State Court Pot Shot Aimed at Medical Marijuana

California’s medical pot defenders and the lawyers who represent them may have more to sweat than just the feds, if certain grumblers in Southern California have anything to say about it. San Diego County filed a federal suit last week that seeks to upend Proposition 215 — the state law voters passed in 1996 that makes pot smoking legal here if it’s recommended by a doctor. And the Associated Press reports officials in San Bernardino County just voted to join San Diego’s side in court.

Prop 215, aka the Compassionate Use Act, hasn’t really protected medical marijuana users when it comes down to it, since using marijuana in any form, for any reason, is still illegal under federal law. In San Francisco, the feds seem to have gotten more emboldened recently. Since last June, when the U.S. Supreme Court made it clear that the feds could prosecute medical marijuana users even if their states approved of the practice, the feds have raided dispensaries in San Francisco at least twice.

If the Compassionate Use Act goes down the drain, patients and growers in some counties may find themselves hauled into state courts, too. (Still, prosecutors in San Francisco, where most politicians openly embrace the medical marijuana cause, probably wouldn’t go there.)

— Pam Smith

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