Lassen Supervisors do not support medical marijuana ID card

December 22, 2005

Shayla Ashmore, Lassen County News

The medical marijuana identification card program is “nothing more than another scheme from the enemy within to destroy this society,” Supervisor Bob Pyle said last week.

Pyle was perhaps the most straightforward, but every supervisor expressed doubts about the program at the board's Tuesday, Dec. 13 meeting. Taking no action, the supervisors agreed to wait and see how other counties handle the legal requirement that each county approve the program and set up an application process.

San Diego County reportedly plans to sue the state to avoid implementing the program, according to County Administrative Officer John Ketelsen.

“I don't know that the medical use of marijuana for patients that need it is a good thing or a bad thing,” Sheriff Steve Warren told the board. “I think that for someone to be able to drive around in a car with eight ounces of marijuana and a card that says it's OK is not a good thing.”

Warren said possession of marijuana “clearly is against federal law and not too long ago it was against state law.”

Marijuana possession for medical use became legal in California with passage of Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that a federal ban on marijuana trumps any state laws allowing its use, including Prop 215.

To complicate things further the U.S. Supreme Court on June 6 decided the federal government may prosecute people who use homegrown marijuana. It said state medical marijuana laws don't protect users from a federal ban on the drug.

Warren said California's Attorney General issued an opinion saying, “The Supreme Court didn't say anything about mandating local and state officials to enforce federal law.” The attorney general concluded local and state officials should not enforce federal marijuana laws.

He said the voluntary ID card program simply gives medical marijuana users something to show law enforcement saying the bearer is entitled to carry eight ounces of marijuana.

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