California Supreme Court Rejects Medical Marijuana Limit
January 22, 2010
(ChattahBox) – The California State Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously struck down a law that sought to limit the amount of marijuana a medical patient can legally possess. The ‘high’ court ruled that state lawmakers were wrong to change provisions of the 1996 voter-approved proposition 215, that that made California the first state to legalize marijuana for medical use and allowed patients with a doctor’s recommendation to possess an unspecified amount of marijuana “reasonably related to the patient’s current medical needs.” The Legislature mandated in 2003 that each patient could have a maximum of 8 ounces of dried marijuana, six mature plants or 12 immature plants. The Supreme Court’s decision upholds a lower court ruling that tossed out the conviction of Patrick Kelly, a Southern California man who was arrested for possession of 12 ounces of dried marijuana and seven plants. Experts testified that the amount of marijuana Kelly had on hand would last him just a few weeks for treatment of hepatitis C, chronic back pain, and cirrhosis.
The Supreme Court said only voters could change amendments that they have added to the State Constitution through the initiative process. But the state’s highest court did revive another part of California law that a lower court had ordered voided, protecting the state’s voluntary identification-card program for patients and caregivers.