California Resumes Medical Marijuana ID Program

The Associated Press stated in a July 19, 2005 article titled "State Resumes Medical Marijuana ID Card Program":

"State officials revived California's medical marijuana identification card program Monday [7/18/05], saying state employees weren't violating federal law by issuing pot ID cards.

'The state attorney general has reviewed this concern and said that California can issue ID cards to medical marijuana users without state employees facing prosecution for assisting in the commission of a federal crime,' state Health Director Sandra Shewry said in a statement.

Shewry's office shuttered the pilot program 10 days ago, citing concerns over a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

In a legal review sought by Shewry, Attorney General Bill Lockyer said that employees issuing the IDs could not be prosecuted for aiding or abetting the violation of a crime.

Lockyer's office also said that the information collected from applicants could be obtained by federal authorities and used to identify and prosecute medical marijuana users.

Health department spokesman Ken August said he was not aware of federal agents requesting such information.

Shewry said a new program application would state clearly that information submitted could be turned over to federal authorities and that possession of marijuana remains a federal crime."
July 19, 2005 Associated Press