Today, the California Supreme Court denied an appeal lodged by the County of San Diego - and in the process - signaled to lawmakers that - "Federal Law does not trump State Law."
The County of San Diego filed suit in February 2006 - after challenging the validity of California’s medical cannabis laws - and refusing to issue patient ID cards for Medical Marijuana patients which are mandated under Senate Bill 420 (2003).
Shortly thereafter, a Superior Court Judge dismissed the action, which was a sound victory for Americans For Safe Access - who intervened - and became a party to the action to protect the rights of Medical Marijuana patients in the State of California.
On the heels of Superior Court ruling, however, County legal eagles remained undaunted.
An appeal was lodged with the State Appellate Court - in a bold-faced legal effort to circumvent State Laws - and ultimately deny all Medical Marijuana patients the rights they were afforded pursuant to Senate Bill 420.
The Appellate Court Justices reviewed the issues and found that the lower Superior Court ruling was without error.
Subsequently, San Diego County lost that round of litigation in the higher court.
Unwilling to accept defeat, even at that juncture, attorneys were inclined to go one step further and lodge another appeal with the California Supreme Court for further consideration.
Today, the Supreme Court denied the request to hear the appeal.
In sum, the litigation is now over.
All counties in the state are now compelled to abide by applicable Statutes in respect to provisions mandated by law and as they pertain to the "compassionate use of Medical Marijuana".
On the heels of the landmark ruling, Joe Elford - a representative at Americans for Safe Access - noted that Counties that do not comply with the Court's ruling today will face vigorous opposition.
“We are prepared to commence litigation to ensure implementation of the medical marijuana ID card program,” he asserted.
The implications of the San Diego victory are far-reaching.
Until now, elected officials at various levels of government, have cited Federal law as a reason not to obey the will of California voters.
And, officials across the country - who have been looking at the implementation of medical marijuana statutes in their own states - have held back because they have been under the impression that federal law trumps state action.
The landmark ruling today paves the road ahead.
For those who seek (or already carry) Medical Marijuana ID cards - and purchase medical marijuana from licensed collectives - the ruling is a glorious victory.
One of many protests held over abusive DEA raids...