Patients who are unable to cultivate medical marijuana themselves and cannot find a caregiver to do it for them often turn to private patient collectives as a way to obtain their medicine. Collectives are explicitly allowed under state law and must be accommodated by local law enforcement. In the fall of 2005, the Butte County Sheriff conducted a number of raids on private patient collectives. One such raid occurred at the home of David Williams, a member of a 7-patient collective who lives near Paradise, California. Williams was forced to uproot and destroy more than two dozen plants just prior to harvest.
ASA has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Williams and the other members of his collective challenging Butte County's policy of prohibiting private patient collectives that do not require every member to physically cultivate the marijuana. On September 6, 2007, the Superior Court ruled in ASA’s favor and denied Butte County’s demurrer. On July 1, 2009, the Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District issued a published decision affirming the Superior Court, ruling in Williams' favor in all respects.
- ASA's amended civil suit complaint against Butte County (filed 4/5/07)
- ASA's opposition to demurrer (filed 5/24/07)
- The Superior Court's ruling (filed 9/6/07)
- ASA's opposition to Butte writ (filed 12/14/07)
- Butte Appellate decision (filed 7/1/09)