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California Supreme Court strikes down limits on medical marijuana possession

The California Supreme Court today struck down the state's limits on how much medical marijuana a patient can possess, concluding that the restrictions imposed by the Legislature were an unconstitutional amendment of a 1996 voter-approved initiative.

The decision means that patients and caregivers with a doctor's recommendation to use marijuana can now possess as much as is "reasonably related to the patient's current medical needs," a standard that the court established in a 1997 decision.

"I'm very pleased. They gave us exactly what we wanted," said Gerald F. Uelmen, a law professor at Santa Clara University who argued the case for Patrick K. Kelly, a medical marijuana patient from Lakewood who was convicted of possession and cultivation. "This makes it very clear that all of the rights of patients under the Compassionate Use Act are fully preserved."

The initiative did not limit the amount of marijuana that a patient could possess or cultivate other than to require it be "personal medical purposes."

In 2003, the Legislature passed a law intended to clarify the initiative and give guidance to patients and law enforcement officials. The Legislature decided that patients could have up to 8 ounces of dried marijuana and grow as many as six mature or 12 immature plants. The law also allowed a patient to have more if a doctor stated that amount was insufficient.

The court concluded that those restrictions improperly amended the Compassionate Use Act, which was approved by voters and includes no provision that allows the Legislature to amend it.

-- John Hoeffel

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Comments () | Archives (33)

WooooHOOOOOO. More weed for me, more weed for you.

Whooo-hooo! That cat is so out of the bag - it's never going back in.

"Hello,.... Farmacy? Do you deliver?"

Wow, and to think they had to come to my neighborhood to get their pot....cause the cops one block away do nothing at all to control the pushers around here...should make their job easier now...more business between doctor's visits I bet...

This is fine and all. But I do not need more than eight ounces. (!) What I do need is a healthy and robust dispensary system in Los Angeles, not the onerous joke that the Council passed this week.

well all riiiight!

Comments alone here are proof of how this law which was meant for relief of very sick people is now being used by pot heads to smoke this crap

Let's put the drug dealing criminals out of business and free up our tax dollars to meet America's real needs: roads, education, and other priorities. Let's tax and regulate marijuana for non-medical use, and let's let ordinary Americans grow a little marijuana in their own back yards; maybe $100 a year for a permit to grow a dozen plants. It's a win-win.

Crap? I didn't know 'crap' was what very sick people were using to relieve pain and a multitude of other symptoms. Maybe they should just stick to 'prescription' drugs that have significant and dangerous side effects and addictive tendencies. Yah, that should be better.

Time to expand my grow, baby!!

Three cheers!

Thank Jesus. Everyday I need an ounce and a half. Tell Samson to fly me to the moon.

You mean "Crap" like VIOXX which KILLED at least 27,000 Americans by FDA estimates. (probably double that figure).

Cannabis has never killed anyone.

Also, I'm young and have a rare incurable auto immune disorder. I don't look sick. Can you see if someone has Cancer or Fibromyalgia? NO!

Cannabis has been used Medicinally for over 2000 years.

Have fun taking the Government/Corporate Drugs approved by the FDA. I'm sure they have your health and best interests in mind. Google VIOXX deaths.

Great, 'cause me needs a bunch

ALLLLRIGHT i was tired of having to hide my garage full of plants, i harvest about 15-20pounds a year and now i dont have to worry about hiding it.

oh and btw tune into kevin and bean on 106.7 Kroq all week long to win tickets to coachella

LOL, How else can you control a nation? You intoxicate them, or pacify them, California is simply leading the charge, with the rest soon to follow, and take away their voting power, which the courts also did by lifting the restrictions on corporate campaign financing. There is no middle ground folks, its either right or left.

Brilliant planned execution for America to stay at the top of the food chain of a one world order. Controlling the people through the economy, oh my.

NAFTA, CAFTA, Cheap labor, Open borders, bankrupting the middle class, and taking away rights to bare arms, the perfect storm for implementation.

When the dollar collapses, and America moves to the Euro, check mate people.

Don't believe for a moment that the MATHER VA pain management clinic is interested in doing nothing but hooking you on major pain meds that have a list of side effects a mile long. Myself and three other veterans who are in chronic pain are given fentanyl,morphine, metadone, vicodin, percodan, as well as many other deadly meds but if you use any marijuana for medical purposes they will deny you any treatment and call you an addict even if you use it only once or twice a week. The funny thing about them is their doctor Wiley who is in charge of the pain clinic has done a number of studies on the use of medical marijuana with UC Davis and finds it does relieve pain with no real side effects. Isn't that a paradox?

Honestly, no one needs more than an ounce, two at the most, sitting around the house.

If you need more than that on a weekly basis, you shouldn't be smoking anyway, you should be eating brownies - that smoke will wreck your teeth & gums, same as cigarettes.

More than a couple of ounces on hand, and you are dealing, for reals. Just saying.

And yeah, weed can kill, when people drive high. Very bad idea - same as driving drunk, or driving tired. Your judgment is off.

But the main thing that weed kills is your motivation. Check any major pot smoker.

Recreate any way you want, but let's be honest. Legalize it, sure, but educate people as to its use - it's not all good.

This is a fair decision - because it focuses on what the real patient needs. At the same time, it says medical marijuana should be about the patient - not the dealer. Dealers get nothing out of this decision. In fact the court is laying the ground for saying that dealers will still go to prison and be shut out of using medical marijuana as an excuse. That's what Prop 215 said when we passed it. It's good to see the court going back to the original intent of Prop 215 - helping sick people. NOT helping drug dealers.

This is a big day for marijuana addicts, which by the way, are addicts the same percentage as people who use alcohol. Medical marijuana is the biggest joke in the world. This reminds me of cocaine at the turn of the last century. It's a miracle drug! It cures everything, except having your brain work properly. No one would give it any attention at all if it didn't make you stoned, and no one would claim to be using it medically either. They would all be off to real medications that are more effective and have with fewer side effects, or in the case of medical marijuana users, just other intoxicants.

Smoke away all you pot heads. Horray, horray for the Supreme Court.

Horray, horray for the USA Supreme Court. Now, everybody go see your doctor and get that prescription fillout. Pot heads smoke away and enjoy your life as its your last day. Heck, at least you'll be so stoned, you won't know what hit you.

some sanity is just not enough, speaking for the rest of us!!!
I am still a criminal. as is the other 36 states.

I want some of what Gloria B is smoking... her off topic comments... res ipsa loquitor....

I advocate medical use, but to succeed, I believe users need to self-police to gain trust and respect amongst lawmakers and those who generally oppose. With that said, my uneducated guess is that 8 ounces (8 four finger bags I think?) is quite a lot to have on-hand at any given time? With 8 bags on-hand, it's natural to assume someone is dealing small quantities or they're smoking for recreational purposes - thus my concern negative perception amongst non-supporters will prevail. Can someone help me out on this - I'm asking to learn and formalute an objective opinion. Thanks for letting me know.

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