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Top Court Nixes Medical Marijuana Limits
Posted by CN Staff on January 21, 2010 at 17:06:57 PT
By Josh Richman, Oakland Tribune
Source: Oakland Tribune
CA -- The California Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously struck down state law's limits  and, most likely, local limits too  on how much marijuana a patient or caregiver can possess or grow for medical purposes.But the state's highest court revived another part of state law that a lower court had ordered voided, protecting the state's voluntary identification-card program for patients and caregivers.
The state Attorney General's office had agreed with lawyers for defendant Patrick Kelly of Lakewood that the limits should be abolished but the ID card system retained.Kris Hermes, spokesman for Oakland-based Americans for Safe Access, said the court's ruling also renders unconstitutional many city and county ordinances imposing possession and cultivation limits. Oakland, for example, had set limits of up to 72 indoor plants with up to 32 square feet of canopy, or up to 20 outdoor plants at any stage of development, and up to three pounds of dried marijuana."I imagine it'll apply to us as well," Oakland City Attorney John Russo agreed. While the ruling doesn't affect other local regulations such as dispensary permits or police de-prioritization of marijuana enforcement, he added, "I think you can surmise pretty safely that this decision indicates a very short remaining life for some of the local attempts to quantify (legal amounts)." Additionally under the ruling, those who opt into the state ID card system and abide by limits set by state or local laws may remain protected from arrest and prosecution by state and local authorities. But those who exceed the limits, whether or not they have an ID card, can still make a defense in court that they're abiding by the state's original medical-marijuana law, according to the court's opinion  exceeding the limits isn't by itself a criminal act.California voters in 1996 approved Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act; it set no possession or cultivation limits. The Legislature in 2003 added new Health and Safety Code sections creating the voluntary ID card program and limiting a patient or caregiver to possessing no more than eight ounces of dried marijuana and maintaining no more than six mature or 12 immature marijuana plants.Kelly  who suffers from hepatitis C, back problems including ruptured disks, a fused neck, nausea, fatigue, cirrhosis, appetite loss and depression  got a doctor's recommendation and began using marijuana medically in 2005. Later that year, Los Angeles County deputy sheriffs arrested him after finding seven potted marijuana plants in his home and more growing outside his garage, and about 12 ounces of dried marijuana.The state Supreme Court agreed Thursday with the California Court of Appeal's Second District that the 2003 law's limits were unconstitutional because the Legislature can amend a voter-approved law only if that law specifically allows amendment  which Prop. 215 doesn't  or through another voter-approved initiative.But the ID card program isn't unconstitutional because it's voluntary, the court found, and the possession and cultivation limits can still apply to those who choose to get ID cards as a protection against unnecessary arrest and prosecution.Hermes said the court was right to lift the limits, but leaves a lot to law enforcement's discretion."It creates a bit of a question as to how things will play out between law enforcement and the patient community for those patients who don't have state ID cards," he said. "In the hostile jurisdictions, you may find police going after any patient. That would be very unfortunate and would be a very sad outcome of this decision; however, that's a very real possibility that we have to be vigilant to try to deter."Source: Oakland Tribune (CA)Author: Josh Richman, Oakland TribunePublished: January 21, 2010Copyright: 2010 MediaNews Group, Inc. Contact: triblet angnewspapers.com URL: http://drugsense.org/url/0Krc0x8IWebsite: http://www.oaklandtribune.com/CannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/medical.shtml
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Comment #13 posted by Treeanna on January 22, 2010 at 22:28:24 PT
Kris needs to re-read the ruling
Kris Hermes is wrong. The opinion clearly says that the arrest immunity for people applies if you have the amounts in H&S 11362.77(a) or less, OR if you have a recommend pursuant to 11362.77(b).You also don't even need the card - just have to be a "qualified patient".Read it yourself and see :)And best wishes for your speedy recovery, FoM :)
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Comment #12 posted by runruff on January 22, 2010 at 02:30:30 PT
Hi Ripid!
"there's no way anybody could reasonably grow themselfs a yearly supply of meds in 1 grow season outdoors"I have not mentioned it because it sounds so unbelievable. Last year I told some here that we were getting 5 pounds of dry, trimmed buds off of each plant. They didn't believe it!So try and believe this; this year I have known three growers who grew several 10 pound plants [dry manicured buds]. One good fellow grew 188 elbows on 24 plants and averaged 81/2 lbs. per.For the first time in my life I grew my first 4 pound plant. I could duplicate what my friends have done but it takes a lot of money to invest. The 81/2 pound guy used a backhoe to dig each plant hole. He invested 2 thousand dollars in soil and nutrients per hole.His helper is an old friend of mine who used to work for me. I get to learn all this high tech supper supplement growing technique through him.This year, at an undisclosed location, I will have a little funding to play with and will try for the 5 pounders. I don't have money to try for the 10s.I grew Universe God Bud, Cali-White and a local favorite called William's Wonder aka Purple Mama.I am glad to help any of my friend here. I will E-mail to you pictures of my last years plants if you E-mail me at Runruff yahoo.com. You won't believe these trees!So, limits huh! Like everything else, we are way ahead of the curve here in Oregon.
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Comment #11 posted by ripit on January 22, 2010 at 00:42:19 PT
right on!! 
hi fom! good to hear you made it home ok! an also great news from cali!! i always thought it was wrong to set limits so low as they were. theres no way anybody could reasonably grow themselfs a yearly supply of meds in 1 grow season outdoors( the way i would prefer!) when ya couldn't have but only a week or days supply(dependin on how you use it,like making oils and tinctures uses more than vaporizing) in yer possesion at any given time! would and has forced ppl into making labor intensive indoor gardens which can fail and leave those poor indiviuals without there meds!
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on January 21, 2010 at 19:48:12 PT
Hope
I have a lot of drugs in my system but tomorrow only Darvocet will be controlling the pain. Tomorrow might be really uncomfortable. They said it will take 6 weeks for a full recovery.
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Comment #9 posted by Hope on January 21, 2010 at 19:35:47 PT
others find it sort of cool
Might as well!
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Comment #8 posted by Hope on January 21, 2010 at 19:33:51 PT
You make it seem so easy.
But I know it's not all that easy.Don't get any upside down!I'm sure you could do it in your sleep.It looks like it's not going to be easy to keep you down for very long.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on January 21, 2010 at 19:22:49 PT
Hope
I'm better than I expected and I'm spacy. I'm sitting quietly and looking for news. The one thing that people who have never done drugs, legal or illegal, is enjoy the high because it is short lived. Some people are afraid of being spacy and others find it sort of cool. They gave me Darvocet for pain and it is working so far. Moose was in la la land last Wednesday after his accident and that's where I am right now.
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on January 21, 2010 at 19:01:25 PT
Wonderful! Wonderful! Wonderful!
I knew it! Still not a day off for you!
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on January 21, 2010 at 19:00:05 PT
Oh my gosh!
I was just wondering if I should call and check on you!
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on January 21, 2010 at 18:20:25 PT
herbdoc215
Thank you. I've been feeling ok because of all the drugs in me. The pain is starting to really kick in now so I think it's time to go to bed. I was told this was a life threatening issue so I knew it had to get fixed. I'm not ready to even begin to write my Bucket List! LOL!
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Comment #3 posted by herbdoc215 on January 21, 2010 at 18:00:25 PT
Wecome home, 
Hope your feeling as well as can be expected? peace, steve
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on January 21, 2010 at 17:10:06 PT
Nice News To Come Home and See
I like good news.
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on January 21, 2010 at 17:09:05 PT
Kris Hermes
is a hero!
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