identifying who could use the drug legally under state law.But, by a 3-2 vote, with Supervisors Greg Cox and Ron Roberts opposed, the board voted in December to defy the state's orders.Shortly after that, the board voted 4-0, with Roberts absent, to actually sue to try to overturn the Compassionate Use Act itself, and named the state Department of Health Services and department Director Sandra Shewry as defendants.But the state's motion Tuesday argued that the county artificially created an issue for the courts to review the Compassionate Use Act."San Diego's political leadership cannot create a ripe controversy by threatening to disobey the law," the motion stated.Complete Title: State Asks Court To Toss SD County Medical Marijuana SuitSource: North County Times (Escondido, CA)Author: Gig Conaughton, Staff WriterPublished: Tuesday, March 21, 2006Copyright: 2006 North County TimesContact: letters nctimes.comWebsite: http://www.nctimes.comRelated Articles:County Joins Medical Marijuana Lawsuit Advocates File Challenge To San Diego Patients Serve San Diego Supervisors 
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on March 22, 2006 at 10:19:36 PT
Enthusiastic head nods to
State Attorney General Bill Lockyer's office!Fight for the rights of the people...especially that little
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Comment #5 posted by whig on March 22, 2006 at 09:36:33 PT
Currently reading...
Supreme Court opinion in Georgia v. Randolph.Looks like a fractured court on this one, but summary seems to be that evidence from warrantless search cannot be used against an objecting non-consenting person when a cohabitant authorizes the search.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on March 22, 2006 at 09:32:13 PT
I can't seem to find the article you are talking about.
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Comment #3 posted by paulpeterson on March 22, 2006 at 09:19:45 PT:
FoM: Yesterday's "Storm Lake Pilot Tribune" had an article about my motion to dismiss certain "criminal charges" against me for "interfering with official police action". Nicely sums up the current attempts to discredit me-My "committment" for being a risk to society was directly based upon this false arrest. Thought you might want to pull it up off their website and post it (It was well written by the editor, Dana Larsen).It is almost comical here, as well, to see county action trying to overturn California state law-just the opposite of what I am trying to do with the local "Bd of Supervisors"-to get them to disregard state law and decriminalize for the whole county.My next appearance before the Board will be April 4, the same date as my criminal trial (if my motion to dismiss is not granted, that is).You guys keep up the good work out there in internet land! PAUL PETERSON, reporting in from Northwest Iowa.
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Comment #2 posted by placer vaper on March 22, 2006 at 07:10:10 PT:
Bill Lockyer's office
I have to compliment Bill Lockyer's office for coming up with such an appropriate responce. Although I never once thought the county of San Diego had a chance.pv 
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Comment #1 posted by whig on March 22, 2006 at 06:41:21 PT
This is funny
Really funny. It's legal humor, I guess, which is something I got from my dad.I don't believe in going to law because I do think it's a really messed up system which is liable to grind you up and spit you out, and it's been quite evilly perverted in so many ways. But certain aspects of the common law tradition continue to hold and they give us our little victories too.Courts do not issue advisory opinions. This "case" is completely dead on arrival. "The only controversy over the law was in the minds of county supervisors." God. That's freaking hilarious.
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