County Medical Marijuana Lawsuit May Continue
A San Diego County lawsuit challenging state medical marijuana laws should proceed, a Superior Court judge ruled Friday, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
San Diego County supervisors voted to sue the state last year, claiming that laws permitting the medical use of marijuana conflict with federal laws banning the use or possession of the substance. The law requires counties to provide identification cards to patients who use marijuana under the recommendation from a doctor.
County lawyers argued that local government can challenge state laws that conflict with federal laws.
The state asked that the lawsuit be dismissed because the law presented no "imminent harm" to the county, and there were not sufficient legal grounds to sue.
In his ruling, Judge William Nevitt said the case should proceed because the county is not precluded from challenging state law. Nevitt also ruled that his decision did not examine the merits of the claims, just whether the lawsuit could continue.
The state has 10 days to file a response.
San Diego County also filed a lawsuit against the San Diego chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. The NORML chapter threatened to sue the county unless it began complying with the law and developed a database of county residents using marijuana for medical purposes and issued identification cards (Wolf Branscomb, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6/10).