Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Officer, release that plant!
By Steve Elliott in Chronic City
Some rural sheriff's departments still haven't really come to terms with the fact that medical marijuana is now legal in California, despite having had since 1996 to adjust to the concept. But in a landmark ruling, an appellate court today protected the right of California medical marijuana patients to collectively cultivate the herb under state law.
The California Third District Court of Appeals issued the 2-1 ruling in the case of County of Butte v. Superior Court, in which seven patients in Paradise, Calif., formed a medical marijuana collective.
Americans for Safe Access (ASA), a nationwide medical marijuana advocacy group, filed a lawsuit in May 2006 on behalf of 56-year-old David Williams and six other collective members after a 2005 warrantless search of Williams' home. The Butte County Sheriff's Department forced Williams to uproot more than two dozen marijuana plants or face prosecution. Deputy Jacob Hancock told Williams that growing collectively for multiple patients was illegal; California state law, in fact, does allow for collective cultivation.
ASA's media liaison, Kris Hermes, said the group "was compelled" to file the Williams lawsuit "after receiving repeated reports of unlawful behavior by Butte County law enforcement, as well as by other police agencies throughout the state."
Read the rest in Chronic City in the S.F. Weekly blog, "The Snitch":
Chronic City: Court Says Patients Can Collectively Grow Medical Marijuana