Welcome to the Willamette Valley NORML News section.   Click here to go Home

Help the Cause
What You Can Do to Help the Cause and Be NORML!
What You Can Do to Help the Cause and Be NORML!

What You Can Do to Help the Cause and Be NORML! Support Now!

Write your Representatives At All Levels
Write your Representative!
Speak Your Mind ... Help National and Local Reform Efforts

Help Recent State Reform Efforts, Write your Representative! Act Now!


About . . . >

About the Willamette Valley NORML Us at W-V-NORML
About National NORML NORML the Org
Site Map to the W-V-NORML web sphere the Site

some Projects and Actions

Hemp in Oregon and beyond Hemp in Oregon and beyond
Medical Marijuana in Oregon and beyond Medical Marijuana
Latest Meeting Report for the Willamette Valley NORML, NORML Affiliation status and more ... Meeting Report
Latest Medicine Bowl Project Report for Willamette Valley NORML, our own little Cannabis Cup ... The Medicine Bowl Project
Latest FilmFest Project Report for the Willamette Valley NORML, Reefer Madness and more ... FilmFest Project
All Calendar of Events that the Willamette Valley NORML are aware of. Calendar pages
List of Events that Willamette Valley NORML is aware of. Events pages

Contact and Communications

Contact us Contact us
Volunteer Volunteer
Subscribe to our e-Mail-List for News and Announcements Subscribe for News and Announcements
Visit our Bulletins Board for Public Notices Bulletins Board for Public Notices.
Visit our Feed Back form page Feed Back form page.

Stay Informed, Spread the News

Willamette Valley NORML News Stories and Sources NewsLetters
News Stories and Sources News - including these featured items ...
  State by State News State by State News

  NORML in the Media NORML in the Media

  In The Media (archive) In The Media (archive)

  Nearly 200 Studies Support Medical Cannabis! Read Them Here Nearly 200 Studies Support Medical Cannabis! Read Them Here

  Cannabis and Driving: A Scientific and Rational Review Cannabis and Driving: A Scientific and Rational Review
News Feeds News Feed page
Media Resources and Networks Media

References

Oregons medical marijuana law The medical marijuana law

Take Action, Get Involved

GOTV! - Getting Out The Vote GOTV! - Getting Out The Vote
Write a letter Write a letter
Register to vote Register to vote
Legislation Station Legislation Station

Biz, Orgs and other Resources and Associations

the Green Pages, your Cannabis Law Reform friendly Business and Services Guide Green Pages (Bizness Directory) project
the Orgz Pages, your Cannabis Law Reform friendly Organizations and Resources Guide Orgz Pages (Resource Directory) project

Our ToolShed(s)

The Forum for Members and such The Forum for Members and such
The Board Room, for Executive business The Board Room, for Executive business
Our gallery of images The Gallery
Our Library section The Library

  Home   |   About Us   |   About Hemp   |   Medical Marijuana   |   Contact   |   Meetings   |   FilmFests   |   the Med Bowl   |   Calendar   |   Events   |   Sign-Up   |   Subscribe   |   Bulletin Board   |   FeedBack   |   News   |   Links   |   Media   |   Write On   |   Vote   |   Legislation   |   Biz   |   Orgz   |   Gallery   |   Library   |   Newsletters   |

a News Story page by Willamette Valley NORML a Willamette Valley NORML > News > Story

[ News section >     Index   |   NewsLetters   |   News Feed   |   2013   |   2012   |   2011   |   2010   |   2009   ]


California Supreme Court: State’s Marijuana Possession Limits Are A Floor, Not A Ceiling  

California Supreme Court: State’s Marijuana Possession Limits Are A Floor, Not A Ceiling Thu, 21 Jan 2010 - By: Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director | California’s Supreme Court issued its long awaited opinion today regarding the constitutionality of state-imposed limits regarding the amount of marijuana patients may legally possess and grow. In it’s 53-page decision, the Court unanimously ruled that the state’s guidelines, enacted in 2004, should not preclude patients from receiving legal protections in court if they possess cannabis in quantities above those recommended under state law (six mature or twelve immature plants and/or eight ounces) or county law.

The People v. Patrick K. Kelly in the Supreme Court of California

[excerpt] “Whether or not a person entitled to register under the [2004 state law] elects to do so, that individual, so long as he or she meets the definition of a patient or primary caregiver under the CUA (Compassionate Use Act of 1996), retains all the rights afforded by the CUA. Thus, such a person may assert, as a defense in court, that he or she possessed or cultivated an amount of marijuana reasonably related to meet his or her current medical needs … without reference to the specific quantitative limitations specified by the [2004 state law.]“ In short, the Court affirmed that the state’s guidelines in no way override the sweeping legal protections provided under Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. As long as a patient possess quantities of cannabis that are “related to meet his or her current medical needs,” then they are legally protected under state law — regardless of whether or not these quantities are in accordance with state-imposed or locally-imposed guidelines.

In a separate legal issue before the Court, justices further ruled that provisions enacted by the Legislature allowing for counties to establish a voluntary identification system for legally recognized patients did not infringe upon the intent of the 1996 voter-approved initiative. So precisely what does this decision mean for California patients and providers? Aaron Smith provides an excellent summation here. The bottom line: patients in California have a legal right to possess and use marijuana in the way that is in best accordance with their medical treatment, as decided by the patient and his or her doctor — not by state or local legislators. Click > here < for the story, related links and to view and enter comments.


STATE COURT RULING SHOOTS DOWN MEDICAL MARIJUANA RESTRICTIONS  

STATE COURT RULING SHOOTS DOWN MEDICAL MARIJUANA RESTRICTIONS A unanimous California Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a law that sought to impose limits on the amount of marijuana a medical patient can legally possess, essentially sending Humboldt County's prosecution guidelines, and countless others throughout the state, up in proverbial smoke. The California high court ruled that state lawmakers overstepped their bounds in 2003 when passing Senate Bill 420, which sought to give law enforcement guidelines on when to make marijuana possession arrests by mandating that each patient could have a maximum of eight ounces of dried marijuana. The bill sought to add clarity to 1996's voter-approved Proposition 215, which made it legal for patients to possess and cultivate unspecified amounts of marijuana with a doctor's recommendation.

The case, The People v. Patrick Kelly, adds considerably more gray to an already murky legal area governing medicinal use of the drug, and what constitutes legitimate personal medical consumption. One thing is for sure, according to University of California Hastings School of Law professor David Levine, the ruling will make it much more difficult to prosecute medical marijuana cases.

"We end up going case by case, rather than having some sort of guidelines," Levine said. "You're going to end up having to decide this case by case. Given this particular defendant, was this reasonable or not? And, it will be decided by a jury." The ruling essentially states that only voters can change amendments, like Proposition 215, that they've added to the state's Constitution through the initiative process.

"The basic issue is just the hierarchy of law," Levine said, adding that the court's ruling did not come as a surprise. "That's really the core of it." The Supreme Court's decision upholds a lower court ruling that tossed out the conviction of Patrick Kelly, a Southern California man who was arrested for possession of 12 ounces of dried marijuana and seven plants. A "confidential informant" called Lakewood Police to report Kelly's possession in October 2005.

Experts testified that the amount of marijuana Kelly had on hand would last him just a few weeks for treatment of hepatitis C, chronic back pain, and cirrhosis. Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos said he's already shared the court's ruling with the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, county counsel and the sheriff, and intends on talking to other local law enforcement agencies about it. But, at first blush, Gallegos said he thinks the ruling renders the county's prosecution guidelines unlawful, as they place restrictions on the amount of space patients can use to cultivate marijuana, the amount patients can cultivate and the amount they can possess.

"We're back to no limits," Gallegos said. "We don't even have threshold amounts we can throw in front of a jury." Under Proposition 215, patients can use medical marijuana with a doctor's recommendation, but there's no requirement that doctors recommend a dosage. In fact because marijuana is still illegal federally, the California Medical Association advises physicians to avoid offering advice on how much marijuana a patient should use.

Gallegos said it will likely be very difficult for his office to make determinations on whether the amount of marijuana possessed by someone with a doctor's recommendation is in line with what their doctor feels is necessary to treat their medical condition. "You can arrest them all day long. The question is, can you prosecute them?" Gallegos asked, adding that, in many cases, his office likely won't know the answer until the patient's doctor is testifying at trial.

That is a very expensive process by which to prosecute cases, Gallegos said, as it takes attorneys, a courtroom and jurors just to determine whether a case is prosecutable. Neal Sanders, a local attorney who handles medical marijuana cases, had a similar take.

"The prosecutor can't come in and say, 'this person violated the law because they had over eight ounces of marijuana,'" Sanders said. "The prosecution now has to prove the defendant had more than what their medical needs were. ... I think this is a boon to the defense for people that have medical marijuana." Gallegos said the ruling adds to marijuana's nebulous, quasi-illegal state, which brings a host of complications -- both moral and criminal.

"When you say something is illegal, but make it so you can't enforce it, you've turned the law, instead of a rule, into a suggestion," Gallegos said. "It really makes a lot of it unenforceable." Allen St. Piere, spokesman for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said the court's ruling is a step in the right direction.

"It's very positive," St. Piere said. "It's an acknowledgment that the patient and the doctor relationship is sacrosanct and that the state, federal and local governments should not get between a physician and his or her patient." But, the ban on SB 420 may be short-lived, according to Levine, as the court simply ruled the state can't impose the guidelines without first getting voter approval.

"What the Legislature will have to do is send it to the voters and see what happens," Levine said. "There's no reason the Legislature could not put this on the next ballot." The county guidelines, Levine said, are another ball of wax, unless the state acts first. "At the county level, they just have to tear up those documents," he said. Click > here < for the story, related links and to view and enter comments.

Author: Thadeus Greenson, The Times-Standard
Pubdate: Fri, 22 Jan 2010
Source: Times-Standard (Eureka, CA)
Referenced: Supreme Court Opinion
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal - U.S.)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - California)
Newshawk: Confusion in California

Please let us know your thots, ideas and actions, if any. Post it for everyone, or give us feedback.


  the Bulletin Board  

INSTRUCTIONS Enter the NotePad! Enter questions, comments and link info in the NotePad, NOTE - we do NOT automatically capture e-mail address - you must enter it.   EDITing is up to you, what you submit is what gets posted.   Email us  directly if you have an attachment -or- just want to with your story related info.

  Post Here  

Who are you:
Where are you from:
What would you like to say:


  posted Comments  

next Comments go here.

In People v. Kelly, (56 page opinion online here: http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S164830.PDF), the California Supreme Court held that the restrictions created by the amendments to Proposition 215 (Compassionate Use Act) by the Medical Marijuana Program legislation on the amount a patient could possess are invalid as an unconstitutional amendment to the initiative. (The CA Constitution generally prohibits amendments to initiatives by the legislature.)

One effect of this decision here in Oregon is that CA patients who assert a full faith and credit/right to travel defense to a criminal prosecution for possession (or delivery on a Boyd theory, or Manufacture on a package and repackage theory) are not limited to the 8 ounces or more if the county they live in says its ok, and, instead, can rely on the Compassionate Use Act's allowing an affirmative defense where the amount possessed is 'reasonably related to the patient's medical needs.'

Lee Berger,
Portland


Thanx! for stopping by -and- Spread the Word!

  Maintain an Entry or Give us FeedBack    

Enter FeedBack To change or delete an entry above, or to send a message to us instead of posting it immediately, use this tool. Or, Email us  directly if you have an attachment -or- just want to with your Story related info.

Who are you?
e-mail address:
Request:

[ News section >     Index   |   NewsLetters   |   News Feed   |   2013   |   2012   |   2011   |   2010   |   2009   ]


  Home   |   About Us   |   About Hemp   |   Medical Marijuana   |   Contact   |   Meetings   |   FilmFests   |   the Med Bowl   |   Calendar   |   Events   |   Sign-Up   |   Subscribe   |   Bulletin Board   |   FeedBack   |   News   |   Links   |   Media   |   Write On   |   Vote   |   Legislation   |   Biz   |   Orgz   |   Gallery   |   Library   |   Newsletters   |

Get the
Get the NORML News Feed
NORML News Feed




some Tools from National NORML

Need Help?
Attorney listings of the NORML Legal Committee
Attorney listings of the NORML Legal Committee.

Attorney listings of the NORML Legal Committee Select by state.

Know Your Rights! Know the Law!
The NORML State by State guide to Marijuana Laws.
The NORML State by State guide to Marijuana Laws.

The NORML State by State guide to Marijuana Laws. Get Informed.


#1: Inquire!

Find Out what the Issue means to you and what you can do about it
Find Out what the Issue means to you and what you can do about it.

Check Us Out Check It Out.

#2: Get e-Mail Updates!

Subscribe and Keep up-to-date with the latest news
Keep up-to-date with the latest news.

Donate now Subscribe now.

#3: Join Up! Help Out!

Join Up and make a difference in Eugene, Oregon and beyond
Join Up, Help Out and make a difference in the Willamette Valley, around Oregon and across the Nation.

Sign up and Join Us now Join now.

You are visitor # 3405!     (since 1/29/2010