Us Supreme Court Upholds California Marijuana Law

05.19.09 | FL News Team

The U.S. Supreme Court has decided not to decide whether California's medical marijuana law violates federal law. By rejecting appeals from two southern California counties without comment, the justices on Monday cleared the path for people in San Diego and San Bernardino counties to apply for government-issued identification cards.

The cards prove it is legal for them to possess and use marijuana should they be questioned by law enforcement. Both counties had refused to issue the cards claiming the law violated the federal drug control act. A state appeals court upheld the California medical marijuana law last year, the Golden State's Supreme Court turned down appeals by both counties who then took their case to the highest court in the land.

California voters cast ballots in favor of the Compassionate Use Act in 1996. The federal government has suggested the law was illegal under the Controlled Substances Act but has not put much, if any, effort into prosecuting marijuana cases.

Since California made use of marijuana for medicinal purposes legal, several other states including Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington have followed suit. A pending new Hampshire law only needs a signature from the governor.