California Closes Medical Marijuana ID Program



(Update - July 18, 2005 - California Resumes ID Program)

 

A July 18, 2005 article in the Associated Press, "Pot ID Card Program Shelved" by Rong-Gong Lin II stated:

 

"California health officials Friday suspended a pilot program that issues photo identification to medical marijuana users out of concern that a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling could make the state and ID holders targets for federal prosecution.

The action comes a month after the nation's high court ruled that the federal government could seize and destroy marijuana being used as medicine, regardless of state laws such as California's Proposition 215 that allow the drug's use by patients who have received a doctor's permission.

The state's Department of Health Services on Friday also asked Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer's office to determine whether the identification card program could potentially make patients and state staffers liable for prosecution because it identifies them as receiving marijuana or helping to facilitate marijuana use.

Teresa Schilling, a spokeswoman for Lockyer, said the attorney general's office plans to review the issue and present an opinion as soon as it can.

Once the health department receives the legal review, it will make its own decision on the future of the program. 'We also wanted to ask [Lockyer] whether information gathered from card holders could potentially be used by federal law enforcement officers to identify medical marijuana users for prosecution,' health services spokesman Ken August said.

The agency also had concerns that a state-issued medical marijuana identification card could give patients a false sense of security and might lead them to believe they are protected from federal prosecutors, August said."
July 18, 2005 Associated Press

Note: see the California Health Department press release on this subject. You can also read about all state medical marijuana programs