State Highway Patrol Directs Officers Not To Issue Citations for Marijuana to People With Medical Use Identification Cards
The California Highway Patrol in an Aug. 22 memo directed officers not to cite motorists for possession of marijuana if they have a recommendation for the substance signed by a physician or a government-issued medical marijuana patient identification card, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The memo also directed officers not to confiscate marijuana from motorists if they are not carrying more than the state limit -- eight ounces of marijuana, or six mature or 12 immature plants. In counties with limits higher than the state limit, the higher limit would apply.
The decision comes in response to a lawsuit filed by Oakland-based advocacy group Americans for Safe Access and statements from Attorney General Bill Lockyer (D) confirming that despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, medical marijuana use is sanctioned by Proposition 215, a 1996 state law permitting use of marijuana with a doctor's recommendation.
Americans for Safe Access sued CHP in February over its policy requiring officers to seize marijuana in all instances.
Joe Elford, chief counsel for Americans for Safe Access, said the group plans to continue its lawsuit against CHP and will seek a court order to uphold Proposition 215. He said that the group would consider settling the case (Hoge, San Francisco Chronicle, 8/30).