Court Affirms California's Medical Marijuana Laws
Rules State Laws Can Co-Exist with Conflicting Federal Laws


California's medical marijuana regulations require each county health department to issue identification cards to qualified medical marijuana patients. Three counties in California objected to this requirement, claiming that "federal statutes prohibiting possession and use of marijuana pre-empt state law."
TIMELINE OF EVENTS
(reverse date order -- most current first)
DATE
DOCUMENTS
(if available)
10. San Diego County files their appeal. 02/22/07 None
9. The San Diego County Board of Supervisors, in a closed meeting, decides to file an appeal of the Superior Court ruling. 12/12/06 None
8. San Diego Superior Court Judge William Nevitt affirms his tentative ruling, writing "Requiring the counties to issue identification cards for the purpose of identifying those whom California chooses not to arrest and prosecute for certain activities involving marijuana use does not create a 'positive conflict.'" 12/6/06 None
7. A tentative ruling by San Diego Superior Court Judge William Nevitt dismisses the counties' arguments. Oral arguments are then heard from the parties. A final ruling is still pending. 11/16/06 Tentative San Diego Superior Court Ruling (PDF)
6. State of California formally requests dismissal of case 3/21/06 None
5. San Diego County moves suit to state court, withdrawing suit from federal court and re-filing in San Diego Superior Court 2/2/06 None
4. San Bernardino County Supervisors vote to join the lawsuit on the side of San Diego County 1/25/06 None
3. San Diego files suit in federal court 1/20/06 Filed lawsuit (PDF)
2. ACLU sends letter to San Diego County, indicating they will join lawsuit on the side of the State of California 1/19/06 Full ACLU letter (PDF)
1. San Diego County Supervisors decide not to implement California's medical marijuana I.D. card program, and votes to sue the state of California. Nov/Dec, 2005 None

Related Resources:
  1. ProCon.org site on the ACLU, which asks "Is the ACLU good for America?"
  2. ProCon.org question "Does a state's medical marijuana laws put that state in violation of federal drug law?"
  3. State Medical Marijuana Laws
  4. California's Proposition 215 and follow-up legislation SB 420