And Sometimes We Win
March 19, 2008 | Joe Elford
Hours ago, the California Supreme Court denied review, as well as a request for depublication, of Garden Grove v. Superior Court. This was the 41-page published decision that strongly affirms the right of medical marijuana patients to possess their medicine without law enforcement harassment and requires courts to order the return of marijuana that was improperly seized by the police. The decision seemed unlikely to survive the California Supreme Court's scrutiny after the Supreme Court's horrendous decision in Ross v. RagingWire. Now, the decision ihas withstood this challenge and is binding on all of the superior courts of this state. Whereas the California Attorney General was on our side, all of the largest police officers' associations, as well as the California District Attorney's Association, filed briefs against us and plead with the Supreme Court to grant review of the case. Their desire for the published decision be repealed is understandable. It rejects all of the meritless arguments made by the police in no uncertain terms, especially in the last five pages. In particular, the decision states that California's laws are not preempted by federal law and that "it must be remembered it is not the job of the local police to enforce the federal drug laws as such." So much for the police's purported confusion about which law to enforce. The decision also contains many other quotable passages. Among them is the court's rejection of the characterization of medical marijuana patients as "criminals." In response to the police, the court states as follows:
Characterizing Kha as a “criminal defendant,” amici claim the CUA only provides him with a “defense” to certain offenses and does not make his possession of medical marijuana “lawful.” But Kha is clearly not a criminal defendant with respect to the subject marijuana. Since the prosecution dismissed the drug charge he was facing, he is nothing more than an aggrieved citizen who is seeking the return of his property. The terms “criminal” and “defendant” do not aptly apply to him.This court got it. I am elated their words remain "published" and binding on every superior court and law enforcement as well.