Supreme Court Hands MMJ Major Victory
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Supreme Court Hands MMJ Major Victory
Posted by CN Staff on May 19, 2009 at 05:31:02 PT
By Ryan Grim
Source: Huffington Post
California -- The U.S. Supreme Court handed medical marijuana patients and advocates a resounding victory on Monday, refusing to hear a case brought by San Diego County, which has long chafed at implementing statewide medical marijuana laws.The state of California, in an effort to systematize the 1996 voter-approved initiative, required localities to implement identification card programs for patients with doctor approval in 2004. Such ID cards are required to enter medical marijuana shops in California and can be shown to police officers who find patients in possession of marijuana.
San Diego County, however, argued that the federal ban on marijuana trumps the state law, meaning they are not required to follow the state law. The county filed suit in 2006. Both the San Diego Superior Court and the Fourth District Court of Appeals rejected the argument, which was followed by the California Supreme Court's refusal to review the case in 2008.The San Diego Board of Supervisors voted to appeal to the Supreme Court."The courts have made clear that federal law does not preempt California's medical marijuana law and that local officials must comply with that law," said Joe Elford, chief counsel with Americans for Safe Access (ASA), a national medical marijuana advocacy group with a large presence in California. "No longer will local officials be able to hide behind federal law and resist upholding California's medical marijuana law."It is not the job, in other words, of local cops or municipalities to enforce federal laws. In fact, the federal government has never made such an argument. The California counties acted on their own.The Supreme Court ruling, following the Obama administration's decision not to raid medical marijuana clubs acting in accordance with state law, removes one of the last barriers to full implementation of the state law.ASA has now given notice to 10 conservative holdout counties (Colusa, Madera, Mariposa, Modoc, Mono, San Bernardino, San Diego, Solano, Stanislaus, and Sutter) of their legal obligation to implement the ID card program. In January 2009, ASA, something of an industry trade group, filed a lawsuit in January against Solano County for its refusal to implement the state ID card program.Story continues below ASA was joined by the ACLU Drug Law Reform Project in assisting the California Attorney General in the case against San Diego. San Bernardino teamed with San Diego."The Supreme Court and the lower courts in California have blown away the myth that federal law somehow prevents states from legalizing medical marijuana," said Rob Kampia, executive director for the Marijuana Policy Project.Thirteen states have laws that allow certain folks to use medical marijuana if their doctor recommends it. Illinois, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey and New York are currently considering medical marijuana bills in their state legislatures.Ryan Grim is the author of the forthcoming book This Is Your Country On Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in AmericaSource: Huffington Post (NY)Author: Ryan GrimPublished: May 18, 2009Copyright: 2009, LLC Contact: scoop huffingtonpost.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #13 posted by Richard Zuckerman on May 21, 2009 at 20:05:29 PT:
The refusal of the United States Supreme Court to take a case on a petition for Certiorari is NOT a comment on the merits, affirming the lower court decision, or a "resounding victory". All it means is that their priorities are in other matters at this time.
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on May 20, 2009 at 09:56:46 PT
He could do many things but not all of them would be smart to do considering how the Republicans are so angry and looking for anything to bring him down. 
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Comment #11 posted by AdaptBones on May 20, 2009 at 09:37:19 PT:
True FoM
That is true that Obama may not be able to pass some lasting policy that makes sure the states rights can't be overturned later without congress, but I don't see that as a big issue if he came out publically and said the states rights need to be retained. I just refuse to believe there is nothing he could do on his own to help that along. Even if all he did was come out and publically push that the people of the states have spoken and that their views do not match our drug policy, so that policy needs to be changed and he wants to see that on his desk in x amount of months. He COULD do that, and easily, and that would amount to the same protection. So while he may not be able to make lasting change without congress I know he can call congress on the issue and have them change it. Blessed be.
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on May 20, 2009 at 06:50:36 PT
Thank you for asking about Stick. He is doing better but going back to work driving a steel truck is something I don't know if he will be able to do anymore. 
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Comment #9 posted by runruff on May 20, 2009 at 06:10:16 PT
San Deigo!
Dudes, The people have spoken, The [not so] Supreme court has spoken, and it looks like your creator is trying to tell you something!-STFU!Sorry to breach your little world of wine spritzers and martinis. I will be on the road and your Beemer will be safe.[from me] but watch out for your cocktail drinking buddies for they are the most danger to society.Now, as for that smell? get used to it all you Ronnie Reagan wannabes. The great republican yoke has been broken on the rest of us but you still choose to carry that load. There are a lot of Slap-A-Grams to be handed out to these spit and polish control freaks!On a lighter note, I hope all my friends here have a beautiful, prosperous day!FoM, It has been a while since I've heard from Stick! Please rattle his cage for us! 
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on May 19, 2009 at 11:08:06 PT
I don't think Obama can change the Federal Law. It would have to go thru Congress the same way it was made illegal. He is the President but that doesn't give him unlimited power to do everything he might want to do.
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Comment #7 posted by AdaptBones on May 19, 2009 at 11:04:45 PT:
I worry
This is a great victory for the movement there is no doubt about that; but I worry that all of this is being reasoned by the fact the court would not hear the arguments. The supreme courts actual rulings still stand that the feds can do whatever the hell they want whenever the hell they want if they have a mind to do it. That worries me for the future. Although this does seem to go along Obama's political lines of "hands off approach" for the feds on cannabis issues. I just hope that once all the states have common sense policies in place and we have our freedom back that Obama at least federally puts those rights on paper so no one can come in after him and tear it all down. Blessed be.
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Comment #6 posted by mykeyb420 on May 19, 2009 at 09:16:43 PT
i meant
the people of san diego are ok,,its the politicians that are sucky.
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Comment #5 posted by mykeyb420 on May 19, 2009 at 09:15:28 PT
screw SD
san diego is a red part of a blue state,,they have been a thorn in our side for 150 years. Its time for the people of SD to vote OUT their politicians.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on May 19, 2009 at 06:47:36 PT
No I haven't seen it. Where did you try to post it?
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Comment #3 posted by Storm Crow on May 19, 2009 at 06:44:30 PT
I wonder.......
Just how much tax money was foolishly spent on this inane and insane fight against the inevitable? If I still lived in San Diego, I would be DEMANDING to know just how much of MY taxes had been spent on this. Then, I think I would be looking for some tar and feathers! (It's a traditional American "cure" for bad politicians- and a custom that might just stand reviving in San Diego.)We must start demanding accountability and transparency from all of our politicians-especially the local ones. WE are their bosses! We need to start acting like BOSSES- not sheeple! But, it DID clear things up a bit! So, although costly, it's not all bad.
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Comment #2 posted by runruff on May 19, 2009 at 06:25:34 PT
Hi FoM, mornin"!
I lost my post on the SCOTUS new ruling. Have you seen it!
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on May 19, 2009 at 06:02:31 PT
Let Ohioans Decide Medical Marijuana Use
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