County Wants Relief of Duty Providing ID Cards for Medical Marijuana Users

December 27, 2007

, Fox 6 San Diego

The city of San Diego has taken the state's side against San Diego county in a battle about medical marijuana use, according to court documents.

The county of San Diego and California are at odds because the county wants to be relieved of its duty under state law to provide identification cards for medical marijuana users.

County officials have said it forces them to violate federal laws, which ban pot for any reason.

Citing court documents, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that the city of San Diego has formally agreed that the county should provide the cards as part of Proposition 215, which was approved by California voters in 1996.

In San Diego County, the idea was approved by 52 percent of the voters, compared to 56 for the state as a whole.

"The city has a compelling interest in ensuring its citizens have the benefits of the medical marijuana program," states a legal brief filed by the City Attorney's office last week.

The state law requiring counties to provide ID cards for medical marijuana users went into effect last year. To date, 35 or California's 58 counties have complied.

San Bernardino is a co-plaintiff in San Diego County's case against the new law.

Proponents of medical marijuana use argue that it relieves the painful side effects and symptoms related to cancer, AIDS and other diseases. Opponents point out it violates federal laws.

County-sanctioned cards are intended to make it easier for law enforcement to differentiate between legitimate medical users and recreational pot smokers.

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