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Alert: Gov. Schwarz suspends MMJ ID Card program
by Cal NORML
Friday Jul 8th, 2005 4:17 PM
Gov. Schwarzenegger has made it known that he is suspending the
state's medical marijuana ID program pending legal review by the AG.
Cal NORML believes this suspension is completely uncalled for.
Gov. Schwarzenegger has made it known that he is suspending the
state's medical marijuana ID program pending legal review by the AG.
Cal NORML believes this suspension is completely uncalled for.
The ID program is intended to guide enforcement of state law, which
has in no way been affected by the Supreme Court decision. It is
also voluntary, so patients who are concerned about exposing their
identities need not do so.
Cal NORML urges supporters to call the Governor's office and
demand that he stand up for California's medical marijuana law.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-445-2841
Fax: 916-445-4633

I just received a call form Greg Franklin, a deputy director in the
state Department of Health, informing me that this morning Governor
Swarznegger will be issuing a press release announcing the suspension
of the MMJ ID card program pending a report from the Attorney
General's office.

The reason for the suspension is that the Gov. wants the AG to
address to issues before permanently suspending the program or
allowing it to continue. The two issues are:

1. Is the state of California aiding and abetting mmj patients in the
commission of a federal crime by issuing the ID cards?

2. Is the state of California putting mmj patients at risk by
maintaining lists of patients and caregivers which can be seized by
the federal government?

I did call and speak with a person named Rukina, who would not give
her last name, and she said the Governor was going to stand by
federal law and not state law. When I asked to speak with someone who
would give their last name and had some more information she refused
to connect me.

I strongly suggest that at the least we should immediately call the
Governor's office and protest. Call him at:

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-445-2841
Fax: 916-445-4633

To send an Electronic Mail please visit:
<http://www.govmail.ca.gov>http://www.govmail.ca.gov

I think we need to have some kind of united response. I will do what I can.

Lanny

--
----
Dale Gieringer (415) 563-5858 // canorml [at] igc.org
2215-R Market St. #278, San Francisco CA 94114

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Cal NORML
Friday Jul 8th, 2005 4:19 PM


A letter explaining Gov. Schwarzenegger's decision to suspend
the state medical marijuana ID program is posted at the Dept of
Health Website:
http://www.dhs.ca.gov/hisp/ochs/MMP/Letter/MMP%20All%20County%20Suspension%20Lettext
is
Full text is posted below.
The letter states that the Governor's action was motivated by
the Raich decision:
>Although California's Compassionate Use Act and SB 420
>were not directly affected by the Court's decision, the ruling raises
>questions whether the State can lawfully conduct an identification card
>program that facilitates violation of the Controlled Substances Act.
Note that the letter does NOT express concerns about patients'
privacy, as reported elsewhere.

California NORML denounced the decision in the following letter:

>Dear Gov. Schwarzenegger:
>
> We are dismayed by your decision to suspend the state's
>voluntary medical marijuana ID card program mandated by Senate Bill
>SB420.
>
> The ID program has already been delayed far too long - over
>18 months from when it was supposed to take effect. The result has
>been to cause needless confusion, arrests and harassment of
>legitimate medical marijuana patients.
>
> As you should know, the recent Supreme Court decision has no
>bearing on the validity of California's state law regarding medical
>marijuana. The ID card system is also voluntary, so that patients
>who don't want to expose themselves to the risk of divulging their
>identity to the state don't have to do so.
>
> As California's governor, it is your duty to enforce for our
>state's laws, not kowtow to federal bureaucrats and prohibitionists
>opposed to Californians' right to medical marijuana. Your delay in
>implementing SB 420 has been excessive and unjustified..

Cal NORML urges MMJ supporters to voice their concerns to the Governor:
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-445-2841
Fax: 916-445-4633
To send an Electronic Mail please visit:
<http://www.govmail.ca.gov>http://www.govmail.ca.gov

Letter from Dept of Health
Health Information and Strategic Planning, MS 5000, P.O. Box 997413,
Sacramento, CA 95899-7413

(916) 440-7350

Internet Address: http://www.dhs.ca.gov

July 8, 2005

TO: ALL COUNTY HEALTH DIRECTORS

SUBJECT: MEDICAL MARIJUANA PROGRAM

This is to notify you that effective immediately the California
Department of Health Services (Department) is suspending the
implementation of the Medical Marijuana Program and the issuance of
identification cards to qualified patients and their primary caregivers.
This suspension shall be observed pending further review of the legality
of continued compliance with the statutory requirements established by
Senate Bill (SB) 420 (Chapter 875, Statutes of 2003) in light of the
U.S. Supreme Court decision in Gonzales v. Raich.

On June 6, 2005, in Gonzales v. Raich, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled
against two California women, Raich and Monson, who sought a ruling that
the federal government does not have jurisdiction to enforce the
Controlled Substances Act against persons growing marijuana for their
personal, medical use. The Court held that Congress' Commerce Clause
authority includes the power to prohibit the local cultivation and use
of marijuana. Although California's Compassionate Use Act and SB 420
were not directly affected by the Court's decision, the ruling raises
questions whether the State can lawfully conduct an identification card
program that facilitates violation of the Controlled Substances Act.

We are requesting that pilot counties, that have begun operations, cease
processing their applications through the state system until further
notice. Additionally, the Department will postpone processing counties'
requests to implement the Medical Marijuana Program locally.

Should you have any questions or need additional information, please
contact Mr. Gregory A. Franklin, M.H.A., Deputy Director of Health
Information and Strategic Planning Division.

Sincerely,

Sandra Shewry

Director
]

--
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Dale Gieringer (415) 563-5858 // canorml [at] igc.org
2215-R Market St. #278, San Francisco CA 94114
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