Patients get OK to oppose county's marijuana challenge

August 03, 2006

, North County Times

SAN DIEGO ---- Medical marijuana patients will have the chance to oppose San Diego County's challenge to overturn California's "Compassionate Use" law, according to a tentative ruling Thursday by a Superior Court judge.

Judge William R. Nevitt issued a tentative ruling Thursday that said several patients in Southern California who use marijuana medicinally ---- and represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Americans for Safe Access and the Drug Policy Alliance ---- could "intervene" and oppose San Diego County's lawsuit. Nevitt is scheduled to hold a hearing and issue a final ruling today.

The county angered local medical marijuana patients and state and national marijuana advocacy groups in December by filing a lawsuit seeking to overturn California's voter-approved, 1996 medical marijuana law.

In June, Nevitt rejected the state's request to toss out the county's lawsuit, and said it should go to trial ---- which could happen in September.

Meanwhile, the ACLU, Americans for Safe Access and the Drug Policy Alliance, filed a request last month to be able to intervene in the lawsuit, to represent the interests of actual patients who use marijuana as medicine.

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