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Medical Marijuana Policy

California Supreme Court Denies Medical Marijuana Cultivation Hearing

california medical marijuanaIn a disappointing setback for Prop 215 patients’ rights, the CA Supreme Court denied review of the Maral v Live Oak appellate decision, which upheld the right of local governments to completely ban personal use cultivation by medical marijuana patients.

In a lawsuit sponsored by Cal NORML, attorney Joe Elford had petitioned the Court to depublish the Live Oak decision, arguing that such bans violate Prop. 215 and SB 420. SB 420 sets a statewide cultivation guideline of six mature or 12 immature plants and specifically authorizes local governments to establish higher – but not lower – guidelines.

“We are deeply disappointed by the court’s decision,” says Cal NORML Director and Prop 215 co-author Dale Gieringer, “They have effectively undermined Prop. 215’s stated purpose ‘to ensure that seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes.'”

As usual for depublication petitions, the court issued no explanation for its decision, which effectively opens the legal door for further bans throughout the state. Other local governments, including Fresno county and city, have moved to ban personal use cultivation as well.

The court’s decision does not preclude the possibility of a future challenge to local cultivation bans in another appellate district. However, plaintiffs face difficult odds in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling, which was unanimous. Medically needy patients who have been arrested and harmed due to local cultivation bans are invited to contact Cal NORML about possible legal challenges.

Live Oak, which does not allow dispensaries, was the first government in California to completely ban all patient cultivation. Its ordinance was challenged by a local patient, James Maral, who suffers severe medical problems that he had been treating with medicine grown at home. Mr. Maral filed suit to overturn the Live Oak ordinance, but lost his case in the Third District Appellate Court, whose decision stands as a legal precedent under California law.

Source: California NORMLmake a donation

  • Joseph

    How is this legal at all? This means cities have the complete authority to completely nullify Prop 215. I can’t believe what I’m reading at all. Prop 215 calls for exemption for patients under 11358, cultivation of marijuana. SB 420 calls for 6 plant minimum per county. What authorities do cities have on this matter? Does this mean they could also ban medical marijuana possession, and doctor’s recommending of medical marijuana in the county too? Where does this stop? We need answers. This reeks of absolute CORRUPTION. Cities and counties are completely overriding the will of we the people, and the intent of Prop 215. FIRE all these corrupt justices NOW!

    • Duncan20903

      If you read the actual words of the CUA it protects patients from criminal prosecution or sanction. It doesn’t carve out a right for patient cultivation. As long as the localities stick with civil sanctions there’s no violation of Prop 215.

      • robert hastings

        It’s effectively a zoning violation so no jail worries but they can put you out on the streets to get meds -It’s an unhealthy gift to the Canadian and Mexican Chem weed industry yuck!!

        • Duncan20903

          I agree that it sucks. I’m shocked that it took them this long to come up with the idea. I admit that I didn’t see it coming. My first reaction was, they can’t do that and went to the text of the CUA to post the salient language that demonstrated that they were breaking the law. It wasn’t there.

          If anyone cared what I think I’d mention that rather than griping or insisting that they can’t do this I’d start working on getting a re-legalization referendum on the ballot because now that they have figured it out the rest of the idiot prohibitionists in the redneck regions of California are going to fall all over themselves in their rush to fuck their local patients. Deal with it, it’s real.

  • Christina

    I agree there is something fishy here. California had the Supreme Court issue a decision in 2010 that patients could grow virtually any amount they wanted, and a cap of 6 plants was unconstitutional. SB 420 was an expansion of Prop 215 to address possession and cultivation rights. I think someone is getting paid off by the League of Cities and California Narcotics Officers Association.

  • Bic

    Its all about the money and control. How is the government going to make their money if they allow people to grow their own mj? They are also working to patent the whole plant so they can then sue you for growing your own. Any time the government gets involved it is never a good idea for the people or their freedoms.

    • Joseph

      It’s not just the government, it’s the thugs who are lobbying them. In this case, the California Narcotics Officers Association and California League of Cities are trying to rewrite, control, and neuter our MMJ laws with SB 1262, under the guise that they are “promoting regulation” for medical marijuana in California, like they are doing a good thing. They have also been funding ALL the recent legal battles in California Courts AGAINST Proposition 215. They are very deceiving, devilish people.