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January 21, 2010

California Supreme Court stricks down limits medical marijuana quantities

The Supreme Court of California today in People v. Kelly, No. S164830 (Cal. Jan. 21, 2010) (available here), has struck down an attempt to place a regulatory limit on how much marijuana a “qualified patient” may possess or cultivate.  Here is how the unanimous opinion begins:

Health and Safety Code section 11362.77,1 which is part of the Medical Marijuana Program (MMP) (§ 11362.7 et seq.), prescribes a specific amount of marijuana that a “qualified patient” may possess or cultivate. We granted review to determine whether this aspect of section 11362.77 is invalid under California Constitution, article II, section 10, subdivision (c), insofar as it amends, without approval of the electorate, the Compassionate Use Act (CUA) (§ 11362.5), an initiative measure adopted by the voters as Proposition 215 in 1996.  We conclude, consistently with the decision of the Court of Appeal below (and with the position of both parties in the present litigation), that insofar as section 11362.77 burdens a defense under the CUA to a criminal charge of possessing or cultivating marijuana, it impermissibly amends the CUA and in that respect is invalid under article II, section 10, subdivision (c).  We also conclude, consistently with the views of both parties in the present litigation, that the Court of Appeal erred in concluding that section 11362.77 must be severed from the MMP and hence voided.

January 21, 2010 at 05:42 PM | Permalink

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