In an unprecedented ruling, a Los Angeles court denied a motion by plaintiff & DPFCA member Susan Soares to return her medical marijuana on the grounds that her doctor had not specified a dosage amount or frequency in her recommendation. Soares, who was growing for a local collective, had her medicine seized by hostile police last March, and had petitioned the court for it to be returned after charges against her were dropped.
It is generally the practice of most medical cannabis specialists never to prescribe a dosage quantity. The California Medical Association recommends that physicians never do so, because no dosage guidelines for cannabis have ever been established. Effective dosage varies greatly according to the potency and delivery form of the medication. Patients regularly control their own dosage through self-titration.
In the court’s decision, Judge Antonio Barreto, Jr. declared that “as a matter of law” any recommendation that Soares’ doctor made that does “not involve frequency and dosage both is insufficient, period, and does not lead to any lawful possession of any amount of marijuana.” The judge mysteriously stated that his ruling was based on the Tripett decision. Soares had been growing for several patients, but the court declined to return even six plants for her own individual use.
Soares is seeking legal aid to appeal Barreto’s unprecedented decision.
– D. Gieringer, Cal NORML
Susan Soares wrote:
I was denied my motion to return yesterday based on People v. Trippett. The judge said that because my doctor didn’t give me dosages or frequency of use, that my rec was invalid and therefore he couldn’t even give me the SB420 limits back. My attorney then asked him to preserve the evidence until we have time to appeal and he refused. The case that he referred to was pre 215 and later the convictions were vacated when 215 passed! The DA and the cop started cheering. Now the cops are going to wrongly believe that there has to be dosages on people’s recs! What can I do?