Calif. Counties Lose Bid to Overturn Marijuana Law

     SAN DIEGO (CN) – California’s medical marijuana program does not interfere with two counties’ attempts to fight drug abuse, a California appeals court ruled.

     San Diego and San Bernardino counties only have standing to challenge the provisions of the Medical Marijuana Program (MMP) Act that impose specific obligations on counties, Justice McDonald ruled.
     Those obligations include the establishment of a 24-hour-center for law enforcement officials to verify the MMP identification card, as well as the provision of applications.
     Those provisions do not conflict with the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), McDonald ruled, and the counties also do not have standing to launch a broad-based challenge to the legality of the MMP.
     McDonald wrote that the federal law preempts only “those state laws that positively conflict with the CSA so that simultaneous compliance with both sets of laws is impossible.”
     The court also rejected San Bernardino’s claim that the identification card provision of the MMP is unconstitutional.
San Diego County originally filed suit against the state of California as well as the San Diego Chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, which had threatened to sue to county for not complying with its MMP obligations.

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