U.S. Supreme Court Rejects CA Counties’ Challenge to State’s Medical Marijuana Law

SAN DIEGO – In an important victory for medical marijuana patients and the ACLU, the U.S. Supreme Court today declined to hear an appeal brought by San Diego and San Bernardino counties challenging the validity of California’s medical marijuana laws. The Court’s order leaves intact the rulings of California’s state courts, holding that state medical marijuana laws are entirely valid despite the federal prohibition on marijuana.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which represented California medical marijuana patients in the proceedings, had urged the Court to decline the counties’ challenge.

“Now that the counties have exhausted their legal challenges, and courts at every level have upheld our position, we expect the counties will comply with state law,” said David Blair-Loy, legal director of the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties. “Seriously ill patients who use medical marijuana at a doctor’s recommendation are entitled to no less.”

“The Supreme Court’s order marks a significant victory for medical marijuana patients and advocates nationwide,” according to Graham Boyd, Director of the ACLU Drug Law Reform Project. “This case struck at the core of the contentious intersection between state and federal medical marijuana policy, and, once again, it is clear that state medical marijuana laws are fully valid.

“Coupled with the Department of Justice’s recent pronouncements that the agency will respect state medical marijuana laws, the Court’s order leaves ample room for states to move forward with enacting and implementing independent medical marijuana policies,” the ACLU noted.

The ACLU’s opposition brief to the Court