Thursday, July 31, 2008

County of San Diego v. San Diego NORML (Cal. Ct. App. - July 31, 2008)

In a decision that should surprise no one, the Court of Appeal affirmed today the trial court's dismissal of the challenge brought by San Diego and Riverside County to California's Medical Marijuana Program Act. So you can still get your identification card.

Justice McDonald rightly holds that, sure, there may perhaps be some degree of conflict between California's Compassionate Use Act and the federal Controlled Substances Act. (Though even that is up to debate; after all, the former merely precludes state prosecution, and does not even attempt to alter the availability of potential federal prosecution.) But even assuming that's true, "[t]he identification card statutes impose no significant added obstacle to the purposes of the CSA not otherwise inherent in the provisions of the exemptions that Counties do not have standing to challenge [e.g., the CUA itself], and we therefore conclude the limited provisions of the MMP that Counties may challenge are not preempted by principles of obstacle preemption."

Which is exactly right.