County delays decision on medical marijuana suit

January 30, 2006

K Kaufmann, The Desert Sun

The Riverside County Board of Supervisors will not vote until next week on whether to join a federal lawsuit opposing California's medical marijuana law.

Third District Supervisor Jeff Stone brought the proposal to the board today that would have added Riverside County to the suit against the state law filed by San Diego County on Jan. 20. The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors voted to file a similar suit Jan. 24.

In 1996, California voters passed Proposition 215 - the law allows individuals with a doctor's recommendation to use medical marijuana. The law requires counties to issue IDs to qualified medical marijuana users.

Riverside County began issuing the cards in December. San Bernardino had planned to start issuing the IDs, but has put the cards on hold until the suit is resolved.

The vote on the proposal, which was to have occurred in closed session, was continued until the board's meeting on Feb. 7 because Fourth District Supervisor Roy Wilson was not at the meeting.

Stone was not available for comment.

Wilson was out of town, said Dennis Acuri, the supervisor's director of communication.

Acuri said the proposal on the lawsuit would likely be considered at the public portion of the board meeting - scheduled for 9 a.m., 4080 Lemon St., Riverside- - but the meeting agenda would not be finalized until Friday.

He declined comment on how Wilson might vote on the issue, but said, "I think it's fairly clear he wants to be reasonable about the whole thing."

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