Sonoma County Jury to Rule on Marijuana Farmers’ ‘Caregiver’ Status
In what defense attorneys believe will be the state's first jury trial involving a supplier of medical marijuana, a Sonoma County jury will be asked to determine if two Petaluma men violated state law by growing more than 800 plants to supply a San Francisco marijuana buyers' club. The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports that the "crux of the case" centers on language in Proposition 215 that legalizes marijuana possession with a physician's approval for "medical patients and their caregivers" only. The trial will determine if the two defendants can be considered "caregivers" for the 1,200 members of San Francisco's Cannabis Helping Alleviate Medical Problems club who used the marijuana they grew. Sonoma County prosecutor Carla Claeys said that because the men did not provide housing, health or safety services for patients, they cannot be considered caregivers. But defense lawyer Chris Andrian said that CHAMP is a caregiver because it offers a "safe environment," counseling, support and food. Jury selection for the trial is underway, and testimony could begin as early as tomorrow (Mason, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 3/12).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.