Ruling Clouds Mendocino Pot Measure

Ruling Clouds Mendocino Pot Measure
Posted by CN Staff on May 30, 2008 at 06:08:53 PT
By Mike Geniella, The Press Democrat
Source: Press Democrat
Ukiah, CA --  A new state appellate court ruling may undermine a Mendocino County drive to repeal liberal local marijuana standards in favor of more restrictive state guidelines.At issue is whether Mendocino voters in next week's election can adopt state standards that were just declared unconstitutional by a state Court of Appeal in Los Angeles.
State attorneys want the state Supreme Court to review last week's ruling, but in the meantime, it leaves uncertain whether state or counties have any authority to define how much marijuana individuals should be allowed for medical reasons."It's a major, major legal victory for the California medical marijuana movement," said Alex Coolman, a San Francisco lawyer specializing in criminal appeals.The Los Angeles court ruled that the state Legislature acted improperly in 2003 by adopting specific standards for Proposition 215, a landmark voter-approved initiative that decriminalized marijuana use for medical reasons. Lawmakers waited to act seven years after the landmark legislation decriminalizing marijuana for medical use was approved in 1996.The appellate court ruling is an unexpected twist in one of the most heated Mendocino County elections in recent memory.Measure B proponents want Mendocino voters to roll back the current 25-plant limit now in place in favor of state guidelines of six plants. They blame Mendocino's more lax standards for acting as a magnet to commercial marijuana growers from across the country.Ross Liberty, spokesman for Yes on Measure B, said critics' claims that the local initiative has been legally undermined by the appellate court ruling are "absurd."Liberty noted that Measure B has two key elements that are independent of each other: repeal of a 2000 local measure that established current local standards, and the requirement that local rules conform to state standards."All we've ever wanted is uniformity statewide, so whatever the outcome is at the state level, that's where we want Mendocino County to be," said Liberty.Liberty accused Measure B critics of trying to convince local voters the initiative itself is unconstitutional."This is just a continuation of the campaign of intentional deception that we have seen from the beginning," said Liberty.But Laura Hamburg, coordinator of the opposition campaign, said the new appellate court ruling directly affects Measure B."It very much undermines Measure B. In fact it whacks it off right at the knees in the final stretch of the race," said Hamburg.Susan B. Jordan, a noted Mendocino County attorney who opposes Measure B, agreed.Jordan said Proposition 215 when passed by voters defined the standard as "what's medically necessary," and deliberately avoided adopting any specific number."The court rightly ruled that neither the legislature nor any other body politic gets to arbitrarily overrule what voters enact," said Jordan.Source: Press Democrat, The (Santa Rosa, CA)Author: Mike Geniella, The Press DemocratPublished: Friday, May 30, 2008Copyright: 2008 The Press DemocratContact: letters pressdemo.comWebsite: Articles:Sheriff Endorses Measure B Measure B Will Help County Rethinks Marijuana Regulation
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Comment #2 posted by OverwhelmSam on May 30, 2008 at 06:55:34 PT
The Den of Thieves
Interesting to note that consequently these high powered prosecutors and county representatives are paid by the taxpayers to fight medical marijuana laws. At the same time, the majority of Americans doesn't want government to spend anymore money on this issue, period. This leaves the prosecutors and our elected officials essentially ripping off the taxpayer by misrepresentation, stealing and theft. In an attempt to jail all cannabis users, they themselves have collectively become thieves, and their larceny against Society, is megaworse than an individual's private cannabis use.
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Comment #1 posted by ripit on May 30, 2008 at 06:48:49 PT:
o t 
they need to point out the last line of this article to the city council in hailey!
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