SignOnSanDiego.com > News > Metro — County pursues medicinal marijuana case
San Diego County is pressing its long-shot lawsuit against state medical marijuana laws toward the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Board of Supervisors voted to petition the nation’s top court even before the California Supreme Court declined Oct. 16 to hear the county’s argument that the state laws should be overturned.
The San Diego Union-Tribune contacted each San Diego County supervisor about the board’s decision to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its challenge of state medical marijuana laws. Here are their responses:
Greg Cox: “When you get into a conflict between state and federal law, the only alternative is to go to court.”
Bill Horn: “Whether or not (federal agents) can enforce their law, that’s their choice. My problem is I have something that’s in black and white which my attorneys tell me is in conflict.”
Dianne Jacob: “Handing out ID cards at the same time the federal government considers marijuana illegal is not fair to those who think the cards would protect them.”
“This case is not about questioning the medicinal value of marijuana,” Supervisor Dianne Jacob said. “It’s about resolving the conflict between state and federal law.”For nearly three years, the supervisors have persisted in their legal fight rather than direct county health officials to issue identification cards to qualified medical marijuana patients as required by state law.
The San Diego Supervisors say they’re only interested in clearing the confusion over the federal law, which say cannabis is illegal, and the state law, which says counties must issue cards for legal medical marijuana patients that want them. They are not convinced by the rulings of their district court, the appeals court, or their supreme court in California, so now they appeal to the federal Supreme Court, which only accepts 1% to 2% of the appeals it receives, and which rarely gets involved in state issues unless the state courts have been divided on the issue, which they are not.
You would think that perhaps something else other than resolving federal/state conflict is driving this San Diego Supervisors agenda. And you’d be thinking right, if you continue on through the news story:
Pam Slater-Price: “I do not consider I would be doing my duty if I accepted the idea that we were to issue these licenses for so-called medical marijuana. The way the law is set up practically anything qualifies, including having a bad hair day.”
San Diego County Supervisor Bill Horn remains unconvinced, however. He does not believe there is any medicinal value in marijuana.
“I don’t think it’s right, to be honest with you,” he said. “Issuing the cards is condoning the use of marijuana. That’s not a message I personally want to send.”
“I don’t think it’s right.” 56% of California voters thought it was right when they approved Prop 215 in 1996. Every court you’ve been to has told you there is no conflict – federal laws against cannabis do not make a crime of printing state-sanctioned and mandated ID cards. But since you “don’t think it’s right”, and since you, as a county supervisor and not a doctor or scientist, don’t believe there is medicinal value in cannabis, then you don’t feel the need to obey the law.
That’s kind of funny, because I don’t believe there is a valid reason to prohibit cannabis, so I don’t feel the need to obey that law. I guess we do have something in common.